• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The difference of tactics in Vietnam played an important part in the victory of the Vietcong over the far superior United States.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The difference of tactics in Vietnam played an important part in the victory of the Vietcong over the far superior United States. The Vietcong used guerrilla warfare, a form of fighting with the aim to hinder the opposing force. This form of fighting dates back to Sun Tzu a Chinese military strategist who lived over 2000 years ago, he believed that all warfare involves the employing of ones strength to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. Guerrilla warfare was also successfully adopted by Mao Zedong the leader of the communist's forces in China. The USA were used to conventional warfare, in the form of bouts of fighting, guerrilla warfare ment they had to be constantly alert, for which they were not adequately trained. The strategy and tactics used by the Vietcong were based on those used by Mao Zedong, One important feature was the use of small groups of soldiers called cells. The cells worked together but knowledge of other cells was kept to a minimum, to lower the damage done to the organisation as a whole if one soldier was captured and tortured. The US troops began to use the 'search and destroy tactic' from 1965 to try and find members of theses cells and kill them. ...read more.

Middle

Vietcong began fighting with primitive weapons and booby traps to try and injure the American troops; there were many different types of mines and bamboo staves which they used, one of the most feared was the 'Bouncing Betty'. These traps killed inexperienced soldiers and put the rest of the troops on edge. The Vietcong's considerable knowledge of the local environment also proved to be extremely useful in the war. They could successfully launch ambushes against small groups of American troops, which again proved to be extremely effective in putting the Americans on edge, every time they were in Vietnam. The Vietcong were told not to into combat unless it outnumbered the enemy and was certain of winning. It therefore concentrated its attacks on poorly guarded government positions theses were referred to as 'soft targets'; it often used night attacks to increase the possibility of success. The Vietcong began to collect more and more advanced weapons from the Americans, survey taken by the US army discovered that about 90% of Vietcong weapons captured once belonged to the Americans or ARVN. On the other hand, the US fought from the beginning with some of the most advanced weapons in the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other chemicals used destroyed crops with the aim of starving the Vietcong, but it was later discovered that the poor crops affected the poor peasants far more, this again made the USA unpopular. The USA believed that with all this modern technology they could not be defeated by a "Raggedy ass 4th rate country" But the Vietcong had many advantages, another of these was the easy movement they had from North Vietnam to and throughout South Vietnam, this was as a result of the Ho Chi Minh trail. This was a complex web of jungle paths with base camps at regular intervals along it, it let soldiers travel from North Vietnam to Saigon in six weeks, it is estimated that the Vietcong received sixty tons of aid per day from the Ho Chi Minh trail. The USA quickly saw the superiority this gave the Vietcong and tried to stop its use. As the trail could not be seen by air it could not be successfully bombed, so the US decided to build the 'McNamara Line', a large barrier of barbed wire and minefield that crossed South Vietnam. Due to repeated attacks by enemy forces during its construction the plan was abandoned in 1967, the Vietcong was left with its advantage of quick supplies from North Vietnam. Another advantage of the Vietcong was its many elaborate Tunnel complexes throughout South Vietnam. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in ...

    This led to a full bombing halt in October. A sign possibly LBJ was considering peace. The astounding fact was between 1964 and 1969 South Vietnam was subjected to the heaviest ever bombing the world has ever seen. By 1969 an incredible 70tons of bombs for every square mile of Vietnam.

  2. How useful are sources A to C in helping to explain why the United ...

    This source is very useful in understanding why America went into Vietnam because by studying the source we can assess that one of the main reasons America stepped into the war was because they were terrified of the affect off communism on the Vietnam and surrounding countries and although President

  1. Did the power of television force the US to leave Vietnam?

    It is however useful is helping us to understand why America was not able to win over the Vietnamese people and how the American methods left Vietnam devastated. Source G: Source G is the reaction of an American soldier after having heard about the My Lai massacre.

  2. Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in ...

    This proved impossible. The guerrilla war sapped the morale of the US troops. Constant ambushes made the soldiers nervous and desperate. They began to make their own booby trap devices from raw materials, supplied by the US army.

  1. How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an ...

    Not only that, the VC also had foreign backing with the aid of China and the USSR helping with the funding and the strategic logistical movements of weapons. McCarthy mentions that "[...] we knew guys' wives, mothers, fathers and kids" - suggesting that the impact of the deaths reached beyond

  2. The USA should have been successful in Vietnam because of its technological and military ...

    Vietcong sound bad, this would be make it a little less reliable, it would also be biased because it is the Americans talking about the Vietcong. As it is a secondary source we can only assume that the person who wrote it was an eyewitness.

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    In the second part of this source Haig was writing on the 30th June 1916, the day before the attack by troops and towards the end of the artillery bombardment.

  2. Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

    By this time, the Americans were reflecting on the French rule and the possible effects of that in the area, on Communism - which was by now a major feature of the U.S. foreign policy. In context, several countries were assuming Communism as their de facto political leaning, including: Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work