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

What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict in Vietnam between 1956 and 1968?

Extracts from this document...


Liam Haggerty 10WD History coursework question 2 - What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict in Vietnam between 1956 and 1968? In order to try and win the conflict in Vietnam the Americans and the Vietcong used many different tactics. Most of the tactics used were direct responses to the other sides change in tactics. This carried on for 12 years. Following the French's defeat at Dien Bien Phu. South Vietnam was left non-communist. Immediately the asked fro help by America in fear of the communist north forces taking over the south. America responded almost immediately and adopted a conventional method and gave South Vietnam and Diem economic and military aid. At the Geneva conference the three super powers agreed that all of Vietnam would hold free elections. The plan was to hold the elections in 1956 but Diem and America fearing a communist victory prevented the elections from taking place. The leader of the communist north, Ho Chi Minh now knew he was not going to win by an election and the only way he would win would be by war. He began to launch a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government. This is involved using guerrilla tactics. Guerrilla warfare was unlike conventional warfare and used various strategies different to those of America. ...read more.


Operation 'ranch hand' was the first tactic introduced that involved helicopters or choppers as the Americans called them. These transformed the war and were used for a number of things like moving soldiers quickly, evacuating soldiers quickly, reinforce positions more speedily all these could be done at short notice. They proved very effective in saving soldiers and transporting them to hospitals. They also provided up to date information on the enemy. Although 'ranch hand' proved quite effective the Vietcong again had an answer to the Americans tactics. It was tunnelling. If the Vietcong couldn't hide in the jungle they would hide underground. The tunnels were armed with traps and mines in case the Americans got in. In 1965 Americas new president Lyndon. B. Johnson began to fear the defeat of the American army by the Vietcong due to the ongoing stalemate. In response to this Johnson launched operation 'rolling thunder'. This was the name given to the bombing of North Vietnam. It began in May 1985 and lasted on and off for three years. It involved the bombing of military establishments, bridges, roads, rail lines, fuel lines and storehouses. The idea was to try and bring North Vietnam to peace negotiations but until 1968 these efforts were in vain. In response to the Americans war in the air tactics they introduced a very highly effective air defence system. ...read more.


Johnson announced he would re-elect for presidency because the tactics he chose had not worked and was unable to win the war. His predecessor was Richard Nixon. He claimed that he would not be the first president to lose a war but public opinion demanded further easing of American involvement. His response was called vietnamisation. It meant the gradual withdrawal of American troops but at the same time they would train the ARVN to fight the war on their own. In 1969 the first troops began arriving home. Meanwhile Nixon ordered the bombing of North Vietnam to begin again and also the bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail. From the middle of 1969 the ARVN received millions of dollars of equipment including rifles, tanks, guns, and ships. Nixon had not cut off all American involvement in the hope that North Vietnam would begin peace talks, which would get America out of Vietnam without looking beaten. During the 12 years both sides had used many different tactics especially America none of which had really worked. Personally I believe America was fighting a lost cause from the first day they became involved. The result of which dragged America deeper into a lost cause and due to some poor decisions made (strategic hamlet programme) they made it harder for themselves to beat the guerrillas. In my opinion the reason why America dragged their involvement on was the fact that none of the American presidents wanted to be responsible for losing their first war. ...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. Tactics used by both sides in the Vietnam War.

    Because the bunkers were built so that dropping grenades down would not have done much damage. The bunkers also had enough food to last weeks, and had wells, which lead to under ground rivers. The bunkers also had many secret entrances, which meant that if one entrance were discovered, then the Vietcong would be able to escape out of others.

  2. Why did America Fail to Defeat its Vietnamese Enemies Between 1965 and 1969?

    the one year period, this ultimately meant the quality of the soldiers was not as good. The media portrayed the war in a negative light and damage the war effort in Vietnam. Even when the troops came out on top like The Tet Offensive (which was given a negative spin)

  1. Compare the tactics of the two sides in the Vietnam War.

    tactic used by the Vietcong it's based on booby-trap and small tunnels going through the ground which has many levels guerrilla warfare soldiers were normal people normally dressed in black pjs and robes the pipes and tunnels the guerrilla warfare soldiers were getting around in were very narrow but also

  2. Evaluate the tactics and strategies employed by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese ...

    Despite America's constant attempts to cut off this crucial link by means of bomb raids and defoliation, the Ho Chi Minh trail remained strong and effective. The Viet Cong had also constructed a vast and complex network of underground tunnels stretching for hundreds of miles and linking entire districts.

  1. What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the ...

    Under the guidance of the CIA they uprooted whole villages and took the peasants to an enclosed area and kept them under guard. The idea was to stop the peasants influenced by Vietcong, however, this was an understandably very unpopular tactic, and moreover it turned more peasants against the Americans than it did win the support.

  2. What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the ...

    The advisors even learned how to speak Vietnamese. As the VC were trying to win over the peasants because they needed the peasants support to function properly "the people are the water our armies are the fish" said one Vietcong leader, the Americans decided that they needed to win over

  1. How much impact did the Tet offensive have on conflict in Vietnam?

    overall the tet was a military failure for the vc, many vc troops had died and the s.vietnamese did not agree with the ruthless attacks on the cities. the south was particularly angry with the massacre of the 5000 civilians in hue.the tet made an impact in the way both

  2. Throughout the Vietnam War, the Americans used various tactics to try and defeat their ...

    For example, Nguyen Quang, source 3, born with scoliosis due to his grandfather being exposed to the chemicals. All of these things again lead to the Americans losing the hearts and minds of ordinary people, caught up in the destruction of the war.

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