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

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Introduction

What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict in Vietnam between 1956 and 1968? The main tactic used by the NFL was guerrilla warfare. This is fighting small battles in small groups. The idea was to hit the enemy at his weak points and then run back into the cover of the jungle. The U.S army had been used to conventional warfare, in the form of bouts of fighting. Guerrilla warfare meant that they had to be constantly alert and Booby traps meant that many soldiers died and witnessed horrific deaths. This was naturally unnerving for the soldiers concerned, particularly so because many of the soldiers were young and inexperienced. The Vietcong organised the soldiers into small groups of men between 3 and 10 members. These were called cells. Each cell would be input into a village and have no information on other cells in Vietnam. ...read more.

Middle

These included placing large stones on paths and place a frag grenade under them. Then when the US troops moved the rocks the grenade would kill or injure the troops. Another trap was the bamboo whip. A trip wire was run across two trees and this, when triggered, set off a pole of bamboo with bamboo spikes attached on the end. Another trap was the bamboo pit. This was a hole dug out with bamboo spikes attached covered with dirt and leaves. Another pit booby trap was a small hole in which was several bamboo spikes pointing inward so that when a leg falls into the hole, if you try and pull it out the spikes dig into your leg and cause a lot of pain. To make sure no villagers fell into booby traps, the Vietcong left markers near the immediate vicinity. The NFL used booby traps was because arms were hard to come by. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant that help was given to the villages. Schools and hospitals were built. This policy was a success; many South Vietnamese remained in support of the Americans and were immune to the persuasive talk of communist infiltrators. On 31st January the Vietnamese and Vietcong resorted to using open warfare against the Americans in "The Tet Offensive". Open warfare is basically a normal ground war with tanks and troops having face-to-face combat without the booby traps and hiding in jungles. The reason The Tet Offensive was so important was because it was at a point when the US realised that the Vietnamese were willing to loose as many soldiers to their cause of fighting for freedom and that they would never give up. At this point the American people and government decided that they should cut their loses and get out of Vietnam seeing as they could ever win outright. America were fighting to stop a theory which looked a bit stupid because it wasn't definite whereas the Vietcong were fighting for freedom and were willing to lose any amount of people. ...read more.

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