• 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...


Christian Hamilton-Smith Burnley Habergham High School History Syllabus B (Modern World History) Assignment 2 (Question 2) 'What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict in Vietnam between 1956 and 1968?' The tactics used by both sides in Vietnam contributed, as a major part to the end result of the war. Both sides used a verity of different ways to harm, maim and kill their opposition. The most commonly used tactic in Vietnam was known as Guerrilla Warfare. This was a tactic imposed upon the Americans by the Vietcong. Guerrilla Warfare - military or paramilitary operations conducted in enemy held territory by irregular forces, often groups indigenous to that territory. Guerrilla tactics are used normally when they are lacking in numbers, weapons and training to the opposition. They avoid fighting hand to hand and instead operate in remote inaccessible areas, such as forests and jungles. Guerrillas depend on their surroundings for food, shelter and supplies, which tend to come from the local inhabitants. They strike when the enemy least expects it, they steal supplies by way of ambush and also cut communication links in hope to remove communication between forces. Guerrillas also set traps to harm their enemies. ...read more.


The Vietcong set traps in the dense jungles for the Americans to stumble into or trigger, these included mines and booby traps. The Vietcong would dig holes for the US soldiers to fall into, in these holes would normally be sharpened bamboo shoots covered with poison or faeces. This would infect the unfortunate victim and also take up the time of the other soldiers, as would most of the traps would do. This is sometimes when the Vietcong would strike, they would ambush the soldiers as they were helping their friend. They would shoot them from a distance or use explosives to get rid of the soldiers. Another trap that was used was the, 'Bouncing Betty' which was a mine just placed under the surface of the ground. When this was stood on it would explode injuring the men near. Mostly the Vietcong didn't want to kill the victims straight off, they wished to occupy the other members of the group with the dying soldier. This was a successful tactic as it only really took, one mine to kill a whole band of soldiers. Booby traps accounted for around 11 per cent and 17 per cent of the wounds in American soldiers. ...read more.


Another tool that America began to use was Napalm. This was like a kind of Petroleum Jelly, which stuck to people and severely burned them, also damaging trees and jungle areas. On 31st January 1968, the Vietcong resorted to using open warfare this is known as, 'The Tet Offensive'. This was the turning point of the war. Even though the Americans won, they realised that the Vietnamese would loose as many soldiers to their cause. This was due to they were fighting for freedom, and would never give up no matter how many people they lost. America on the other hand was fighting to stop the spread of communism. The American government ordered that the US soldiers should pull out of the war. This was not only due to the Vietnamese but also to the enormous controversy back home. The American people were against the war, they realised what was going on and how the people were being treated. This was shown to them by what was coming home to them by media. They got wind of what happened in places like My Lai, and began to protest. How could America ever expect to beat the Vietnamese when they couldn't win over the people back home. ...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. Why are there different views about the influence of media on the course of ...

    it says that the media has little power to change policies of the system for policy making thus also inferring that the media would not have had enough power to influence the course of the war. I.E causing the USA to pull out.

  2. Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war?

    Source D shows how America spent more on Defence Expenditure, 13% of which went to Vietnam, and they still couldnt secure a victory over North Vietnam. Eventually North Vietnam invaded the South, and Vietnam was reunited under communist control and the general view was 'What was the point in the war?'

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

    This was originally adapted by Mao Zedong for use by China; Ho Chi Minh exploited Chinas tactics very carefully. The Guerrilla warfare made it almost impossible for the US to know who was their "friend or foe". Also, they used Ambush techniques to attack enemy and isolated units.

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

    The strategic hamlet programme was a failure; the Vietcong heavily infiltrated the camps and Diem made himself more unpopular by charging the peasants for the material to rebuild their homes. As the strategic Hamlet programme hadn't worked the USA decided that they would bomb the north to try and stop the north supplying the VC.

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

    The Tet offensive was the next tactic of the Vietcong. They decided to mount a surprise attack on the festival of Vietnamese New Year. It was open warfare and the US won. 80% of Vietcong were killed. Guerrilla Warfare was a successful tactic for the Vietcong, they knew the terrain whereas the US soldiers did not.

  2. How effective were the US tactics of search and destroy and defoliation in the ...

    The agricultural affects in Vietnam meant that even today some areas are still not safe to cultivate on as the toxic chemicals are still found in the soil.

  1. How effective were the US tactics of 'Search and Destroy' and 'Defoliation' in the ...

    The Napalm also burned US soldiers which decreased the success rate because the soldiers were dying at the expense of burning down trees (Source 2). The disadvantages of Defoliants is that they didn't help the USA and destroyed the crops of locals (which increased hatred of the USA)

  2. How Effective Were The Tactics Of Search And Destroy And Defoliation During The Vietnam ...

    They would want to know whether these missions and tactics were a success. Through the data you would be under the impression that all these operations were working well and all were a success. However, the reality was different, as these figures were mainly a lie.

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