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

Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam in the 1960s?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam in the 1960s? The Vietcong and US became involved in a Guerrilla War from 1962. The Vietcong were experts in guerrilla warfare after years of experience fighting with the French and South Vietnam. The Vietcong used their home advantage effectively against the Americans. In 1967, the Vietcong began to move out the Jungle and attack the US in towns and cities. They also gained better artillery to fight back the Americans, as the war started to turn in their favour during the late 60s. The US were confident of winning the Vietnam War at the start, and deployed intensive military tactics in order to fight back the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army. The US started off using Agent Orange in 1962, 'Hearts and Minds' and 'Strategic Hamlets'. These tactics later changed and became more aggressive as the US started to use 'Search and Destroy' terror tactics and Napalm against the Vietnamese. They also dropped 8 million bombs over 8 years. Ho Chi Minh, leader of North Vietnam, decided to employ the same tactics used by Mao Ze Dong when he lead the communist party to victory in China in 1949 in order to help him fight against the US and South Vietnamese army by organising the guerrilla army into small groups of three to ten groups of soldiers called cells. ...read more.

Middle

During 1967, the NLF began attacking US garrisons, which initially pleased the Americans, as they believed that the war was starting to turn in their favour, as it appeared the Vietcong had left the jungle. The Tet Offensive of the 31st January 1968 took place during the Tet New Year festival. 36 cities and town across South Vietnam were ambushed in a surprise attack by 70,000 North Vietnamese soldiers and the Vietcong. This threw the Americans into a frenzy as they were shocked by how well organised the Vietcong were in going about their attacks, and how easy it was for them to recruit 70,000 new soldiers in a short period of time after having lost 90,000 in 1967. This sent shockwaves through the politicians and people back in America as it appeared they could not win the Vietnam war as previously thought, because the increasing number of NLF soldiers coming down the Ho Chi Minh trail would eventually out number them. The US started off using the 'Strategic Hamlets policy', also known as safe villages, introduced by President Kennedy in 1962. This was used to cut off the Vietcong from the South Vietnamese villages and deprive them of food, shelter and a place to hide. The Strategic Hamlets policy resulted in villagers being moved into new villages, away from the Vietcong, surrounded by barbed wire and guns for protection. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the Vietcong were using the jungle to hide in, the US deployed 'Agent Orange'. This is an example of the US counteracting the Vietcong tactics. This continued throughout the war, but with both sides counteracting each other in order to gain an advantage. During 'Operation Rolling Thunder', the Vietcong began to build underground tunnels. The Vietcong became more and more powerful after gaining better artillery from China and the USSR, and also became wiser in how they went about attacking the Americans. After all, they were on home soil so had much greater knowledge of landscape and guerrilla warfare. However, the Americans seemed to outweigh this disadvantage at the start as they had much better artillery to fight with than the Vietcong and used it to their advantage, such as 'Operation Rolling Thunder'. The US were used to conventional warfare, so the guerrilla warfare used by the Vietcong was new to them, as well as the landscape. As the war went on, the morale of US soldiers started to decrease and affect them greatly, with the My Lai massacre in 1968 being the end result. This led to tactic changes because as the Vietcong weaponry improved, they decided to come out of the Jungle and launch organised attacks on the US, such as the Tet offensive. This was a turning point for the Americans as they realised that could not win the war in Vietnam as previously thought. ...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. History Controlled Assesment- Success' of USA military

    The US responded to the Viet Cong tactics by introducing new technology, weapons and a whole new bread of bombs. The US dominated the air in North Vietnam, the Viet Cong could shoot them with weapons on the ground, but they did not have the air superiority, nor the planes to tackle the US forces directly.

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

    This caused commotion amongst the South Vietnamese people. The Americans tried to use their more advanced technology to their advantage by using advanced weapons such as M60 machine guns, MP40 sub-machine guns and B52 Bomber aircraft (That was used in Operation Rolling Thunder)

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

    however most of the attacks had been planned before hand in-case of emergency. While the source shows the US using technology (Planes and more advanced weapons) and military superiority it doesn't show how effective and the results these attacks had, also it doesn't show the Communist backing the NVA was receiving from the USSR and China.

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

    Again it does not say who this is written to but it sounds like a diary. If it was, then he would not be biased unless he was going to publish them. If he wanted to publish them, he might be worried about how he'd be remembered.

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

    their tour of duty, exacerbating the anti-war movement as people flocked to prevent their relatives from being seriously maimed or killed. Source B Source B, a photograph taken during a napalm attack on June 8, 1972, demonstrates the true extent to which the American bombings were taking their toll during

  2. The US lost the Vietnam War because its tactics and military strategy were wrong. ...

    The last one he suggested was vietnamisation. To give most of the work to the Vietnam government and retreat the American troops to blame this unsuccessful was on the Vietnam government. From 1969 there were 547,000 American troops to 1917 there were 147,000 only left.

  1. How coverage of Vietnam in the USA led to demands for peace

    In particular, the camera of Kent State photojournalism student John Filo captured a fourteen-year old runaway, Mary Ann Vecchio, screaming over the body of the dead student, Jeffrey Miller, who had been shot in the mouth. The photograph (shown on the right), which won a Pulitzer Prize, became the most

  2. I think that the four most significant themes in the Vietnam War were protest ...

    When the credibility gap was first widening it was remarkable as the US government had never been doubted by its people and they expected the same support they had always received, unfortunately this support never really surfaced. A Journalist for the Time-Life Magazine published in 2000 that ?We don?t take

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