In 1963, there were 12000 military advisors in South Vietnam, to offer help and ideas to the South Vietnamese army who were needed American help.
The Vietcong lived in the deep jungle so were very hard to trace. They entered the South Vietnamese villages at night when they could not be seen. The Vietcong were completely dedicated to the idea of communism. They believed that if they used political indoctrination to change the minds of the people, they could win them over and make them work for the North. They would persuade the villages to revolt against the US and serve as spies for Vietcong intelligence. If the villages would not accept, the Vietcong would use "Terror tactics" to scare the villagers into communism. This persuasion won over many villages and because the Vietcong were so stealthy and fast, they could not be stopped from coming into contact with the South Vietnamese, and brainwashing them with propaganda.
As the US realised the "Security posts" were proving to be in effective, they decided to move the entire South Vietnamese populations into "Strategic hamlets". These were more advanced versions of the "Security posts" but had fortified with deep moats and high fences to keep the Vietcong out. South Vietnamese soldiers defended the hamlets and the US provided all the help they needed to protect the Hamlets properly. Still, there were no large-scale numbers of troops in Vietnam. The "Advisors" were there to help the current South Vietnamese defence malitia.
As the US aimed to protect the South Vietnamese from the Vietcong propaganda, they were failing. Hundreds of the South Vietnamese Defence Malitia left their army to join the Vietcong and fight for the North. The Vietcong persuaded the villagers inside the Hamlets to destroy their own defences when the South Vietnamese troops were not there. The Hamlets proved in affective as the people they were supposed to be protecting were destroying them from within.
As the US watched from a distance, they realised that their current presence in Vietnam would have to be stepped up. The South Vietnamese needed the sheer manpower only the US could supply. In 1965, 600,000 US combat troops arrived in Vietnam. The scale of soldiers was huge. Ho chi min knew his policy of "Hit and run" would be the only way the US would be defeated. These "Guerrilla" tactics were employed effectively as the Vietcong proved to be resourceful and dogged. The US with their might under estimated the strength of the Vietcong. An example of the resourcefulness of the Vietcong was the use of US scrap materials. The Vietcong would use the scrap materials of the US to build their own weapons and mines. The US could not "Eat or sleep in peace" as they were harassed with Booby traps and ambushes.
The 600, 000 strong army was not making the desired effect. So far, the Vietcong had surpassed every tactic that the US had thrown at them. The US now realised the threat of the Vietcong. It was time to employ the multimillion-dollar weapons that they had been developing. The "High tech" B52 bombers targeted suspected Vietcong bases and blow up jungle supply roots to strangle the Vietcong of resources.
As the war escalated into full scale, the Vietcong rule aim of being "Loved by the people" was wining the minds of many Vietnamese. The Vietcong slogan of "The peoples war" meant all of the people, old, young; male and female were fighting. This left the US troops under constant fear and danger. They could be attacked from any angle, by anyone, everyone was an enemy.
The US continued bombing but this time, they used chemicals such as Agent Orange and Napalm. These were designed to strip away the foliage of the trees in the jungle to expose Vietcong supply trails. B52 bombing continued to blast the Vietcong out of the jungle.
Again, the Vietcong survived. They lived in underground tunnels and could not be bombed effectively. The US then began to search and destroy the tunnels but this proved to be ineffective, as the Vietcong would ambush the soldiers in the jungles. The Vietcong moved their trails to the neutral countries of Laos and Cambodia where they could not be found. These trails became the most important source to the Vietcong, the Ho chi min trail.
Although the US was finding the Vietcong difficult, they believed that they could keep the Southern strong holds of Saigon and other main cities. This was the belief amongst all of America and the US would always be comfortable as long as these cities were kept.
In 1968, the Vietcong launched the "Tet offensive". This was a complete surprise to the US for these reasons. There was no warning of the offensive. For such a large-scale operation, the Vietcong managed to disguise the offensive very well. The Offensive was completely the opposite of the current Vietcong tactics. The Vietcong were told by Min that they should not go in for "Large scale battles and big victories". Then out of the blue, over 70,000 Vietcong attack all over the country.
Although the Tet Offensive was a failure for the Vietcong and they suffered great casualties, the US was shocked. The Tet offensive appeared as a defeat and a "Total disaster". Opinions changed and the US public mounted pressure on the government to end Vietnam. Every tactic the US employed never seemed to work. The Vietcong would always bounce back and the Tet offensive showed the world that they could strike any time, with no warning. If the Vietcong kept beating the US tactics, they could never be beaten.
The US realised that they could not win and pulled out of Vietnam in 1973 with the scar of 53,000 dead for no obvious reasons.
The "Guerrilla" tactics of the Vietcong had broken the US who aimed to break the Vietcong through manpower and money. The money was easily expended, but the lost lives scarred the US. Their tactics could not have been more different but the Vietcong's proved to be the more resilient and more dedicated.