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The Vietnam War: War Strategies of the U.S & Viet Cong

The Vietnam War: War Strategies of the U.S & Viet Cong

Posted on Oct 2017

Introduction

The Vietnam War was one of the longest wars in which U.S. forces were deployed in threatening activity in the historical backdrop of the American republic. Albeit there is no formal affirmation of war from which to date U.S. entry, President John F. Kennedy's choice to send more than 2,000 military counselors to South Vietnam in 1961 denoted the start of twelve years of American military battle. U.S. unit battle started in 1965. The quantity of US. troops consistently expanded until it came to a crest of 543,400 in April 1969. The aggregate number of Americans who served in South Vietnam was 2.7 million. Of these, more than 58,000 passed on or stay missing, and 300,000 others were injured. The US. government spent more than $140 billion on the war. Regardless of this tremendous military exertion, the United States neglected to attain to its goal of protecting an autonomous, noncommunist state in South Vietnam. This disappointment has prompted looking inquiries regarding why and how the war was battled and whether a superior political and military result was workable for the United States.

Why the U.S. Became More Involved in Vietnam War in 1960’s

President Eisenhower had a belief in something that is known as "Domino hypothesis". He was persuaded that the USSR and China were attempting to spread socialism around the globe. The Domino Theory expressed that if one nation in Asia tumbled to socialism, then different nations would tumble to socialism too. This was mostly in light of the fact that socialist nations had an obligation to help other people to wind up comrade.

They got included to stop the South Vietnam getting to be socialist particularly in light of the fact that more than 40% of South Vietnam was controlled by the Viet Cong (South Vietnamese comrade Guerrillas).

The ARVN's (South Vietnamese Army) shortcoming. It was evident the South Vietnamese couldn't avoid the Vietcong without help. In 1963, the American authority reported that the ARVN - the South Vietnamese armed force - were "not well prepared neighbourhood state army who as a rule were murdered sleeping in their preventive positions." US counsels accepted that great government and an effective, expansive scale war would overcome the Vietcong.

The "Tonkin Incident" in 1964. This was the point at which a North Vietnamese torpedo watercraft assaulted an American Destroyer, the USS Madox in the Gulf of Tonkin. This gave President Johnson the reason that he expected to send in the troops.

Escalation of the War

By the year 1961, guerrilla fighting spread in South Vietnam. The Communist-driven troops of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, generally referred to as the Vietcong, were launching several terrorist and little unit assaults every month. Saigon's military, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), was not ready to contain this developing uprising. Amid the organization of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a little U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), never numbering more than 740 uniformed fighters, had given preparing and logistics support to the ARVN. The Kennedy organization verified that the size and mission of the U.S. advisory exertion must change if the U.S.-upheld legislature of Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon was to survive. Some of Kennedy's assistants proposed an arranged settlement in Vietnam like that which perceived Laos as an unbiased nation. Having quite recently endured universal humiliation in Cuba and Berlin, the president rejected trade off and decided to fortify U.S. backing of Saigon.

In May 1961, Kennedy sent 400 U.S. Armed force Special Forces (Green Beret) troops into South Vietnam's Central Highlands to prepare Montagnard tribesmen in counterinsurgency tactics. He likewise tripled the level of support to South Vietnam. A constant flow of planes, helicopters, protected staff transporters (APCs), and other gear poured into the South. Before the end of 1962, there were 9,000 U.S. military guides under the heading of a recently made Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), summoned by U.S. Armed force Gen. Paul Harkins. Under U.S. direction, the Diem government likewise started development of "vital villages." These invigorated towns were planned to protect provincial Vietnamese from Vietcong intimidation and publicity.

U.S. furthermore, South Vietnamese pioneers were cautiously hopeful that expanded U.S. help at last was empowering the Saigon government to shield itself. On 2 January 1963, then again, at Ap Bac on the Plain of Reeds southwest of Saigon, a Vietcong regiment of around 320 men dispensed overwhelming harm on an ARVN power of 3,000 outfitted with troop-conveying helicopters, new UH- I ("Huey") helicopter gunships, strategic planes, and APCS. Ap Bac spoke to an administration disappointment for the ARVN and a noteworthy confidence help for the antigovernment powers. The nonattendance of battling soul in the ARVN reflected the proceeding with failure of the Saigon administration to win political backing. Undoubtedly, numerous South Vietnamese saw the vital villages as government abuse, not security, on the grounds that individuals were compelled to leave their hereditary homes for the new settlements.

Amid the Second Indochina War, otherwise called the Vietnam War, a particular land fighting strategy as well as organization was utilized by the Main Force of the People's Liberation Armed Forces (also known as the Viet Cong or VC in the West) in addition to the NVA (North Vietnamese Army/People's Army-Vietnam) so as to defeat their American and South Vietnamese (GVN/ARVN) adversaries. These approaches included nearly coordinated political and military methodology – what was called dau tranh. Dau tranh is inspected and contrasted with the counter-methodologies of adversaries like the US and ARVN. NLF and PAVN structure as well as organization which this paper will discuss.

Vietnamese Tactics

Confronting the most powerful country on the planet, the North Vietnamese shrewdly decided to wage a war of attrition. They wanted to make a long, grisly, and extravagant war for the U.S. This present methodology's motivation was to turn American public opinion in opposition to the American inclusion in the war, forcing them to leave Indochina so the North Vietnam Army (NVA) could lead significant offensives against the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

Military Advantages of the Viet Cong Over the Americans

Amid the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong went about as the military arm of the National Liberation Front (NLF), which is a communist-leaning political organization that was made so as to topple the South Vietnam's democratic government. Despite the fact that the Viet Cong were outnumbered by in addition to the fact that they did not have the fire and air force of the South Vietnamese and their U.S. supporters, they had a few strategic points of interest. U.S. troops eventually ended up battling a style of war they could not adjust to against an adversary they frequently could not stumble on.

An Alien Environment

The environment consisted of rain forests, mountains and swampland of Vietnam offered the Viet Cong with a boundless measure of decently disguised organizing zones impervious by U.S. ground powers. The wilderness shade additionally permitted North Vietnam to ceaselessly supply the Viet Cong with fortifications and supplies along courses - especially the Ho Chi Minh Trail - that couldn't be recognized by U.S. air power. The stormy, hot and creepy crawly loaded tropical atmosphere was one the Viet Cong were utilized to, while numerous U.S. servicemen discovered it just about terrible.

The Enemy Within

Since the South and North Vietnamese were of the same ethnicity, U.S. fighters had no chance to get of knowing whether a Vietnamese individual was from the socialist North or the majority rule South. Viet Cong guerrilla contenders were not in uniform and commonly wore the same garments as the basic working man. This made it inconceivable for U.S. warriors to recognize villagers and Viet Cong guerrillas. Indeed regular citizens who were not Viet Cong were frequently thoughtful to the philosophies of the NLF and would not aid or chip in with U.S. troopers.

Playing Mine Games

The Viet Cong were talented in setting deadly booby traps. They would string tripwires appended to projectiles crosswise over known infantry watch courses. They additionally planted "Skipping Bettys" - area mines that exploded a few feet over the ground in the wake of being compelled and discharged - along these courses. The Viet Cong frequently dug "punji pits" in open territories where they expected U.S. warriors to watch. These traps were profound openings lined with sharp spikes that would murder or genuinely mutilate any individual who fell in. Since these traps were imperceptible, U.S. fighters experienced mental weight while watching, which was as much a piece of the Viet Cong's strategic methodology as the traps themselves.

No Tunnel Vision

Complex passage frameworks were vital to the achievement of Viet Cong guerilla fighting. Passage systems extended from Cu Chi, a zone close Saigon, to the Cambodian outskirt. In the wake of fighting U.S. infantry drives, the Viet Cong vanished into their passages to rearrange, tend to their injured and renew supplies. Despite the fact that the passages were hand-dug, they were refined and decently secured. Uncommonly prepared South Vietnamese and U.S. warriors known as "passage rats" were sent into clear passages when they were found, however the work was to a great degree hazardous and booby traps were a consistent risk.

Win or Die Trying

The Vietnamese individuals were utilized to war, having encountered some sort of contention amid the majority of their 2,000-year history. Albeit numerous Viet Cong were youthful, unpracticed warriors, they learned be versatile, to live with few materials solaces and penance for their goals. This issued them a mental point of interest over their adversaries. Above all, they were battling for their own nation. The NLF verified preparing for the Viet Cong included political guideline to remind them they were battling for opportunity from outside impact and for the unification of their nation.

 

 

 

Tactics in the Vietnam War

America had superior resources and technology. The main problem for the US was that their guerrilla enemy, the Viet Cong, hid out among the thick, dense forest, and stayed in villages among the ordinary folk.

In the attempt to find the Viet Cong fighters, the US launched an operation called Search and Destroy: they searched Vietnamese villages for Viet Cong fighters and, if they suspected there were any there, destroyed the village. This often led to deaths of innocent civilians including women and children. The missions made ordinary people hate the Americans: as one marine said of a search and destroy mission – “If they weren’t Viet Cong before we got there, they sure as hell were by the time we left”. The Viet Cong often helped the villager’s re-build their homes and bury their dead.

The Americans attempted to force the Vietnamese to surrender through Operation Rolling Thunder. These were bombing raids on Vietnamese towns, intended to destroy morale.

The thick forest was a real problem for the Americans, because this was how the Viet Cong hid. Determined to find the Viet Cong bases and supply routes, the Americans sprayed a chemical called Agent Orange onto the forests from aeroplanes. It killed the trees, so that the Americans could find their enemy. But the chemical caused much more harm than this. It killed crops, causing people to go hungry. It also caused birth defects in children borne to people who were exposed to the chemical.

When the Americans suspected that they had found a Viet Cong base, they would drop Napalm on the site. Napalm was a very flammable fluid, that would burn through almost anything. It often hit civilians.

The Viet Cong

The Viet Cong were a guerrilla branch of the North Vietnamese army. They used a range of tactics to beat the Americans. The tactics were not high-tech: they relied on knowing the landscape and having the backing of the ordinary folk.

Booby traps are an example of a Viet Cong tactic. For example, the Viet Cong would place trip wires or dig holes filled with spikes, sometimes coated in human excrement, and then would cover the hole with leaves to deceive the enemy. Markers like broken sticks would be left on the path to warn fellow Viet Cong about the locations.

Tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. This frustrated Americans who could not locate the tunnels.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a network of paths that served as hidden route through the jungle for Viet Cong soldiers and Vietnamese Civilians. The Viet Cong used it to move troops, weapons and other supplies into and around the country without being detected by the Americans. The Americans constantly tried to find the trail, but it was too well hidden and frequently changed. It was essential in allowing the North Vietnamese to beat the Americans.