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Vietnam War Tactics

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The Vietnam War lasted from the 1st of November, 1955 to the 30th of April 1975. It was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the USSR, China and North Korea, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. There were many factors that contributed to the United States eventually pulling out of Vietnam during the end of the war. Factors such as Opposition to the war, US soldiers, and the failure of US tactics all contributed to the USA’s failure in Vietnam. These factors’ significance will be measured against guerrilla warfare, one of the most, if not the most, significant reason for the USA’s lack of success in the Vietnam War. I think that…show more content…
The US army, throughout the Vietnam War, used the tactics they had been trained in from the beginning of their army careers. They moved as units, carrying equipment and wounded. These tactics had worked in every other war they had fought, but not in Vietnam. These tactics made them slow and vulnerable to the Vietcong hit and run attacks, further slowing units with more wounded soldiers. The US soldiers were taking heavy casualties because of the superior Vietcong tactics. This further reduced morale for US troops. The tactics of search and destroy and defoliation were very ineffective in the Vietnam War. There was some element of success to the US tactics, but not enough for them to win the war overall. They were the wrong tactics to use against a guerrilla force, which is what caused them to be ineffective. Search and Destroy was a tactic used by the USA during the Vietnam War. It was a response to the Vietcong's tunnels, which caused the USA to have an 'Unseen Enemy' that they couldn't fight. The USA would go into villages that were rumoured to have Vietcong in them, and attack the villagers to look for any hidden weapons, and then evacuate villagers and burn down the village. They usually resulted in American and Vietnamese casualties, so it was ineffective. There are very little advantages to Search and Destroy missions, for example the USA actually did find Vietcong weapons hidden in villages, and so there was a very small success rate. That success rate is so small it is overlooked due to the large amount of casualties and the far larger amount of disadvantages. Another advantage would be that in relation to one of the USA's aims (Remove Vietcong from villages) it was partially successful. There are far more disadvantages to search and destroy than advantages, which is the reason for its ineffectiveness. For example, Search and Destroy missions brought bad publicity
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