Why Was Operation Rolling Thunder Responsible For The Vietnam War?

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Operation Rolling Thunder refers to the sustained series of bombing raids carried out by the United States from March 1965 to November 1968 against the communist North Vietnamese regime. They were authorized by US President Lyndon B Johnson as a continuation of the military action seemed in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (August 1964) and had numerous aims, although many were not successful: to dissipate the Ho Chi Minh Trail supply routes; weaken North Vietnamese moral, and threaten the North Vietnamese authorities with American will and firepower. On the contrary, it had many severe consequences: the increased foreign support for North Vietnam (notably from China and the Soviet Union); the expansion and re-construction of the Cu-Chi Tunnels, …show more content…

Examples of military help included the provision of surface-to-air missiles and radar-controlled anti-aircraft artillery. Over the course of 1964-65, around the time that Operation Rolling Thunder was introduced, around 3,000 Soviet military personnel were allocated to the war effort in North Vietnam and were responsible for shooting down US planes. By 1967, when Operation Rolling Thunder was reaching its peak, a “a river of aid”, flowing from the Soviet Union to North Vietnam, was reported in Time Magazine. Around the same time, the number of Chinese troops deployed in North Vietnam also peaked at 170,000. Between 1965 and 1971, more than 320,000 Chinese troops were put in service in North Vietnam. This was a severe consequence of Operation Rolling Thunder because it drastically boosted North Vietnamese morale; not only did it increase tension between the communist and democratic nations, it directly strengthened the North Vietnamese war effort - technologically and militarily - enabling them to enact larger campaigns such as the Tet Offensive of …show more content…

This linked with the increase in Soviet and Chinese aid because the tunnels improved the transportation and communication in North Vietnam to successfully utilize the advanced military aid. They were first constructed in 1940, and were utilized successfully by North Vietnamese war authorities during the Vietnam War to combat the better supplied American and South Vietnamese troops. To serve this purpose, the tunnels were erected outside Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam. Structurally, the tunnels were up to 30 feet deep and ran for about 320 kilometers; it was a complex system with the purpose of allowing the Vietcong to execute guerrilla tactics. This was important because it not only allowed the North Vietnamese troops to hide from the more technologically advanced USA, it also granted them the capability to launch multiple series of surprise attacks and set up concealed traps (such as hidden bamboo spikes and even snakes inside the tunnels). These instilled fear and trauma in many young American and South Vietnamese soldiers - many of whom were since discouraged from the war effort. This was successful in slowing the American offensive and also strengthening the war resistance movement in the American public because the Vietnam War was the first televised war - where the horrors on

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