Military Tactics Used By The Usa And The Vietcong

1470 words - 6 pages

Military Tactics used by the USA and the Vietcong

The USA was a richer 1st world country than Vietnam, meaning it was
better equipped for a military attacks. It had: more and better
weapons; better access to well trained soldiers; a good military
understanding; good transportation and was generally better equipped
for traditional styles of warfare. Vietnam was a 3rd world country. It
had: limited access to weapons; few funds to train soldiers and a
poorer military understanding. Because of this the Vietcong chose to
fight a guerrilla style war. This was better because it didn't expose
their soldiers to direct enemy fire, saving precious lives. It also
meant that they could steal American weapons and lay in expensive
booby traps.

The USA had the most control over South Vietnam in and around the
cities on the coast. This was because they could land large aircraft
on the flat land. There were also ports for importing troops and
weaponry. The USA's tanks were most effective because of the flat
inhabited terrain. America set up bases there because of these
reasons. The Vietcong however had most control in the jungle in the
countryside. This was because they knew their own surroundings well.
The Vietcong also blended in with the villagers and farmers and
weren't easy to distinguish. Furthermore America's tanks struggled and
weren't suited to the hills and trees of the jungle. The Vietcong
stayed away from the cities except to commit terrorist attacks.

The methods used by the USA to keep control over the South Vietnamese
people were teaching the children and adults to hate the Vietcong. The
children were taught this in school. They also promised peace and
happiness to the people in an attempt to stop them joining the
Vietcong. The Americans gave the inhabitants military training in an
attempt to force them into siding with America. They gave the people
rewards for capturing Vietcong members. They also introduced a scheme
called Pacification which was a scheme to "win the hearts and minds"
of the people of South Vietnam. It involved providing clinics and
schools and re-housing refugees. The USA built new roads, canals and
drainage ditches. They also encouraged the farmers to improve methods
of farming. The idea of pacification was to try to show the farmers
what a democratic life would be like. The pacification scheme was on
the whole successful because when the Tet offensive was launched in
1968 the South Vietnamese, as a whole didn't support it

The Vietcong viewed the jungle as the perfect place for guerrilla
warfare and a place to hide from the Americans. The dense canopy hid
them from American aircraft and helicopters. They also had a vast
knowledge of the jungle and could exploit that by using their expert
knowledge of hiding in it and ambushes. They could mount surprise

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