The Tactics Used By The U.S And The N.L.F In The Vietnam War

2069 words - 8 pages

The Tactics Used by the U.S and the N.L.F in the Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War, the United States took a completely different
approach than the National Liberation Front (NLF) when it came to
tactics. America was more modern in their attacks, using their air
force and heavily armed ground troops. Whereas the NLF only had
guerrilla fighters, who stayed on the ground and attacked quickly.

The first tactic involved the US air force strategically bombing North
Vietnamese targets. This included bombing army bases, bridges,
railways and factories, even though North Vietnam didn't have many
factories to bomb. US panes were flying 164 flying missions a day on
average in early 1966. Bombs often missed their target. Hospital
patients and school children were among those killed. This bombing
campaign had limited success.

Part of this massive bombing campaign was called "Operation Rolling
Thunder" - which also took place over North Vietnam. It was only meant
to last for eight weeks, but finally ended after three years. This is
a symbol of how much America struggled to pick out the communists, and
this statistic alone implies how the U.S was finding this War harder
than it first appeared.

The Americans knew that they had to try and destroy the Vietcong's
supply routes. They were receiving weapons from the North, along the
17th parallel, but in particular along the Ho Chi Rail. This road
linked the South and the North, and was also densely covered by
forest. This meant that it was easy for the South to be supplied, and
made it even harder for the Americans to spot the transactions. Due to
this, America decided that the only way that they would be able to
stop weapon supplies along this road and through the forests would be
to use bombs. They did this by dropping chemical bombs that defoliated
the vast amount of trees. This chemical became known as "Agent
Orange". This now meant that American helicopters were able to spot
the enemy more easily.

Although "Agent Orange" worked, it did effect the Vietnamese people.
One effect of this chemical was that it caused cancer amongst those
who used it or were affected it. It also had an effect on pregnant
woman who ended up giving birth to seriously deformed children or
stillborns. The war also had many psychological effects. The North
Vietnamese used this as propaganda against the Americans, suggesting
that they had done it deliberately to harm innocent people. But aside
from this, the Americans were still struggling to have a clear view of
the enemy. Because of this, they introduced another chemical bomb -
Napalm. Napalm is a thick liquid, which usually contains petrol and is
used in firebombs and flame-throwers. It cleared the undergrowth,
which gave the US more chance of being able to spot the Vietcong from
the air.


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