Saturday, April 6, 2019
The military tactics and weapons used by USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam Essay Example for Free
The military maneuver and weapons pulmonary tuberculosis by USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam EssayThrough divulge the Vietnam War, legion(predicate) tactics and weapons were apply by both VC and US forces. But the sides whose st treasuregies and weapons proved more effective in Vietnam were the Vietcongs and other commie forces.Through break the fight, the Americans relied on their in advance(p) developments to aid them in strategies and weapons, which when on the level fields of conventional warfare, proved more superior. They had in their self-will tanks, helicopters, trucks and other transport, guileillery and well disciplined soldiers. The VC used simple yet effective techniques, such as booby pin downs or hiding in vegetation.The tactics of both sides were greatly diametrical towards the end of the war compared to the wizards used near to the beginning.At the beginning of the war the USs primary(prenominal) objective was to at least, contain the communist magnetic north by helping South Vietnam to keep the threat at bay. oneness of the earliest tactics used to do this was Search and Destroy missions. Search and Destroy missions were when the US used Helicopters to hunt buck NVA and VC units, once they found a group, troops were dropped off in the area of activity and killed as m any(prenominal) heap as they possibly could. Supply bases were built in support of this. These were basically fortified areas of prop up with artillery protecting and things such as ammunition, food etc. If the troops on the search and bankrupt missions found any try of VC activity, (personnel, weapons, plans, traps cosmos make etc.) then the suspected communists were killed and villages were burnt to the ground. This closely believably would lay down turned the S.Vietnamese over against the American cause, as they had finished the homes they lived in and murdered their friends.The American tactic play right into the hands of the communist, and they conceiveered this with there own superior tactic, by rebuilding their homes and burying the dead. They also gave vote down left from the Indochina war back to the peasants. This helped the VC a lot because it meant new recruits for them (The VC Guerillas dressed mainly in unappeasable pajamas, looking like peasants they were farmers by day and Guerillas by night). In recruiting, the VC were open to women fighters as well as men.This meant that the American male soldiers were affected by the morality of killing a muliebrity, it wasnt morally right this do them think twice and damaged morale by leaving the thought of killing a woman on their conscience-they became physicologically unhealthy). This shows how smart the VC were in their planning of tactics, they responded to the violence of the US by winning the hearts and minds of the peasants(which is iodine of the things the US aimed to do in the first place through offering humanitarian aid etc.-this is called Pacification ).The most powerful of methods used by the VC that influenced the whole Vietnam War was their Guerilla tactics and chip methods One of the problems this instant faced by the Americans was the Vietnameses tactic of having no front line, this meant that the VC could even go into stalemate as the fighting was on their homeland, and they could afford to wait for a victory. The US however couldnt as the war was costing them coin and lives, so they had to engage the enemy quickly. This was a big problem for the Americans as they were trained in the art of conventional warfare, where you can see your opp iodinnt. Guerilla warfare was a sort of hit and run tactic.It relied on close combat and mainly ambushing the enemy. This also meant that the US couldnt use their tactic of having a body count which was when they counted the amounts of tribe they killed. But this was useless as the Americans couldnt see who they were fighting, there was no front line and the VC used camouflage and conc ealment techniques they wore foliage and could hide in trees, fields, jungles etc. and leap out at any given time. They avoided face-to-face combat and used the jungle, which was completely anonymous to the Western Invaders. As the US couldnt get up any exact figures of how many an(prenominal) they killed, their own body count mounted as ane by one, they were killed off thus denting their morale as a result.As well as having tactics that heavily influenced the war, the VC had weapons in their possession, which instantly sur goinged the Americans modern counterparts, as they were well suited to their terrain.The typical US soldiers main weapon was the M-16 Assault Rifle. This was an American do gun, and unlike the AK-47, the M16 concentrated on semi-automatic accuracy rather than on full automatic firepower. It was lighter than the AK and was made using alluminium and plastics, this however didnt help US troops in their fighting, as it was mainly muted jungle in the geography of Vietnam, you would score needed a perpetual weapon to withstand every single trip and fall.It was tipped to be a often more reliable weapon but it often mob, costing the lives of hundreds of Americans caught in firefights. It was said to be self-cleaning but it wasnt, one C deposits built up often and it had to be cleaned after every use and troops werent issued with cleaning kits. Also, one of the biggest problems was that the M16 was built for long range shooting. Adding to this, it had old style rear sights which meant that you could only aim using one eye. This means that the main use of the M16 was for accurate long shooting, which didnt help the Americans again as they were constantly being ambushed by Guerillas and forced into close combatUnlike the M16, the AK-47 was a much sturdier weapon made out of solid wood and metals, heavier but more durable. The AK could stand the humidity of the jungle and literally never jammed or even needed cleaning(if it did, it was very easy to disassemble and clean) It was an extremely simple weapon to which anybody could be trained on (good news for the VC- they could recruit anyone and train them on this rifle, even a child resulting in the Americans not being able to discriminate exactly who they were fighting and giving the VC that edge). Furthermore, the AKs shape made it exemplification for the shooter to be in the prone postition (lying down flat on the stomach), which was an ideal position for the shootouts in dense jungles. Also, briefly comparing the rounds used, the M16 had higher velocity (faster travelling) lighter, and smaller bullets 5.56mm making it ideal at long-range shooting.The Russian AK however had heavier and bigger bullets 7.62mm. This statistic gave the AK the upper hand in close combat situations where the bullet had to pass through literally anything i.e. heavy on a lower floorbush in the jungle (which could deflect the lighter American 5.56mm round) or in shootouts in towns/cities, w here the heavy 7.62mm bullet could go thruogh a wall and the 5.56 couldnt. The last and final thing close the AK-47 compared to the M16 was its sights. There was a rear-sight shaped like a V, and a foresight blade at the end. This meant that you could use both eyes when shooting and didnt have to be as accurate making it ideal again for the VC and Guerilla fighting.This brief comparison of these two weapons widely used end-to-end the war shows that the characterisitcs AK-47 surpassed that of the M16. It was a much more durable weapon that was well suited to the terrain and handling of the Vietcong and helped the VC in their fight against the US greatly.Aswell as having just guns on their side, the US and VC had other things aswell. The US had contrastive types of trnasport and tactics Helicopters, they were fast and could be used to deploy troops quickly. But the VC responded to this by using their portable Rocket Launchers (supplied by the Soviet sum total aswell) which took ou t the Helicopters instantly as they basically were giant hovering targets. Tanks could not be used because of the geography of Vietnam, so trucks were used, but these were easy targets aswell as being literally a car. Instead of trucks, the Americans used Armoured military group Carriers. These were basically open-style tanks. They were used more than the Tank and were mainly for transpot. They could be used on land and water, which gave them a bit more protection from the VC attacks and the armour itself gave ample protection to the crew if under attck from small implements of war fire.As for the VC, where were they getting all these supplies from to place down American tactics? The answer was simple. The Ho Chi Minh Trail. It was a 1000 millilitre secret supply trail from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. It was so big that at any given time, 10,000 trucks could be on it transporting suppplies. Also, it wasnt just one truthful road, it had a 30 mile width, and in it were hundre ds of paths that branched off. That way, if the part of the trail was bombed for example, them the VC could simply turn around and follow a different route.The US knew about this (but they didnt know the fact that it had many branched off sections- they thought it was one straight route) and this made them want to s tweet it. Reconnaisance photos showed little or no evidence of the trail, it was literally built under the Americans noses but they just couldnt find it. The American Intelligence analysts could hardly spot the trail from above because the dense jungle had different canopy levels. The VC cut the lower levels so their transport could meander through, leaving the top layer of canopy as cover from the US planes and other enemies.But Aeroplanes werent only used for pickings photos. As the Americans could only give a rough estimate of the position of the trail, there was still a chance of finding it, and they began use planes to bomb the Ho Chi Minh trail, but this had no eff ect on the VC morale or the way they used it, if one part was bombed off, then they simply switched to a different path. So, another way that the US tried to sniff out any VC or activity on the trail was by using the planes to drop ADSIDs- or Tropical Trees. These were dropped by planes into the jungle and stuck into the ground when landing. They perceived the heat and vibrations from everything, so if something was picked up, the Americans would know and assume it is VC personnel. To combat this, the Vietcong used an extremely simple yet operable technique that the Americans never saw coming. they moved the ADSIDs, to a remot place and put a generator coterminous to it, and the tactic worked. The VC just watched as US warplanes flew overhead and bombed the wrong place without harming anybody.To hyperkinetic syndrome to the lack of progression made by US forces, troops morale was droppin rapidly. One of the main causes of low morale throughout the war was the booby traps left by the VC. They had explosive traps such as deadly landmines-supplied by the Ho Chi Minh Trail-and other sorts. But the most effective were the ones that they made by hand. These were cheap and easy to make, they were so simple to make, that they could be made by anyone. It was an excellent morale builder for the VC and they used signals in the forests to tell each other where the traps were. But unfortunatly the Americans werent so happy.They faced barbed wire, tied from tree-to-tree, the Punji Stake Trap( a spue in the ground full of bamboo stakes or barbed steel spikes-sometimes even smothered in human faecies so when the victim was cut open, they suffered blood poisoning) which was disguised on the forest floor and many more. They were all designed to mame but not kill. They were grusome yet brutally effective and severely damaged US troops morale. Many men watched as their friends perished in agony which make uped to the lowering of morale. Soon, the result of the VC booby trap tactic really came into effect the Americans started to think Why arent we winning? Were a superpower and at the secondment were getting nowhere, Why are my friends dying all around me? So soon the mortality rate mong US soldiers began to rise.So far through the war, US tactics have been proving useless and the VCs tactics and weapons have been very effective. As the war intensified, the US did make a couple of hits on VC morale. They used their Warplanes in the tactic of Saturation bombing. This was when the planes emptied all there loads at once and bombed N.Vietnam and S.Vietnam in heavy loads. One of the most heavily bombed aea in South Vietnam was the suspected VC stronghold Cu Chi. It was so heavily bombed that the people living their had made the desperate descision to go underground in order to avoid the bombing. then The Cu Chi Tunnels were made. It was here where the villagers of Cu Chi would stay for the next 10 classs, and at the height of the war, the Cu Chi tunnel sytem streched from the outskirts of Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border approx. 250km of tunnels The tunnels had everything to offer for the villagers to live in powderpuff kitchens, beds, living areas and dining quarters, planning rooms, ammunition stores, hospital wards and even wells. Amazingly, holes connected from the ground fed the people fresh air and let out hot steam from the kitchens, and the US forces still couldnt find them small trap doors were designed to fit the samatotype of the Vietnamese into the forest floor, and viewpoints were made from undergroound to the surface of the forest floor which made them ideal sniping positions. The tunnels at Cu Chi were never destroyed. They were only breached on rare occasions. Since the average Hesperian wasnt able to fit comfotably into the tiny tunnel entrances, the Tunnel Rats were formed. These were volunteers from the army who had small body shapes, they could fit into the tunnels and were move down. They were equ iped with a torch, pistol and a nife and faced the dank and dark tunnels on their own. The VC often left traps in the system e.g biologcal weapons- snakes, scorpions, spiders, bats, or even trap doors that cut peoples throast or lead to Punji Pits. Most of the time the Rats came out screeming and crying.As a result of not being able to find the entrances to the tunnels most of the time, the Americans used chemical substance bombs. Napalm. It was basically jellied petrtol and was used to burn off leaves and vegetation in forests. It stuck to its victims causing horrific burns. To add to this, they also used more chemical weapons Agents Orange and Blue- weedkillers basically. They were generously sprayed over forests to get rid of the cover, which did work. But, these chemical weapons caused horrific deaths and the wounds from Napalm would take six months to heal, leaving victims terribly scarred. The Dioxin in the Orange/Blue Agents caused deformities in children and crabby person to anyone handling it. This must have had an effect on the VC morale because the environment of Vietnam, including food sources, were completely destroyed aswell. But it just made them fight harder against the invaders.The counter to this tactic came as another VC tactic, and a abundant surprise to the Americans and everyone else. On Jan 31st 1968, more than 80,000 NVA and VC soldiers simultaneously attacked Saigon and other major cities on US posts. This was called the Tet Offensive. This caught the US forces off-guard as they didnt know who they were fighting as the VC looked like ordinary civillians. Tet meant the new lunar year, and their must have been lots of festivals with people and even military forces relaxing or celebrating in the streets. The reason why they nonexistence saw this coming was because it wasnt morally right e.g. People would not fight on Christmas Day? To add to the unexpectedness, the Tet Offensive was planned right under the noses of the Americans in pu blic places.Furthermore, the VC werent fighting as Gerillas, they had a motley in their tactics and were fighting using conventional warfare. This is proved by the fact that more than five hundred Americans were either wounded or died in the first three weeks of the major attack-much quicker death place than ambushing. This changed the view of the war to the public of America, as they realised that the US wasnt real winning the war, their loved ones were dying. Thus bringing down morale in America itself, as the attack led to the media saying that the VC were ontogenesis in strength. But even though the VC had the upper hand at first, they were fighting conventionally, the way the American troops were specially traned to do, and the end of the Tet Offensive was seen a US victory as it forced North Vietnam to begin peace talks (only a few places were captured by the communists, the other posts were successfully defended).Tet was still a successful counter-tactic by the VC as man y US soldiers lost their lives. So two months later, the last tactic came in effect from the revenge seeking Amerians. In March later that year, a search and destroy mission to a village known as a VC stronghold resulted in the My Lai Massacre. US forces made their way to the village and there was no resistence, between 175 and 500 unarmed civilians were killed and no VC were actually found. They had escaped. The innocent villagers were brutally shot and the bodies of the women and children were photographed by a US army photographer. The deed was commited during the same year 1968, but was made public in November 1969. In the American soldiers defence, they were just obeying orders but that wasnt justified.Overall, these events show evidence that the VCs tactics and weapons were much better in helping them change the tide of the war. Their simple yet knavish home-based techniques evidently proved to be far more effective than the modern Americans, thus resulting in a regretfull in tervention and humiliating defeat.