The conflict in Vietnam between the years of 1945 and 1975 was a nationalist struggle for independence. The Vietnam War developed as a sequel to the struggle in 1946-1954 between the French, who were the colonial rulers of Indo-China before World War II, and the Communist-led Vietminh, established and led by Ho Chi Minh. In 1950 the New Chinese Communist Government and the USSR supplied Ho Chi Minh and his rebels with arms and equipment. This drew the USA into the battle in Vietnam as they saw the struggle as a part of the Cold War and the fight against communism.
The USA supplied the French with economic aid and equipment but it wasn’t enough. The Vietminh managed to defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954 and Ho Chi Minh dec aled Vietnam independent. At the Geneva agreement in July 1954 Vietnam was to be temporarily divided into two separate states at a line know as the 17 th parallel, till the upcoming elections which were to be held in 1956. Communist leader Ho Chi Minh led North Vietnam while South Vietnam was lead by non-communist leader Ngo Dinh Diem. The elections in 1956 were to be held so as the whole county could re-unite together as one independent country. The elections however were never held and therefore the struggle for independence lasted another 19 years till 1975 when North Vietnam and the Viet Cong managed to defeat South Vietnam and USA.
At the end of World War Two the Japanese occupied the French Colony of Indo China. Vietminh emerged as the strongest nationalist group that fought the Japanese occupation of Indo-china during World War Two. The Vietminh were determined to resist the re-establishment of French colonial rule because they wanted to apply political and social changes in Vietnam; they wanted to be a free and independent nation. The Vietminh successfully defeated the French in May 1954 because they were masters of guerrilla tactics and had massive support from the Vietnamese people. They also received aid and equipment from the New Chinese Communist Government and the USSR.
... Vietnam War was justified. I. Background on Vietnam A. Vietnam pre WWII 1. French A. Colonialism B. Cruelty 2. USA A. Backing Ho Chi Minh B. War ... set the precedent of opposing all communist leaders than the Vietnam War would have been a lot different.. ... Minh and his political organization, the Vietminh, seized control of their independence from France United States Politicians saw it as another communist ...
The Vietminh new the terrain and used bicycles to their advantage. The USA joined in the war sending aid and equipment to the French, but it wasn’t enough, the French still lost the war. France was still suffering from the after effects of the Second World War and miscalculated the situation by failing to send enough troops into to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh saw the Geneva agreement as a “great victory” for him as his people. By the Geneva agreement in 1954 Laos and Cambodia were to be independent, and Vietnam was temporarily divided into two at the 17 th parallel. Elections were to be held in 1956 for the whole country, which would then be finally unified.
These elections however were never held. The South Vietnamese government lead by President Diem, refused to make preparations for the whole of Vietnam to vote and the USA, which was supporting the South, did not force the issue because they feared a communist victory. Although Diem began enthusiastically his government soon became disliked he gained a reputation for corruption and was seen as being too much under the influence of the USA. In 1960 various groups formed opposition to Diem. The Vietcong demanded a democratic government, which would introduce reforms and negotiations to unite Vietnam. A guerrilla campaign started attacking government officials and buildings.
The USA decided to increase her military support when it became clear the Diem could not cope. The USA was worried that once Vietnam fell to communism the rest of Indo-china would also fall. The USA was committed to stopping the spread of communism and knew that South Vietnam could not protect itself against communism. Once the Untied States went into South Vietnam, South Vietnam relied so heavily on the USA that the US got themselves stuck and could not really get back out of Vietnam. The Americans used the strategy of military attrition to fight the war. The US committed themselves to wearing the opposition down physically.
I can still imagine the powerful blasts echoing through my grandfathers mind as he dove for cover in one of our trenches. The year was 1972 and our great nation of Vietnam was at war with the Yankees, the United States. In the end it was a war that we won even though the Americans argue that it was the other way around. The war was not an easy one to win though. Thousands of lives were lost and ...
This meant hitting the enemy hard, with enormous amounts of force. The idea was to grind down the enemy’s power to fight by killing as many opponents as possible. The tactic to aid the strategy of attrition was, search and destroy. The idea was to use air combat to find the enemy, strap them down then destroy them. This tactic relied of the mobility of the South Vietnamese and USA troops and the overwhelming air power, armoured vehicles, and land and naval weaponry. The tactic caused heavy casualties on the enemy but it failed to win the war because it failed in its main aims.
The USA bombing of North Vietnam was designed to force North Vietnam into negotiations, but it had a totally opposite effect. The North Vietnam became even more determined to win the war and continued to fight even harder. The communists won the war because many factors. The Communists used the strategy of psychological attrition to beat the Americans and win independence. The communist tactic was to make the war seem un-winnable and never-ending. The Vietcong and North Vietnam wanted a united Vietnam and were determined to keep fighting till they got it.
The communists new the terrain and were masters of guerrilla warfare. The USA was not equipped to fight a peasant guerrilla war; their generals had a WWII background and relied on their superior firepower and physical power rather than finding a different strategy to win the war. The South Vietnamese government could not get the support of its people and the US who were seen, as foreigners could not do it for them. The South Vietnamese did not fight hard enough for their survival; they relied too heavily on the US. The communists won the war ultimately because the USA misunderstood the war they saw it as communist aggression rather than a nationalist struggle for independence.
Answer with reference to the concept of insurgency/guerrilla warfare. The longest war in the history of the United States of America has taken place in Vietnam during the Cold War. “The US fear of a communist Europe led them to intervene in a war that was not seen in a vital importance or that would not be in the country`s interest to gain any advantage” (Bernstein 1987/8, p. 86). One of the main ...
In conclusion it can be said that the strategy of military attrition and the tactic of search and destroy used by the USA in the Vietnam War failed. The Communists managed to win the war using the strategy of psychological attrition. The North made the war seem un-winnable and never ending. Ultimately the communists won because the USA misunderstood the war, seeing it as communist’s aggression rather than a nationalist crusade for independence.