Why the Americans lost the Vietnam War?
• Low morale- in the beginning there were top quality, professional soldiers. By the end of the war they were relying on conscripts. Also, by 1968, it was publically known that Johnson didn’t want to continue the war therefore the soldiers didn’t believe in what they were fighting for.
• Booby traps- The Vietcong had used very tactical methods. Bungee sticks were common, trip wires were a constant threat to American soldiers. They didn’t know when it was going to happen therefore they felt continuously under pressure.
• Weather- the weather was hot, humid and rainy. It was unusual weather for the soldiers and made it hard for them to fight to the best of their ability.
• Insects- the soldiers were continuously being bitten. There were leeches, mosquitoes etc. This was a de-motivator and also led to soldiers being ill a lot.
• Jungle- The jungles were very dense which meant the soldiers couldn’t see anything which made it very hard for them to fight.
• Leadership- young, inexperienced soldiers were trying to boss well experienced, old officers.
• Fragging- fragging began due to the young, inexperienced soldiers trying to boss the well experienced officers. During the night, they would throw attack the tent, killing the officers.
• One or two year conscripts- The conscripts arrived inexperienced however during their term they would learn the skills and so they would get good at fighting, and then leave.
The Essay on Black Soldiers War Army Troops
The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War Historical Background Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U. S. , let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship. -Frederick Douglass The issues of emancipation and military service ...
• Contrast between the comfort of base and the harshness of the jungle- the bases were comfy, air-conditioned, had volleyball courts, swimming pools, game rooms, supermarkets and everything they wanted. When they were forced to go into the jungle they were de-motivated and weren’t used to the harshness.
• Snipers- The American soldiers didn’t know who they were going to get, they would walk around until they found someone to kill.
• Casualties- The Americans were unwilling to sustain high casualties as they didn’t even believe in what they were fighting for.
• Drug use- Drug use was rife. There were a lot of drugs for very cheap prices. There were lots of drugs for example marijuana. Many soldiers were stoned and addicted which made them ineffective when fighting.
• Search and Destroy method- just go, see if you can find anyone and kill them. It was difficult to find members of the Vietcong due to their appearance
• Guerrilla Warfare- just go and kill people but they have no grasp on territory. They go to a place, kill people, and claim it as their own then leave. After they leave, the Vietcong can come and claim it as their own
• Relied on technology- air support, bomb, senses to sniff where people were. But this technology couldn’t pick out the Vietcong from the civilians therefore it was too technologic.
Hearts and Minds
The Americans failed to meet the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people who they were supposed to be fighting for.
• Didn’t understand Vietnamese- the Americans had come from a life of comfort with nice houses, cars, holidays. The Vietnamese people lived in thatched and mud huts and worked in fields. A major part of the problem was that the Vietnamese were not white and the Americans saw them as ‘sub-humans.’
• Napalm- Napalm was dropped in the South, the place that they were supposed to be protecting and fighting for freedom and democracy. Napalm burned furiously. The Americans attached polystyrene to them which made it stick to people. They then added phosphorous therefore when the Vietnamese people tried to go into ponds or water to get it off them, it got worse and hotter. Civilians were drowned in Napalm.
The Essay on Atrocity And The American People
An atrocity is defined as "An act of cruelty and violence inflicted by an enemy-armed force upon civilians or prisoners." Some believe this war in Kosovo is about politics. However, upon examination of the specifics of this conflict it is apparent that this is about religion. People must then decide whom, if anyone is committing these atrocities. Should the United States be involved in the ...
• Agent Orange- Agent Orange was used as a defoliant and was sprayed to clear land. Agent Orange killed all plants. The Vietnamese relied on farms and agriculture. People starved to death.
• Zippo Raids- Americans set alight whole villages if they believed they were from the Vietcong with their Zippo lights.
• Bombing- Americans bombed the South more than they had the North.
• Operation Phoenix- The CIA used torture to get the Vietnamese to get information. The CIA tortured suspects. One method was the electric chair.
• Failure to work with AVRN- The Americans chose not to work with the ARVN or give them much support.
• Body count- The Americans estimated how well they were doing by doing body counts. The higher the amount of people they killed, the more rewards they get.
• All ‘VC’- The Americans assumed that everyone was involved with the Vietcong therefore they attacked practically everyone. It was then questionable, who were they protecting?’
• Disrupted Vietnamese life- Vietnam was already a poor country therefore due to the bombing etc; it destroyed the poor infrastructure that was already in place. Prostitution was rife and there was a massive drug problem in the south.
• Corruption- there was a lot of American items on the black market.
• Technology alienated people
• Cluster bombs- Mother bombs would release smaller bombs. Kids would find these, play with them, and then they would explode.
• Mai Lai- Mai Lai was the case of genocide in the South of Vietnam. A group of Americans went into Mai Lai and murdered, raped and tortured hundreds of Vietnam women, children and men.aa