Intro”Guerilla warfare is a type of warfare fought by irregulars in fast-moving, small-scale actions against orthodox military and police forces and, on occasion, against rival insurgent forces, either independently or in conjunction with a larger political military strategy.” The Vietnam War began on November 1st, 1955 and ended on April 30, 1975. This war was long and expensive.
The communist government of North Vietnam went against South Vietnam whose partner was the United States. The Americans joined hands with the French to battle the Vietnamese over Vietnam territory. Military tactics used during the Vietnam War were beneficial to the Vietnamese because they put the Americans and French at a disadvantage. Who would have thought that such a small country had enough potential to win against a much stronger country.Causes of the Vietnam War During the 1940s throughout the 1950s, Americans did not know much about Vietnam.
However, the Americans found that Vietnam was important in stopping the spread of communism. A communist country is a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy, and a single party holds power. During, the 1900s nationalism became a powerful force in Vietnam” (Appleby 893). The Vietnamese wanted to get rid of French control to gain their independence. In doing so the Vietnamese formed a political party lead by Ho Chi Minh, who was one of the leaders. Ho Chi Minh wanted to form a “nationalist group called the Vietminh.
The group united both Communists and non-Communists” (Appleby 893). After the Japanese surrendered Indochina Ho Chi Minh wrote the Vietnam Declaration of Independence which documented similar words as the American Declaration of Independence. France did not like the idea of Vietnam becoming an independent country and returned to Southeast Asia to conjure up grounds in Vietnam. This action “drove the Vietminh forces into hiding in the countryside” (Appleby 894 and “Guerilla Warfare”.) In 1949 the French built a new government system in Vietnam. The Vietminh did not want their independence to be dissolve which resulted in fighting back and gaining some of their land back. The Americans are brought into the picture when the French extends their hands for their help. Americans hated the idea of colonialism so “they did not want Vietnam to be communist” (Appleby 895).
In 1953 President Eisenhower continued to support the French by opposing the Viet minhIn the mid-1950s Americans become more involved in the war when the US government decides to help South Vietnam against the North. Ho Chi Minh and all of his followers organized an army known as Viet Cong. The war begins to escalate after Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Vietcong began to attack American bases located in South Vietnam (Appleby 894). President Lyndon Johnson decided to use American aircraft to fireback and “U.S. planes began regular bombing raids, codenamed Operation Rolling Thunder” (“Vietnam War” 4). The Vietnam war began because of American Involvement and belief that communism should not be spreaded throughout south-east Asia.
Advantages and Disadvantages of both SidesDuring the war people thought that it would have been logical if the Americans won the war because they had better military power, however there are many setbacks that prevent the Americans from achieving victory. Although the American military was more advanced than the Vietcong army, the Vietcong had much more advantages than the Americans. The Vietcong’s advantages consists of knowing the land, blending in with the people, and fighting for their independence. The Vietcong are able to blend in with the civilians during the war causing the Americans to be confused and end up killing innocent people (“Vietnam War” 10). The Vietcong’s disadvantage is that they do not have a military as big as the US. The American’s disadvantages are that they did not know the land, cannot adapt to the humid temperatures, and they did not have anymore motivation to continue fighting in the war.
When the American soldiers returned home, the citizens viewed them as “having killed innocent civilians” (“Vietnam War” 10) and had no respect for these soldiers. Although the Vietcong’s biggest disadvantage was that they lacked a strong military, they have much more ways to win the war (“Guerrilla Warfare”.)Outcome of the War; ResultsThe war between the United States and North Vietnam ended with a peace agreement on January 27, 1973. On the other hand, “war between North and South Vietnam continued, however, until April 30, 1975” (“Vietnam War” 9). The United states bombed North Vietnam for eleven days straight and stopped bombing on Christmas day. This event became known as the “Christmas bombing.” After this event “On January 27, 1973, the warring sides signed an agreement ending the war and restoring the peace in Vietnam” (Appleby 912).The war resulted in the death of 58,000 Americans and about one million Vietnamese soldiers.
The Americans lost the war and Vietnam was able to gain their independence. The effect of the Vietnam war remained until troops finally pulled out of Vietnam in 1973. The Americans spent an extreme amount of money to fight the war and lead their nation to inflation- the increase of price on material goods, but a drop in the value of money. In 1982 a memorial was held in Washington D.C. (“Vietnam War” 10).
The Americans lost the war because they did not possess motivation to win the war. During the long war the Americans begin to question why they should be worried if a country in Southeast Asia became communist or not. The Vietcong won the war because they had motivation and a reason to fight the war. They wanted to achieve their independence. The Vietcong also won the war because they knew the jungle land better than the Americans did, which allowed them to set up countless amounts of traps (Appleby).
Conclusion In conclusion, The Vietcong’s military tactics used was a big advantage when it came to winning the war. The military strategies they used consisted of guerrilla warfare- “designed to wear down the enemy” (“Guerrilla Warfare” 8), hiding in their base areas located in jungles or swamps, not wearing a uniform so they could “blend in with the general population in the cities and countryside and then quickly vanishing” (Appleby 900), and the Vietcong showed no sign of backing out. No matter how much the United States wanted for the Vietcong to surrender, they never surrendered despite the amount of men killed.The American’s war strategies consisted of “search and destroy methods” where they would destroy large amounts of land to prevent the Vietcong from hiding in forests and swamps.
To further add onto the conclusion, the United States had no concrete reason as to why they got involved in the war which created controversy throughout the people. The Americans believed “that if Vietnam fell to communism, so too would the other nations of Southeast Asia” (Appleby 894). The Americans did not realize that whether the Asian countries fell into communism or not it had nothing to do with them, and that the long and expensive war was fought because of their belief in something that should not be applied to countries far away.