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Tactics used during Vietnam. Vietnamese Tactics. The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong knew they could not beat the technologically superior Army of the United States. The Vietnamese had to use other tactics to try and beat the US. Guerrilla Tactics.

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vietnamese tactics
Vietnamese Tactics
  • The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong knew they could not beat the technologically superior Army of the United States.
  • The Vietnamese had to use other tactics to try and beat the US.
guerrilla tactics
Guerrilla Tactics
  • The Vietnamese had became very skilled in the art of Guerrilla warfare.
  • WW2 – Japan
  • 1950s – French Colonial Forces
  • Both of these forces were technologically advanced and in theory should have easily defeated the ‘weaker’ Vietnamese forces.
  • South Vietnamese Communist part of the National Liberation Front (NLF)
  • Located near Cambodian border
  • Depended on the Ho Chi Minh trail for ammunition, arms and special equipment.
Main force Vietcong units were uniformed, full-time soldiers, and were used to launch large scale offensives over a wide area. Regional forces were also full-time, but operated only within their own districts. When necessary, small regional units would unite for large scale attacks. If enemy pressure became too great, they would break down into smaller units and scatter.
local vietcong
Local Vietcong
  • Mostly Teenagers
  • Less confident
  • Many idealistic
  • Others forced or shamed into joining
  • Basic military training with Weapons and explosives
vietnamese weaponry
Vietnamese Weaponry
  • Chinese version of the Soviet AK-47.
  • Light and Medium Machine guns supplied by the Soviets and Chinese.
  • Less often Heavy Machine guns were used to defend against US Helicopters.
  • RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades)
  • Mortars
Local forces used booby traps and mines
  • “Punji Traps” – sharp spikes hidden in pits
  • Contaminated to increase the risk of infection
Avoid Pitch Battles
  • Hit and Run battles
  • Tunnel system to safeguard bases against American Spotter Planes.
  • Located largely in forests and swamps
advantages of the tunnel system
Advantages of the Tunnel System
  • Hide from Air and Ground sweeps
Provide excellent refuge and defensive positions
  • Ability to disappear
  • Difficult for US to estimate enemy numbers in the region
other vietcong advantages
Other Vietcong advantages
  • Familiar with the terrain of jungles and swamps
  • Found protection across the border with Laos and Cambodia
  • Local population support
operation rolling thunder
Operation Rolling Thunder
  • EXTENSIVE daily bombing campaign of North Vietnam
  • Air strikes were strictly forbidden within 30 miles of Hanoi, along the Chinese border at the start of the campaign.
  • Launched from bases in Thailand.
  • Plan was to destroy the North Vietnamese Economy
b 52 bombers
B-52 bombers
  • Could fly at heights that could not be seen or heard
  • 8 million tons of bombs dropped between ’65 and ’73.
  • 300 tons for every man, woman and child in Vietnam
  • Mixture of Petrol and chemical thickener
  • Sticky gel to attach to the skin
  • Burns for a long time
  • Will burn through skin, muscle and bone producing 5th degree burns
  • Most victims died from the ordeal
  • Burns at 5000 f or 2777C
anti personnel bombs
Anti-Personnel Bombs
  • Designed to maim rather than kill.
  • Bombs would explode and spew out thousands of pellets and needles on the land below.
agent orange and blue
Agent Orange and Blue
  • Spraying chemicals on NLF hiding places and crops
  • Destroyed trees but also caused chromosomal damage on people
helicopters as cavalry
Helicopters as Cavalry
  • Would transport platoons in and out of the jungle quickly
  • Used as air ambulances as well.
  • Provided air cover to Platoons on the ground and spotters
search and destroy
Search and Destroy
  • Missions using US and SV troops transported via helicopters
  • Descend on villages and kill any VCs found
problems with search and destroy
Problems with search and destroy
  • Inadequate intelligence
  • Inexperienced troops often hit by booby traps
  • Civilian casualties high
  • Tactics made the US very unpopular with villagers.
  • Killings, rape etc