Vietnam War Causes, Strategies, and Tactics


Before WWII, France controlled Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh, the prime minister, worked to get France out of Vietnam. When WWII came, the Japanese soldiers pushed France out, but Japan then tried to take over. When Japan surrendered to the Allies, Ho claimed Vietnam an independent country on September 2 of 1945. Ho warned the French to stay out, they didn't listen and took over Vietnam. President Eisenhower helped the French because his belief in the Domino Theory. This caused the Geneva Accords to take place. The Geneva Accords divided Vietnam. North Vietnam was Communist lead by Ho Chi Minh and South Vietnam was a democracy lead by Ngo Dinh Diem, an anticommunist. American troops were sent to help Diem but Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated because of his harsh actions towards his enemies. Soon after Diem's assassination, U.S. navy vessels exchanged fire with North Vietnamese navy vessels. Johnson took that as an act of war against the U.S.A. The U.S. then joined the fight against North Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem

Eisenhower's Domino Theory

U.S. and Vietnam Advantages and disadvantages in the war

The U.S. faced many advantages but also many disadvantages. The U.S. was far more advanced in technology than Vietnam and we had much more firepower therefore giving the U.S. an advantage in weapons. The U.S. downfall was the terrain and to make matter worse, that was vietnamese advantage against the U.S. The Vietnamese and The U.S. advantages and disadvantages were completely opposite. The U.S. militaries advantage was Vietnams disadvantage while the Vietnam militaries advantage was the U.S. disadvantage.

(left) Vietnam soldier avoiding air-raids, (middle) American soldier with "War is Hell" across his helmet, (right) U.S. helicopters clearing a landing path for the incoming planes.

U.S. Tactics and Strategies

The United States used technology to try and defeat the Vietnamese. We used many things such as Bell UH-1 Helicopters, Napalm, and Agent Orange. Bell UH-1 Helicopters were low altitude helicopters that could land in small clearings, they could carry up to 7 men or 3,000 pounds. This was a way for American troops to easily get in and get out. Napalm was a jelly substances that sticks to anything and burns it in ten minutes, it would burn up to 2,000 degrees. This way used to burn the homes and villages and clear villagers out of their home. Agent Orange was a pesticide that would kill vegetation, it would contaminate the food and water so the Vietnamese would have to move the American populated land. The U.S. stopped using it because it would kill the Vietnamese and American troops.

Vietnamese Tactics and Strategies

The Vietnamese used their lands to trick the U.S. The Vietnamese would use things such as sneak attacks and the Cu Chi Tunnels. Sneak Attacks were when the Vietnamese soldiers would hind out were the U.S. soldiers would land and then the Vietnamese would hunker down and wait till the American soldiers would come close and then they would attack. It would be close range attacks so the American couldn't bomb them.Cu Chi Tunnels were tunnels that the Vietnamese soldiers would dig. It would act as a home for civilians and a base of operations for the Vietnamese soldiers. When the Vietnamese would leave the tunnels, they would put traps in it. When American soldier would search in it, they would fall in the traps.

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