Vietcong Tactics Research

Topics: Vietnam War, Guerrilla warfare, Viet Cong Pages: 5 (1480 words) Published: September 14, 2013
Tunnels
* Evidence/Details
* “These lead from the village out into the jungle. They also contain underground caverns where we can hide if the US troops arrive. It is also where we store our equipment – medical supplies, and weapons. The tunnels are usually too small for the American soldiers…We often kill or wound the whole American patrol without being seen.” * “Searching tunnels and killing or capturing any Vietcong hiding beneath the ground became a major part of the war” * “The conventional warfare techniques weren't effective in the tunnel war. A new way was found in training physically small volunteers into tunnels specialists. Only using a handgun, knife, flashlight and wire (for guidance) they trained themselves in tunnel-exploration and tunnel-warfare.”

* Evaluation
At first, the Americans were not effectively counteracting the tunnels, as the bombs dropped onto them failed to significantly damage them and the large majority of the troops could not fit into the tunnel entrances. In response to this the US selected a few soldiers, who were able to fit, to enter the tunnels and check if they were in use. These men were often just armed with a handgun and a torch; they were commonly referred to as ‘Tunnel Rats’

* Analysis
Although not as effective, at directly affecting the American soldiers, as the ingenious booby traps were. The tunnels did allow the Vietcong to continue using their ‘Guerilla Tactics’ effectively, and intern “keep the Americans guessing” as to where and when they would be next hit. The tunnels were thought to make up any disadvantages the VC had with weapons against the Americans and although they did not cause physical harm to the soldiers, as the booby traps did, they were almost as effective at advancing the VC further ahead, to altogether win the war.

Booby Traps
* Evidence/Details
The Vietcong used booby traps in order to injure the American soldiers, which would intern bring down more than one man, as the injured man would have to be carried to safety. The widely used booby traps were cheap to make, from items such as sharpened bamboo sticks. In addition to that, the VC made their explosives from the un-detonated bombs dropped by the Americans B-52 bombers. * “Booby traps were designed to maim or kill American soldiers.” “Soldiers out on patrol didn’t only have an enemy ambush to worry about. Eleven percent of deaths were caused by booby traps. These were cheap and easy to make, and very effective. Sharpened bamboo stakes, hidden in shallow pits under sticks and leaves could easily pierce the sole of a boot.” * “What the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army lacked in the way of firepower they made up for in ingenuity. Concealed devices used to inflict casualties; booby traps were an integral component of the war used by Viet Cong and the People's Army of Vietnam.” * “The use of booby traps also had a long-lasting psychological impact on Marines and soldiers. The fear of booby traps was so great that units in the field were under stress the whole time. This created severe mental fatigue on both the commanders at platoon level and the individual soldiers.”

* Evaluation
These traps made a very large and significant impact on the American troops, the traps didn’t just cause the obvious damage to the injured troop, but also made a large physiological impact on the entire platoon as they were afraid to make steps. The Americans couldn’t effectively combat the traps as they were in random areas and were undetectable as they were camouflaged.

* Analysis
The booby traps were most definitely more efficient and effective at both physically and mentally harming the soldiers. They were largely more cost effective compared to the amount of money the Americans were using to fuel their high tech weaponry war. This was because many of the booby traps either used the nature that had around them or the equipment left by the enemy....
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