The booby trap war, Chapter 14 (2)
Vietnam 1939-75 textbook (3)
The tunnels of Cu Chi (4)
Causes and consequences of the Vietnam war (5)
in this essay I will be discussing the tactics ‘booby traps’ and ‘Underground tunnels’ used by the Vietcong against the US and why they were so effective despite the fact that the US were very strong in open warfare, as well as having a huge advantage in technology such as more sophisticated weapons, aircraft and equipment. This was mainly because the Vietcong used guerrilla tactics, which were not familiar to the Americans at the time so they had the advantage, as they knew the jungles of South Vietnam, as well as being very resourceful and used to the climate, which caught the Americans out. Some of the booby traps were called bouncing Betties, mines, punji stakes, pits, trip wires, deep man traps, bamboo whips.
The main reason why the booby traps were effective was the psychological impact it had on the US troops. It was demoralizing for fellow troops to watch their friends be blown to pieces with no opponent in sight. This made the US troops scared and afraid for their lives. (1) Booby traps meant US and ARVN soldiers had to move slowly and carefully, that they were always frightened and it was psychologically damaging and demoralising for soldiers to see friends blown apart with no enemy in sight. US troops began to fall into depression due to these dreadful booby traps which lead them to take drugs to ease their anxiety. However, the drugs left them delirious and distracted. The drugs made them less aware of what they were doing and caused them to fall into or trigger the booby traps placed by the Vietcong leaving them dead or without limbs. This became a never ending circle for US troops. As a result of these traumas US and ARVN troops began using local South Vietnamese villagers as guides through the jungle pointing out booby traps...