Vietnam War

Topics: Vietnam War, Agent Orange, William Westmoreland Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: May 10, 2013
Throughout the Vietnam War, the Americans used many tactics to defeat the Vietcong. The reason for the American involvement in the war was to prevent the spread of communism. This spread was known as the Domino theory. Two of the tactics used were ‘Search and destroy’ and ‘defoliation.’ Both of these tactics were used greatly throughout the War. As well as this, both tactics were implemented by General Westmoreland. There were two kinds of Search and Destroy and they were search and destroy in the field and search and destroy in the villages. Search and destroy in the field required the use of helicopters to attack, in attempt to find the Vietcong. However the plan of finding the Vietcong by helicopter was greatly flawed. The helicopters were loud and slow, easy to spot as well as hard to land without substantial space. The volume of the helicopters delivered a signal to any traveling or out Vietcong that they should hide and often the helicopters were far enough away to give them considerable amount of time to hide. The fact the helicopters were easy to spot, slow to land and slow to take off, made them sitting ducks for the Vietcong to ambush. The Vietcong would wait until they had landed before attacking and burning the helicopter and therefore the Americans only means of escape. However if the trick of luring the Americans out of the sky didn’t work, they could use rockets to shoot them down. Largely, the success of search and destroy in the field was limited to a lesser extent. Helicopters also did a lot of patrolling around American camps. They would shoot at any Vietcong that the saw from the sky, yet, the Vietcong creating their own tactic of hugging. Hugging involved the Vietcong staying very close to American camps so if the helicopter fired at them, they would risk hitting their own troops. This constant failure took its toll on the American soldiers, they were always scared of ambush and being attacked when the felt safest, they soon lost moral,...
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