Explain the Impacts the Vietnam War Had on Soldiers

Topics: Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh, Cold War Pages: 3 (819 words) Published: June 23, 2013
History Essay: Explain the impacts the Vietnam War had on soldiers.

The Vietnam was a war like no other and the nature of the fighting in this war had great impacts on the soldiers. At this time, communism was seen as a great threat, especially by Western countries, and so extreme emphasis was placed on the domino theory that when one country falls to communism, others would follow and that forward defence would be the only solution to this issue. Also during this time, Vietnam was artificially split into the communist South, led by Ho Chi Min who defeated and drove out the French, and the government led South, which was in the power of Diem who was clearly corrupt and had little supporters so the spread of communism was quite likely. In response, American and Australian troops were sent to fight for the South and stop this spread of communism but there were many difficulties.

Firstly, the soldiers faced very inhumane and difficult fighting conditions. War itself is gruesome but in Vietnam, the conditions were different and in some ways, it was worse. The terrain was difficult since it is made up of open rice paddies, dense jungles and steep ranges that were filled with small villages containing civilians who were had to avoid. Also, the guerilla warfare made it hard for soldiers to identify the enemy since attacks may come from anybody, including normal civilians such as young children or even the elderly. The issues involved weren’t straightforward and both sides were fighting to convince the people that they had their best interests at heart but the Americans and Australians were seen as invaders with a clumsy fighting style and were seen as supporting the corrupt regime of the South. All these conditions impacted the soldiers negatively because they were disadvantaged; they had to fight in conditions that seemed to be unjust and against what they have been taught, causing many of the soldiers to question their role and also feeling lost and confused...
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