Why The Americans Lost The Vietnam War?

897 words - 4 pages

Why the Americans lost the Vietnam War?
U.S Soldiers
• Low morale- in the beginning there were top quality, professional soldiers. By the end of the war they were relying on conscripts. Also, by 1968, it was publically known that Johnson didn’t want to continue the war therefore the soldiers didn’t believe in what they were fighting for.
• Booby traps- The Vietcong had used very tactical methods. Bungee sticks were common, trip wires were a constant threat to American soldiers. They didn’t know when it was going to happen therefore they felt continuously under pressure.
• Weather- the weather was hot, humid and rainy. It was unusual weather for the soldiers and made it hard for them to ...view middle of the document...

• Casualties- The Americans were unwilling to sustain high casualties as they didn’t even believe in what they were fighting for.
• Drug use- Drug use was rife. There were a lot of drugs for very cheap prices. There were lots of drugs for example marijuana. Many soldiers were stoned and addicted which made them ineffective when fighting.
Tactics
• Search and Destroy method- just go, see if you can find anyone and kill them. It was difficult to find members of the Vietcong due to their appearance
• Guerrilla Warfare- just go and kill people but they have no grasp on territory. They go to a place, kill people, and claim it as their own then leave. After they leave, the Vietcong can come and claim it as their own
• Relied on technology- air support, bomb, senses to sniff where people were. But this technology couldn’t pick out the Vietcong from the civilians therefore it was too technologic.
Hearts and Minds
The Americans failed to meet the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people who they were supposed to be fighting for.
• Didn’t understand Vietnamese- the Americans had come from a life of comfort with nice houses, cars, holidays. The Vietnamese people lived in thatched and mud huts and worked in fields. A major part of the problem was that the Vietnamese were not white and the Americans saw them as ‘sub-humans.’
• Napalm- Napalm was dropped in the South, the place that they were supposed to be protecting and fighting for freedom and democracy. Napalm burned furiously. The Americans attached polystyrene to them which made it stick to people. They then added phosphorous therefore when the Vietnamese people tried to go into ponds or water to get it off...

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