Cld War10 Vietnam Iii Web2

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Cld War10 Vietnam Iii Web2

  1. 1. Case Study 2: The Vietnam War The Viet Cong & Guerilla War vs. The United States
  2. 2. What kind of war was the Vietnam War? <ul><li>Read, don’t write: </li></ul><ul><li>If the USA thought its soldiers would win an easy victory, it was soon proved wrong. American technology and firepower were totally superior, but as time wore on it became clear that the USA needed more than technology to win this kind of war. In the following presentations you will compare Viet Cong and US tactics to see why the US army did not win. The following Focus Task will assist your understanding. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Viet Cong & Guerilla Tactics <ul><li>1965: VC learn a lesson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>170,000 soldiers supplied by PRC, USSR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outnumbered & outgunned by US, SV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nov ’65: La Drang Valley: US killed 2000 VC to loss of only 300 US soldiers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ho undaunted, goes guerilla </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho saw Mao win in China w/ guerilla war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho used guerilla war successfully w/ (J), (F) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Principles of guerilla war: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retreat when enemy attacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raid when the enemy camps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attack when the enemy tires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pursue when the enemy retreats </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Guerillas in their midst <ul><li>Guerilla warfare a nightmare for US </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No uniforms, known base camps, headquarters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked in small groups w/ limited weapons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to tell from peasants in nearby villages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attacked & disappeared into jungle, villages, tunnels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>US soldiers worn down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho’s aim of wrecking moral was very effective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lived in constant fear of ambushes, booby traps </li></ul></ul>A portion of Billy Joel’s Goodnight Saigon
  5. 5. Tunnels of Cu Chi
  6. 6. U.S. Troops & Casualties 1960-1974
  7. 7. VC & Civilians <ul><li>Ho knew importance of popular support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VC ordered to be courteous toward peasants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VC often helped during planting & harvest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VC were ruthless to enemies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Killed peasants who opposed them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Killed peasants who cooperated w/ US </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terror campaigns against police, tax collectors, teachers, gov’t employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Between 1966-1971 VC killed 27,000 civilians </li></ul></ul>You are listening to a modernized version of the Vietnamese folk song Ly Ngua O
  8. 8. VC’s Greatest Strength <ul><li>They refused to give up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depended on supplies for Ho Chi Minh Trail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Though bombed constantly it stayed open </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VC casualties estimated at 1 million – far higher than US losses (50,000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho was willing to pay the price and, more importantly, so were the Vietnamese </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There were always replacement troops available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.’ – Vo Nguyen Giap, military commander of North Vietnamese & Viet Cong forces </li></ul></ul>Talk about ‘east meets west’. This is what you get when you take Vietnamese and mix it with a dance beat. The song is Coi Chung Gai Dep .
  9. 9. Homework: Why did the Communists use guerilla tactics in the Vietnam War? <ul><li>Copy sentence below the box. Add bullet points around the central sentence starter to give the V iet C ong’s reasons. Use your notes for ideas. Remember also that the internet has a wealth of material on the Vietnam war that will help you with your research. The following sites are good starters: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/guerrilla/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To each of your bullets, connect a second bullet point giving evidence to support it. The example follows … </li></ul><ul><li>The VC used guerilla tactics because … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historically this is how Vietnamese resisted invaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It worked on the French forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US forces too well-armed & trained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>November 1965 La Drang Valley: US killed 2000 VC versus 300 US casualties </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jungle hid their movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul>The Viet cong used guerilla tactics because …
  10. 10. Bombing <ul><li>7 Feb 1965: Operation Rolling Thunder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive bombing of NV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning of air offensive to last until 1972 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign expanded to include Laos, Cambodia (Ho Chi Minh Trail), SV towns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More bombs dropped on Vietnam than on Germany & Japan in all of WWII </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effective to an extent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Damaged NV war effort & disrupted supply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US could strike @ Communists even as it reduced troop strength after 1969 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1970-72: Bombing of Hanoi (capital of NV) & Haiphong (NV’s port) force NV to negotiate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Air power could not defeat Communists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ho Chi Minh Trail continued to operate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1972: Communists launched major assault in SV </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost of air war was horrendous </li></ul><ul><ul><li>14,000 aircraft shot down (don’t forget crews) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost US $400,000 to kill one VC (75 bombs & 400 artillery shells) </li></ul></ul>‘ Mixed results.’ Is this a fair summary of the effectiveness of bombing in the Vietnam War? Explain your answer. Doors … Riders on the Storm
  11. 11. Chemical Weapons <ul><li>Agent Orange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly toxic ‘weed killer’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to destroy jungles where VC hid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>40 million gallons used </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Napalm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jellied fuel that burns through jungle & skin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>White phosphorous </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignites spontaneously when with oxygen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burns at 5000 0 F </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burns through steel, bone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poison gas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used in VC tunnel systems to flush out VC </li></ul></ul>Kansas, Dust in the wind
  12. 12. Search and Destroy <ul><li>US Commander General William Westmoreland developed strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish secure, heavily defended US bases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch US & SV ‘search & destroy’ raids from helicopters taking off from bases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descend on villages & destroy any VC found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soldiers had to send back body counts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VC were killed, but there were problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raids often based on inadequate intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inexperienced US troops often hit booby traps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innocent villagers mistaken for VC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civilian casualties extremely high. For every one VC weapon found, body count was six </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S&D tactics made US, SV forces very unpopular w/ villagers, turning them toward VC </li></ul></ul>Would you say the US ground forces in Vietnam were more or less effective than the air forces? Explain your answer. John Phillip Sousa’s US Army Song
  13. 13. A Turning Point: Tet Offensive, 1968 <ul><li>Major Communist offensive on Vietnamese New Year holiday </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 100 cities & bases attacked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US embassy in Saigon a battleground </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4,500 VC in Saigon tied down entire city </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In many ways a disaster for communists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hopes for SV civilian uprising fell flat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VC lost 10,000 experienced fighters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VC never fully recovered from losses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ultimately a victory because of Qs raised: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Us had 500,000 troops, spent $20 billion/year … why had Communists been able to launch major offensive w/ complete surprise? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US & SV forces retook towns quickly, but only after massive air power … many civilian casualties and entire city (Hue) destroyed … was this right? </li></ul></ul>Why was the Tet Offensive a turning point? Explain your answer. Edwin Starr’s War
  14. 14. Focus Task: Why was the US army unable to defeat the Communists in Vietnam? <ul><li>Stage 2: Thinking it through </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Next, in each row of column 3, draw some scales to show which way the balance falls for this quality. Did the US or the VC have the advantage? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now think about the big picture – how strengths and weaknesses work together. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Were the armies fairly balanced or was the balance strongly weighted to one side? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which quality was the most important in determining who won the war? Was one feature so important that being ahead in that area meant that other advantages or disadvantages did not matter? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Stage 3: Explaining your conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Now write up your answer. You could use this structure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how the failure of the US army was a combination of its own weaknesses and VC strengths </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give balanced examples of US successes and failures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give balanced examples of VC successes and failures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chooses one American weakness and VC strength that you think were absolutely vital in preventing the USA from beating the VC and explain the significance of the points you have chosen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Stage 4: Thinking more deeply: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KEEP YOUR WORK. You’ll be adding to it later … </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Fin
  16. 16. PSDs on US tactics in Vietnam <ul><li>An increasing number of recruits scored so low on the standardized intelligence tests that they would have been excluded from the normal peacetime army. The tour of duty in Vietnam was one year. Soldiers were most likely to die on their first month. The large majority of deaths took place in the first six months. Just as a soldier began gaining experience, he was sent home. A rookie army which constantly rotated inexperienced men was pitted against experienced guerillas on their home ground. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From Four Hours In Mai Lai by Michael Bilton, 1992. The average age of US combat troops in Vietnam was only 19. Many recruits had just left school. This was their first experience of war. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. PSDs on the Vietnam War <ul><li>I remember sitting at this wretched little outpost one day with a couple of my sergeants. We’d been manning this thing for three weeks and running patrols from it. We were grungy and sore with jungle rot and we’d suffered about nine or ten casualties on a recent patrol. This one sergeant of mine said, ‘You know, Lieutenant, I don’t see how we’re ever going to win this.’ And I said, ‘Well, Sarge, I’m not supposed to say this to you as your officer – but I don’t either.’ So there was this sense that we just couldn’t see what could be done to defeat these people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philip Caputo, a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965-66, speaking in 1997 </li></ul></ul>

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