Warfare In Vietnam

Josue Gonzalez

Vietnam War Summary

The Vietnam War was a war fought by North and South Vietnam and later involved the U.S that lasted from 1955-1975. However, I will be focusing on the actual warfare and tactics both sides used during this war. The entire war was a series of many events, it started after Vietnam gained independence from France in 1954. Because of this Vietnam was now free to choose what government system they would be run by but conflict began was because Vietnam was separated into two (North and South); the North wanting a communist government and the South an anti-communist government. By 1958, the North started sending troops to take the South by force and make them into a communist country as well. The U.S backed South Vietnam during this time by sending military advisers to help but by 1965 the U.S started Operation Rolling thunder to strike the North. In the end America's efforts failed and due to student protest and diplomacy in 1973 the U.S withdrew troops, and prisoners were released.

Operation Rolling Thunder?

During the Vietnam War the U.S used a powerful attack strategy from 1965 to 1968 called Operation Rolling Thunder, this was a series of continues bombing runs over North Vietnam bases, cities and jungles to hopefully weaken their will and ability to fight the war.

At first in 1962 the U.S provided limited air operations to support South troops, destroy Viet Cong bases and clear out jungle areas. The U.S later, in 1964, expanded American air operations from limited air operation to limited bombing after reports of U.S warships being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Finally Operation Rolling Thunder began on March 2nd, 1965, partly in response to a Veit Cong attack on a U.S air base in Pleiku. This operation was a series of planned out bombing runs over North Vietnamese bases and troops in hopes that the North would adopt South Vietnam's non-communist government, slow down North Vietnam's ability to produce and transport aid to Viet Cong soldier, and boost North Vietnamese morale while also lowering the North's morale. As time past the bombing runs slowly began to become more intense, frequent and gained more area to bomb but even with these increases in power the operation was a failure mainly because North Vietnam gained an advanced anti-air strike system using surface to air missiles from it's supporting allies, China and the Soviet Union, and shot down several hundreds of American planes during the campaign. Still, some historians debate whether Operation Rolling Thunder seriously crippled the North's war waging ability or was not effective enough because they could not bomb some important airfields, oil factories and bases due to air streak restrictions to avoid conflict with communist China.

North Vietnamese TET offensive

The North Vietnamese TET offensive launched January 31st, 1968. This was a surprise attack on U.S and South Vietnamese troops all over Vietnam, it is considered one of the most brilliant and catastrophic military planes ever made.

North Vietnam had claimed that they would have a seize fire for both sides of the war in honor of the TET lunar holiday, their goal was to have U.S and South Vietnamese troops lower their guard. The North planned and executed their plan in total secrecy for months using spies, deception and tunnels to transport troops and supplies all over South Vietnam. On the day of the attack over 80,000 North Vietnamese troops attacked U.S bases and Vietnamese cities all over South Vietnam. At first it seemed the TET offensive was going to work because U.S troops were not prepared at all but the North did not have one very important thing which was the support of the people. On that day, North Vietnamese massacred over 5,000 people including hundreds of nuns simply for being Catholic. Because of this North Vietnamese people did not support their brutality and so they did not gain any reinforcement. North troops were soon overrun by U.S and South troops; North Vietnam lost over 10,000 troops that day while the U.S only lost about 258 troops. North Vietnam's TET offensive went from being a genius military feat to a disaster.

Vietcong Guerrilla Warfare

The Vietcong forces were mainly made up of professionally trained and informed troops that worked full time and on large scale attacks and smaller regional forces that were also full time but would only unite for larger attacks if necessary and if enemy pressure was too heavy they would break up into smaller groups. On December 1965, North Vietnam leadership ordered them to change their attack strategy so that they would only attack U.S forces when they have the full advantage over the. This meant that they would only attack with booby traps, mines, and surprise ambushes using the jungle environment that they are already used to their advantage.


Caputo, Philip. 10,000 Days of Thunder. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

"Operation Rolling Thunder." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

"Tet Offensive." Tet Offensive. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

"Vietnam War." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 18 Sep. 2015.

Mintz, S., & McNeil, S. (2015). Digital History. Retrieved 19 Sept. 2015.

Wadell, Calum. "What If the US Won the Vietnam War?" All About History. N.p., 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.


Research Question: What would havve happened if the U.S won the Vietnam War?

Because we can not predict the future of that's to happen or what could have happened there is no set answer to this question, however, we can make assumptions on what could have happened bases on prior knowledge. According to Calum in the article "What if the U.S won the Vietnam War?" he says, "In south Asian, everything would be drastically different- including a faster and more thorough confrontation between the USA and China." I agree with what he said here because this war was fighting against communism and sense we lost Vietnam then became a communist country but if we had won Vietnam would not be communist. If we had won China would have also probably