The American Experience in Vietnam War

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

The book covers information from the early years of the war in 1954 to the end in 1975. It is written by Grace Sevy, who is a freelance teacher at Stanford University. For most of the part, she narrates the story from a neutral and third person standpoint. The book contains 5 parts in a chronological order that analyze the major battles, the role of media and the aftermath and importance of the war.

America was able to make full use of the latest developments in the war against North Vietnam. B-52 bombers flew at heights that prevented them from being seen and dropped 8 million tons of bombs on Vietnam. Another infamous bomb was the napalm. It had a sticky gel that attached to the skin and an igniting agent that burnt skin. The pineapple bomb was made up of 250 pellets inside a small canister. One of the major problems faced by the US forces were the Vietcong, who hid in the forests in Vietnam and launched surprise attacks.

They sprayed a chemical, Agent Orange, in the air that destroyed forests and also caused chromosomal damage in people. Chemicals such as Agent Blue were sprayed on crops so that would cut the supply for the Vietcong. All the chemicals were responsible for serious health problems and disease outbreaks.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident led to the escalation of US involvement in Vietnam. On August 2, 1964, the Maddox was conducting a "DeSoto patrol", referring to an espionage mission. The purpose of this mission was to collect intelligence on radar and coastal defenses of North Vietnam. However, the North Vietnamese torpedo patrol boats attacked the Maddox. The U.S.S. Ticonderoga sent aircraft to repel the North Vietnamese attackers and sunk one boat while damaging other enemy vessels. In...