Strategies used by the opposing sides in the Second Indochina War (1965-1973)

Essay by grandimundiHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2007

download word file, 11 pages 1.0

Evaluate the effectiveness of the Strategies used by the opposing sides in the Second Indochina War (1965-1973). Why was it inevitable that the South (USA and Republic of Vietnam) would be defeated?It was inevitable that the USA and the Republic of Vietnam would be defeated in the Second Indochina war of 1965-1973 because of the effective strategies used by the North, with the use of Guerrilla warfare and the Ho Chin Minh trail. The south was defeated because their tactics like using conventional ground warfare and air warfare and their Pacification Campaigns were totally inappropriate for the war in Vietnam.

The goal of the USA and South Vietnam was to preserve South Vietnamese independence by defeating the Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese (NV) armies. The only advantage that the south had over the north was the fact they had the numbers, 1,355,524 soldiers and unlimited firepower and resources. The USA/South faced the war with traditional conventional ground and air warfare.

The US tactics were wrong. Fighting a conventional war against a guerrilla war, the US should have learnt from the previous Indochina War between the French and the Vietnamese.

“History repeats itself. It comes in cycles. Lessons and reflections exist everywhere, but no one seems to learn”- Arnold J Toynbee “Contested Spaces”The US and RoV armies were efficiently equipped to meet conventional invasion, with tanks only used for “Coup D’etat” also defensive role, armoured personnel carriers (APC’s) could only be used in dry weather and heavy artillery used as defence. The US went about the war using the “Search and Destroy” method this meant they located a VC unit, attacked and returned to base. This was self-defeating as VC would hear the fleet of planes from miles away and have time to run, hide or prepare an ambush. Soldiers...