Guerrilla Warfare Vs Vietcong

1998 Words8 Pages
Prior to the start of Second Indochina war, the United States had been teaching the South Vietnamese armies tactics in order to defeat the North Vietnamese guerillas. They would use these military tactics while executing search and destroy missions as well as clear and hold missions. Search and Destroy mission would involve South Vietnamese troops along with United States troops covertly entering into a Vietnamese village, searching for the Vietcong. Once they found the suspected Vietcong, they would “destroy” them then retreat back to base. The clear and hold method was very similar except they would drive the enemy forces from the village then occupy it afterward. Both of these tactics were a part of an overall campaign named Strategic Hamlet.…show more content…
The Vietcong became experts in this type of warfare know as guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare was termed coined during the Peninsular War by the Duke of Wellington but become popular with the rise of Communism and Marxism which called for the proletariat (lower class) to rise up against the bourgeoisie (upper class). Since lower class peasants could not stand a chance against conventional armies with tanks, helicopters, planes and artillery; they were forced to use cheap but effective tactics to kill the enemy. This type of irregular fighting is used against orthodox, conventional type opponents and the Vietnam war proved the effectiveness of guerrilla warfare. One guerrilla warfare tactic that proved to be highly effective for the Vietcong was using booby traps in order to kill or wound the enemy without being nearby for retaliation. The Vietcong would conceal hardened bamboo sticks smothered in poison known as Punji Sticks, underneath a weak platform covered in sticks and leaves, that would give out if stepped on. Once stepped on, the platform would give out and a US soldier would fall into the Punji sticks which would pierce his body. Other traps included land mines that would blow up once stepped on and tripwire grenades that would blow up once a soldier stepped on the wire. Overall these boobytraps accounted for 11% of US casualties in the Vietnam war. Beyond traps, the Vietcong would use other guerilla warfare tactics such as the hit and run strategy. During a hit and run the Vietcong would attack US forces by ambushing them then exiting before artillery or air support could be called in by predetermined routes. The Vietcong also used a strategy called the shoot and scoot strategy which involved the Vietcong attacking US military bases with artillery or mortars then moving the equipment to a new location before the US can

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