Vietnam War Revision
Key Question: Why did the USA
lose the Vietnam War?
Why Did America Lose?
They underestimated the tenacity and organisation of the
VC and NVA
Despite dropping more tonnage of high explosive on Vietnam than
the whole of WW2, the Americans could not stop the movement of
troops or supplies to the south along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The North Vietnamese conducted conducted a ‘Peoples war’
in which everyone played a part (“If
the truck is stuck, tear down the walls of your house”)
At first, most Americans supported the war. By 1970, the PEACE
MOVEMENT had support from all sections of society and no government
could ignore it.
After 1969, there were deep questions about the efficiency of US
troops. There was a serious drugs problem; desertion rates
were high and morale low. Many troops were ‘time-servers’, i.e.
counted the days until the tour was over.
The US never really understood the culture of the
Vietnamese people. Coca Cola, chewing gum, Biros and Dayville’s ice
cream could not buy off their ancient beliefs.
America was not prepared to keep losing high numbers of casualties
for such limited progress in a difficult jungle war, for which they were
strength and resourcefulness of the VC ,for example the
high complex CU CHI tunnel system the US never shut down.