Who technically won Vietnam?
Ok so heres a question that has perplexed me for such a time. Who won the war technically speaking? I know the American goal of the war was to stop this whole communism crap during the cold war and that they were trying to defend the south or something. Before you get into the "oh ya we never lost a battle" thing let me correct you there. They never lost the major battles, but they did lose several smaller battles. Two examples where when cong's sneaked into an American base and wreaked a few things up with probably no casualties of their own. There was also this air raid thing on the cong's where the Americans lost a few bombers and phantoms and of course the cong's barely broke a sweat. It also seemed like America had a fairly big amount of casualties during the war and then i hear others who say America suffered little. I do know a treaty was signed but after that south fell to the north and now good ol nam is a communist. So American never completed its goal eh? I give full respect to all the vets who served in Vietnam but i do find it a BIT funny how "the greatest super power in the world" (yes thats what a few of you call yourselves) lost to a bunch of guerrillas. Someone help me please! AGHH this is annoying.
Sorry this is so long
- RonaldLv 67 years agoFavorite Answer
Good afternoon Jack,
I hope you are having a great day. I am always amazed at what people write and make films about Vietnam. I watched my country break treaties, accords, fix elections, and help install puppet rulers in order to go to war against Vietnam. Why?
I get so tired of listening to book readers, college students, and analytical type people who give every reason under the sun for the United States losing the Vietnam War. I have read how the United States won every battle, yet loss the Vietnam War because of liberals and politicians.
Many people answer, how the USA won, with facts about body counts. Yes, the Vietnamese body count was high. These same people never really grasp the facts.
In WWII the United States dropped over two (2) million tons of bombs and explosives. In Vietnam, the United States dropped over eight (8) million tons of bombs and explosives. That is 300 TONS per every MAN, WOMEN, and CHILD living in Vietnam. The United States also used over 400,000 tons of napalm bombs.
The above figures do not include the United States dropping over a million tons of herbicides, Agent Orange and agent blue. This caused chromosomal damage to the Vietnamese people and their own soldiers. Please read those facts again and think about them for a second.
Thousands of Vietnamese people lived in handmade underground tunnels and caves for YEARS. The United States destroyed their livestock and their crops. The Vietnamese people ate insects and plant roots. They fought back with homemade weapons and any means necessary to destroy the over powering United States war machine.
Could the United States have won the war? Years after returning from Vietnam, I saw a television interview with the Great Vietnamese General Giap. He stated, “We knew we would win the war. It was just a matter of time. It could take ten years or twenty years.” They also asked him about his military intelligence. He looks surprised, “What military Intelligence? We had no need for military intelligence. We always knew where to find the Americans. We knew they would always be on the highest mountain.” Super power???
Most people will tell you the Vietnam War was too stop the spread of Communism or the Domino Effect. In that case, what were China, Japan, Russia, and France fighting to stop for hundreds of years before the word Communism? It was not because of Communism. The key word was used by President Roosevelt, “MILKED”.
It is easy for the American people to be brainwashed about the evils and fighting a war over Communism. Our government has installed these evils in us since we were children. As a child of the 50’s, all everyone talked about was communism. I had never seen a person who believed in communism, but I knew I would recognize one because they were red with horns on top of their head (smile).
WHY HAVE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DIED throughout history over this tiny strip of land called VIETNAM?
I was drafted and assigned to a small but elite Assault Helicopter Company (part 101st Airborne Division….The Screaming Eagles http://www.comanchero.org/ ). We were located deep in the Mekong Delta near the Cambodia border during Tet 68’. I was a Special Forces Intelligence NCO. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/enlistedjobs/a/18f....
EVERY day we had fly missions. We would fly, low level, all over the Delta starting at 5 am and usually returning at 6 or 7 pm. On night missions with a full moon, you could see the moon’s light flicking like silver off miles of water in flooded rice paddies.
As far as your eyes could see, there were rice paddies. The rice paddies would look like a giant picture puzzle. Sometimes your eyes would just stare and your mind would almost go into a hypnotic state as you flew over miles, and miles, and miles of rice paddies for hours and hours on end. It would be very hard for a person to understand without seeing it for yourself.
Vietnam is in the tropics with over 183 thousand acres of the RICHEST AGRICULTURAL REGIONS ON EARTH. Crops can be grown all year round. Rice is the stable in the diets for millions of people all over the world. Most Asians call rice, “The Gift from God”. The Vietnam War was over the control of resources and especially the riches of RICE/food. RICE and resources is the real reason why the United States and OTHER countries have got involved in Vietnam.
Technically the Vietnamese People fought for hundreds of years, and now their youth plant crops on FREE soil drenched with the blood from their forefathers. This was their destiny...
Thanks for your question Jack. You and your family have a beautiful week. Peace, from Los Angeles.
- Anonymous7 years ago
That's a question that is open to a lot of debate. In 1973 the United States had achieved its stated goal, a cease-fire in place. What we had in mind was a model similar to Korea where both parties accepted what they had and the fighting would stop. We could claim we had won the war.
BUT (and it is a BIG BUT) we did not leave troops in place to guarantee the "peace" we had achieved. As soon as the US troops were pulled out small-scale attacks on South Vietnam began again in earnest. Then the born-again radicals in Congress (after hounding Nixon into resigning) cut off almost all aid to South Vietnam. In the meantime the USSR was rearming North Vietnam to the teeth with some of their most modern heavy equipment (tanks, artillery, antiaircraft missiles, transportation, small arms and ammunition, and fuel, etc.) and encouraging them to attack the South again. In 1975 North Vietnam launched a raw over-the-border invasion of South Vietnam. Congress forced Gerald Ford to sit on his hands and do nothing. The ARVN shot off the last of their ammunition then scattered. You cannot fight tanks with bayonets.
So, in the end we squandered our "victory" of 1973 and North Vietnam occupied South Vietnam. Any way you look at it, that was a loose for us. Their are those who try to argue that, because we had pulled out by the time the South fell we bore no responsibility and did not lose the war. Sorry, I don't by that argument. In the long run North Vietnam (backed by the USSR) won, South Vietnam (backed by the USA) LOST. That is just a simple historical truth. But, to understand it you need to know the whole story. This is not a question that can be answered with a sound-bite.Source(s): Vietnam vet (USAF medic 1969/70) history-buff....
- ☦ICXCNIKA ☦Lv 77 years ago
North Vietnam-the reason was political.
First after the gulf of Tonkin Resolution LBJ sent in the combat forces in a policy of gradual escalation.
Due to the fact they were technically neutral- the only forces they sent into Laos and Cambodia were black ops units. (Special forces and CIA agents doing missions the US denied happened)
Then in the bombing campaign against North Vietnam Johnson and McNamara hand picked the targets.
There were a lot of important targets that were off limits- Sam and radar sites that were under constriction,
air bases, and the HQ's of the North Vietnamese military in Hanoi.
A lot of the war Hanoi and Haiphong (the major harbor) were off limits.
In short- the types of targets that would be top priority for an air campaign.
Then in the South the US used a search and destroy policy where they would land troops in an area with suspected NVA and VC activity look for them them and take them out.
A lot of times- when the US forces moved in the NVA and VC were hiding and vacated the area.
There were some areas where the US focused on patrolling areas and getting to know the locals these were more effective missions.
After the Tet offensive of 1968, Johnson felt things were so messed up he decided not to run for a second time.
Nixon won with his promise of peace with honor- and invaded Cambodia, in 1970 and allowed the USAF and Navy to do an unrestricted bombing campaigns known as Linebacker I and II.
I was to stop the Easter offensive where the US military and South Vietnamese stopped the largest tank force since World war II. Linebacker II was to get the North to sign a cease fire.
Nixon resigned in 174 due to Watergate- the North thought Ford was a wimp who would not launch Linebacker III if they invaded the South.
They invaded- Ford's response was to evacuate people and North Vietnamese tanks rolled over Saigon.
edit to everyone calling the NVA freedom fighters get a clue- North Vietnam and Vietnam today are totalitarian states.
- NormLv 77 years ago
North Vietnam won. South Vietnam (and everyone helping to defend that nation) lost.
The truth is we could have won the Vietnam War. The problem was the politicians in D.C., many of whom wouldn't know the difference between a foxhole and their own @$$hole, were running the show. Virtually no military action in southeast Asia was allowed unless it was approved by The White House or The State Department. The hands of the military were tied. If our elected leaders had stepped back and let the military do its job -- as the senior Bush did during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, South Vietnam would have prevailed and the war wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as it did.Source(s): USAF JAG Corps Retired -- military history was a required course of study
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- peacockLv 44 years ago
I'm a Vietnam vet and i'm going to be the primary to say North Vietnam received, that's beautiful apparent. Actually Ho Chi Minh requested for American support and we wouldn't supply it to him. Nevertheless, the U.S. Didn't lose the warfare. Nixon withdrew the troops. He had no choice because political pressure within the States required it. The conflict was once badly mismanaged, in most cases on account that we were afraid the Russians would enter the battle if we escalated it and used our army energy. Nonetheless, we were allowed ample that we received the struggle. Militarily, a number of occasions. Every time we had the North Vietnamese first-rate, Nixon would call a cease hearth and ship Kissassinger to the peace talks. We kicked the living crap out of them. Sooner or later, in Dec 1972, we had the Christmas bombing crusade which made the North Vietnamese realize they would in no way win as long as the USAwas in the struggle. We had already withdrawn our floor troops. But, the Easter offensive of 1972 had verified that SVN might beat NVN with American air vigor. The one option for NVN was once to sign a peace treaty which might get the U.S. Out of the conflict. The peace treaty we signed guaranteed SVN that we'd aid them within the case of an invasion. By means of 1975, and with Ford as President, the NVN made up our minds to scan to resolve of the U.S. With out the aid of the U.S. SVN fell to the NVN three years after we had removed all our floor forces and a pair of years after our last air aid. You have a better working out of the struggle, together with the involvement by Ike, than most humans.
- 7 years ago
Well if you go by accomplishment of goals then North Vietnam won.. their objective was to unify the country under communism and they did that. I'm not totally sure we ever even had a clear objective at all.
- 7 years ago
Communist North Vietnam.
And the people behind the US industrial miliarty complex
- Apocalypse CowLv 67 years ago
The US left, the North took over the South and ruled ever since.Like it or not, in any possible definition, North Vietnam won.
They kicked our butt, despited dropping more explosives on that tiny country than in all WWII.
- 7 years ago
North was winning, south surrendered because they didnt want anymore troops dying, the U.S didnt want to stop but south saw that the U.S. lost alot of troops as well so surrendered to save lives.
- ASUGRADLv 67 years ago
I studied Vietnam and Agent Orange in graduate school for GIS analysis. The best objective analysis I could find about the war's outcome based on tactical military strategies was done by one of its most decorated veterans - Colonel Hackworth. The character of "Colonel Kilgore" in "Apocalypse Now" was based on Hackworth. He thought the tactical strategies of the US Military were wrong and that the war would be lost. He was right. (Note Youtube commercials can be skipped).
Colonel Hackworth despised the general prevailing military tactics used by the US Military. He thought the frontal-war strategies or "seek and destroy" missions were woefully inadequate. Hackworth thought the tactics were outdated from WWII and Korea. He preferred a more specific, modified approach to combat guerilla warfare which he applied to his own unit (e.g. tunnel warfare). And it worked. But he deplored the generally inadequate military tactics based on frontal war or "search and destroy" with kill ratios. Hackworth predicted the Fall of Saigon in 1971 four years before it happened. He was right, but he was then politically castigated by the US Army. His military career ended. But South Vietnam fell in 1975 as he had predicted four year earlier.
Another tactical problem was the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The guerilla warfare required a large supply base, and the US Military was never able to cut it off. To be fair, General Westmoreland knew this. He wanted to launch a large grand-scale military campaign to wipe out the trail in 1968. But the Tet Offensive destroyed political support for the war. The Tet Offensive was actually an extreme military failure for the North Vietnamese. But politically it went to their favor. Westmoreland was replaced by General Abrams who began scaling back the military under orders from Nixon for eventual withdrawal.
Historians have analyzed "what if" scenarios. If Westmoreland had been allowed to go into the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the odds are high he would have disrupted it if given full military strength. But historians doubt he would have been able to hold it. The price was too high, and South Vietnam would have eventually fallen. So the tactical obstacles were highly unfavorable. A lot of times the US Military would "win"a battle for a hill with ridiculous casualties but withdraw and the enemy would just return. The worse friendly fire incident occurred at the Battle of Hill 875.
Ironically, the Communist nations of Southeastern Asia went to war with each other after America left. The "Dominoe Theory" of Communist expansion was false. The war was a needless sacrifice for American casualties. And Agent Orange is still causing problems. Hackworth died in 2005 from exposure to Agent Purple - a chemical defoliant similar to Agent Orange. As the US withdrew, the last ground battle against North Vietnam was a defeat for the US Army.
Meanwhile, Communism is a failed experiment in South Vietnam which is diverging towards Capitalism. The fear of Communism was irrational. It was better just to let Communism implode on itself. The American casualties were tragic. May they rest in peace.
I listened to a lot of 60s music of the era while doing research on Agent Orange. I applied GIS software to old MGRS coordinates from Corps I - IV to analyze patterns of exposure. 60s music has a unique high quality with older technology but more emphasis on "as is" vocals compared to modern synthesizers. So the singers tended to have more talented vocals.
- Anonymous7 years ago
The Vietnamese freedom fighters won.