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Week 5 (21-25 Sept. 2015) Combat Experience: Vietnam and Strategy: ’65-‘68

by: Chris Hicks

Week 5 (21-25 Sept. 2015) Combat Experience: Vietnam and Strategy: ’65-‘68 HIST 3370

Marketplace > Bowling Green State University > History > HIST 3370 > Week 5 21 25 Sept 2015 Combat Experience Vietnam and Strategy 65 68
Chris Hicks
GPA 3.955
The Vietnam War
Benjamin Greene

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About this Document

Notes about the psychology of combat and the strategy from 1965-1968
The Vietnam War
Benjamin Greene
Class Notes
vietnam, NVA, Ia Drang, PAVN Westmoreland, Lizard Brain
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chris Hicks on Friday September 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 3370 at Bowling Green State University taught by Benjamin Greene in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see The Vietnam War in History at Bowling Green State University.


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Date Created: 09/25/15
Week 5 2125 Sept 2015 Combat Experience Vietnam and Strategy 65 68 Combat Experience Vietnam Guerilla Warfare Aversion to Killing Reality of War Mai Lai My Lai Son Lai 3 A lot more to killing than pulling the trigger Ia Drang lSt Conventional battle in Vietnam Brain in Combat Lizard vs Intellectual Brain What brain takes over Lizard in combat high stress situations Lizard Brain programmed to survive thinking will cause death Where does Vietnam fit in WW1 Tactics modern technology Machine guns and artillery caused high casualties airplanes old tactics needed to change gasmajor psychological attack Trenchesshellingsitting there watching bodies rot in front of you WWIIKorea Tactics Airplanes mobile lines and know where those lines are US used supplies to win the war Changing tacticschanging weapons Vietnam Operation Rolling Thunder Helicopter Small patrols guerilla warfare connection to today booby traps no uniforms TLtics Helicopters no lines no uniforms new technology ambushes napalm night attacks US starts Vietnam with WWII techniquesgtOperation Rolling ThunderBomb the crap out of them Helicopters1000 men 68 in one helicopter 20 helicopters 30 minute ride 100 at a time engaged alone a long time Guerilla best way to beat conventional military frustrates soldiers answersmall patrols Booby traps looking for enemy in dense vegetation not on ground sticks with feces designed to incapacitate individual for long period of time Ambushesmake you look where they want you to No uniforms not getting caught means they can blend in Aversion of killing SLA Marshall 10 WWII veterans claimed to fire weapon 90 Vietnam veterans claimed to have fired their weapon Plausible Deniabilitydon t know if they did the killing Michael Kathman Triangle Tunnel Rat Fight or ight humans only animal to willingly kill own species Michael Kathman Didn t kill enemy when given the chance Ranges of Killing Airlong Distancebombing artillery sniper Furthest distance only visible with tool sniper ri elike watching TV instead of killing seeing enemy goes down creates trauma sniper controls where round goes 7 Jan to 24 J ulv 69 Sniper Activitv 1245 confirmed kills 139 rounds per kill 50000 rounds per kill on battlefield Mediumshort distancesoldier can see and exchange fire with enemy ambushes at this range vegetation obscures visiongtfired at shadows they re people too CloseHandtohand undeniable of who s killed no plausible deniability focused on body count How Aversion overcomeMilgram Experiment obey authority even if it s immoral Fear of Death him or me Want to go home Leadership Group absolution fire as a group plausible deniability Mai Lai Combination of these things leads humans to atrocious things Massacres better start doing your job Just following orders Switches hard to turn off until the job s done pent up frustration Dehumanization make up person closer to animals play submissive into stupid associated with less than human PTSD not big until 85 Strategy 65 68 Divisiongt3 regimentsbrigades 15002000gt3 battalionssquadrons 600gt 3 companiesbatteries 150gt 3 platoons 38gt 3 squads 10 Escalation in 65 Shock and awe or gradualism graduated escalation Air ROLLING THUNDER Ground Search and Destroy Assessing Westmoreland s strategy of Attrition reach crossover pointgt method is search and destroy Validating or challenging US strategic concept Battle of la Drang Oct Nov 65 Clausewitzian Revisionists critique Gradualismdidn t do shock and awe utilizing overwhelming force LBJ wants to focus on the Great Society but thinks he can t legislation if he loses Vietnam takes time to trainraise large army General William Westmoreland stereotypical professional soldier from the Citadelgt 1 in class at West Point 36 Eagle Scout served in WWII and Kores Graduate school at Harvard commander of 101St Airborne Division in charge of Vietnam from 65 68 General Who lost the war or good general bad war have South Vietnamese protect villagescities US out in field against the enemy fighting war of attritionkill enemy forcesreach crossover point kill or capture enough enemy that they can t continue fighting NVA eventually starts feeding into South Vietnam more goal is to stop US escalation main effort is to cut South Vietnam in half along Highway 19 main transit area 1St Cavalry Airmobilehorsesgthelicopters Vietnamgtarmor 435 helicopters 10000 troops M14 heavy large round for long distance engagementgtM16 lighter more damage to esh jammed frequently 10 days to train With M16 and not acclimated to new climate Battle of la Drang OctNov 65 Plei Mei 1925 Oct PAVN Lure and Ambush LZ XRay 1417 Nov LZ Albany 1718 Nov 19 Cavalry Stockton Locates field hospital and sets ambushes 13 Nov NVA 32nd 33rd 66th Regiments US Army 1St Cavalry Division 17 Cavalry Moore LZ XRay 7th Cavalry of Little Big Horn no support there at X Ray artillery every 15 minutes had close air support 96 B52s 25 Cavalry Tully 27 Cavalry McDade LZ XRaylow ground NVA in tunnels of highlands platoon gets isolated and surrounded call in artillery on own position 7 live 12 WIA 8 KIA US Withdrawal LZ Columbus and Albanygtambush lose unit integrity 60 casualties 1 company had gt93 casualties friendly fire get as close as possible to US troops to avoid artilleryclose air support one of worst US defeats in Vietnam External War Clausewitz vs Internal War NVA learned how to fight US


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