Vietnam War - the War We Should Have Won Essay examples

2528 Words Oct 19th, 1999 11 Pages
The Vietnam War is one of the most disgraceful periods in American history. Not only did the greatest superpower in the world get bested by an almost third-world nation, but we lost badly. Perhaps this war could have been won, or even prevented in the first place. The United States could have and should have won this war, with a combination of better weapons usage, better tactics, and better support from their home country.

Before the War
Even years before the war, Vietnam was a hotly disputed territory. Many countries had taken Vietnam over, and after World War II, Vietnam was in the hands of France. Obviously, the Vietnamese wanted their own country, and their long history of being a colony prompted the oppressed people to fight for
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They were wrong. Not having a gun made the dogfighting role of the Phantom extremely hard, because the AIM-9 and AIM-7 missiles were not as effective at closer ranges against the enemy MiGs. Only after almost 2 years was the F-4E Phantom fitted with a 6-barrell gatling gun. 4 Also, many pilots were poorly trained, only having 6 weeks of training as opposed to the customary 1-year. These excitement-hungry flyboys, these air cowboys had a voracious appetite for combat, but were ever-cognizant of the end of their tour of duty.

The B-52 Stratofortress was the largest bomber ever produced at that time. It could deliver its massive 60,000lb payload up to almost halfway around the world, and could do it at an altitude that VC MiGs couldn't even reach. 4 There were, also, shortcomings in the use of the B-52 also. During World War II, the allies could depend on decimating the industry of their enemy, thus destroying its fighting power. As will be explained later, the VC didn't rely on industry and big guns, but guerrilla tactics and small arms. The U.S. also believed by bombing the living hell out of the population centers and by using napalm, the enemy would be demoralized and surrender.

Both of these hypotheses proved to be direly wrong. By bombing industry, the U.S. just wasted billions of dollars and precious time and manpower for nothing.

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