Politics, United States, World

How the Revolutionary War Compares to the Vietnam War

Many of the Wars that have shaped the world that we live in today, have many trends connecting wins and losses of those Wars. The Revolutionary and the Vietnam War happened almost 200 years apart, but are remarkably similar. So how does the Revolutionary War fought between America and Britain in the late 1700’s compare to the Vietnam War fought between Northern Vietnamese and American forces in the middle 1900’s? Both Wars were a massive failure for the attacking forces, and both boil down to four major reasons: first was the home field advantage, second was guerilla Warfare, third was support from other countries, and last was discontent at home. America and many other countries around the world have not learned the lessons that the Revolutionary and Vietnam War has taught us.

The Revolutionary War was a massive failure for Britain and a massive win for America. It took place from 1775 to 1783, 7 years of total war between a mother country and her colonial children. The colonies wanted to secede from Great Britain  because they were getting majorly taxed from the country as well as having British military men staying in the houses of the now Americans. Great Britain took a march to take away the guns from the colonials. Resulting in a massive war with the first shots fired at the towns of Lexington and Concord.The Americans with the help of France managed to beat back the British Empire to remain an independent country while on its way to becoming the powerhouse of the world. Great Britain lost because of the four main reasons: homefield advantage, guerilla warfare, the help of France, and Britain’s discontent and disagreement about the war brought the long fight to and end. Starting with home field advantage, the colonial troops knew the land giving them many advantages such as, they knew hiding for the supplies as well as themselves. Also the troops knew the highgrounds, where to place bases and, wait for surprise attacks. This is great advantage to have, the British generals did not know the land, and not knowing where the tactical advantages would be. Another reason the colonies beat Britain is from the tactic guerilla warfare. Great Britain’s tactic as opposed to the colonial troops way of fighting is different, is Great Britain would fire in rows. Guerrilla Warfare consists of ambushes, raids, and other hit and run tactics to fight a larger military, allowing the much smaller colonial forces to slowly take down the army of Great Britain. An example of guerilla warfare is during the Battle of Trenton. In the Battle of Trenton, colonial troops would fire at British forces while they would be celebrating Christmas. France helped out the colonies after realizing that they can stand toe to toe with Britain. The French supported the colonies by bringing in soldiers, weapons, moral, supplies and, much more. In Great Britain, there were many riots and disagreements about the war. This caused the British Government to pull out all troops in the war. These four reasons caused the colonies to win the war and remain Independent.

Spike Pit in Vietnam, used to trap and impale American and South Vietnamese Soldiers

These same four reasons tie into the Vietnam War except different circumstances such as support from the Russians and Chinese, traps and ambushes, homefield advantage, and anti-War movement in America. First of all, the support from Russia and China, helped aid the win for Vietnam. The Northern Vietnamese forces or the Viet Cong were fighting for a communist takeover of Vietnam, countries like Russia and China indirectly supported the War by giving weapons and supplies to the Viet Cong forces. Russia and China both supported Vietnam because all three countries were about of the communist regime. These supplies and weapons included food, guns, lightweight artillery, and resources for building bases. Also the Viet Cong troops were masterminds at building traps and creating ambushes. The spike trap, was a trap built in the ground that had spikes at the bottom of a pitfall. The pitfall above on the surface would have organic items such as leaves and branches to cover up the hole but also allow a weak platform so anyone can fall through the trap. The Viet Cong troops also knew the Vietnamese land better than anyone in the world. The Viet Cong troops used this tactic by knowing where to retreat and attack. The Americans did not know where to build bases and rest areas for troops while the vietnamese troops knew where the perfect place would be. The final example is the Anti War protest in America. The American Civilians were extremely unhappy with how they were getting drafted into the military. The male civilians were unhappy because they were getting drafted into the Vietnam War. The women were unhappy due to the fact there family was getting taken away without their consent. This lead to many different protest against the president Lyndon B. Johnson. During this time, support for the war became very minimal which caused America to pull out of the war. They lost the drive to fight in the war by sending troops and supplies back and forward.  Considering that North Vietnam had home field advantage, help from the Chinese and Russians, and the anti war protest happening in America, they were forced to pull out of the War

Iraq War Map

These reasons all tie into how the Americans lost the Iraq War. The U.S. did not learn the lesson they should have learned in Vietnam. The Insurgents used guerilla Warfare in the fight against America with weapons such as roadside bombs, unexpected counter attacks, and suicide bombers.  These tactics showed that if U.S. were to stay in Iraq they would be killing off the lives of Iraq soldiers for no real cause. For homefield advantage, the Iraqis, new the desert better than the U.S. and could communicate between villages without the U.S. knowing of it. Also they were able to clear out towns and cities to be able to hide and shelter in them waiting to use guerilla Warfare against the U.S.. The Iraq country did not get much help from other foreign countries, but the Taliban terrorist group, formed from the longation of Iraq War. These groups formed to fight for their own “freedom” and power. The Taliban wanted to suppress countries. The U.S. lost support of the American people in the War. First issued by George W. Bush, he wanted to pull all troops from Iraq and focus on other countries such as Al Qaeda. Barack Obama finished the job of pulling the rest of the troops from Iraq in 2011. The U.S. needs to consider the past trends from other wars such as the Revolutionary, Vietnam, and now Iraq war and use that to be able to decide whether or not they should invade another country or not. As we have seen invading another country is very difficult from across an ocean. Also before invading a country the U.S. needs to become allies with countries surrounding it to be able to devise a plan before invading.

Article by Nick Snyder and Aiden Burrell

Works Cited

“Vietnam War.” History.com, www.history.com/topics/vietnam-War/

    vietnam-War-history. Accessed 11 Oct. 2017.

“Revolutionary War.” History.com, www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/

    american-revolution-history. Accessed 11 Oct. 2017.

Contributor, Quora. “Why Did the U.S. Lose the Vietnam War?” Slate Magazine, 16 Nov. 2014, www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2014/11/16/why_did_america_lose_the_vietnam_War.html.

“GCSE Bitesize: Why did America lose the War?” BBC, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/vietnam/usgetsoutrev2.shtml.

Policy, Foreign. “How The United States Lost The Second Iraq War.” The Federalist, 10 June 2015, thefederalist.com/2015/06/08/how-the-united-states-lost-the-second-iraq-War/.

One Comment

  1. Great topic best article ever