The civil war between North and South Vietnam was known as the Vietnam War which started on November 1st, 1955 and lasted until April 30th, 1975. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea and South Vietnam was Supported by the United States, Thailand, Australia, New Zeeland, and the Philippines which was really just communism against capitalism as well. In the Vietnam War there were many different battles varying from little skirmishes to huge and heavy actioned battles and in this paper we will be exploring the bigger battles and the battle with the most importance to the war in terms of how it affected the outcome of the war.
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Battle of Ap Bac The Battle of Ap Bac happened on January 2nd, 1963 in Mekong Delta in paddies north of hamlet Ap Bac. Before this day arrived the Viet Cong spent a little over two day preparing the battleground for the Battle of Ap Bac.
Something very crucial they did to prepare for this fight was cut down bamboo and some branches, so they can lay a false roof over themselves. At about 10:30 a.m. the Viet Cong spotted movement 400 meters to their south which were about 100 ARVN puppet soldiers that walked out of the tree line. The ARVN expected to just walk towards the Viet Cong and just scare them into running away with their tails between their legs, like the previous battles in late 1962. Except that in this battle is the US spotter plane could not tell what the strength of the Viet Cong really was, which left the ARVN and the US advisors that were on the ground without any intel on the enemy, so they were going in blind. The Viet Cong knew what the word patience meant, and they let the ARVN soldiers get within 50 meters of them and then opened fire using small arms and autoptic weapons to attack the ARVN. Just when everything seemed to be going right for the Viet Cong the South Vietnamize had eight troop carrier helicopters coming to their aid filled with over 100 men in each plus four tadpole gunships. Again the Viet Cong patience would pay off as they waited for the first carrier to make its descent and as soon as the cabin doors opened on the carrier they fired gunning down some of the troops coming out of the choppers well the ones that got out looked for cover.
The gunships that the South Vietnamize had made strafe runs firing into the tree line were the Viet Cong were with their M134 Gatling guns, but they had little to no effect. Then the ARVN artillery started to fire which wasn’t aimed properly and it landed were the rest of the troop carrier helicopters were making their landing which was next to the first ship that got gunned down and they made the same mistake because they landed within the range of the Viet Cong’s range putting five of the carries out of action. During this battle the Viet Cong displayed fire control and conserved ammo for the rest of the day. They survived the enemy artillery, dive bombers and gunships; and even a late in the day cavalry charge by a dozen M-113 APCs with .50 caliber machines guns and one flame thrower (Rooney). The Viet Cong also went and inflicted four times more casualties to the Southern forces killing 80 ARVN and they fought all day against an army four times their size withstanding all the artillery, machine gun and helicopter fire from the Sothern force and still they were able to win. The Battle of Ap Bac was a big for the Viet Cong because it showed that the southern Vietnamize army had no fighting ability and that they couldn’t cope with the strategy or the fighting spirit of the Viet Cong even with their larger force and support from the United Sates.
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