This set the pathology of thought to express itself in getting things done quick. As you can the North Vietnamese knew that they only had to hold on and time, there most efficient ally would win the victory.
The Viet Cong were outfitted with the basic essentials of survival, their rifles, and ammunition. That was about the sum toll of his equipment. The Americans were over equipped and under trained to fight a gorilla war. The real training came in Viet Nam, the actual living and surviving in the country. The mobility of the Viet Cong was usually fast and mobile. They were there one minute and gone the next. This mobility was hampered by the Americans, in the fact that there was too much equipment employed. There was always a time lag. The weight of the personal needs held on the back in the ruck sack tired the American soldier. The Viet Cong lived off the land at many times. Often they were the farmers that waved to you during the day. A lot of the enemy were people that you dealt with every day.
Most of the guys that were sent to Viet Nam were only trained in conventional warfare. This meant fighting in the open fields, not the remote jungles of Viet Nam. Gorilla warfare and conventional warfare were two different breeds of animal. Along with the profusus use of equipment, there was great economical benefit to the war. Many new weapons were field tested and employed as standard equipment. What you had was conventional warfare being employed against the Viet Cong. Then the Master Sargent said,"that was part of what the whole damn war was about in Viet Nam". It came down to a battle of nerve, wit, time, economics, and spirit.
He told us that we would have to forget all our past training, except how to use the M-16 rifle. Then he commented that the enemies rifle was better than that of the M-16. He said,"the AK-47 was better in battle conditions". The moving parts were less likely to jam. Also, there was a unique feature to the enemies equipment verses ours. The ammunition for the better part could be used in there weapons but could not be used in ours. Basically any ammunition the Viet Cong got off a dead soldier or captured himself, he could improvise and use in his weapon. If we captured any of the the enemies ammunition we could only use it in captured weapons.
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These were some of the factors that were not accounted for by anyone. Here you had an alternate supply of equipment that was being produced and delivered. Further he stated that a lot of the bullets killing our guys were our own, that were captured or acquired on the black market. Sometimes the American soldier would discard ammo, he would throw it away because it was too much to bare under the heat and humidity. The Viet Cong would follow the Americans through the jungles on a sweep and collect the discarded equipment. The Americans always knew that there was more from where that came from. The over equipment and the lax security of the equipment made this possible.
There was the attitude of the spirit to fight the war. That was one of the enemies greatest strengths. He was fighting on the land that he was born, lived and saw his relatives live on. The Americans were the invading force, there was that undercurrent of hate. This helped the Viet Cong to gain sympathisers and support. Inside yourself the feeling of not being wanted emerged. There were many questions still to be answered.
Explaining further he said,"if the Americans maintained this attitude, they would lose the war". He explained the reasons as being laziness, under training, over equipped and the main factor, that most of the guys didn't want to risk their necks. Most of the personnel in the army were drafted. The need went out and the American citizen reacted with that spirit that made the United States a great nation. The current of force that extended itself to other allies in great time of need. The soldier after arriving in Viet Nam learned of the frustrations that hampered the American soldier. The lack of spirit to fight, the loss of will power. This generated to all or most of the guys in Viet Nam. The divisions that arose in the ranks, split the house of the Americans wide open.
It broke and tumbled after a period of time. Every day seemed like taking a brick out of the building. Finally you reached that day when the total building falls. The master Sargent stated,"our basic instruction here is just basic knowledge, we want you all to survive and go home in one piece". Then he started to explain the main key to survival. That was to do the opposite of all your learned and natural acts of behavior.
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