Q:

How effective was napalm and Agent Orange against guerrilla tactics in the Vietnam War?

A:

Quick Answer

Despite the devastating effects of both Agent Orange and napalm, neither weapon worked particularly well against the guerrilla tactics of the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. The Vietcong used a variety of tactics to keep the Americans one step behind in spite of their superior weaponry.

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How effective was napalm and Agent Orange against guerrilla tactics in the Vietnam War?
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Full Answer

Napalm is a mixture of plastic polystyrene, hydrocarbon benzene and gasoline, which are all highly flammable materials. The mixture is thick, jelly-like and immediately burns anything within 10 minutes. Napalm bombings were incredibly devastating and almost always killed everyone in its path. The temperatures of napalm ranged between 1,500 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Agent Orange was an intense herbicide that the American troops used to destroy the clean food and water of Vietcong and their sympathizers. The chemical had devastating lingering effects on plants, animals and people in the area for years.

The Vietcong were able to thwart these attacks through sneaky means such as setting booby traps in towns, disguising as peasants and otherwise trapping American troops entering villages. They received supplies from Russia and China through a route between Laos and Cambodia called the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Americans did not attack this for fear of escalating the war. The Vietcong also stayed close to American troops, which made large scale bombings impossible without hurting their own troops.

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Related Questions

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    Where can you find updated information about Agent Orange?

    A:

    Find updated information about Agent Orange on several different history and health sites, such as PublicHealth.VA.gov, History.com and Cancer.org. The websites also list diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange.

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    What are some pros and cons of the Vietnam War?

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    According to History Learning Site, some cons of the Vietnam War included its bloody guerrilla warfare, the loss of innocent lives, the draft-- which removed men's choice to serve-- and the belief that it was not the United States' war to fight. In contrast, there was a compelling argument that the war took a stand against communism when so many countries were falling prey to communist governments.

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    The struggle between French colonial forces and native Vietnamese citizens supported by Chinese communists was one of the root causes of the Vietnam War. United States forces entered the conflict in support of the French in order to fight communism. When the French left, the Americans fought the war alone.

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