The Vietnam War lasted over 15 long years (1960-1975) with hundreds of thousands of casualties. It was one of the most difficult wars for the US. The terrain was thickly foliated, rocky, wet, swampy and just out right treacherous. The enemy or VC (Viet Cong) knew the terrain and knew how to fight. They were highly underestimated. Their numbers approached 300,000 strong. The north had a population of about 16 million and were ready to replenish fallen soldiers in minutes. The Viet Cong were heavily supported by Russia and China. The battles were numerous, bloody and very long.
The TET Offensive was hell. The VC attacked every where and at the same time. All of the U.S. outposts were under heavy fire from morters, artillery and small arms fire. There were heavy losses and thousands of wounded soldiers. It lasted forever…as it seemed.
Battle/combat stress causes well trained soldiers to turn into ticking time bombs just waiting to go off. Soldiers do anything to release stress like firing their weapons. The walk around looking for the enemy so they can shoot. The jungle silence drives them crazy. Some take off running, screaming and yelling and sometimes shooting at anything that moves. They play games with knives and their weapons. The stress of knowing the enemy is out there and at any time could attack is nerve racking. Night fall was the worst. This is when the VC would attack. It was pitch black. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. You couldn’t sleep at all.
Here is a taste of combat…Vietnam style.