Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

how many days of actual combat did a G.I fight, in WW11 compared to Vietnam??

10 Answers

  • Doc
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I've an old friend (Norm) who served in the Pacific. He did five landings that I am aware of and was the sole survivor of his outfit on Saipan. He did the entire war out in the Pacific, he was enlisted before hostilities broke out and stayed the duration plus two years..

    Of my friends (and superiors) from Vietnam, they'd do a year in country and then rotat out. Some did several tours, but never longer than a year.

    Source(s): Retired military, combat vet.
  • 1 decade ago

    It would vary between units, where they fought and when.

    If they were in the Army and fighting in Italy onwards the campaign lasted from July 1943 until May 1945 and the ordinary infantry would have been in combat a good 14-15 months of the 22 months.

    If they were in the Army in France/Belgium and Germany, the campaign was from 6th June 1944 until May 1945. Of the 11 months a soldier would have seen less than 7 months of combat.

    Soldiers in the Pacific fought shorter actions on the island-hopping journeys, and as one person stated, most likely saw around 40 days of actual combat. Some would have seen more.

    Soldiers in Vietnam were usually there for a 11 month tour of duty with some doing 2-4 tours. If stationed in a Fire-base they would be open to attack at any time. If stationed at a main base they would be "Choppered" out into the field for patrols or "Search & Destroy" missions, and as someone stated, would most likely see around 200-250 days of combat. (Actually I feel that 240 days is a high number from my own observations while covering the Second Indochina [Vietnam] War as a TV cameraman).

    Source(s): A Historian specializing in South East Asian history.
  • 4 years ago

    This is an idiotic debate. I served from Vietnam through Desert Storm (purple heart among other awards) and I can tell you that most of war is boring down time. The military counts as combat time any time you are in a combat zone. There are now good ways to determine how many of those days were under fire. Both situations are dangerous. The blunt reality is that each succeeding war has been a little less dangerous (but still dangerous) than the one before it because we have had better technologies and less capable enemies in succeeding wars. The German Army was a formidable opponent, the Japanese a bit less so. The North Korean and Chinese armies (except for numbers), a great deal less so. And so on to today. But war remains dangerous and we should honor and respect veterans from every war and quit arguing about how much worse I had it than . . .

  • This comment is copied from the link and only applies to the Pacific Theater.

    Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.

    The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter

    My Dad was in The Aleutians as Coast Artillery and then sent to Europe. Did that time with HQ/2/317 80th ID 3rd Army. From the little he talked and research I have done since his death I would guess that the 8 months he spent in the infantry probably resulted in 1/2 of that time actually engaged.

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  • As a 2 tour army vet in Iraq and an avid history buff let me say, As an MP squad leader I did an average of 6 days a week 14 hrs plus a day on patrol in actual direct combat, so in Iraq a sodier did about 280 days of direct combat, if you were in the Air Force you did 4 month tour with No direct combat time!.. In WWII the average soldier did 30 days in a fox hole or direct combat, then rotated out for 3 or 4 months. If you were in the army for 4 years in euroupe you prop did about 250 days of actual direct combat. In Vietnam which my father served die approx. 250 days of direct combat in a year !

  • 1 decade ago

    Just to add a little color about WW2

    US soldiers in Europe would see 150 days of combat on average. One reason for the smaller number is because of the high attrition numbers. US Divisions in Europe experienced over a 100% attrition rate. On average after 150 days in Combat you where dead. The 2nd Infantry Division spent 305 days in Combat.

    If we compare that to the current war in Iraq, you will find that some Soldiers and Marines are in Combat for almost the entire tour (Army does 15 month tours). In addition 28% of all soldiers have done more then one tour of duty.

  • wiremu
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    More combat days during world war 2

    The total estimated human loss of life caused by World War II was roughly 72 million people. The civilian toll was around 47 million, including 20 million deaths due to war related famine and disease. The military toll was about 25 million, including the deaths of about 4 million prisoners of war in captivity. The Allies lost about 61 million people, and the Axis lost 11 million. Vietnam is peanuts in comparison

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Here's your answer guys. WWII had more troops in the field then in Viet Nam. With all the infantry units in WWII many saw little to no combat with others seeing much more. When you average it out it comes to 14 days per year. All infantry units in Viet Nam saw action. The average for that war is 200

  • 1 decade ago

    i cant give u exact numbers but ww11 had alot more combat hours so probly world war 2 vietnam was alot of patrols and ambushes

  • 1 decade ago

    The war in Vietnam is longer than the World War II.

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