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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 10 years ago

Why was the casualty rate of troops much higher in Vietnam, then now?

I mean Vietnam was not THAT long ago. Honestly, was Vietnam just a "harder" war?

60,000 US troops killed.

9,940 South Korean troops killed.

7,389 Australian troops killed.

5,510 Thai troops killed.

3,755 New Zealander troops killed.

Vietnam had extreme guerilla jungle warfare in Viet-Cong, and a modern military in the NVA. There was a draft for not just the United States, but South Korea and Australia as well. The US relied heavily on the new South Korea(who knew Oriental, guerilla and jungle style warfare very well, also somewhat as a favor for after the Korean War) and Australia who were experienced and fought several jungle guerilla wars against Asian nations before the Vietnam War.

30% of the US army was draftees by 1968. a little over 5% of the Marines was draftees by 1968.

The majority was still by far volunteers though.

20% of the Australian ground troops were drafted

NOW, Iraq and Afghanistan have had less then 5,000 put together in the same amount of time. Yes every life is precious, but this conflict is no-where near Vietnam.

In 1968 the US had a total number of 650,000 ground troops in Vietnam, with South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand also having theyre largest amount of ground troops that same year, the total ground force was well over a million.

There is not nearly as much troops as this in Afghanistan or Iraq.

It was also a much more controversial and hollywood style war, including drug use, civilian massacres, fragging of sergeants and lieutenants(which means soldiers shooting them), draftees, racial tensions, etc, etc. there were 10x the men on the ground as well.

The Vietnamese were also known for their sick cruel tactics on enemy soldiers, setting traps(many soldiers came home without limbs), chemicals, torturing POWs to death, other crazy things. They could not tell the enemy from civilians.

ALSO!!!!!!!!! - Do you think AFTER Iraq nd Afghanistan, that we will see another conflict where we are forced to have maximum ground conflict, such as Vietnam?

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do not know where you got your statistics but I would ask you to recheck. There were ONLY 521 Australian deaths and nearly 6,000 servicemen SERVED in Vietnam.

    Australians had fought guerrilla actions during WW-2 in Papua New Guinea and in Timor and had fought guerrilla tactics in the "Malay Conflict" in Peninsular Malaya and in Borneo (both sides of the Malay/Indonesian border) during "Confrontasi" (1965-66 in the middle of Australia's role in Vietnam).

    New Zealand had 3,890 personnel who served in Vietnam and suffered 37 dead.

    Korea has NO jungle.

    FYI -- Viet Cong is the incorrect shortened slang, meaning Vietnamese Communists, and the correct name of the combatants was the National Liberation Front of Southern Vietnam (NLF) of which less than 4% were members of the communist party.

    NVA is also the incorrect name for the troops of the Republic of Vietnam. The correct name is the People's Arny of Vietnam (PAVN) which was established in 1944 with arms and training by the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA).

    Source(s): A former TV news cameraman and journalist with over 30 years in the industry in Australia and Southeast Asia. Currently a SE Asian historian.
  • 10 years ago

    Advances in medical techniques, transportation, and squad level tactics

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Why not just use Google.

  • 10 years ago


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