WARS2002 The Vietnam Wars

WARS2002 The Vietnam Wars

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WARS2002 The Vietnam Wars

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WARS2002 The Vietnam Wars

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Course Code: WARS2002
University: Australian National University

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Country: Australia

Evaluate the significance of the role that Australian forces played in the Vietnam War
Your response should be based on intensive research and provide the interpretations of historians or other commentators wherever possible.
Criteria for Success
Addresses the question asked, making a clear judgement based on a sophisticated and sustained argument, which demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the issue(s) raised in the question

Presents a logical, cohesive and well-structured response drawing on a clear identification of relevant key features.
Supports interpretation with detailed, relevant and accurate historical information, making direct reference to and acknowledging a range of different sources in an appropriate manner.


Australian involvement in vietnam war
The Vietnam War is considered to be one of the fiercest battle in the history of post World War II era. During the Cold War period the clash of ideology between Capitalism and Marxism led the world to another destruction and further fragmentation. The entire earth tear apart into two flanges either capitalist order or showing allegiance to communism. In this context, the Australian military forces joined the capitalist camp along with US and England. Based on this background, the essay is going to highlight the significance of the Australian army in Vietnam War. Moreover, it is important to understand the contribution of the Australian military army to the motive of the allied powers.
The arrival of the first Australian military unit in Vietnamese soil was in 1962 where almost 60,000 ground, air force and navy personnel joined the capitalist camp. The Australian government wanted to restrict the communist epidemic all over the world and keeping an amicable relationship with US since 1960. The major victory for the Australian troops was in August 1966 when a 108 soldiers’ convoy of the Australian military confronted the Viet Cong army of around 2000 soldiers (awm.gov.au, 2018). A fierce battle was staged where the Viet Cong militia supposedly outnumbered the Australian military in a rubber plantation near Long Tan. However, despite of facing shortage of army personnel the Australian 6RAR battalion fought heroicly and deployed a severe damage to the Viet Cong militia. As a result of that the enemies had to fall back with a fatal loss with 245 soldiers in compare to the loss of 17 Australian army men (Valentine, 2013). In fact, the casualties in the Viet Cong army were huge and proved the excellence and professionalism of the Australian military. It can be argued that there were a numerous reasons behind that attack by the North Vietnamese army. One possible plan of the Viet Cong army was to ambush the Australian D Company battalion by mortaring them so that the soldiers would draw out of their camps. According to an Australian veteran in Vietnam, it was a ‘grab by the belt’ tactics which was later prevented by the excellence of the Royal Australian Regiment.
The initial steps taken by the Australian military in Vietnam were undoubtedly important for the later victories of allied forces. In 1962, the Australian government decided to deploy an Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) with the purpose to train the allied forces in jungle warfare. There were 30 military experts in the team who had enough experience in this kind of terrain led by Colonel Ted Serong (Edwards, 2014). The AATTV helped by teaching other soldiers about the pros and cons of battle while fight against the Viet Cong army. By the end of the 1964, the Australian government sent more AATTV troops including new engineers and surgical teams. It became beneficial for the allied forces to get some experienced remarks in order to fight with the enemy and territory that they ever had fought on. Therefore, the measures of the Australian government proved to be a strategic measure to make the soldiers able to fight back and reduced the casualties (Hubbard, 2017). Therefore, it can be seen that the Royal Australian Army not only helped the allied forces to get a victory by deploying its own troops but also teach the soldiers how to fight in jungle warfare.
In the context of US, it can be stated that the Vietnam War caused a huge casualties to the US army. The long pride and never loosing mentality of the US forces became shattered by the continuous ambush and guerrilla techniques of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army.  As a matter of fact, the US army was not prepared entirely to face such gruesome and fierce contender. They thought it might be easier for them to annex Northern Vietnam (Gardner & Clermont 2016). However, in reality they failed to anticipate the situation perfectly. In this regard, the Royal Australian Army gave them enough support to win over the Northern Vietnamese. Moreover, it can be argued that between 1967 and 1968 the number of Australian troops in Vietnam was increased robustly in order to supply military aid to US in order to subjugate the territory (Clarke, Gregory & Salomon, 2015). From that point of view, the Australian Army proved their importance in Vietnam and provided ample support to the American aggression.
The above discussion shared some light on the role of Australian troops and their military importance during the Vietnam War. The essay described three significances in the form of the battle of Long Tan, the training of jungle warfare and other military assistance that facilitated the importance of the Australian army occupation in Vietnamese soil. Therefore, it can be concluded the Royal Australian Army casted a great influence on the allied forces and saved the forces from further catastrophe.
awm.gov.au. (2018). Vietnam War 1962–75 | The Australian War Memorial. Retrieved from https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/event/vietnam
Clarke, P. M., Gregory, R., & Salomon, J. A. (2015). Long-term disability associated with war-related experience among Vietnam veterans: retrospective cohort study. Medical care, 53(5), 401.
Edwards, P. F. (2014). Australia and the Vietnam War. NewSouth.
Gardner, M. R., & Clermont, H. (2016). Torch. Caring.
Hubbard, C. (2017). Australian and US military cooperation: fighting common enemies. Routledge.
Valentine, T. (2013). What was Australia role in Vietnam war? – The Vietnam War. Retrieved from https://thevietnamwar.info/what-was-australia-role-in-vietnam-war/

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