What were the methods of fighting in the Vietnam War?
III & IV Corps
The southern portion of South Vietnam (Mekong Delta area, III & IV Corps) was mostly hot, humid, swampy, resembling Louisiana and Florida in the United States. This area contained mostly Viet Cong (VC) guerrilla forces. It was too open and too soft to conduct conventional battle; and when the Communists tried to fight in that manner, it often resulted in their quick defeat. This was booby trap, land mine, and sniper, hit & run country.
The Central Highlands (II Corps) of South Vietnam approached the terrain and weather of the Midwestern United States; Dry, hilly, hard wood tree forests, creeks & streams, etc. These areas had more organized VC forces, which would conduct the same hit & run ambush tactics, land mines, etc. But, worse, this was mainly NVA territory, where uniformed regular army forces from North Vietnam would establish bases and operations. Big conventional battles would occur in this AO (Area of Operations), “Hamburger Hill”, “Dak To”, “Chu Moor”, and the dreaded A Shau Valley. [Ed Note: This was the area of operations (AO) of Charlie Company]
I Corps, was near the DMZ (17th Parallel), this was mainly US Marine Corp territory. They re-took the city of HUE in this AO, during the TET offensive of ’68. I Corps consisted of the Khe Sahn battles, and the first use of NVA tanks (PT-76’s) over-running of the US Green Beret (Special Forces) outpost at Lang Vei in ’68. Many fights in this area were small unit conventional slugging matches with regular NVA units. Small units meaning company sized firefights, (approximately) one hundred men per side.