andytheadequate wrote:In Vietnam they discussed it every now and then. And by that it was literally brought up every few months, then seemingly dismissed. There were negotiations about tactical nuclear strikes via carrier fleet naval air arm before the US had any ground troops in Vietnam, and then a lot of bluffing about using nuclear weapons by the Nixon administration toward the end of the war.
But as I said before, the uncertainty of Chinese and Soviet reaction coupled with unfavourable odds of any nuclear strike being effective meant that it was brushed under the rug.
Also, Vietnam was one war where air power just did fuck all. The American's dropped something like 800 tons of bombs a day on Vietnam, and reduced nearly all it's infrastructure to rubble, and dropped chemicals on crops, jungle and arable land. Yet despite all this Ho Chi Minh just said "If America want's to war for 20 years we will war for 20 years. Even if we kill one American for every ten of our people, even at these odds we will win and you will lose". Siege mentality on a massive scale. So this probably played a part in deciding whether a strategic nuclear strike would really be effective. Some form of retaliation from China or the Soviet Union was probably more likely.
As was mentioned earlier the US were obsessed with believing total overwhelming strength would provide certain victory, but Vietnam was different. Different terrain, a different enemy with a different mindset, and above all, different allies. South Vietnam were not anywhere near organised or even committed enough to the war. It was world's away from standing with Britain in WWII.
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