Women in the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War also known as the second Indochina war was regarded as a resistance battle against the United States of America. The war occurred in the Vietnam, Laos from 1955 up to 1975. Furthermore, it was considered to be Indochina battles and was formally a war between North Vietnam as well as the regime of South Vietnam (Hall 29). In other words, the North Vietnam armed forces were being supported by the Soviet Union and communist allies whereas South Vietnam were mostly supported by the United States, Australia, and anti-communist allies. The American believing that the communism was threatening to expand in south-east, which caused the war (Hall, 29). For that reason, this research paper will discuss diseases, weapons, casualties and women during the war and finally conclude.


During the Vietnam War, tropical diseases were the most prevalent. Malaria is one of the critical illness majorities of people who participated in the war suffered from it (Hall 30). Over 40,000 cases of malaria were being reported in the army troops between the year 1965 and 1978 deaths were reported to be as a result of malaria. Accordingly, the use of Agent Orange contributed towards individuals contracting diseases such as respiratory cancers, spina bifida among childrens. Almost 23 percent of the Vietnam people had PTSD and it also affected several families in the country. It was due to exposure to chemicals that were being used in the war (Nulty 35). Hence, the idea of tropical diseases was a real problem. Since parasites are considered to be many and diverse in the country, the experts and specialist in the tropical medicine were later sought on crucial measures to solve the problem. Many troops were affected in the process, most of them died from different diseases(Nulty 35). In most instances, they were individuals from the city who tried to hide from the United States Army as well as ARVN forces. It was easier to determine infiltrates by determining illness which they have contracted out during the war, along with the high number of people suffering from malnutrition (Nulty 40)


Majority of the armed troops sustained themselves with captured arms or crude and self-made weapons. In 1967 and during summer, all the Viet Cong battalions were re-equipped with the guns of the Soviet structure like the AK-47 wounding rifle as well as RPG -2 anti-tank guns. (Nulty 35). These armaments were mainly from Chinese or the soviet. On the other hand, the Americans had M16 shotguns that was later replaced by the M14 lighter and regarded to be accurate compared to the AK-47 which was considered to malfunction. Most guns experienced malfunction known as the failure to extract, which involves spending cartridge remaining lodged in a given chamber once the bullet flew out of the muzzle. The United States of America used the M60 machine gun during the Vietnam War. The machines were mostly placed on airplanes to offer exploitive shoot when landing in the unreceptive areas. Also, the MAC-10 equipment was distributed to several different armed forces in the war; it was able to arm several CIA agents in various fields. There was also two prominent aircraft in the war, and they include, Gunship together with the UH-1 Huey gunship. The AC-130 was equipped ground assail aircraft that was used to offer slam air maintenance and force protection

Women in the war

Women played a crucial role in the Vietnam warfare. Majority of American women serve on the dynamic roles and ensured they offered complete support in the process. Even though women were assigned to contest zones, they were prohibited from fighting directly like men (Greiner 20). Women served as a journalist as they were in the front line to report the conflict as it happened. Many women volunteered in the North Vietnamese as an embedded journalist. Women also served as nurses during the war. For instance, Sharon Lane who was the first lieutenant was the only women military nurse who was murdered by the enemy firing of guns. Unlike most of the American women that went to Vietnam, the south and North Vietnamese women battled it out with other men during the war (Greiner 20). A lot of women were being enlisted in North Vietnamese troops as well as the Viet Cong guerrilla revolutionary forces in South Vietnam, most of them joined as a result of promises concerning female equality together with a prominent social role within the community (Greiner 20). Other women also served as the North Vietnamese to providing aptitude military. Generally, female units were existing throughout the warfare, as from the frontline battle army to the anti-air sections. A high number of women assisted in the Vietnam War, manning the anti-aircraft batteries, offering safety and also serving in the logistics on most trails. By the end of 1973, approximately 7500 0f women had served in Vietnam War even though they experienced stereotypes and discrimination during the war (Greiner 22).


The estimated number of the causalities after the war varies. Between the years 1955 to 2002, it is suggested that 3.8 million war deaths were reported in Vietnam, an indication that both militaries, as well as civilians, lost their lives during the battle(Lawrence 23). It also indicates that 65,000 North Vietnamese residents lost their lives in the process and the high number of death was caused by the American bombing north of Vietnam while operating one of the most significant thunders in the process. In South Vietnam, almost 254,256 of individuals killed were military forces (Lawrence 23). For that reason, most civilians and military people suffered a lot during the war, the majority of people were killed, and this resulted in the high number of deaths in the country (Lawrence 23).


As a conclusion, the Vietnam War involved many aspects such as weapons, loss of lives, and women engagement in the war and finally resulted in diseases. Most of the civilians and army experienced an awkward moment during this time. As many people contracted diseases such as malaria, cancer and many more. Furthermore, the troops used different weapons in the war; some of the guns include RPG-2anti tank, AK-47 rifle, and M16 rifle. Helicopters were being used to move the weapons from one station to another. Women also played a crucial role towards ensuring the war was successful. Some of the roles involves, serving as a nurse to help those individuals wounded during the fight. Others also engaged in the battle and fought with other men. The war led to the loss of lives in which the number of casualties both military and civilians increased over time.

Works cited

Greiner, Bernd (2010). War Without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam. London: Vintage


Hall, Simon, "Scholarly Battles over the Vietnam War," Historical Journal, 52

(2009), pp. 813–


Nulty, Bernard. The Vietnam War. New York: Barnes and Noble.2010.Print

Lawrence, Mark Atwood (2008). The Vietnam War: A Concise International History.Oxford:

            Oxford University. 2008. Print

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