Myth: The determination of the North to carry the war on was never affected by any military setbacks or US actions

Fact: Morale of the troops was an increasing problem over time, especially after the Tet offensive

  • Morale began to deteriorate when troops had to endure the rigors of travel on the Ho Chi Minh trail while infiltrating
  • Many NVA troops had a tattoo "Born in the North To Die in the South" indicating their pessimism about surviving
  • As the war dragged on, loss of food, ammunition and medical supplies affected morale and caused problems with recruiting
  • The 1970 entry of US and ARVN troops into Cambodia seriously affected NVA morale, because they had been told that Cambodia was a safe haven
  • Although communist documents are routinely bombastic and full of exaggerations, there are hints of problems revealed in them
  • The Linebacker II bombing campaign terrified NVA troops and almost broke the will of the North to continue
  • NVA Commander Giap admitted in his memoirs that the NVA was defeated in Tet and during the Linebacker II bombing campaign

Confirming Evidence

Study, Research and Analysis Studies - VC/NVA Morale - Record of MACV Part 2

Summary Report Viet Cong Prisoners Captured in the Republic of Vietnam During the Allied Cambodian Operations: May-June 1970

Parks, W. Hays. “The Bombing of North Vietnam and the Law of War.” The Vietnam Debates: A Fresh Look at the Arguments. New York: U of America, 1990. 179. Print.

Study, Research and Analysis Studies - Update: The NVA Soldier in South Vietnam - Record of MACV Part 2

SITUATION OF THE ENEMY AND OUR GOVERNMENT AND FUTURE GOVERNMENTAL ACTlVITIES

Resolution Concerning Security Tasks to be Performed from October 1970 to June 1971

"Born in the North to Die in the South." Nguyen Son Remembers the War in Vietnam

Directive - Standing Committee of Lam Son - Vietnam Documents and Research Notes Series

Report - Responsibility of Branches on the Security Task - Vietnam Documents and Research Notes Series

Letter from Ed Moffitt to Walter Cronkite- re: media influence on military decisions

Report: " Friction Between NVA and VC Troops"

The sixth resolution, central office of south vietnam