When the American military became directly involved in Vietnam, they brought in with them a huge amount of weapons – large numbers of airplanes, helicopters, tanks and artillery pieces. Were you surprised by this? And what were your evaluations?
It was true that when the Americans began to introduce their forces en masse they brought with them a large number of airplanes, helicopters, tanks and artillery pieces. This caused some people in the Liberation Army to think that it would be difficult to fight the Americans. But the Central Office and the COSVN told our military commanders that they should find the methods for fighting the Americans in the actual battles themselves. For this reason, all the military units eagerly went around looking for the Americans to engage them in battles so as to be able to find the correct methods for fighting them.
And it was only after a short period that the soldiers and the commanding officers of the Liberation Army found the appropriate methods for fighting the Americans. You must certainly remember the first battles such as the one at Van Tuong and Bau Bang where the Liberation Forces, though lightly armed, destroyed whole American companies and battalions. In many other large battles, scores, a couple of hundred, and sometimes even about a thousand American armored vehicles and tanks were destroyed. In these battles we employed that "grasp the belt" method.
Aside from the method just mentioned, the local guerrilla units and the local inhabitants all had their own ways of fighting the Americans. At that time, around the American bases we had organizations called the Vanh Dai Diet My (the belts which strangle the Americans). This is to say that the local inhabitants and local guerrillas around the bases lay there in wait for the Americans to come and attacked them. It was said that the Americans could be attacked in any place, at any time, by anybody and with anything.
There was an emulation program in which people competed in order to be honored as "heroes by virtue of killing the Americans" (dung si diet My). For example, a person who killed five American soldiers would be called "outstanding hero," a person who killed three American soldiers would be honored as "first class hero," and so on. Therefore, wherever the American troops went they always met with people who opposed them.