Will a WW2 style strategic bombing campaign force North Vietnam out of the war?

Nov 2014
420
ph
Would a WW2 style strategic bombing campaign be enough to force North Vietnam out of the war, compared to a more limited campaign in OTL, would turning every North Vietnamese population center above 50000 into Dresden or Warsaw or Tokyo in 1945 force the North Vietnamese political leadership to throw in the towel and accept a negotiated pull out from the South?
 
Nov 2014
420
ph
Alternatively, what if the US decided on an invasion of the North Vietnamese panhandle to force more favorable terms out of the North?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,675
Would a WW2 style strategic bombing campaign be enough to force North Vietnam out of the war, compared to a more limited campaign in OTL, would turning every North Vietnamese population center above 50000 into Dresden or Warsaw or Tokyo in 1945 force the North Vietnamese political leadership to throw in the towel and accept a negotiated pull out from the South?
As something like 3 times the tonnage of bombs were dropped compared to all of ww2, surely it just qualifies as ww2 style bombing campaign.
 
Apr 2018
747
India
Would a WW2 style strategic bombing campaign be enough to force North Vietnam out of the war, compared to a more limited campaign in OTL, would turning every North Vietnamese population center above 50000 into Dresden or Warsaw or Tokyo in 1945 force the North Vietnamese political leadership to throw in the towel and accept a negotiated pull out from the South?
Sure. Provided US had Mao's China as an ally in the war.

Soviet Union beat Germany. Neither Lancasters nor Flying Fortresses (not denying the contribution). And North Vietnam was mostly swamps, jungles and hamlets. Bombing a jungle trail with three times the payload that would have sufficed for a ball bearing factory or trainyard in Germany achieved nothing IRL.
 
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Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,523
Japan
Considering the civilian casualties they sustained... I doubt they’d have crumbled.
As with WW2 it would have United people and strengthened their will...
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,629
Dispargum
I echo the above. Most of the WW2 strategic bombing campaign was a waste of resources. One of the few things the bombing community did right in WW2 was to destroy Germany's oil industry. Have you seen the pictures of Vietnamese transporting supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail with bicycles? They didn't need oil the way Germany did. Another thing the WW2 bombing did right was to destroy the Luftwaffe. Again, the Viet Cong didn't have or need an air force. They were not dependent on close air support like the Germans or Americans were. North Vietnam had an air force, but they only used it to defend North Vietnam. If we hadn't bombed North Vietnam, the North Vietnamese Air Force would not have mattered. Fighting the North Vietnamese Air Force, so that we could bomb North Vietnam, so that we could destroy the N. Vietnamese Air Force is called a self-licking ice cream cone.
 
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Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,140
Canary Islands-Spain
As something like 3 times the tonnage of bombs were dropped compared to all of ww2, surely it just qualifies as ww2 style bombing campaign.
North Vietnam was "just" bombed with 840,000 tons, the rest targeted South Vietnam (3.2 million), Laos (2.1) and Cambodia (2.7 million)

Germany was bombed with 1.4 million tons in WWII

Operation Rolling Thunder hit transport, economy and other key facilities, in the way Germany was hit. Massed carpet bombing of cities, however, was avoided. The Vietnamese scattered their facilities and made the economic destruction almost impossible. However, they didn't produce most of the weapons they were using.

1. The Vietnamese workforce was not affected (30,000 casualties due to bombings during three years), which made possible a constant rebuilding of facilities. In order to stop this, the US should have bombed population, as the British did in WWII over Germany, and the Americans in Japan, with terrible results. Of course, that was not possible in 1960's

2. No matter how large destruction of main industrial facilities was, the bulk of Vietnamese armament came from the USSR and othe Eastern Block countries through China. This means Vietnam had a safe backyard, which Germany had not
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,675
North Vietnam was "just" bombed with 840,000 tons, the rest targeted South Vietnam (3.2 million), Laos (2.1) and Cambodia (2.7 million)

Germany was bombed with 1.4 million tons in WWII

Operation Rolling Thunder hit transport, economy and other key facilities, in the way Germany was hit. Massed carpet bombing of cities, however, was avoided. The Vietnamese scattered their facilities and made the economic destruction almost impossible. However, they didn't produce most of the weapons they were using.

1. The Vietnamese workforce was not affected (30,000 casualties due to bombings during three years), which made possible a constant rebuilding of facilities. In order to stop this, the US should have bombed population, as the British did in WWII over Germany, and the Americans in Japan, with terrible results. Of course, that was not possible in 1960's

2. No matter how large destruction of main industrial facilities was, the bulk of Vietnamese armament came from the USSR and othe Eastern Block countries through China. This means Vietnam had a safe backyard, which Germany had not
Thanks for the more detailed information.
 
Sep 2014
1,219
Queens, NYC
Had we decided to be really nasty about it, probably yes. IF-the U.S. population tolerated that type of campaign. As was, there was much internal opp in the U.S.to our fighting the Communists; it would possibly have been multiplied many-fold had we intentionally hit population centers.