How Much Do You Know About the Weapons and Equipment of the Vietnam War?
by John Miller


Whether you fought on the side of the Communists or the South Vietnamese and Americans, it took guts to grab a rifle and wander into the jungles during the Vietnam War. The dark, dank forests were a quagmire of swamps, booby traps, snakes and enemy bullets. Do you think you’d be brave enough to fight in those conditions?

The Vietnam War was a political nightmare, but in the war zone, the grunts called to arms didn't have time to fuss over diplomacy. Do you know what sort of rifles they used to attack the enemy? When they ventured out on patrol, do you understand the kinds of booby traps they feared at every moment?

Did you know that there were two main factions fighting for the Communists, and that they often had vastly different equipment? One was a regular army … the other was basically a poorly armed guerrilla force.

On the other side, the United States had access to all manner of high-tech weaponry. Can you identify the machine guns the Americans used, and do you know how well (or poorly) those guns worked in the often-squalid conditions of Vietnam?

Many of the weapons America brought to bear in WWII were practically useless in Vietnam, which featured a whole new enemy in a very different environment. Let’s see if you can gather your platoon and make sense of the weapons and vehicles of the Vietnam War!


HowStuffWorks got its start in 1998 at a college professor's kitchen table. From there, we quickly grew into an award-winning source of unbiased, reliable, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works. Today, our writers, editors, podcasters and video hosts share all the things we're most excited to learn about with nearly 30 million visitors to the site each month. You can learn more about us in our FAQ.

HowStuffWorks' award-winning apps for iPhone, iPad and Android have been downloaded millions of times from fans throughout the globe.