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How did Operation Rolling Thunder affect North Vietnam?

Operation Rolling Thunder significantly damaged North Vietnam's infrastructure, economy, and morale, but also strengthened their resolve to resist.

Operation Rolling Thunder was a sustained bombing campaign conducted by the United States against North Vietnam from 1965 to 1968 during the Vietnam War. The primary objective of this operation was to destroy North Vietnam's transportation system, industrial base, and air defences to halt the flow of men and material to the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam.

The operation had a profound impact on North Vietnam. It caused extensive damage to the country's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, and factories. This not only disrupted the North's ability to supply the Viet Cong but also severely affected its economy. The bombing raids resulted in a significant loss of life and property, leading to a decline in morale among the North Vietnamese population.

However, the operation also had unintended consequences. The relentless bombing campaign led to a surge in anti-American sentiment and strengthened the resolve of the North Vietnamese to resist. It galvanised the population and increased support for the North Vietnamese government and its war effort. The North Vietnamese also adapted to the bombing by developing a highly effective air defence system and using the Ho Chi Minh trail to continue supplying the Viet Cong.

Moreover, Operation Rolling Thunder failed to achieve its strategic objectives. The bombing did not break the will of the North Vietnamese to continue fighting, nor did it stop the flow of supplies to the Viet Cong. Instead, it led to an escalation of the war and drew the United States deeper into the conflict.

In conclusion, while Operation Rolling Thunder inflicted significant damage on North Vietnam, it also hardened their determination to fight, ultimately failing to achieve its strategic goals.

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