Vietnam War And The Tet Offensive

1434 words - 6 pages

Vietnam War and the Tet OffensiveVietcong guerrilla fighters violated the temporary truce they had pledged to observe around the lunar new year celebrations, and surged into more than one hundred towns and cities, including Saigon. Shifting the war for the first time from its rural base into the new arena of South Vietnam's supposedly impregnable urban areas, it was a campaign of 'enormous breadth, speed, and scope.' It shook US imperialism to its roots and had a dramatic and lasting effect on US public opinion. It was a campaign that had been in preparation since a study carried out by General Giap in September 1967 had concluded that the war had reached a 'stalemate' situation and that something needed to be done. Out of this report arose the plans for the Tet offensive.Vietcong leaders had carried out a vigorous propaganda campaign in order to prepare their forces. Ho Chi Minh urged the troops on to 'ever greater feats of battle' in 1968. Giap had set the campaign's minimum and maximum objectives. As a minimum the Tet outbreak would force the halting of the ariel bombardment of North Vietnam and force the Americans into negotiations. As a maximum the offensive could drive the Americans out of Vietnam all together opening up the path to liberation and unification. Although not meeting it's major objectives the Tet offensive did have a lasting effect on the course of the war. It was a turning point. According to US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, "Henceforth, no matter how effective our action, the prevalent strategy could no longer achieve its objectives within a period or within force levels politically acceptable to the American people". Vietcong soldiers stormed the highland towns of Banmethout, Kontum and Pleiku, they then simultaneously invaded 13 of the 16 provincial capitals of the heavily populated Mekong Delta.In an attack that took the Americans off guard a small group of commandos seized the US embassy in Saigon. The embassy was an ultra modern building in the heart of Saigon and with the stars and stripes flying above it represented the very embodiment of US imperialism. Through contacts and spies the Vietcong had managed to store arms, ammunition and explosives in a secret location in preparation for the attack. Then on the night of 31st January at 3am 19 Vietcong commandos literally arrived by taxi, then quickly blew their way through the wall and into the compound, automatic weapons blazing. Within five minutes, and four dead GIs, they were in control.The attack stunned US President Lyndon Johnson and proved to be a catalyst in the attitudes of the American people towards the war. For the first time in a major war, television played a crucial role. Splashed across the screens of fifty million Americans. 'Dead bodies lay amid the rubble and rattle of automatic gunfire as dazed American soldiers and civilians ran back and forth, trying to flush out the assailants. Americans at home saw the carnage wrought by the offensive.'...

Find Another Essay On Vietnam War and the TET Offensive

What really was the true significance of the Tet Offensive for the Vietnam War?

998 words - 4 pages The Tet Offensive was a major turning point for the Vietnam War, and thus it held a great importance for both the Americans and the Vietnamese. On Jan 31, 1968, the most important holiday to the Vietnamese, also known as Tet, which is the Vietnam New Year, the North Vietnamese Army launched a surprise attack on the South Vietnamese and the American forces. It was an attack on more than 35 major towns and cities in the South, which Saigon, the

What was the significance of the Tet Offensive for the Vietnam War?

920 words - 4 pages By 1968 the USA had increased its commitment to South Vietnam in the hope of preventing the spread of communism. There were 535,000 US troops in Vietnam by that time which was more than ever. They saved South Vietnamese government but over 15,000 Americans had died in the conflict. The National Liberation Front and Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive in Feb. 1968 against the South and America. Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, was chosen to launch a

The Tet Offensive: Vietnam War. This Paper Was Simply A Senior Paper Required To Graduate. You Could Choose Any Topic Realted To History, Government Or Anything Of This Nature

3443 words - 14 pages cause that did not affect them was worth all the hardships and tribulation. The emotions of the American public began to heat up. While American soldiers were dying in the jungles of Vietnam, protests all over America were going strong. This all came together when suddenly, the Tet Offensive occurred on January 30th, 1968. The already pessimistic people of America realized that they were in the middle of an un-winnable war and they wanted out

The Tet Offensive

959 words - 4 pages morales down. Support for the war had always been split but this battle caused even the government to reconsider their involvement. The Tet offensive changed the US's attitude towards the Vietnam war by leading to further anti-war protests, a credibility gap in America, and for President Johnson to negotiate peace and not seek reelection. After the Tet Offensive, more protests occurred demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. The

The significance of the Tet Offensive and how it effected the outcome of war in Indochina

554 words - 2 pages The Tet OffensiveThe American government had been telling their people that the communists were weakening and that they were now largely in control. What they saw through their television sets of the Tet Offensive contradicted this propaganda.Fifty million watched as the ARVN killed prisoners, innocent civilians, and South Vietnam was bombed. The US government was now unable to portray the war as clean, simple, and easily won as the media in


2066 words - 9 pages Operation Paperclip was the United States secret program to recruit German scientists, engineers, medical professionals, intelligence agents and anyone else seen capable to assist the United States in gaining the upper hand in the world economy and technology race during the Cold War. History Operation Paperclip began soon after the fall of Nazi Germany to the Allied forces. The official date is listed as 8 May 1945, however the official


2353 words - 10 pages After the Korean War was halted with the Armistice Agreement, the Korean Peninsula was divided in half to become the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Throughout the years North Korea has consistently pushed the boundaries of the agreement and conducted numerous acts of provocation against U.S. and South Korean forces. One of these acts, which resulted in the death of two U.S. Soldiers


2171 words - 9 pages “stand or die” speech.2 To sway the tide of the war it was clear that a decisive action would have to be taken to disturb the North Korean line of supply and halt the endless barrage that this well supplied and trained army was capable of. General Douglas MacArthur commander of the Far East Command, based in Tokyo, Japan, saw that the stalled NKPA attacks in the south and the rapid advance of the NKPA army had left their rear unprotected and

Effects of the Tet Offensive

1119 words - 4 pages began propagandizing the war, which increased their soldier count while, as stated before, the desertion rate of the ARVN forces increased. North Vietnamese communists and Viet Cong members may have lost many soldiers, but with the incredible power and amount of land accepted, the Tet Offensive had brought them much gain. The United States, South, and North Vietnam were all greatly effected by the Tet Offensive. The supportive Amercian opinion

Was the tet offensive a significant turning point?

846 words - 3 pages "The Tet Offensive was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War" How far do you agree with this view?1,200-500 WORDSIntroductionDefinition. The Tet Offensive was a surprise attack by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong on the Americans. The Americans prevailed, however the public was deeply affected by this event.Two sides to the debateAnswer the question - which side is stronger?Paragraph OnePublic support for the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War and Iraq

1261 words - 5 pages . The Vietnam War was not talked about by merely any souls out in the vast Universe. It was unpopular most of the years it had been being fought, but the opposition to it grew in 1968. The Viet Cong launched a massive offensive on key cities and military centers; and U.S. troop levels amplified and so did the injuries and deaths. This war had a no-win situation, meaning that many people believed that our involvement in Vietnam was not accomplishing

Similar Essays

The Tet Offensive In The Vietnam War

2634 words - 11 pages When asked about the United States’ involvement in Vietnam Charles de Gaulle responded by saying, “I predict… that you will, step by step, be sucked into a bottomless military and political quagmire” (Wills 29). The Vietnam War should have been negotiated to an end and troops removed directly following the Tet Offensive, because by that time, it was made evident that further fighting would only cause more unnecessary harms. Often in history

The Tet Offensive In The Vietnam War

1086 words - 4 pages January 31, 1968 marks the new lunar year for the Vietnamese and also the start of the Tet offensive. This crucial offensive is considered the turning point of the Vietnam War. This series of battles can be best understood by examining the events that led up to the conflict, the strategies and principles applied in the battle, and end results of the movement. Throughout the second half of 1967 the government had become anxious due to reports

Vietnam, The Tet Offensive Essay

1288 words - 5 pages its major objectives, it was a political and psychological victory for them. It significantly contradicted optimistic claims by the U.S. government that the war had already been won.For the average US citizen the Tet Offensive provided the dramatic realization that the war in Vietnam was futile. They were being told that the war was near an end and that they were close to victory. Their own President had told them that the US and her allies were

The Significance Of The Tet Offensive For The Vietnam War

590 words - 2 pages , Vietminh failed to remove the US troops out of Vietnam but, they showed their military power and it showed that nowhere in Vietnam was safe including the US embassy in Saigon.Politically, the Tet Offensive made the Vietnam War more significant in US that it became one of the key issues in US politics during the presidential election year. The US politics were basically divided into two sides, the one for withdrawing troops out of Vietnam and the