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Encyclopedia > Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
Part of the Vietnam War

Some of the major PAVN/NLF targets during the Tet Offensive
Date 30 January 1968 - 23 September 1968
Location Republic of Vietnam
Result Decisive Allied tactical victory, strategic North Vietnamese psychological victory
Belligerents
Republic of Vietnam,
United States,
Republic of Korea,
New Zealand,
Australia
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam,
Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Commanders
William C. Westmoreland Võ Nguyên Giáp
Strength
~120,000[1] ~323 - 595,000[2]
Casualties and losses

Phase I: 2,788 killed, 8,299 wounded, 587 missing
Phase II: 143 killed, 646 wounded
Phase III: unknown
Civilian: 14,000 killed, 24,000 wounded


Phase I: 1,536 killed, 7,764 wounded, 11 missing
Phase II: 1,161 killed, 3,954 wounded
Phase III: 700 killed, wounded unknown
Total Allied military:
6,328 killed (approximate), 20,663 wounded (approximate), 1,185 missing[3] Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 464 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2100 × 2712 pixel, file size: 2. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... National motto: ??? Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809km² N/A population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Vietnam. ... National motto: ??? Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809km² N/A population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Korea. ... South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: Daehan Minguk (Hangul: 대한 민국; Hanja: 大韓民國)), is a country in East Asia, covering the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_New_Zealand. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links FNL_Flag. ... Viet Cong redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_North_Vietnam. ... The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was founded by Ho Chi Minh and was recognized by China and the USSR in 1950. ... General William Westmoreland William Childs Westmoreland (born March 26, 1914, Spartanburg County, South Carolina) is a retired United States General who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War from 1964_68 and served as US Army Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972. ... Võ Nguyên Giáp General Võ Nguyên Giáp (born 25 August 1911) is a Vietnamese four-star general, who was the military leader of the Viet Minh guerrilla group under Hồ Chí Minhs political leadership, and of the Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) in the Democratic... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Vietnam. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Korea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_New_Zealand. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

Total: 85 - 100 thousand killed (estimate), wounded unknown[4]

The Tet Offensive (Tet Mau Than), or officially, Tổng Công Kích/Tổng Khởi Nghĩa - General Offensive, General Uprising, was a three-phase military campaign conducted between 30 January and 23 September 1968, by the combined forces of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF or derogatively, Viet Cong) and the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) during the Vietnam War.[5] The purpose of the operations, which were unprecedented in this conflict in their magnitude and ferocity, was to strike military and civilian command and control centers throughout the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) and to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow.[6] Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Combatants Viet Cong South Vietnam United States Commanders unknown battalion commander Bui Dinh Dam John Paul Vann Strength 350 1,400 Casualties 18 dead 39 wounded 83 dead 108 wounded The Battle of Ap Bac was a small-scale action early in the Vietnam War that resulted in the first... Belligerents Viet Cong South Vietnam United States Commanders Tran Dinh Xu Franklin P. Eller Strength Estimated at 1,800[2] 4,300[3] Casualties and losses 32 confirmed killed[4] 201 killed (5 Americans killed) 192 wounded (8 Americans wounded) 68 missing (3 Americans missing). ... Combatants Viet Cong United States South Vietnam Casualties U.S casualties: 8 killed, 109 wounded and 20 aircraft destroyed or damaged. ... Combatants Viet Cong South Vietnam United States Casualties 85 Dead 49 ARVN dead 5 American dead The Battle of Song Be was a major action between the NLF (Viet Cong) and ARVN, the South Vietnamese army. ... Combatants Viet Cong South Vietnam United States Commanders Le Trong Tan Cao Van Vien, Charles W. Williams Strength 1,500 10,000 Casualties 700+ estimated KIA ARVN: 800+ killed U.S: 7 killed, 15 wounded and 13 missing The Battle of Dong Xoai was a battle that occurred during the... Combatants United States Viet Cong Commanders General Lewis W. Walt Strength 5,500 1,500 VC 1st Regiment Casualties 45 killed 203 wounded >614 killed 9 captured Operation Starlite was the first offensive military action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. ... Combatants Viet Cong Australia Commanders Unknown John Healy Casualties Unknown 6 wounded 2 missing presumed dead The Battle of Gang Toi was fought on November 8, 1965. ... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong United States Commanders Nguyen Huu An Thomas W. Brown Harold G. Moore (X-Ray) Robert McDade (Albany) Strength More than 4,000 (Albany and X-Ray) Over 1,000 (Albany and X-Ray) Casualties X-Ray: Est. ... Operation Hastings was an American military operation in the Vietnam War. ... Combatants United States South Vietnam Republic of Korea North Vietnam Viet Cong Casualties 288 killed 990 wounded 2232 killed Operation Masher was a combined US, ARVN, and ROKA that began on January 28, 1966. ... Combatants United States South Vietnam North Vietnam Strength 395 2,000 Casualties U.S: 8 killed, 12 wounded and 5 missing South Vietnam: 47 killed or missing Unknown (U.S estimates put the number at 800) The Battle of A Shau was waged in 1966 during the Vietnam War. ... Combatants United States Viet Cong Strength 134 400+ Casualties 38 killed 71 wounded Unknown Vietnam War Ap Bac â€“ Binh Gia â€“ Pleiku â€“ Song Be â€“ Dong Xoai â€“ Starlite â€“ Gang Toi â€“ Ia Drang â€“ Hastings â€“ Masher/White Wing â€“ A Shau â€“ Xa Cam My â€“ Duc Co â€“ Long Tan â€“ Attleboro â€“ Cedar Falls â€“ Tra Binh Dong â€“ Bribie... Combatants North Vietnam South Korea Commanders Byung Soo Choi Casualties 134+ killed 7 killed 46 wounded In 1966, the Battle of Duc Co was a major engagement between the North Vietnamese 5th Battalion of the 88th Regiment and the South Korean 3rd Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Regiment. ... Combatants Australia, New Zealand, United States Viet Cong, North Vietnam Commanders Harry Smith Nguyen Thanh Hong Strength 108 1,500-2,650[1] Casualties 18 killed, 21 wounded Estimates range from about 50 killed, to 800 casualties total. ... Combatants United States North Vietnam Viet Cong Commanders Major Guy S. Meloy Unknown Casualties 155 US killed 494 US wounded At least 1,106 killed Operation Attleboro was a search-and-destroy operation by the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. ... Operation Cedar Falls was conducted by the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War on January 8 – January 26, 1967 to rout out Viet Cong base camps in the so-called Iron Triangle. ... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong South Korea Commanders Unknown commander Captain Jin-Kyung Chung Strength 2,400+ 294 Casualties 200+ killed and 2 captured 15 killed and 33 wounded The Battle of Tra Binh Dong was probably the most famous battle fought by the South Korean Marines during the Vietnam... Combatants Australia Viet Cong Commanders Lt. ... Operation Junction City was one of the largest airborne operations since Market Garden in the latter half of World War II, and one of the largest operations of the Vietnam conflict. ... Operation Union was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. ... Combatants NVA United States Casualties 947 killed 455 killed, 455 wounded The Battle of Hill 881 was a battle between soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army and U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War. ... Operation Union II was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. ... Belligerents United States National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Commanders Terry de la Mesa Allen, Jr. ... Combatants United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders Maj. ... Combatants  United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders David E. Lownds (local), William C. Westmoreland (theater) Tran Quy Hai (local), Vo Nguyen Giap (theater) Strength 6,000 ~30,000 Casualties 730 killed in action, 2,642 wounded, 7 missing[2] Unknown; estimated between 10,000 and 15... Combatants South Vietnam United States North Vietnam Viet Cong Commanders William Westmoreland Vo Nguyen Giap Strength  ? 35 Battlions Casualties  ?  ? The First Battle of Saigon fought during the Tet Offensive was the coordinated attack by the NVA and VC, by which they attacked South Vietnams Capital Saigon from all sides. ... Combatants South Viet Nam United States North Viet Nam Viet Cong Commanders Ngo Quang Truong Foster C. LaHue Tran Van Quang Strength Over 30,000 8,000, later 12,000 Casualties ARVN: 452 KIA; 2,123 WIA US: 216 KIA; 1,584 WIA[1] Total: 668 KIA; 3,707 WIA... Combatants North Vietnam United States Commanders Unknown Capt. ... Combatants United States Thailand Hmong guerillas North Vietnam Pathet Lao Commanders Vang Pao Vo Nguyen Giap Strength 1,300+ 3,000+ Casualties 8 Americans dead 42 Thai and Hmong Unknown The Battle of Lima Site 85 was a battle of the Vietnam War. ... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong United States South Vietnam Australia Strength 10,000+ 1,760+ Casualties  ??? 270+ killed or missing 9 aircraft loss The Battle of Kham Duc was the struggle for the United States Army Special Forces camp located in Quang Tin province, South Vietnam. ... Operation Speedy Express was a United States military operation of the Vietnam War. ... Combatants United States Marine Corps North Vietnamese Army Commanders Colonel Robert H. Barrow N/A Strength 5,000+ Casualties 130 killed, 932 wounded (USMC account) 1617 killed, unknown number wounded (USMC account) Operation Dewey Canyon was the last major offensive by the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. ... Tet 1969 refers to the attacks mounted by principally North Vietnamese forces in February 1969 in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. ... Belligerents United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders Melvin Zais Unknown Strength estimated at 1,800 estimated at 1,500 Casualties and losses 70 killed, 372 wounded 630+ dead The Battle of Hamburger Hill was a battle of the Vietnam War which was fought between the United States and the... Combatants Viet Cong North Vietnam Australia Casualties 91 killed 1 killed, 8 wounded The Battle of Binh Ba was a battle between soldiers of the Australian Army and NVA and VC soldiers during the Vietnam War. ... Combatants South Vietnam United States Viet Cong Commanders Do Cao Tri â€ } Nguyen Van Minh Bui Thanh Danh Le Nam Phong Strength 2,000 20,000 Casualties 37 killed, 167 wounded, 74 missing Unknown (South Vietnam claimed 1,043 killed) The Battle of Snuol was a major battle of the Vietnam... Combatants Democratic Republic of Vietnam United States Commanders Vo Nguyen Giap Chu Phong Doi Andre Lucas† Ben Harrison Strength 9 battalions 1 battalion Casualties 2400+ KIA 250~ KIA, 1,000+ WIA Wikisource has original text related to this article: After action report: Firebase Ripcord, 23 July 1970 The Battle of... Operation Tailwind was a covert incursion into southeastern Laos by a company-size element (Hatchet Force) of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACSOG or SOG) on 11 September 1970, during the Vietnam Conflict. ... Combatants Khmer Republic North Vietnam Commanders Brig. ... Combatants North Vietnam United States Commanders unknown Brig Gen. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders Hoang Xuan Lam Le Trong Tan (military) Le Quang Dao (political) Strength ARVN: 20,000 troops U.S.: 10,000 troops in support ~25,000 - ~35,000 troops Casualties ARVN: 8,483 killed 12,420 wounded 691 missing U... Combatants North Vietnam Khmer Republic Commanders Unknown Brigadier General Hou Hang Sin Strength VPA 9th Division 10 FANK Battalions Casualties Unknown Decimation of the FANK Battalions Operation Chenla II was launched on August 20, 1971 by the Cambodian military (or FANK) as an attempt to regain territories lost to the... Combatants South Vietnam United States North Vietnam Pathet Lao Commanders Lt. ... Combatants United States Viet Cong Commanders Lt. ... Belligerents South Vietnam United States North Vietnam Viet Cong Commanders I Corps: Hoang Xuan Lam (replaced by Ngo Quang Truong) II Corps: Ngo Dzu (replaced by Nguyen Van Toan) III Corps: Nguyen Van Minh Tri-Thien-Hue Region: Van Tien Dung B-2 Front: Tran Van Tra B-3 Front... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong South Vietnam Strength 30,000+ 8,000+ The First Battle of Quang Tri resulted in the first major victory for the North Vietnamese Army during the Nguyen Hue Offensive of 1972. ... Combatants South Vietnam, United States Viet Cong, North Vietnam Commanders Mark A. Smith â˜ Tran Van Tra Strength 1,000+ 40,000+ Casualties Unknown 10,000+ The Battle of Loc Ninh was a major battle fought during North Vietnams Nguyen Hue Campaign and lasted from April 4 to April 7... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong South Vietnam United States Commanders Gen. ... Combatants South Vietnam North Vietnam Commanders Col. ... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong South Vietnam The Second Battle of Quang Tri began on June 28 and lasted until September 16, 1972, when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam defeated the North Vietnamese and recaptured most of the province. ... Combatants Vietnam Peoples Army Army of the Republic of Vietnam Commanders Gen. ... Combatants Vietnam Peoples Army National Liberation Front Army of the Republic of Vietnam Commanders General Van Tien Dung President Nguyen Van Thieu (Until April 5) Strength 300,000+ (est. ... Combatants Army of the Republic of Vietnam Vietnam Peoples Army Commanders Maj. ... Combatants Democratic Republic of Vietnam Republic of Vietnam Commanders Hoang Cam, Hoang The Thien Le Minh Dao Strength 40,000 6,000 Casualties ~5,000 dead and wounded ~2,036 dead and wounded The Battle of Xuan Loc also known as The last stand at Xuan Loc, was the last... Combatants North Vietnam South Vietnam The Battle of Truong Sa was a naval battle that resulted in the capture of the South Vietnamese-held Truong Sa Islands by North Vietnamese forces on April 29, 1975. ... Belligerents Democratic Republic of Vietnam National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Republic of Vietnam Commanders Van Tien Dung Tran Van Tra Hoang Cam Le Duc Anh Nguyen Van Toan Nguyen Hop Doan Strength 100,000 [1] 30,000 [1] Casualties and losses Unknown Unknown The Fall of Saigon... Combatants United States of America Democratic Kampuchea Commanders Lt. ... Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare, including military airlift of cargo to further the national interests as was demonstrated in the Berlin Airlift. ... Operation Ranch Hand was a part of the Vietnam War, lasting from 1962 until 1971. ... Operation Pierce Arrow was a U.S. military operation during the Vietnam War. ... Combatants United States (U.S.) Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Kingdom of Laos Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) Pathet Lao (PL) Casualties Unknown Unknown Operation Barrel Roll was a covert U.S. Air Force 2nd Air Division (later the Seventh Air Force) and U.S. Navy Task Force 77, interdiction and... For the American mail service, see Pony Express. ... During the Vietnam War, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1965 ordered a series of reprisal air strikes after a number of attacks on U.S. bases, particularly on a U.S. installation at Pleiku. ... Combatants  United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders Joseph H. Moore, William W. Momyer, George S. Brown Phung The Tai (Air Defense), Nguyen Van Tien (Air Force) Casualties United States: ~835 killed, captured, or missing VNAF: Unknown ~20,000 military, ~72,000 civilian Operation Rolling Thunder was... Operation Steel Tiger was a covert US Air Force aerial interdiction effort targeted against North Vietnamese infiltration through southeastern Laos during the Vietnam Conflict. ... Operation Arc Light was the 1965 deployment of B-52 heavy bombers to bases in Guam. ... Barrell Roll/Steel Tiger/Tiger Hound Areas of Operations, 1965. ... Combatants United States Air Force North Vietnamese Air Force Commanders Robin Olds Unknown Strength 56 F-4C Phantom IIs (26 participated) 16 MiG-21 Fishbeds (11-14 engaged) Casualties None seven Mig-21s confirmed destroyed two MiG-21s probably destroyed Operation Bolo was a famous air battle fought in the... Text on this page is modified (with permission) from Paul N. Edwards, The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996). ... Combatants United States, Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Operation Commando Hunt was a covert Seventh/Thirteenth United States Air Force offensive initiative that took place during the Vietnam Conflict. ... Combatants United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Operation Menu was the codename of a covert U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombing campaign conducted in eastern Cambodia from 18 March 1969 until 26 May 1970, during the Vietnam Conflict. ... Combatants United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam Khmer Rouge Operation Freedom Deal was a US Seventh Air Force interdiction and close air support campaign waged in Cambodia from 19 May 1970 until 15 August 1973, during the Vietnam Conflict. ... Combatants United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders John W. Vogt, Jr. ... Combatants United States (U.S.) Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) Commanders John W. Vogt, jr. ... Combatants United States Democratic Republic of Vietnam During the 1960s the United States military worked hard to interdict the movement of men and materiel along the Ho Chi Minh trail. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Viet Cong redirects here. ... The Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is the term used by the Vietnamese for their armed forces. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... National motto: ??? Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809km² N/A population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Chí Minh) is the largest city in Vietnam, located near the delta of the Mekong River. ...


The operations are referred to in the West as the Tet Offensive because they were timed to begin during the early morning hours of 31 January, Tết Nguyên Đán, the lunar new year holiday. For reasons that are still not completely understood, a wave of attacks began on the preceding morning in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones. This early attack did not, however, cause undue alarm or lead to widespread allied defensive measures. When the main NLF-PAVN operation began the next morning, the offensive was countrywide in scope and well coordinated, with more than 80,000 communist troops striking more than 100 towns and cities, including 36 of 44 provincial capitals, five of the six autonomous cities, 72 of 245 district towns, and the national capital.[7] The offensive was the largest military operation yet conducted by either side up to that point in the war. is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tết display in Ho Chi Minh City Tết Nguyên Đán  , more commonly known by its shortened name Tết, is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. ... Lunar New Year may refer to the beginning of the year in several cultures calendars: Chinese New Year Korean New Year Islamic New Year Tết (Vietnamese New Year) Thai New Year (Songkran) Categories: | ...


The initial Communist attacks stunned allied forces and took them by surprise, but most were quickly contained and beaten back, inflicting massive casualties on the NLF. The exceptions were the fighting that erupted in the old imperial capital of Huế, where intense fighting lasted for a month, and the continuing struggle around the U.S. combat base at Khe Sanh, where fighting continued for two more months. Although the offensive was a military disaster for communist forces, it had a profound effect on the American administration and shocked the American public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the communists were, due to previous defeats, incapable of launching such a massive effort. Combatants South Viet Nam United States North Viet Nam Viet Cong Commanders Ngo Quang Truong Foster C. LaHue Tran Van Quang Strength Over 30,000 8,000, later 12,000 Casualties ARVN: 452 KIA; 2,123 WIA US: 216 KIA; 1,584 WIA[1] Total: 668 KIA; 3,707 WIA... Combatants  United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders David E. Lownds (local), William C. Westmoreland (theater) Tran Quy Hai (local), Vo Nguyen Giap (theater) Strength 6,000 ~30,000 Casualties 730 killed in action, 2,642 wounded, 7 missing[2] Unknown; estimated between 10,000 and 15...


The majority of Western historians have concluded that the offensive ended in June, which easily located it within framework of U.S. political and military decisions that altered the American commitment to the war. In fact, the General Offensive continued, according to plan, through two more distinct phases. The second phase began on 5 May and continued until the end of the month. The third began on 17 August and only ended on 23 September. is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Light at the end of the tunnel[8]

Order of battle and communist capabilities

For more details on on the U.S. effort prior to 1968, see The United States and the Vietnam War #Search and destroy, the strategy of attrition.

During the fall of 1967, two questions weighed heavily on the minds of the American public and the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson: Was the U.S. strategy of attrition working in Vietnam and who was winning the war? According to General William C. Westmoreland, the commander of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), the answer could be found by the solution to a simple equation. Take the total number of PAVN/NLF troops estimated incountry and subtract those killed or captured during military operations to determine the "crossover point" at which the number of those eliminated exceeded those recruited or replaced. There was a discrepancy, however, between MACV and the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) order of battle estimates concerning the strength of communist guerrilla forces within South Vietnam.[9] In September, members of the MACV intelligence services and the CIA met to prepare a Special National Intelligence Estimate that would be utilized by the administration as a gauge of U.S. success in the conflict. // Milestones of U.S. involvement under President Truman 9 March 1945 — Japan overthrows nominal French authority in Indochina and declares an independent Vietnamese puppet state. ... LBJ redirects here. ... General William Westmoreland William Childs Westmoreland (born March 26, 1914, Spartanburg County, South Carolina) is a retired United States General who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War from 1964_68 and served as US Army Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972. ... The U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, MACV, (mack vee), was the United States unified command structure for all of its military forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. ... CIA redirects here. ... An order of battle (often abbreviated as ORBAT, OOB, or OB) is an organizational tool used by military intelligence to list and analyze enemy military units. ...

General William C. Westmoreland, COMUSMACV
General William C. Westmoreland, COMUSMACV

Provided with an enemy intelligence windfall accrued during Operations Cedar Falls and Junction City, the CIA members of the group believed that the number of NLF guerrillas, irregulars, and cadre within the South could be as high as 430,000. The MACV Combined Intelligence Center, on the other hand, maintained that the number could be no more than 300,000.[10] Westmoreland was deeply concerned about the possible perceptions of the American public to such an increased estimate, since communist troop strength was routinely provided to reporters during press briefings.[11] According to MACV's chief intelligence, General Joseph McChristian, the new figures "would create a political bombshell," since they were proof positive that PAVN and the NLF "had the capability and the will to continue a protracted war of attrition."[10] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x778, 191 KB) Summary Gen. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x778, 191 KB) Summary Gen. ... COMUSMACV was a U.S. military abbreviation during the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War) standing for Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. ...


In May, MACV attempted to obtain a compromise from the CIA by maintaining that NLF militias did not constitute a fighting force but were essentially low level fifth columnists used for information collection.[12] The agency responded that such a notion was ridiculous, since the militias were directly responsible for half of the casualties inflicted on U.S. forces. With both groups in deadlock, George Carver, CIA deputy director for Vietnamese affairs, was asked to mediate the dispute. In September, Carver devised a compromise: The CIA would drop its insistence on including the irregulars in the final tally of forces and add a prose addendum to the estimate that would explain the agency's position.[13] George Allen, Carver's deputy, laid responsibility for the agency's capitulation at the feet of Richard Helms, the director of the CIA. He believed that "it was a political problem...[Helms] didn't want the agency...contravening the policy interest of the administration."[14] Richard Helms, Director of Central Intelligence, 1966-1973 Richard McGarrah Helms (March 30, 1913 – October 23, 2002) was the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973. ...


Successes Offensive

During the second half of 1967 the administration had become alarmed by criticism, both inside and outside the government, and by reports of declining public support for its Vietnam policies.[15] According to public opinion polls, the percentage of Americans who believed that the U.S. had made a mistake by sending troops to Vietnam had risen from 25 percent in 1965 to 45 percent by December 1967.[16] This trend was fueled not by a belief that the struggle was not worthwhile, but by mounting casualty figures, rising taxes, and the feeling that there was no end to the war in sight.[17] A poll taken in November indicated that 55 percent wanted a tougher war policy, exemplifing the public belief that "it was an error for us to have gotten involved in Vietnam in the first place. But now that we're there, let's win - or get out."[18] This prompted the administration to launch a so-called "Success Offensive", a concerted effort to alter the widespread public perception that the war had reached a stalemate and to convince the American people that the administration's policies were succeeding. Under the leadership of National Security Advisor Walt W. Rostow, the news media then was inundated by a wave of effusive optimism. Every statistical indicator of progress, from "kill ratios" and "body counts" to village pacification was fed to the press and to the Congress. "We are beginning to win this struggle" asserted Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey on NBC's "Today Show" in mid-November. "We are on the offensive. Territory is being gained. We are making steady progress."[19] At the end of November, the campaign reached its climax when Johnson summoned Westmoreland and the new U.S. Ambassador, Ellsworth Bunker, to Washington, D.C., for what was billed as a "high level policy review". Upon their arrival, the two men bolstered the administration's claims of success. From Saigon, pacification chief Robert Komer asserted that the pacification program in the countryside was succeeding. Sixty-eight percent of the South Vietnamese population was under the control of Saigon while only seventeen percent was under the control of the NLF.[20] General Bruce Palmer, one of Westmoreland's three Field Force commanders, claimed that "the Viet Cong has been defeated" and that "He can't get food and he can't recruit. He has been forced to change his strategy from trying to control the people on the coast to trying to survive in the mountains."[21] Walt Whitman Rostow showing President Lyndon B. Johnson a model of the Khe Sanh area, 1968 Walt Whitman Rostow, October 7th, 1968 Walt Whitman Rostow (also known as Walt Rostow or W.W. Rostow) (October 7, 1916 – February 13, 2003) was an American economist and political theorist who served as... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Hubert Horatio Humphrey II (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978) was the 38th Vice President of the United States, serving under President Lyndon Johnson. ... This article is about the television network. ... Ellsworth Bunker (born May 11, 1894 in Yonkers, New York, deceased September 30, 1984) was an American diplomat. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Komer meeting with President Johnson Robert William Blowtorch Bob Komer (February 23, 1922 - April 9, 2000) was a key figure in the pacification effort to win South Vietnamese hearts and minds during the Vietnam War, heading Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support. ...


Westmoreland was even more emphatic in his assertions. At an address at the National Press Club on 21 November he reported that, as of the end of 1967, the communists were "unable to mount a major offensive...I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing...We have reached an important point when the end begins to come into view."[19] By the end of the year the administration's approval rating had indeed crept up by eight percent, but an early January Gallup poll indicated that forty-seven percent of the American public still disapproved of the President's handling of the war.[22] The American public, "more confused than convinced, more doubtful than despairing...adopted a 'wait and see' attitude."[23] During a discussion with an interviewer from Time magazine, Westmoreland defied the communists to launch an attack: "I hope they try something, because we are looking for a fight."[24] The National Press Club is an association of journalists based in Washington, D.C. It is well-known for its gatherings with invited speakers, including many presidential candidates and other influential public figuress. ... is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the concept of time. ...


Northern decisions

Party politics

Planning in Hanoi for a winter-spring offensive during 1968 had begun in early 1967 and continued until early the following year. There has been an extreme reluctance among the Vietnamese Lao Dong Party and military historians to discuss the decision-making process that led to the General Offensive General Uprising, even decades after the event.[25] In official North Vietnamese literature, the decision to launch Tet Mau Than was usually presented as the result of a perceived U.S. failure to win the war quickly, the failure of the American bombing campaign against North Vietnam, and the anti-war sentiment that pervaded the population of the U.S.[26] The decision to launch the general offensive, however, was much more complicated. Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Ná»™i, Hán Tá»±: 河内)  , estimated population 3,145,300 (2005), is the capital of Vietnam. ... The Communist Party of Vietnam (Đảng Cá»™ng sản Việt Nam) is the currently ruling, as well as the only legal political party in Vietnam. ...


The decision signaled the end of a bitter, decade-long debate within the Party leadership between first two, and then three factions. The moderates believed that the economic viability of North Vietnam should come before support of a massive and conventional southern war and who generally followed the Soviet line of peaceful coexistence by reunifying Vietnam through political means. Heading this faction were party theoritician Truong Chinh and Minister of Defense Vo Nguyen Giap. The militants, on the other hand, tended to follow the foreign policy line of the Peoples Republic of China and stridently called for the reunification of the nation by military means and that no negotiations should be undertaken with the Americans. This group was led by the "brothers Le" - Party First Secretary Le Duan and Le Duc Tho. From the early to mid-1960s, the militants had dictated the direction of the war in South Vietnam.[27] General Nguyen Chi Thanh the head of COSVN (the headquarters which controlled the war effort in the South), political commissar and commander-in-chief of the communist forces in South Vietnam, was another prominent militant. Strangely, the followers of the Chinese line centered their strategy against the allies on large-scale, main force actions rather than the protracted guerrilla war espoused by Mao Zedong. Under Thanh's command, the North Vietnamese had matched the American military escalation in the South tit-for-tat.[28] Truong Chinh (pseudonym meaning Long March, born Đặng Xuân Khu) (1907 - 1988) was a Vietnamese communist political leader and theoritician. ... General Võ Nguyên Giáp (born circa 1912[1]) Vietnamese general and statesman. ... The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is a communist state, comprising most of the cultural, historic, and geographic area known as China. ... Le Duan Le Duan (April 7, 1907 - July 10, 1986) was an original founder of the Indochinese Communist Party, having been introduced to communism while he was a railroad worker during the 1920s. ... Le Duc Tho (Lê Ðức Thọ  ) (October 14, 1911 – October 13, 1990) was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician. ... Nguyen Chi Thanh (1914 - 1967) was from 1965 until his death the commanding general of North Vietnamese operations in South Vietnam. ... COSVN, pronounced CÅŽS-vÄ­n and standing for Central Office, South Vietnam, was a Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) military headquarters (HQ) during the Second Indochina War (Vietnam Conflict). ... Russian political officer during winter war Commissar is the English transliteration of an official title (комисса́р) used in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution and in the Soviet Union, as well as some other Communist countries. ... Mao redirects here. ...


By 1966-1967, however, after the infliction of massive casualties by the allies, stalemate on the battlefield, the destruction of the northern economy by U.S. air power, there was a dawning realization that, if current trends continued, Hanoi would eventually lack the resources necessary to affect the military situation in the South.[29] As a result, there were more strident calls by the moderates for negotiations and a revision of strategy. They felt that a return to guerrilla tactics was more appropriate since the U.S. could not be defeated conventionally. They also complained that the policy of rejecting negotiations was in error.[30] The Americans could only be worn down in a war of wills during a period of "fighting while talking." During 1967 things had become so bad on the battlefield that Le Duan had to order Thanh to incorporate aspects of protracted guerrilla warfare into his strategy.[31]


During the same period, a counterattack was launched by a new, third grouping (the centrists) led by Party Chairman Ho Chi Minh, Le Duc Tho, and Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh, who called for negotiations.[32] From October 1966 through April 1967, a very public debate over military strategy took place in print and via radio between Thanh and his rival for military power, Giap.[33] Giap had advocated a defensive, primarily guerrilla strategy against the U.S. and South Vietnam.[34] Thanh's position was that Giap and his adherents were centered on their experiences during the First Indochina War and that they were too "conservative and captive to old methods and past experience...mechanically repeating the past."[35] For the city named after him, see Ho Chi Minh City. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Cambodia Laos Viet Minh Commanders French Expeditionary Corps Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1945-46) Jean-Étienne Valluy (1946-8) Roger Blaizot (1948-9) Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1949-50) Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1950-51) Raoul Salan (1952-3) Henri Navarre (1953-4...


The arguments over domestic and military strategy also carried a foreign policy element as well, due to the fact that North Vietnam was totally dependent on outside military and economic aid. The vast majority of its military equipment was provided by either the Soviet Union or the People's Republic. Beijing advocated that North Vietnam conduct a protracted war on the Maoist model, fearing that a conventional conflict might draw them in as it had in Korea. They also resisted the idea of negotiating with the allies. Moscow, on the other hand, advocated negotiations, but simultaneously armed Hanoi's forces to conduct a conventional war on the Soviet model. North Vietnamese politics, therefore consisted of maintaining a critical balance between war policy, internal and external policies, domestic adversaries, and foreign allies with "self-serving agendas."[36] Peking redirects here. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ...


To "break the will of their domestic opponents and reaffirm their autonomy vis-a-vis their foreign allies" hundreds of pro-Soviet, party moderates, military officers, and intelligentsia were arrested on 27 July 1967, during what came to be called the Revisionist Anti-Party Affair.[37] All of the arrests were based on the individual's stance on the Politburo's choice of tactics and strategy for the proposed General Offensive.[38] This move cemented the position of the militants as Hanoi's strategy: The rejection of negotiations, the abandonment of protracted warfare, and the focus on the General Offensive, General Uprising in the towns and cities of South Vietnam. More arrests followed in November and December. is the 208th day of the year (209th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ...


General Offensive, General Uprising

The operational plan for the General Offensive, General Uprising had its origin as the "COSVN proposal" at Thanh's southern headquarters in April 1967 and had then been relayed to Hanoi the following month. The general was then ordered to the capital to explain his concept in person to the Military Central Commission. At a meeting in July, Thanh briefed the plan to the Politburo.[39] On the evening of 6 July, after being given permission to begin preparations for the offensive, Thanh attended a party and died of a heart attack after having drunk too much.[40] is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


After cementing their position during the Party crackdown, the militants sped up planning for a major conventional offensive to break the military deadlock. They had come to the conclusion that the Saigon government and the U.S. presence were so unpopular with the population of the South that a broad-based attack would spark a spontaneous uprising of the population, which, if the offensive was successful, would enable the communists to sweep to a quick, decisive victory. Their basis for this conclusion included: a belief that the South Vietnamese military was no longer combat effective; the results of the fall 1967 South Vietnamese presidential election (in which the Nguyen Van Thieu/Nguyen Cao Ky ticket had only received 24 percent of the popular vote); the Buddhist Uprisings of 1963 and 1966; well-publicized anti-war demonstrations in Saigon; and continuous criticism of the Thieu government in the southern press.[41] Launching such an offensive would also finally put an end to what have been described as "dovish calls for talks, criticism of military strategy, Chinese diatribes of Soviet perfidy, and Soviet pressure to negotiate - all of which needed to be silenced."[37] President Nguyen Van Thieu Nguyen Van Thieu, (April 5, 1923 – September 29, 2001) was a former General and President of South Vietnam. ... Nguyá»…n Cao Kỳ   (born 1930) is a Vietnamese politician, who served as Prime Minister of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, and then as Vice President until his retirement from politics in 1971. ...

Defense Minister Vo Nguyen Giap
Defense Minister Vo Nguyen Giap

In October, the Politburo decided on the Tet holiday as the launch date and met again in December to reaffirm its decision and formalize it at the 14th Plenary session of the Party Central Committee in January 1968.[42] The resultant Resolution 14 was a major blow to domestic opposition and "foreign obstruction." Concessions had been made to the center group, however, by agreeing that negotiations were possible, but the document essentially centered on the creation of "a spontaneous uprising in order to win a decisive victory in the shortest time possible."[43] Image File history File links General_Vo_Nguyen_Giap. ... Image File history File links General_Vo_Nguyen_Giap. ...


Contrary to Western belief, General Giap did not plan the offensive himself. Thanh's original plan was elaborated on by a party committee headed by Thanh's deputy, Pham Hung, and then modified by Giap.[44] The Defense Minister may have been convinced to toe the line by the arrest and imprisonment of most of the members of his staff during the Revisionist Anti-Party Affair. Although Giap went to work "reluctantly, under duress," he may have found the task easier due to the fact that he was faced with a fait accompli.[45] Since the Politburo had already approved the offensive, all he had to do was make it work. He combined guerrilla operations into what was basically a conventional military offensive and shifted the burden of sparking the popular uprising to the NLF. If it worked, all would be well and good, if it failed it would be a failure only for the Party militants. For the moderates and centerists it offered the prospect of negotiations and a possible end to the American bombing of the North. Only in the eyes of the militants, therefore, did the offensive become a "go for broke" effort. Others in the Politburo were willing to settle for a much less ambitious "victory."[46] Pham Hung was the Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1987 to 1988. ...


The operation would involve a preliminary phase during which diversionary attacks would be launched in the border areas of South Vietnam to draw American attention and forces away from the cities. The General Offensive, General Uprising would then proceed by launching simultaneous actions in most of the urban areas of South Vietnam and attacks on major allied bases, with particular emphasis focused on the cities of Saigon and Hue. Concurrently, a substantial threat would to be made against the U.S. combat base at Khe Sanh. The Khe Sanh actions would draw North Vietnamese forces away from the offensive into the cities, but Giap considered them necessary in order to protect his supply lines and divert American attention.[47] Attacks on other U.S. forces were of secondary, or even tertiary importance, due to the fact that Giap considered his main objective to be weakening or destroying the South Vietnamese military and government through popular revolt.[48] The offensive, therefore was aimed at convincing the South Vietnamese public, not that of the U.S. There is conflicting evidence as to whether, or to what extent, the offensive was intended influence either the March primaries or the November presidential election in the U.S.[49] According to General Tran Van Tra, the new military head of COSVN, the offensive was to have three distinct phases: Phase I, scheduled to begin on 31 January, was to be a country-wide assault on the cities conducted primarily by NLF forces. Concurrently, a propaganda offensive to enduce ARVN troops to desert and the South Vietnamese population to rise up against the government would be launched. If outright victory was not achieved, the battle might still lead to the creation of a coalition government and the withdrawal of the Americans. If the general offensive failed to achieve these purposes, followup operations would be conducted to wear down the enemy and lead to a negotiated settlement; Phase II was scheduled to begin on 5 May; and Phase III on 17 August.[50] For the battle during the Vietnam War, see Battle of Khe Sanh. ... Tran Van Tra (1918 – 20 April 1996) was the military leader of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam; a member of the Central Committee of the Lao Dong Party; a lieutenant general in the army of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam); chairman, Military Affairs Committee... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Preparations for the offensive were already underway. The logistical build-up had begun by mid-year and by January 1968, 81,000 tons of supplies and 200,000 troops, including seven complete infantry regiments and 20 independent battalions made the trip south on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.[51] This logistical effort also involved the re-arming of the NLF with new AK-47 assault rifles and B-40 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, which granted them superior firepower over their less well-armed ARVN opponents. To pave the way and to confuse the allies as to its intentions, Hanoi launched a diplomatic offensive. Foreign Minister Trinh announced on 30 December that Hanoi would rather than could open negotiations if the U.S. unconditionally ended Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing campaign against North Vietnam.[52] This announcement provoked a flurry of diplomatic activity (which amounted to nothing) during the last weeks of the year. oooo lalala The Ho Chi Minh trail was a logistical system that ran from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) through the neighboring kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. ... Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947 g. ... The RPG-2 was the first rocket-propelled grenade launcher designed in the Soviet Union. ... is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


South Vietnamese and U.S. military intelligence estimated that North Vietnamese in South Vietnam during January 1968 totaled 323,000 men, including 130,000 PAVN regulars, 160,000 NLF guerillas and members of the infrastructure, and 33,000 service and support troops. They were organized into nine divisions composed of 35 infantry and 20 artillery or anti-aircraft artillery regiments, which were, in turn, composed of 230 infantry and six sapper battalions.[53] A sapper, in the sense first used by the French military, was one who sapped (undermined) anothers fortifications. ...


Allied unpreparedness

Suspicions and diversions

Signs of impending communist action did not go unnoticed among the allied intelligence collection apparatus in Saigon. During the late summer and fall of 1967 both South Vietnamese and U.S. intelligence agencies collected clues that indicated a significant shift in PAVN/NLF strategic planning. By mid-December, mounting evidence convinced many in Washington and Saigon that something big was underway. During the last three months of the year intelligence agencies had observed signs of a major communist military buildup. In addition to captured documents (a copy of Resolution 13, for example, was captured by early October), observations of enemy logistical operations were also quite clear: in October the number of trucks observed heading south through Laos on the Hồ Chí Minh Trail jumped from the previous monthly average of 480 to 1,116. By November this total reached 3,823 and, in December, 6,315.[54] On 20 December Westmoreland cabled Washington that he expected the communists "to undertake an intensified countrywide effort, perhaps a maximum effort, over a relatively short period of time."[55] is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Lieutenant General Frederick C. Weyand, commander of II Field Force, Vietnam
Lieutenant General Frederick C. Weyand, commander of II Field Force, Vietnam

Despite all the warning signs, however, the allies were still surprised by the scale and scope of the offensive. According to ARVN Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung the answer lay with the allied intelligence methodology itself, which tended to estimate the communist's probable course of action based upon their capabilities, not their intentions. Since, in the allied estimation, the communists hardly had the capability to launch such an ambitious enterprise: "There was little possibility that the enemy could initiate a general offensive, regardless of his intentions."[56] The answer could also be partially explained by the lack of coordination and cooperation between competing intelligence branches, both South Vietnamese and American. The situation from the U.S. perspective was best summed up by an MACV intelligence analyst: "If we'd gotten the whole battle plan, it wouldn't have been believed. It wouldn't have been credible to us."[57] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 463 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1425 × 1845 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 463 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1425 × 1845 pixel, file size: 1. ...


From spring through the fall of 1967, the U.S. command in Saigon was perplexed by a series of actions initiated by the North Vietnamese and the NLF in the border regions. On 24 April a U.S. Marine Corps patrol prematurely triggered a PAVN offensive aimed at taking the airstrip and combat base at Khe Sanh, the western anchor of the Marine's defensive positions in Quang Tri Province. By the time the action there had ended in May, 940 North Vietnamese troops and 155 Marines had been killed.[58] For 49 days during early September and lasting into October, the North Vietnamese began shelling the U.S. Marine outpost of Con Thien, just south of the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ. The intense shelling (100-150 rounds per day) prompted Westmoreland to launch Operation Neutralize, an intense aerial bombardment campaign of 4,000 sorties into and just north of the demarcation line.[59] is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... United States Marine Corps Emblem The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the second smallest of the five branches of the United States armed forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve Marines as of 2002. ... For the battle during the Vietnam War, see Battle of Khe Sanh. ... Quang Tri (in Vietnamese Quảng Trị  ) is a province in the North Central Coast of Vietnam, next to the former capital of Huế. This is where the southernmost Chinese commandery of Rinan was centred during the Later Han dynasty (25-220 CE). ... Con Thien was a United States combat base in South Vietnam at (MGRS 48QYD113703). ... In military terms, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers (or alliances), where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice or other bilateral or multilateral agreement. ...


On 27 October, an ARVN battalion at Song Be, the capital of Phuoc Long Province, came under attack by an entire PAVN regiment. Two days later, another PAVN Regiment attacked a U.S. Special Forces border outpost at Loc Ninh, in Binh Long Province. This attack sparked a ten-day battle that drew in elements of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and the ARVN 18th Division and left 800 PAVN troops dead at its conclusion.[60] The most severe of what came to be known as "the Border Battles" erupted during October and November around Dak To, another border outpost in Kontum Province. The clashes there between the four regiments of the 1st PAVN Division, the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade, and ARVN infantry and Airborne elements, lasted for 22 days. By the time the fighting was over, between 1,200 and 1,600 North Vietnamese and 262 U.S. troops had lost their lives.[60] MACV intelligence was confused by the possible motives of the North Vietnamese in prompting such large-scale actions in remote regions where U.S. firepower and aerial might could be applied indiscriminately. Tactically and strategically, these operations made no sense. What the communists had done was carry out the first stage of their plan: to fix the attention of the U.S. command on the borders and draw the bulk of U.S. forces away from the heavily populated coastal lowlands and cities.[61] is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Loc Ninh is a provincial capital in southern Vietnam. ... Big Red One redirects here. ... Combatants United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders Maj. ... The 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) is a combat division of the United States Army based at Fort Hood, Texas, with two maneuver brigades stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. ...


Westmoreland was more concerned with the situation at Khe Sanh, where, on 21 January, a force estimated at between 20,000-40,000 North Vietnamese troops had besieged the U.S. Marine garrison. MACV was convinced that the communists planned to stage an attack and overrun the base as a prelude to an all-out effort to seize the two northernmost provinces of South Vietnam.[62] To deter any such possibility, he deployed 250,000 men, including half of MACV's U.S. maneuver battalions, to the I Corps Tactical Zone. is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


This course of events disturbed Lieutenant General Frederick C. Weyand, commander of U.S. forces in II Corps, which included the Capital Military District. Weyand, a former intelligence officer, was suspicious of the pattern of PAVN/NLF activities in his area of responsibility and notified Westmoreland of his concerns on 10 January. Westmoreland agreed with his estimate and ordered 15 U.S. battalions to redeploy from positions near the Cambodian border back to the outskirts of Saigon.[7] When the offensive did begin, a total of 27 allied maneuver battalions defended the city and the surrounding area. This redeployment may have been one of the most critical tactical decisions of the war.[63] GEN Frederick C. Weyand Frederick Carlton Weyand was born in Arbuckle, California, on (September 15, 1916). ... is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Before the storm

By the beginning of January 1968, the U.S had deployed 331,098 Army personnel and 78,013 Marines in nine divisions, an armoured cavalry regiment, and two separate brigades to South Vietnam. They were joined there by the 1st Australian Task Force, a Royal Thai Army regiment, two Republic of Korea infantry divisions, and a Korean Marine Corps brigade.[64] South Vietnamese strength totaled 350,000 regulars in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.[65] They were in turn supported by the 151,000-man Regional Forces and 149,000-man Popular Forces, which were the equivalent of regional and local militias.[66] South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: Daehan Minguk (Hangul: 대한 민국; Hanja: 大韓民國)), is a country in East Asia, covering the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. ...

Republic of Vietnam, Corps Tactical Zones
Republic of Vietnam, Corps Tactical Zones

In the days immediately preceding the offensive, the preparedness of allied forces was relatively relaxed. North Vietnam had announced in October that it would observe a seven-day truce from 27 January to 3 February in honor of the Tet holiday, and the South Vietnamese military made plans to allow recreational leave for approximately one-half of its forces. General Westmoreland, who had already cancelled the truce in I Corps, requested that its ally cancel the upcoming cease-fire, but President Thieu (who had already reduced the cease-fire to 36 hours), refused to do so, claiming that it would damage troop morale and only benefit communist propagandists.[67] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 452 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (804 × 1065 pixel, file size: 360 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From George L. MacGarrigle, The United States Army in Vietnam: Combat Operations, Taking the Offensive, October 1966-October 1967. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 452 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (804 × 1065 pixel, file size: 360 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) From George L. MacGarrigle, The United States Army in Vietnam: Combat Operations, Taking the Offensive, October 1966-October 1967. ... is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 28 January 11 NLF cadre were captured in the city of Qui Nhon while in possession of two pre-recorded audio tapes whose message appealed to the populace in "already occupied Saigon, Hue, and Da Nang."[68] The following afternoon, General Cao Van Vien, chief of the ARVN General Staff, ordered his four corps commanders to place their troops on alert. Yet, there was still a lack of a sense of urgency on the part of the allies. If Westmoreland had a grasp of the potential for danger, he did not communicate it very well to others.[69] On the evening of 30 January 200 U.S. colonels, all of whom served on the MACV intelligence staff, attended a pool party at the officer's quarters in Saigon. According to James Meecham, an analyst at the Combined Intelligence Center who attended the party: "I had no conception Tet was coming, absolutely zero...Of the 200-odd colonels present, not one I talked to knew Tet was coming, without exception."[70] is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Qui Nhon is a coastal city in the centre of Vietnam. ... This article is about the city of Da Nang. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The general also failed to communicate his concerns adequately to Washington. Although he had warned the President between 25 and 30 January that "widespread" communist attacks were in the offing, his admonitions had tended to be so oblique or so hedged with official optimism that even the administration was unprepared.[71][70] [72] No one - in either Washington or Vietnam - was expecting what happened. is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Offensive

"Crack the Sky, Shake the Earth"[73]

Whether by accident or design, the first wave of attacks began shortly after midnight on 30 January as all five provincial capitals in II Corps and Da Nang, in I Corps, were attacked.[74] Nha Trang, headquarters of the U.S. I Field Force, was the first to be hit, followed shortly by Ban Me Thuot, Kontum, Hoi An, Tuy Hoa, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, and Pleiku. During all of these operations, the communists followed a similar pattern: mortar and/or rocket attacks were closely followed by massed ground assaults conducted by battalion-strength elements of the NLF (sometimes supported by North Vietnamese regulars). These forces would join with local NLF cadres who served as guides to lead the regulars to the most senior South Vietnamese headquarters and the radio station. The operations, however, were not well coordinated at the local level and, by daylight, almost all communist forces had been driven from their objectives. General Phillip B. Davidson, the new MACV chief of intelligence, notified Westmoreland that "This is going to happen in the rest of the country tonight and tomorrow morning."[75] All U.S. forces were placed on maximum alert and similar orders were issued to all ARVN units. The allies, however, still responded without any real sense of urgency. Orders cancelling leaves either came too late or were disregarded.[76] is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The fishing harbour in Nha Trang. ... ... There is a historical website that is nonprofit dedicated to the 1972 Easter Offensive in the Kontum area. ... Há»™i An   (Hui An: 會安) is a small city on the coast of the South China Sea in central Vietnam. ... Tuy Hoa district is a coastal plain district in the south of Phu Yen province. ... Pleiku is a town in central Vietnam seated in the central highland region. ... Phillip Buford Davidson, Jr. ...

U.S. Marines battle in Hamo village
U.S. Marines battle in Hamo village

At 03:00 on the morning of 31 January NLF and PAVN forces assailed Saigon, Cholon, and Gia Dinh in the Capital Military District; Quang Tri (again), Hue, Quang Tin, Tam Ky, and Quang Ngai as well as U.S. bases at Phu Bai and Chu Lai in I Corps; Phan Thiet, Tuy Hoa, and U.S. installations at Bong Son and An Khe in II Corps; and Can Tho and Vinh Long in IV Corps. The following day, Bien Hoa, Long Thanh, Binh Duong in III Corps and Kien Hoa, Dinh Tuong, Go Cong, Kien Giang, Vinh Binh, Ben Tre, and Kien Tuong in IV Corps were assaulted. The last attack of the initial operation was launched against Bac Lieu in IV Corps on 10 February. A total of approximately 84,000 communist troops participated in the attacks while thousands of others stood by to act as reinforcements or as blocking forces.[77] Communist forces also mortared or rocketed every major allied airfield and attacked 64 district capitals and scores of smaller towns. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 537 pixelsFull resolution (2548 × 1711 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 537 pixelsFull resolution (2548 × 1711 pixel, file size: 1. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Cholon (Vietnamese: quoc ngu ; chu nom ) is the name of the Chinese district of Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon), the largest such Chinatown district in Vietnam. ... Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Chí Minh) is the largest city in Vietnam, located near the delta of the Mekong River. ... Quang Tin was a province of South Vietnam. ... Tam Kỳ is the capital city of Quảng Nam Province in Vietnam. ... Quảng Ngãi is a city in central Vietnam. ... Phú Bài Airport (IATA: HUI, ICAO: VVPB) is located on the Vietnams central city of Hue, former of capital of Vietnam. ... Chu Lai (15. ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... Tuy Hoa district is a coastal plain district in the south of Phu Yen province. ... An Khe is episode 102 of The West Wing. ... Cần ThÆ¡  , the name comes from cầm thi giang - river of poems, is a city in Vietnam. ... Vinh Long is a city in Vietnam. ... Bien Hoa is a city in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Ho Chi Minh City, to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1. ... Binh Duong (in Vietnamese, Bình DÆ°Æ¡ng) is a Province of Vietnam. ... Kiên Giang   is a southern province of Vietnam known for fishing and rice farming. ... see Ben Tre Province ... Bạc Liêu is the capital of the Bac Lieu province in southern Vietnam. ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


In most cases the defense against the General Offensive, General Uprising was a South Vietnamese affair. Local militia or ARVN forces, supported by the National Police, usually drove the attackers out within two or three days, sometimes within hours; but heavy fighting continued several days longer in Kontum, Ban Me Thuot, Phan Thiet, Can Tho, and Ben Tre.[78] The outcome in each instance was usually dictated by the ability of local commanders - some were outstanding, some were cowardly and/or incompetent. During this crucial crisis, however, no South Vietnamese unit had been broken or had defected to the communists.[79]


According to Westmoreland, he responded to the news of the attacks with optimism, both in media presentations and in his reports to Washington. According to closer observers, however, the general was "stunned that the communists had been able to coordinate so many attacks in such secrecy" and he was "dispirited and deeply shaken."[80] According to Clark Clifford, at the time of the initial attacks, the reaction of the U.S. military leadership "approached panic".[81] Although Westmoreland's appraisal of the military situation was correct, he made himself look foolish by continuously maintaining his belief that Khe Sanh was the real objective of the communists and that 155 attacks by 84,000 troops was a diversion (a position he maintained until at least 12 February).[82] Washington Post reporter Peter Braestrup summed up the feelings of his colleagues by asking "How could any effort against Saigon, especially downtown Saigon, be a diversion?"[83] is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Saigon

Attacks on Saigon
Attacks on Saigon

Although Saigon was the focal point of the offensive, the communists did not seek a total takeover of the city.[84] Rather, they had six primary targets to strike in the downtown area: the headquarters of the ARVN General Staff; the Independence Palace, the American Embassy, the Long Binh Naval Headquarters, and the National Radio Station. These objectives were all assaulted by small elements of the local C-10 Sapper Battalion. Elsewhere in the city or its outskirts, ten NLF Local Force Battalions attacked the central police station and the Artillery Command and the Armored Command headquarters (both at Go Vap). The plan called for all these initial forces to capture and hold their positions for 48 hours, by which time reinforcements were to have arrived to relieve them. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 572 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1050 × 1101 pixel, file size: 299 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 572 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1050 × 1101 pixel, file size: 299 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ...


The defense of the Capital Military Zone was primarily a South Vietnamese responsibility and it was initially defended by eight ARVN infantry battalions and the local police force. By 3 February they had been reinforced by five ARVN Ranger Battalions, five Marine Corps, and five ARVN Airborne Battalions. U.S. Army units participating in the defense included the 716th Military Police Battalion, seven infantry battalions (one mechanized), and six artillery battalions.[85] is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Faulty intelligence and poor local coordination hampered the communist attacks from the outset. At the Armored Command and Artillery Command headquarters on the northern edge of the city, for example, the communists planned to utilize captured tanks and artillery pieces to further support the offensive. To their dismay, they found that the tanks had been moved to another base two months earlier and that the breech blocks of the artillery pieces had been removed, rendering them useless.[86] One of the most important NLF targets was the National Radio Station. NLF troops had brought along a tape recording of Hồ Chí Minh announcing the liberation of Saigon and calling for a "General Uprising" against the Thieu regime. The building was seized and held for six hours but the occupiers were unable to broadcast due to the cutting off of the audio lines from the main studio at the tower (which was situated at a different location) as soon as the station was seized. The U.S. Embassy in Saigon, a massive six-floor building situated within a four acre compound, had only been completed in September. At 02:45 it was attacked by a 19-man sapper team that blew a hole in the eight-foot high surrounding wall and charged through. With their officer killed in the initial attack and their attempt to gain access to the building having failed, however, the sappers simply milled around in the chancery grounds until they were all eliminated by reinforcements. By 09:20 the embassy and its grounds were secured.


Throughout the city, small squads of NLF troops fanned out to attack various officers and enlisted men's billets, homes of ARVN officers, and district police stations. Provided with "blacklists" of military officers and civil servants, they began to round up and execute any that could be found. Brutality begat brutality. On 1 February General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the National Police Force, publicly executed an NLF officer captured in civilian clothing in front of a photographer and film cameraman. What was not explained in the wake of the distribution of the captured images was that the suspect had just taken part in the murder of one of Loan's most trusted officers and his entire family.[87] is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... General Nguyen Ngoc Loan General Nguyen Ngoc Loan (December 11 1930 [1] â€“ July 14, 1998) was the Republic of Vietnams Chief of National Police. ...


Outside the city proper, two NLF battalions attacked the U.S. logistical and headquarters complex at Long Binh. Bien Hoa Air Base was struck by a battalion, while the adjacent ARVN III Corps headquarters was the objective of another. Tan Son Nhut Air Base, in the northwestern part of the city, was attacked by three battalions. Fortunately for the allies, a combat-ready battalion of ARVN paratroopers, awaiting transport to Da Nang, went instead directly into action and halted the attack.[88] A total of 35 communist battalions, many of whose troops were undercover cadres who had lived and worked within the capital or its environs for years, had been committed to the Saigon objectives.[89] By dawn, most of the attacks within the city center had been eliminated, but severe fighting between NLF and allied forces erupted in the Chinese suburb of Cholon around the Phu Tho racetrack, which was being utilized as an NLF staging area and command and control center. Bitter and destructive house-to-house fighting erupted in the area and, on 4 February, the residents were ordered to leave their homes and the area was declared a free fire zone. Fighting in the city came to a close only after a fierce battle between ARVN Rangers and NLF forces on 7 March. Air Photo of Bien Hoa Air Base - South Vietnam July 1968 Bien Hoa Air Base is a former South Vietnamese Air Force and United States Air Force base located in South-Central southern Vietnam about 20 miles (30 kilometers] from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) near the city of Bien... Tan Son Nhut Air Base is a former United States Air Force base. ... is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 66th day of the year (67th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Except at Hue and mopping-up operations in and around Saigon, the first surge of the offensive was over by the second week of February. The U.S. estimated that during the first phase (30 January - 8 April), approximately 45,000 NLF and PAVN soldiers were killed and an unknown number were wounded. For years this figure was held as excessive, but it was confirmed by Stanley Karnow in Hanoi in 1981.[90] Westmoreland claimed that during the same period 32,000 communist troops were killed and another 5,800 captured.[79] The South Vietnamese suffered 2,788 killed, 8,299 wounded, and 587 missing in action. U.S. and other allied forces suffered 1,536 killed, 7,764 wounded, and 11 missing.[91] is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Huế

For more details on on the battle for the city, see Battle of Hue.
For more details on on communist atrocities committed during the occupation, see Massacre at Huế.
Hue and the Citadel
Hue and the Citadel

At 03:40 on the foggy morning of 31 January, allied defensive positions north of the Perfume River in the city of Hue were mortared and rocketed and then attacked by two battalions of the 6th PAVN Regiment. Their target were the ARVN 1st Division headquarters located in the Citadel, a three-square mile complex of palaces, parks, and residences that were surrounded by a moat and a massive earth and masonry fortress built in 1802. The undermanned ARVN defenders, led by General Ngo Quang Truong, managed to hold their position, but the majority of the Citadel fell to the communists. On the south bank of the river, the 4th PAVN Regiment attempted to seize the local MACV headquarters, but was held at bay by a makeshift force of approximately 200 Americans. The rest of the city was overrun by PAVN/NLF forces which initially totaled approximately 7,500 men.[92] Both sides then rushed to reinforce and resupply their forces. Lasting 26 days, the battle of Huế became one of the longest and bloodiest single battles of the Vietnam War. Combatants South Viet Nam United States North Viet Nam Viet Cong Commanders Ngo Quang Truong Foster C. LaHue Tran Van Quang Strength Over 30,000 8,000, later 12,000 Casualties ARVN: 452 KIA; 2,123 WIA US: 216 KIA; 1,584 WIA[1] Total: 668 KIA; 3,707 WIA... The Massacre at Huế is the name given to describe the summary executions and mass killings that occurred during the Viet Cong and North Vietnams capture, occupation and withdrawal from the city of Huế during the Tet Offensive, considered one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 487 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1044 × 1284 pixel, file size: 421 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 487 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1044 × 1284 pixel, file size: 421 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... General Ngô Quang Trưởng General Ngô Quang Trưởng was born in 1933, Vietnam. ...


During the first days of the PAVN occupation, allied intelligence vastly underestimated the number of communist troops and little appreciated the effort that was going to be necessary to evict them. General Westmoreland informed the Joint Chiefs that "the enemy has approximately three companies in the Hue Citadel and the marines have sent a battalion into the area to clear them out."[93] Since there were no U.S. formations stationed in Hue, relief forces had to move up from Phu Bai, eight kilometers to the southeast. In a misty drizzle, U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division and soldiers of the 1st ARVN Division and Marine Corps cleared the city street by street and house by house, a deadly and destructive form of urban combat that the U.S. military had not engaged in since the Battle of Seoul during the Korean War, and for which its men were not trained.[94] Due to the historical and cultural significance of the city, American forces did not immediately apply air and artillery strikes as widely as it had in other cities. The 1st Marine Division is the oldest, largest (active duty), and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. ... Four battles of the Korean War fought in and around the city of Seoul are known as the battle of Seoul: North Korea captured Seoul in July 1950. ... Belligerents United Nations: Republic of Korea Australia Belgium Canada Colombia Ethiopia France Greece Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Philippines South Africa Thailand Turkey United Kingdom United States Naval Support and Military Servicing/Repairs: Japan Medical staff: Denmark Italy Norway India Sweden DPR Korea PR China Soviet Union Commanders Syngman Rhee Chung...

U.S. Marines advance past an M-48 tank during the battle for Hue
U.S. Marines advance past an M-48 tank during the battle for Hue

Outside Hue, elements of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division and the 101st Airborne Division fought to seal communist access and cut off their lines of supply and reinforcement. By this point in the battle 16 to 18 PAVN/NLF battalions (8,000-11,000 men) were taking part in the fighting for the city itself or the approaches to the former imperial capital.[95] Two of the PAVN regiments had made a forced march from the vicinity of Khe Sanh to Hue in order to participate. During most of February, the allies gradually fought their way towards the Citadel, which was only taken after four days of intense struggle. The city was not declared recaptured by U.S. and ARVN forces until 24 February, when members of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, 1st ARVN Division raised the South Vietnamese flag over the Palace of Perfect Peace. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 493 pixelsFull resolution (1864 × 1148 pixel, file size: 723 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) {PD-US-Gov-DOD}} Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A190400 File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 493 pixelsFull resolution (1864 × 1148 pixel, file size: 723 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) {PD-US-Gov-DOD}} Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A190400 File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... M48 or M-48 may be: M1948, a Soviet artillery piece M48 motorway, in England M48 Patton tank Open Cluster M48, a Messier object and open cluster in the Hydra constellation This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... The 1st Cavalry Division (1st Cav Div) is a heavy armored division of the United States Army with base of operations in Fort Hood, Texas. ... The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)—nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles”—is an airborne division of the United States Army primarily trained for air assault operations. ... is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


During the intense action, the allies estimated that North Vietnamese forces had between 2,500 and 5,000 killed and 89 captured in the city and in the surrounding area.[96] 216 U.S. Marines and soldiers had been killed during the fighting and 1,609 were wounded. 421 ARVN troops were killed, another 2,123 were wounded, and 31 were missing.[95] More than 5,800 civilians had lost their lives during the battle and 116,000 were left homeless out of an original population of 140,000.[97] In the aftermath of the recapture of the city, the discovery of several mass graves (the last of which were uncovered in 1970) of South Vietnamese citizens of Hue sparked a controversy that has not diminished with time. The victims had either been clubbed or shot to death or simply been buried alive. The official allied explanation was that during their initial occupation of the city, the communists had quickly begun to systematically round up (under the guise of re-education) and then execute as many as 2,800 South Vietnamese civilians that they believed to be potentially hostile to communist control.[98] Those taken into custody included South Vietnamese military personnel, present and former government officials, local civil servants, teachers, policemen, and religious figures. Historian Gunther Lewy claimed that a captured NLF document stated that the communists had "eliminated 1,892 administrative personnel, 38 policemen, 790 tyrants."[99]


This thesis achieved wide credence at the time, but it came under increasing scrutiny later, when it became known that South Vietnamese "revenge squads" had also been at work in the aftermath of the battle, searching out and executing citizens that had supported the communist occupation.[100] The North Vietnamese later further muddied the waters by stating that their forces had indeed rounded up "reactionary" captives for transport to the North, but that local commanders, under battlefield exegencies, had executed them for expediency's sake.[101] General Truong, commander of the 1st ARVN Division and hero of the battle, believed that the captives had been executed by the communists in order to protect the identities of members of the local NLF infrastructure, whose covers had been blown.[102] The fate of those citizens of Hue discovered in the mass graves will probably never be known with certainty, but it was probably the result of a combination of all of the above circumstances.


Khe Sanh

For more details on on operations around the Combat Base, see Battle of Khe Sanh.

As far as can be presently ascertained, the attack on Khe Sanh, which began on 21 January, could have been intended to serve two purposes - as a real attempt to seize the position or as a diversion to draw American attention and forces away from the population centers in the lowlands, a deception that was "both plausible and easy to orchestrate."[103] In General Westmoreland's view, the purpose of the Combat Base was to provoke the North Vietnamese into a focused and prolonged confrontation in a confined geographic area, one which would allow the application of massive U.S. artillery and air strikes that would inflict heavy casualties in a relatively unpopulated region.[104] By the end of 1967, MACV had moved nearly half of its maneuver battalions to I Corps in anticipation of just such a battle. Combatants  United States Republic of Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders David E. Lownds (local), William C. Westmoreland (theater) Tran Quy Hai (local), Vo Nguyen Giap (theater) Strength 6,000 ~30,000 Casualties 730 killed in action, 2,642 wounded, 7 missing[2] Unknown; estimated between 10,000 and 15... is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Northern Quang Tri Province
Northern Quang Tri Province

Westmoreland (and the American media, which covered the action extensively) often made inevitable comparisons between the actions at Khe Sanh and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, where a French base had been besieged and ultimately overrun by Viet Minh forces under the command of General Giap during the First Indochina War.[105] Westmoreland, who knew of Nguyen Chi Thanh's penchant for large-scale operations (but not of his death) believed that this was going to be an attempt to replicate that victory. He intended to stage his own "Dien Bien Phu in reverse."[106] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1362x891, 365 KB) From Captain Moyars S. Shore II, The Battle for Khe Sanh. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1362x891, 365 KB) From Captain Moyars S. Shore II, The Battle for Khe Sanh. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Hmong mercenaries Viet Minh Commanders Christian de Castries # Pierre Langlais # René Cogny Vo Nguyen Giap Strength As of March 13: 10,800[1] As of March 13: 48,000 combat personnel, 15,000 logistical support personnel[2] Casualties 2,293 dead, 5,195... The Viet Minh (abbreviated from Việt Nam ộc Lập ồng Minh Hội, League for the Independence of Vietnam) was formed by Ho Ngoc Lam and Nguyen Hai Than in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France. ...


Khe Sanh and its 6,000 U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and ARVN defenders was surrounded by two to three PAVN divisions, totaling approximately 20,000 men. Throughout the siege, which lasted until 8 April, the allies were subjected to heavy mortar, rocket, and artillery bombardment, combined with sporadic small-scale infantry attacks on outlying positions. With the exception of the overrunning of the U.S. Special Forces camp at Lang Vei, however, there was never a major ground assault on the base and the battle became largely a duel between American and North Vietnamese artillerists, combined with massive air strikes conducted by U.S. aircraft. American air support included massive bombing strikes by B-52s. By the end of the siege, U.S Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy aircraft had dropped 39,179 tons of ordnance in the defense of the base.[107]. The overland supply route to the base had been cut off, and airborne resupply by cargo aircraft became extremely dangerous due to heavy North Vietnamese antiaircraft fire. Thanks to innovative high-speed "Super Gaggles," which utilized fighter-bombers in combination with large numbers of supply helicopters, and the Air Force's utilization of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft employing the innovative LAPES delivery method, aerial resupply was never halted. April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants North Vietnam United States Commanders Unknown Capt. ... “B-52” redirects here. ... The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft and the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. ... Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies when landing is not an option in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude, . This method was developed by the US...


When the Tet Offensive began, feelings ran high at MACV that the base was in for a serious attack. In I Corps, the Tet truce had been cancelled in apprehension of just such an occurrence. It just never happened. The offensive passed Khe Sanh by and the intermittent battle continued there as usual. Westmorland's fixation upon the base continued even as the battle raged around him in Saigon.[108] On 1 February, as the offensive reached its height, he wrote a memo for his staff (but never delivered) claiming that "The enemy is attempting to confuse the issue...I suspect he is also trying to draw everyone's attention from the area of greatest threat, the northern part of I Corps. Let me caution everyone not to be confused."[109] is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


In the end, a major allied relief expedition (Operation Pegasus) reached Khe Sanh on 8 April, but North Vietnamese forces were already withdrawing from the area.[110] Both sides claimed that the battle had served its intended purpose. The U.S. estimated that 8,000 PAVN troops had been killed and considerably more wounded, against 730 American lives lost and another 2,642 wounded.[111] There have been two military efforts codenamed Pegasus, one in 1944 and the other in 1968. ... April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Phases II and III

U.S. Marines move through the ruins of the hamlet of Dai Do after several days of intense fighting
U.S. Marines move through the ruins of the hamlet of Dai Do after several days of intense fighting

To further enhance their political posture at the Paris talks, which opened on 13 May, the North Vietnamese opened the second phase of the General Offensive in late April. U.S. intelligence sources estimated between February and May the North Vietnamese had dispatched 50,000 men down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to replace losses incurred during the earlier fighting.[112] Some of the most prolonged and vicious combat of the war opened on 29 April and lasted until 30 May when the 8,000 men of the 320th PAVN Division, backed by artillery from across the DMZ, threatened the U.S. logistical base at Dong Ha, in northwestern Quang Tri Province. In what became known as the Battle of Dai Do, the North Vietnamese clashed savagly with U.S. Marine, Army, and ARVN forces before withdrawing. The North Vietnamese lost an estimated 2,100 men after inflicting casualties on the allies of 290 killed and 946 wounded.[113] During the early morning hours of 4 May, communist units initiated the second phase of the offensive (known by the South Vietnamese and Americans as "Mini-Tet") by striking 119 targets throughout South Vietnam, including Saigon. This time, however, allied intelligence was better prepared, stripping away the element of surprise. Most of the communist forces were intercepted by allied screening elements before they reached their targets. 13 NLF battalions, however, managed to slip through the cordon and once again plunged the capital into chaos. Severe fighting occurred at Phu Lam, (where it took two days to root out the 267th NLF Local Force Battalion), around the Y-Bridge, and at Tan Son Nhut.[114] By 12 May, however, it was all over. NLF forces withdrew from the area leaving behind over 3,000 dead.[115] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 539 pixelsFull resolution (2492 × 1680 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 539 pixelsFull resolution (2492 × 1680 pixel, file size: 1. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 119th day of the year (120th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dong Ha is a capital city of Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Attacks on Saigon, Phase II, May 1968
Attacks on Saigon, Phase II, May 1968

The fighting had no sooner died down around Saigon than U.S. forces in Quang Tin Province suffered what was, without doubt, the most serious American defeat of the war. On 10 May two regiments of the 2nd PAVN Division attacked Kham Duc, the last Special Forces border surveillance camp in I Corps. 1,800 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops were isolated and under intense attack when MACV made the decision to avoid a situation reminiscent of that at Khe Sanh. Kham Duc was evacuated by air while under fire, and abandoned to the North Vietnamese.[116] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 532 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (945 × 1065 pixel, file size: 287 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) PD-USGov-Military-Army}} from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 532 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (945 × 1065 pixel, file size: 287 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) PD-USGov-Military-Army}} from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants North Vietnam Viet Cong United States South Vietnam Australia Strength 10,000+ 1,760+ Casualties  ??? 270+ killed or missing 9 aircraft loss The Battle of Kham Duc was the struggle for the United States Army Special Forces camp located in Quang Tin province, South Vietnam. ...


The communists returned to Saigon on 25 May and launched a second wave of attacks on the city. The fighting during this phase differred from Tet Mau Than and "Mini-Tet" in that no U.S. installations were attacked. During this series of actions, NLF forces occupied six pagodas in the mistaken belief that they would be immune from artillery and air attack. The fiercest fighting once again took place in Cholon. One notable event occurred on 18 June when 152 members of the NLF Quyet Thang Regiment surrendered to ARVN forces, the largest communist surrender of the war.[117]The actions also brought more death and suffering to the city's inhabitants. 87,000 more had been made homeless while more than 500 were killed and another 4,500 were wounded.[118] During the second phase (5 May - 30 May) U.S. casualties amounted to 1,161 killed and 3,954 wounded.[119] 143 South Vietnamese servicemen were killed and another 643 were wounded.[117] is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 169th day of the year (170th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Kham Duc during the evacuation
Kham Duc during the evacuation

Phase III of the offensive began on 17 August and involved attacks in I, II, and III Corps. Significantly, during this series of actions only PAVN forces participated. The main offensive was preceded by attacks on the border towns of Tay Ninh, An Loc, and Loc Ninh, which were initiated in order to draw defensive forces from the cities.[120] A thrust against Da Nang was prempted by the U.S. Marines on 16 August. Continuing their border-clearing operations, three North Vietnamese regiments asserted heavy pressure on the U.S. Special Forces camp at Bu Prang, in Quang Duc Province, five kilometers from the Cambodian border. The fighting lasted for two days before the North Vietnamese broke it off and the fighting resulted in 776 North Vietnamese, 114 South Vietnamese, and two Americans killed.[121] Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tay Ninh (in Vietnamese, Tây Ninh) is a town in southwestern Vietnam. ... An Loc is a small town in South Vietnam, located approximately 90 km north of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). ... is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Saigon was struck again during this phase, but the attacks were less sustained and once again easily repulsed. As far as MACV was concerned, the August offensive "was a dismal failure."[122] In five weeks of fighting and after the loss of 20,000 troops, not a single objective had been attained during this "final and decisive phase." Yet, as historian Ronald Spector has pointed out "the communist failures were not final or decisive either."[122] During the same period 700 U.S. troops were killed in action.[123]


The horrendous casualties and suffering endured by NLF/PAVN units during these sustained operations was beginning to tell. The fact that there were no apparent military gains made that could possibly justify all the blood and effort just exacerbated the situation. During the first half of 1969, more than 20,000 communist troops rallied to allied forces, a threefold increase over the 1968 figure.[124] On 5 April 1969, COSVN issued Directive 55 to all of its subordinate units: "Never again and under no circumstances are we going to risk our entire military force for just such an offensive. On the contrary, we should endeavor to preserve our military potential for future campaigns."[125] is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (number) 1969 (movie) 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ...


Aftermath

North Vietnam

The leadership in Hanoi must have been initially despondent about the outcome of their great gamble.[126] Their first and most ambitious goal, producing a general uprising, had ended in a dismal failure. In total, approximately 85,000-100,000 NLF and PAVN troops had participated in the initial onslaught and in the follow-up phases. Overall, during the "Border Battles" of 1967 and the nine-month winter-spring campaign, 75,000-85,000 NLF and PAVN troops had been killed in action.[127]

ARVN troops in action near Tan Son Nhut Air Base
ARVN troops in action near Tan Son Nhut Air Base

The keys to the failure of the "General Offensive, General Uprising" were not difficult to discern. Hanoi had underestimated the strategic mobility of the allied forces, which allowed them to redeploy at will to threatened areas; their battle plan was too complex and difficult to coordinate, which was amply demonstrated by the 30 January attacks; their violation of the principal of mass, attacking everywhere instead of concentrating their forces on a few specific targets, allowed their forces to be defeated piecemeal; the launching of massed attacks headlong into the teeth of vastly superior firepower; and last, but not least, the incorrect assumptions upon which the entire campaign was based.[128] According to General Tran Van Tra: "We did not correctly evaluate the specific balance of forces between ourselves and the enemy, did not fully realize that the enemy still had considerable capabilities, and that our capabilities were limited, and set requirements that were beyond our actual strength.[129] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 565 pixelsFull resolution (1150 × 812 pixel, file size: 446 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 565 pixelsFull resolution (1150 × 812 pixel, file size: 446 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Colonel Hoang Ngoc Lung The General Offensives of 1968-69. ... is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The communist effort to regain control of the countryside was somewhat more successful. According to the U.S. State Department the NLF "made pacification virtually inoperative. In the Mekong Delta the NLF was stronger now than ever and in other regions the countryside belongs to the VC."[130] General Wheeler reported that the offensive had brought counterinsurgency programs to a halt and "that to a large extent, the V.C. now controlled the countryside."[131]Unfortunately for the NLF, this state of affairs did not last. Heavy casualties and the backlash of the South Vietnamese and Americans resulted in more territorial losses and heavy casualties.[132] The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ...

An NLF guerrilla awaits interrogation following his capture in the attacks on Saigon.
An NLF guerrilla awaits interrogation following his capture in the attacks on Saigon.

The horrendous losses inflicted on NLF units struck into the heart of the irreplaceable infrastructure that had been built up for over a decade. From this point forward, Hanoi was forced to fill one-third of the NLF's ranks with North Vietnamese troops.[133] However, this change had little effect on the war, since North Vietnam had little difficulty making up the casualties inflicted by the offensive.[134] Some Western historians have come to believe that one insidious ulterior motive for the campaign was the elimination of competing southern members of the Party, thereby allowing the northerners more control once the war was won.[135] Image File history File links Vietcong2. ... Image File history File links Vietcong2. ...


It was not until after the conclusion of the first phase of the offensive that Hanoi realized that its sacrifices might not have been in vain. General Tran Do, PAVN commander at the battle of Hue, gave some insight into how defeat was translated into victory:

In all honesty, we didn't achieve our main objective, which was to spur uprisings throughout the South. Still, we inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans and their puppets, and this was a big gain for us. As for making an impact in the United States, it had not been our intention - but it turned out to be a fortunate result.[136]

Hanoi had in no way anticipated the political and psychological effect the offensive would have on the leadership and population of the U.S.[137] When the northern leadership saw how the U.S. was reacting to the offensive, they began to propagandize their "victory". The opening of negotiations and the diplomatic struggle, the option feared by the Party militants prior to the offensive, quickly came to occupy a position equal to that of the military struggle.[138]


On 5 May Truong Chinh rose to address a congress of Party members and proceeded to castigate the Party militants and their bid for quick victory. His "faction-bashing" tirade sparked a serious debate within the party leadership which lasted for four months. As the leader of the "main force war" and "quick victory" faction, Le Duan also came under severe criticism. In August, Chinh's report on the situation was accepted in toto, published, and broadcast via Radio Hanoi. He had single-handedly shifted the nation's war strategy and restored himself to prominence as the Party's ideological conscience.[139] Meanwhile, the NLF reformed itself as the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, and took part in future peace negotiations under this title. It would be a long seven years until victory. is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Flag Anthem Giải phóng miền Nam (To Liberate the South) Capital Ho Chi Minh City Language(s) Vietnamese Government Socialist republic Chairman of Consultative Council Nguyen Huu Tho Chairman of Consultative Council Huynh Tan Phat Historical era Cold War  - Provisional republic established April 30, 1975  - Dissolution June... The Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam), the Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam), and the United States, as well as the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) that represented indigenous South Vietnamese revolutionaries. ...


South Vietnam

South Vietnam was a nation in turmoil both during and in the aftermath of the offensive. Tragedy had compounded tragedy as the conflict reached into the nation's cities for the first time. As government troops pulled back to defend the urban areas, the NLF moved in to fill the vacuum in the countryside. The violence and destruction witnessed during the offensive left a deep psychological scar on the South Vietnamese civilian population. Confidence in the government was shaken, since the offensive seemed to reveal that even with massive American support, the government could not protect its citizens.[140]

Civilians sort through the ruins of their homes in Cholon, the heavily damaged Chinese section of Saigon
Civilians sort through the ruins of their homes in Cholon, the heavily damaged Chinese section of Saigon

The human and material cost to South Vietnam was staggering. The number of civilian dead was estimated by the government at 14,300 with an additional 24,000 wounded.[141] 630,000 new refugees had been generated, joining the nearly 800,000 others already displaced by the war. By the end of 1968, one of every twelve South Vietnamese was living in a refugee camp.[141] More than 70,000 homes had been destroyed in the fighting and perhaps 30,000 more were heavily damaged and the nation's infrastructure had been virtually destroyed. The South Vietnamese military, although it had performed better than the Americans had expected, suffered from lowered morale, with desertion rates rising from 10.5 per thousand before Tet to 16.5 per thousand by July.[142] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 525 pixelsFull resolution (1494 × 981 pixel, file size: 528 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Joel D. Meyerson, Images of a Lenghty War. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 525 pixelsFull resolution (1494 × 981 pixel, file size: 528 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) from Joel D. Meyerson, Images of a Lenghty War. ...


In the wake of the offensive, however, fresh determination was exhibited by the Thieu government. On 1 February the President declared a state of martial law and, on 15 June, the National Assembly passed his request for a general mobilization of the population and the induction of 200,000 draftees into the armed forces by the end of the year (a decree that had failed to pass only five months previously due to strong political opposition).[143] This increase would bring South Vietnam's troop strength to more than 900,000 men.[144][145] Military mobilization, anti-corruption campaigns, demonstrations of political unity, and administrative reforms were quickly carried out.[146] Thieu also established a National Recovery Committee to oversee food distribution, resettlement, and housing construction for the new refugees. Both the government and the Americans were encouraged by a new determination that was exhibited among the ordinary citizens of the Republic. Many urban dwellers were indignant that the NLF had launched their attacks during Tet and it drove many who had been previously apathetic into active support of the government. Journalists, political figures, and religious leaders alike - even the militant Buddhists - professed confidence in the government's plans.[147] is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 166th day of the year (167th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Nguyen Van Thieu, President of the Republic of Vietnam
Nguyen Van Thieu, President of the Republic of Vietnam

Thieu saw an opportunity to consolidate his personal power and he took it. His only real political rival was Vice President Ky, the former Air Force commander, who had been outmaneuvered by Thieu in the presidential election of 1967. In the aftermath of Tet, Ky supporters in the military and the administration were quickly removed from power, arrested, or exiled.[148] A crack-down on the South Vietnamese press also ensued and there was a worrysome return of former President Ngo Dinh Diem's Can Lao Party members to high positions in the government and military. By the summer of 1968, the President had earned a less exalted sobriquet among the South Vietnamese population, who had begun to call him "the little dictator."[149] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2062x1745, 722 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Nguyá»…n Văn Thiệu ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2062x1745, 722 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Nguyá»…n Văn Thiệu ... President Nguyen Van Thieu Nguyen Van Thieu, (April 5, 1923 – September 29, 2001) was a former General and President of South Vietnam. ...   «ngoh dihn zih-ehm» (January 3, 1901 – November 2, 1963) was the first President of South Vietnam (1955–1963). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Thieu had also become very suspicious of his American allies, unwilling to believe (as did many South Vietnamese) that the U.S. had been caught by surprise by the offensive. "Now that it's all over," he queried a visiting Washington official, "you really knew it was coming didn't you?"[150][151] Lyndon Johnson's unilateral decision on 31 March to curtail the bombing of North Vietnam only confirmed what Thieu already feared - the Americans were going to abandon South Vietnam to the communists. For Thieu, the bombing halt and the beginning of negotiations with the North brought not the hope of an end to the war, but "an abiding fear of peace."[150] He was only mollified after an 18 July meeting with Johnson in Honolulu, where the American president affirmed that Saigon would be a full partner in all negotiations and that the U.S. would not "support the imposition of a coalition government, or any other form of government, on the people of South Vietnam."[152] is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


United States

For more details on on the debate over the media's portrayal of the offensive and the public response, see News media and the Vietnam War#Tet.2C 1968.

The Tet Offensive created a crisis within the Johnson administration, which became increasingly unable to convince the American public that it had been a major defeat for the communists. The optimistic assessments made prior to the offensive by the administration and the Pentagon came under heavy criticism and ridicule as the "credibility gap" that had opened in 1967 widened into a chasm.[153] Beginning during the Vietnam War (1960-1975), and continuing into the present there has been a continuing debate on the influence of the news media on the course and outcome of the conflict. ... This article is about the United States military building. ... Alternate meaning: The Credibility Gap, comedy team Credibility gap is a political slogan, originally used in the New York Herald Tribune in March of 1965, to describe then-president Lyndon Johnsons handling of the escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. ...


The shocks that reverberated from the battlefield continued to widen: On 18 February 1968 MACV posted the highest U.S. casualty figures for a single week during the entire war - 543 killed, 2,547 wounded.[154] On 23 February 1968 the U.S. Selective Service System announced a new draft call for 48,000 men, the second highest of the war.[155] On 28 February 1968 Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense who had overseen the escalation of the war in 1964-1965, but who had eventually turned against it, stepped down from office. is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... SSS redirects to here, you may also want the Social Security System The Selective Service System, in the United States, is a system to register all males over the age of 18 for the purpose of having information available about potential soldiers in case of war. ... is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Robert McNamara in 1964 Robert Strange McNamara (born June 9, 1916), American businessman and politician, was United States Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...


Troop request

During the first two weeks of February, Generals Westmoreland and Wheeler communicated as to the necessity for reinforcements or troop increases in Vietnam. Westmoreland insisted that he only needed those forces either in-country or already scheduled for deployment and he was puzzled by the sense of unwarranted urgency in Wheeler's queries.[156] Westmoreland was tempted, however, when Wheeler emphasized that the White House might loosen restraints and allow operations in Laos, Cambodia, or possibly even North Vietnam itself.[157] On 8 February, Westmoreland responded that he could use another division "if operations in Laos are authorized".[158] Wheeler responded by challenging Westmoreland's assessment of the situation, pointing out dangers that his on-the-spot commander did not consider palpable, concluding: "In summary, if you need more troops, ask for them."[159] Wheeler's bizarre promptings were influenced by the severe strain imposed upon the U.S. military by the Vietnam commitment, one which had been undertaken without the mobilization of its reserve forces. The Joint Chiefs had repeatedly requested national mobilization, not only to prepare for a possible intensification of the war, but also to ensure that the nation's strategic reserve did not become depleted.[160] By obliquely ordering Westmoreland to demand more forces, Wheeler was attempting to solve two pressing problems.[80] In comparison with MACV's previous communications, which had been full of confidence, optimism, and resolve, Westmoreland's 12 February request for 10,500 troops was much more urgent: "which I desperately need...time is of the essence."[161] On 13 February 10,500 previously authorized U.S. airborne troops and marines were dispatched to South Vietnam. The Joint Chiefs then played their hand, advising President Johnson to turn down MACV's requested division-sized reinforcement unless he called up some 1,234,001 marine and army reservists.[162] For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Johnson dispatched Wheeler to Saigon on 20 February to determine military requirements in response to the offensive. Both Wheeler and Westmoreland were elated that in only eight days McNamara would be replaced by the hawkish Clark Clifford and that the military might finally obtain permission to widen the war.[163] Wheeler's written report of the trip, however, contained no mention of any new contingencies, strategies, or the building up the strategic reserve. It was couched in grave language that suggested that the 206,756-man request it proposed was a matter of vital military necessity.[164] Westmoreland wrote in his memoir that Wheeler had deliberately concealed the truth of the matter in order to force the issue of the strategic reserve upon the President.[165] On 27 February Johnson and McNamara discussed the proposed troop increase. To fulfill it would require an increase in overall military strength of about 400,000 men and the expenditure of an additional $10 billion during fiscal 1969 and another $15 billion in 1970.[166] These monetary concerns were pressing. Throughout the fall of 1967 and the spring of 1968, the U.S. was struggling with "one of the most severe monetary crises" of the period. Without a new tax bill and budgetary cuts, the nation would face even higher inflation "and the possible collapse of the monetary system".[167] Johnson's friend Clark Clifford was concerned about what the American public would think of the escalation: "How do we avoid creating the feeling that we are pounding troops down a rathole?"[168] is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Clark McAdams Clifford (December 25, 1906 – October 10, 1998) was a highly influential American lawyer who served Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter, serving as Secretary of Defense for Johnson. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


According to the Pentagon Papers, "A fork in the road had been reached and the alternatives stood out in stark reality." To meet Wheeler's request would mean a total U.S. military commitment to South Vietnam. "To deny it, or to attempt to cut it to a size which could be sustained by the thinly stretched active forces, would just as surely signify that an upper limit to the U.S. military commitment in South Vietnam had been reached."[169] The Pentagon Papers is the colloquial term for United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, a 47 volume, 7,000-page, top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945...


Reassessment

To evaluate Westmoreland's request and its possible impact on domestic politics, Johnson convened the "Clifford Group" on 28 February and tasked its members with a complete policy reassessment.[170] Some of the members argued that the offensive represented an opportunity to defeat the North Vietnamese on American terms while others pointed out that neither side could win militarily, that North Vietnam could match any troop increase, that the bombing of the North be halted, and that a change in strategy was required that would seek not victory, but the staying power required to reach a negotiated settlement. This would require a less aggressive strategy that was designed to protect the population of South Vietnam.[171] The divided group's final report, issued on 4 March, "failed to seize the opportunity to change directions... and seemed to recommend that we continue rather haltingly down the same road."[172] is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 1 March Clifford had succeeded McNamara as Secretary of Defense. During the month, Clifford, who had entered office as a staunch supporter of the Vietnam commitment and who had opposed McNamara's de-escalatory views, turned against the war. According to Clifford: "The simple truth was that the military failed to sustain a respectable argument for their position."[173] Between the results of Tet and the meetings of the group that bore his name, he became convinced that deescalation was the only solution for the United States. He was convinced that the troop increase would lead only to a more violent stalemate and sought out others in the administration to assist him in convincing the President to reverse the escalation, to cap force levels at 550,000 men, to seek negotiations with Hanoi, and turn responsibility for the fighting over to the South Vietnamese.[174] Clifford quietly sought allies and was assisted in his effort by the so-called "8:30 Group" - Nitze, Warnke, Phil G. Goulding (Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs), George Elsey, and Air Force Colonel Robert E. Pursely. On 27 February Secretary of State Dean Rusk had proposed that a partial bombing halt be implemented in North Vietnam and that an offer to negotiate be extended to Hanoi.[175] On 4 March Rusk reiterated the proposal, explaining that, during the rainy season in the North, bombing was less effective and that no military sacrifice would thus occur. This was purely a political ploy, however, since the North Vietnamese would probably again refuse to negotiate, casting the onus on them and "thus freeing our hand after a short period...putting the monkey firmly upon Hanoi's back for what was to follow."[176] [177] is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


While this was being deliberated, the troop request was leaked to the press and published in the The New York Times on 10 March.[178] The article also revealed that the request had begun a serious debate within the administration. According to it, many high-level officials believed that the U.S. troop increase would be matched by the communists and would simply maintain a stalemate at a higher levels of violence. It went on to state that officials were saying in private that "widespread and deep changes in attitudes, a sense that a watershed has been reached."[179] A great deal has been said by historians concerning how the news media made Tet the "turning point" in the public's perception of the war. Popular CBS anchor Walter Cronkite stated during a news broadcast on February 27, "We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds" and added that, "we are mired in a stalemate that could only be ended by negotiation, not victory."[180] Far from suffering a loss of morale, however, the majority of Americans had rallied to the side of the president. A Gallup poll in January 1968 revealed that 56 percent polled considered themselves hawks on the war and 27 percent doves, with 17 percent offering no opinion.[181] By early February, at the height of the first phase of the offensive, 61 percent declared themselves hawks, 23 percent doves, and 16 percent held no opinion. Johnson, however, made few comments to the press during or immediately after the offensive, leaving an impression of indecision on the public. It was this lack of communication that caused a rising disapproval rating for his conduct of the war. By the end of February, his approval rating had fallen from 63 percent to 47 percent. By the end of March the percentage of Americans that expressed confidence in U.S. military policies in Southeast Asia had fallen from 74 to 54 percent.[182] The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... is the 69th day of the year (70th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the broadcast network. ... Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...


By 22 March President Johnson had informed Wheeler to "forget the 100,000" men.[175] The President and his staff were refining a lesser version of the troop increase - a planned call-up of 62,000 reservists, 13,000 of whom would be sent to Vietnam.[183] Three days later, at Clifford's suggestion, Johnson called a conclave of the "Wise Men".[184] With few exceptions, all of the members of the group had formerly been accounted as hawks on the war. The group was joined by Rusk, Wheeler, Bundy, Rostow, and Clifford. The final assessment of the majority stupefied the group.[185] According to Clifford, "few of them were thinking solely of Vietnam anymore".[186] All but four members called for disengagement from the war, leaving the President "deeply shaken."[187] According to the Pentagon Papers, the advice of the group was decisive in convincing Johnson to reduce the bombing of North Vietnam.[188] is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Wise Men were a group of six government officials, who during the Truman administration developed the containment policy of dealing with the Communist bloc. ...

ARVN Rangers moving through western Cholon, 10 May 1968
ARVN Rangers moving through western Cholon, 10 May 1968

Lyndon Johnson was depressed and despondent at the course of recent events. The New York Times article had been released just two days before the United States Democratic Party's New Hampshire Primary, where the President suffered an unexpected setback in the election, finishing barely ahead of Senator Eugene McCarthy. Soon afterward, Senator Robert F. Kennedy announced he would join the contest for the Democratic nomination, further emphasizing the plummeting support for Johnson's administration in the wake of Tet. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 543 pixelsFull resolution (2868 × 1948 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 543 pixelsFull resolution (2868 × 1948 pixel, file size: 2. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. ... The New Hampshire primary is the first of a number of statewide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years, as part of the process of the Democratic and Republican parties choosing their candidate for the presidential elections on the subsequent November. ... Not to be confused with the anti-Communist senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy. ... Robert Francis Bobby Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was one of two younger brothers of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and served as United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964. ...


The President was to make a televised address to the nation on Vietnam policy on 31 March and was deliberating on both the troop request and his response to the military situation. By 28 March Clifford was working hard to convince him to tone down his hard-line speech, maintaining force levels at their present size, and instituting Rusk's bombing/negotiating proposal. To Clifford's surprise, both Rusk and Rostow (both of whom had previously been opposed to any form of deescalation) offered no opposition to Clifford's suggestions.[189] On 31 March President Johnson announced the unilateral (although still partial) bombing halt during his television address. He then stunned the nation by declining to run for a second term in office. To Washington's surprise, on 3 April Hanoi announced that it would conduct negotiations, which were scheduled to begin on 13 May in Paris. is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 9 June President Johnson replaced Westmoreland as commander of MACV with General Creighton W. Abrams. Although the decision had been made in December 1967 and Westmoreland was made Army Chief of Staff, many saw his relief as punishment for the entire Tet debacle.[190] Abrams' new strategy was quickly demonstrated by the closure of the "strategic" Khe Sanh base and the ending of multi-division "search and destroy" operations. Also gone were discussions of victory over North Vietnam. Abrams' new "One War" policy centered the American effort on the takeover of the fighting by the South Vietnamese (through Vietnamization), the pacification of the countryside, and the destruction of communist logistics.[191] The new administration of President Richard M. Nixon would oversee the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the continuation of negotiations. is the 160th day of the year (161st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Creighton W. Abrams watches Bob Hope at Long Binh in Vietnam Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ...


In Popular culture

The 1987 film Full Metal Jacket's scenes taking place in Vietnam are centered around the Tet Offensive's first month. The film shows fighting in both Da Nang and Hue while the overrunning of the U.S. embassy in Saigon and the Siege of Khe Sanh are referenced by Joker's (Matthew Modine) Commanding Officer. For the type of ammunition, see Full metal jacket bullet. ... Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22, 1959) is an American actor, perhaps most famous for playing Private Joker in Stanley Kubricks 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket. ...


See also

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References

Notes

  1. ^ Hoang Ngoc Lung, The General Offensives McLean VA: General Research Corporation, 1978, p. 8.
  2. ^ The ARVN estimated communist forces at 323,000, including 130,000 regulars and 160,000 guerrillas. Hoang, p. 10. MACV estimated that strength at 330,000. The CIA and the U.S. State Department concluded that the communist force level lay somewhere between 435,000 and 595,000. Clark Dougan & Stephen Weiss, Nineteen Sixty-Eight, Boston: Boston Publishing Compnay, 1983, p. 184.
  3. ^ Does not include ARVN or U.S. casualties incurred during the "Border Battles"; ARVN killed, wounded, or missing from Phase III; U.S. wounded from Phase III; or U.S. missing during Phases II and III.
  4. ^ Includes casualties incurred during the "Border Battles", Tet Mau Than, and the second and third phases of the offensive. General Tran Van Tra claimed that from January through August 1968 the offensive had cost the communists more than 75,000 dead and wounded. This is probably a low estimate. Tran Van Tra, Tet, in Jayne S. Warner and Luu Doan Huynh, eds., The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American Perspectives. Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1993, pgs. 49 & 50.
  5. ^ Military offensives are generally known by the titles applied to them by the attacking party. In the West, however, this convention was abandoned during the Cold War. The General Offensive, General Uprising also took place during the early stages of the media revolution which, for the first time, allowed close to real-time depiction of historic events to the public. This helps explain why both historians and the public have always referred to the Tet operations by their Western title.
  6. ^ Ang Cheng Guan, "Decision-making Leading to the Tet Offensive," Journal of Contemporary History 33 (July 1998): 351. Two interpretations of communist goals have continued to dominate Western historical debate. The first maintained that the political consequences of the Winter-Spring Offensive were an intended rather than an unintended consequence. This view was supported by William Westmoreland in A Soldier Reports, Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1976,p. 322; Harry G. Summers in On Strategy, Novato CA: Presidio Press, 1982, p. 133; Leslie Gelb and Richard Betts, The Irony of Vietnam, Washington DC: The Brookings Institute, 1979, pgs. 333 & 334; and Schmitz p. 90. This thesis appeared logical in hindsight, but it "fails to account for any realistic North Vietnamese military objectives, the logical prerequisite for an effort to influence American opinion." James J. Wirtz in The Tet Offensive, Ithica NY: Cornell University Press, 1991, p. 18. The second thesis (which was also supported by the majority of contemporary captured communist documents) was that the goal of the offensive was the immediate toppling of the Saigon government or, at the very least, the destruction of the government apparatus, the installation of a coalition government, or the occupation of large tracts of South Vietnamese territory. Historians supporting this view are Stanley Karnow in Vietnam, New York: Viking, 1983, p. 537; U.S. Grant Sharp in Strategy for Defeat, San Rafael CA: Presidio Press, 1978, p. 214; Patrick McGarvey in Visions of Victory, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1969; and Wirtz, p. 60.
  7. ^ a b Dougan & Weiss, p. 8.
  8. ^ Although General Westmoreland never uttered this phrase (it was coined by General Henri Navarre during the First Indochina War), it came into general parlance during the Vietnam War and has become a catchphrase for similar situations.
  9. ^ Clark Dougan and Stphen Weiss, Nineteen Sixty-Eight (Boston Publishing Company), 22-23
  10. ^ a b Dougan & Weiss, p. 22.
  11. ^ William H. Hammond, The Military and the Media, 1962-1968. Washington DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1988. Hammond, p. 326.
  12. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 23.
  13. ^ Hammond, pgs. 326 & 327.
  14. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 23. This Order of Battle controversy resurfaced in 1982, when Westmoreland filed a lawsuit against CBS News after the airing of its program, The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, which aired had on 23 January 1982.
  15. ^ Those in the administration and the military who urged a change in strategy included: Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara; Undersecretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach; Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs William Bundy; Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge; General Creighton W. Abrams, deputy commander of MACV; and Lieutenant General Frederick C. Weyand, commander of II Field Force, Vietnam. Lewis Sorley, A Better War. New York: Harvest Books, 1999, p. 6. Throughout the year, the Pentagon Papers claimed, Johnson had discounted any "negative analysis" of U.S. strategy by the CIA and the Pentagon offices of International Security Affairs and System Analysis, and had instead "seized upon optimistic reports from General Westmoreland." Neil Sheehan, et al. The Pentagon Papers as Reported by the New York Times. New York: Ballentine, 1971, p. 592.
  16. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 68.
  17. ^ Stanley Karnow, Vietnam. New York: Viking, 1983, p. 545 & 546.
  18. ^ Karnow, p. 546.
  19. ^ a b Dougan & Weiss, p. 66.
  20. ^ Schmitz, p. 56.
  21. ^ Schmitz, p. 58.
  22. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 69.
  23. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 67.
  24. ^ Karnow, p. 514.
  25. ^ David Elliot, The Vietnamese War, Vol. 2, Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2003, p. 1055.
  26. ^ Lien Hang T. Nguyen, The War Politburo in Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Vol. 1, Numbers 1 & 2, p. 4.
  27. ^ Nguyen, pgs. 15 & 16.
  28. ^ Nguyen, p. 20. See also Wirtz, pgs. 30-50.
  29. ^ Wirtz, p. 20.
  30. ^ Edward Doyle, Samuel Lipsman, & Terrence Maitland, The North. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1986, p. 55.
  31. ^ Nguyen, p. 22.
  32. ^ Contrary to Western belief, Ho Chi Minh had been sidelined politically since 1963 and took little part in the day-to-day policy decisions of the Politburo or Secretariat. Nguyen, p. 30.
  33. ^ Wirtz, pgs. 36-40 & 47-49.
  34. ^ Hoang, pgs. 15 & 16. See also Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, p. 56.
  35. ^ Hoang, p. 16.
  36. ^ Nguyen, pgs. 18-20.
  37. ^ a b Nguyen, p. 24.
  38. ^ Nguyen, p. 27.
  39. ^ Military History Institute of Vietnam, Victory in Vietnam. Trans. by Merle Pribbenow. Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005, p. 371.
  40. ^ Victory in Vietnam, p. 380. For years Western historians believed that Thanh had died as a result of wounds received during a U.S. air raid. Nguyen, fn. 147
  41. ^ Hoang, p. 24.
  42. ^ Ang Cheng Guan, Decision-making Leading to the Tet Offensive, in Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 33, July 1998, p. 352.
  43. ^ Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, p. 56.
  44. ^ Nguyen, p. 34. William J. Duiker, Communist Road to Power. Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1996, p. 288. Also see Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, p. 56.
  45. ^ Marc J. Gilbert & James Wells Hau Nghia Part 3, 2005. http://grunt.space.swri.edu/gilbert3.htm. This reference, left over from an earlier editor, is a fine example of just how discerning research has to be. One of the few accurate statements in it is the one quoted above. The rest is inaccurate gibberish.
  46. ^ Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, pgs. 58 & 59.
  47. ^ Duiker, p. 299.
  48. ^ Hoang, p. 26.
  49. ^ Hoang offered opposing viewpoints (pgs. 22 & 23) while William Duiker (p. 289) and Clark Clifford (p. 475) believed that it was so intended. Stanley Karnow did not (p. 537), while William Westmoreland never even mentioned the prospect in his memoir. A study of North Vietnamese documentation by James Wirtz led him to conclude that Giap believed that the American people would have to be exposed to two more years of military stalemate (post the offensive) before they would be turned decisively against the war. Wirtz, p. 61.
  50. ^ Tran Van Tra, Tet, p. 40.
  51. ^ Victory in Vietnam,, p. 208. See also Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, The North, p. 46.
  52. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 10.
  53. ^ Hoang, p. 10.
  54. ^ Steven Hayward, The Tet Offensive: Dialogues, April 2004. http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/dialogue/hayward-tet.html#2r
  55. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 11.
  56. ^ Hoang, p. 39.
  57. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 11. The Tet Offensive would later be utilized in a textbook at West Point as an example of "an allied intelligence failure to rank with Pearl Harbor in 1941 or the Ardennes Offensive in 1944." Lieutenant Colonel Dave R. Palmer: Current Readings in Military History. Clifford, p. 460.
  58. ^ Moyars Shore, The Battle of Khe Sanh. U.S. Marine Corps Historical Branch, 1969, p. 17.
  59. ^ John Morocco, Thunder from Above. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1984, pgs. 174-176.
  60. ^ a b Hoang, p. 9.
  61. ^ Terrence Maitland & Peter McInerney, A Contagion of War. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1983, pgs. 160-183.
  62. ^ Dave R. Palmer, Summons of the Trumpet. New York: Ballentine, 1978, pgs. 229 & 233.
  63. ^ Palmer, p. 235.
  64. ^ Shelby L. Stanton, Rise and Fall of an American Army. New York: Dell, 1985, p. 195.
  65. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 124.
  66. ^ James H. Willbanks, The Tet Offensive New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 2006, p. 7.
  67. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 12.
  68. ^ Hoang, p. 35.
  69. ^ In their memoirs, both Johnson and Westmoreland stated that they had predicted the offensive. According to Clark Clifford, however, these later claims were rather "self serving". Clark Clifford, with Richard Holbrooke, Counsel to the President. New York: Random House, 1991, pgs. 467 & 468.
  70. ^ a b Samuel Zaffiri, Westmoreland. New York,: William Morrow, 1994, p. 280.
  71. ^ Hammond, p. 342.
  72. ^ For a treatment of official statements predicting the offensive, see Peter Braestrup. Big Story, New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1983, 1:60-77.
  73. ^ Message to NLF forces who were informed that they were "about to inaugurate the greatest battle in the history of our country". Dougan & Weiss, p. 10.
  74. ^ The first attacks may have been launched prematurely due to confusion over a changeover in the calendar date by communist units. Hanoi had arbitrarily forwarded the date of the holiday in order to allow its citizens respite from the retaliatory airstrikes that were sure to follow the offensive. Whether this was connected to the mixup over the launch date is unknown. All eight of the attacks were controlled by the North Vietnamese headquarters of Military Region 5.
  75. ^ William C. Westmoreland, A Soldier Reports. New York: Doubleday, 1976, p. 323.
  76. ^ Stanton, p. 209.
  77. ^ Westmoreland, p. 328. Palmer gave a figure of 70,000, p. 238.
  78. ^ Westmoreland, p. 328.
  79. ^ a b Westmoreland, p. 332.
  80. ^ a b Karnow, p. 549.
  81. ^ Clifford, p. 474.
  82. ^ Zaffiri, p. 283. Clifford, p. 476.
  83. ^ Braestrup, p. 108.
  84. ^ Andrew Wiest, The Vietnam War, 1956-1975. London: Osprey Publishing, 2002, p. 41
  85. ^ Stanton, p. 215. For a detailed description of U.S. participation in the defense see Keith W. Nolan, The Battle of Saigon, Tet 1968. New York: Pocket Books, 1996.
  86. ^ Westmoreland, p. 326.
  87. ^ The South Vietnamese Ambassador, Bui Diem, stated that such images "crystallized the war's brutality without providing a context within which to understand the events they depicted." Bui Diem, In the Jaws of History. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 1999. There was little mention in the American media of the hundreds of South Vietnamese executed in Saigon by the communists.
  88. ^ Hoang, p. 40.
  89. ^ Willbanks, p. 32.
  90. ^ Don Oberdorfer, Tet!. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971, p. 261, See also Palmer, p. 254 and Karnow, p. 534.
  91. ^ Department of Defense, CACCF: Combat Area [Southeast Asia] Casualties Current File, as of Nov. 1993, Public Use Version. Washington DC: National Archives, 1993.
  92. ^ Palmer, p. 245. These units included the 12th NLF Battalion and the Hue City NLF Sapper Battalion.
  93. ^ Jack Schulimson, et al, 1968. Washington DC: History and Museums Division, United States Marine Corps, 1997, p. 175. For a detailed description of U.S. participation in the battle see Keith W. Nolan, Battle for Hue, Tet 1968. Novato CA: Presidio Press, 1983.
  94. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 28.
  95. ^ a b Schulimson, p. 213.
  96. ^ Schulimson, p. 213. A communist document later captured by the ARVN stated that 1,042 troops had been killed in the city proper and that several times that number had been wounded. Hoang, p. 84.
  97. ^ Schulimson, p. 216.
  98. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 35. This was the version given in Douglas Pike's The Viet Cong Strategy of Terror, published by the U.S. Mission in 1970.
  99. ^ Gunther Lewy, America in Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, p. 274.
  100. ^ Oberdorfer, pgs. 232 & 233.
  101. ^ Bui Tin, From Enemy to Friend. Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 2002, p. 67.
  102. ^ Hoang, p. 82.
  103. ^ Karnow, pg. 555, John Prados, The Blood Road, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998, p. 242.
  104. ^ Westmoreland, pgs. 339 & 340.
  105. ^ Westmoreland, p. 311.
  106. ^ Robert Pisor, The End of the Line. New York: Ballentine, 1982, p. 61.
  107. ^ John Prados & Ray W. Stubbe, Valley of Decision. Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991, p. 297
  108. ^ Palmer, pgs. 229 & 233.
  109. ^ Prados & Stubbe, p. 186.
  110. ^ Even at the end, Westmoreland was unable to give up his analogy: "his attempt to repeat Dien Bien Phu an abject failure." Westmoreland, p. 347.
  111. ^ Prados & Stubbe, p. 454.
  112. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 145.
  113. ^ Schulimson, p. 307. Perhaps more indicative of PAVN losses were the 41 North Vietnamese prisoners taken and the recovery of 500 weapons, 132 of which were crew-served. Ibid. For a detailed description of the battle, see Keith William Nolan, The Magnificent Bastards: The Joint Army-Marine Defense of Dong Ha, 1968. New York: Dell, 1994.
  114. ^ A vivid description of the participation of four battalions of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division in the fighting in Cholon can be found in Keith Nolan's House to House: Playing the Enemy's Game in Saion, May 1968. St. Paul MN: Zenith Press, 2006.
  115. ^ Hoang, p. 98.
  116. ^ The best descriptions are found in Ronald H. Spector, After Tet. New York: The Free Press, 1993, pgs. 166-175 and Lieutenant Colonel Allen Gropman, Air Power and the Airlift Evacuation of Kham Duc. Washington DC: Office of Air Force History, 1985.
  117. ^ a b Hoang, p. 101.
  118. ^ Spector, p. 163.
  119. ^ Spector, p. 319.
  120. ^ Spector, p. 235.
  121. ^ Hoang, p. 110.
  122. ^ a b Spector, p. 240.
  123. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 152.
  124. ^ Hoang, p. 117.
  125. ^ Hoang, p. 118.
  126. ^ Karnow, pgs 544 & 545. See also Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, pgs. 118 & 120.
  127. ^ Tran Van Tra, Tet, pgs. 49 & 50.
  128. ^ Willbanks, p. 80.
  129. ^ Tran Van Tra, Vietnam, Washington DC: Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1983, p. 35. This public criticism of the Hanoi leadership led to Tra's removal from the Politburo and house arrest until his death in April 1994.
  130. ^ Schmitz, p. 106.
  131. ^ Schmitz, p. 109.
  132. ^ Duiker, p. 296. This was mainly due to General Creighton Abrams' new "One War" strategy and the CIA/South Vietnamese Phoenix Program.
  133. ^ According to one estimate by late 1968, of a total of 125,000 main force troops in the South, 85,000 were of North Vietnamese origin. Duiker, p. 303.
  134. ^ Arnold, pp. 87-88.
  135. ^ James R. Arnold, Tet Offensive. Westport CT: Praeger, 1990, p. 91. See also Karnow, 534.
  136. ^ Karnow, p. 536.
  137. ^ Arnold, pp. 86-87.
  138. ^ Nguyen, p. 35.
  139. ^ Doyle, Lipsman, & Maitland, pgs. 126 & 127.
  140. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 118.
  141. ^ a b Dougan & Weiss, p. 116.
  142. ^ Arnold, p. 90.
  143. ^ Zaffiri, p. 293.
  144. ^ Hoang, pgs. 135 & 136.
  145. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 119.
  146. ^ Three of the four ARVN corps commanders, for example, were replaced for their dismal performance during the offensive.
  147. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 120.
  148. ^ Hoang, p. 142.
  149. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 126.
  150. ^ a b Dougan & Weiss, p. 127.
  151. ^ Hoang, p. 147.
  152. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 128.
  153. ^ Clifford, pgs. 474 & 475.
  154. ^ Clifford, p. 479.
  155. ^ Palmer, p. 258.
  156. ^ Zaffiri, p. 304.
  157. ^ Westmoreland, p. 355.
  158. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 70.
  159. ^ Pentagon Papers, p. 594.
  160. ^ Westmoreland, p. 356.
  161. ^ Schmitz, p. 105.
  162. ^ Dougan & Weiss, p. 72. See also Zaffiri, p. 305.
  163. ^ Zaffiri, p. 308.
  164. ^ Clifford, p. 482. See also Zaffiri, p. 309.
  165. ^ Westmoreland, p. 356 & 357.
  166. ^ Lyndon B. Johnson, The Vantage Point. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1971, pgs. 389 & 392.
  167. ^ Johnson, pgs. 406 & 407.
  168. ^ Clifford, p. 485.
  169. ^ Pentagon Papers, p. 597.
  170. ^ The group included McNamara, General Maxwell D. Taylor, Paul H. Nitze (Deputy Secretary of Defense), Henry H. Fowler (Secretary of the Treasury), Nicholas Katzenbach (Undersecretary of State), Walt W. Rostow (National Security Advisor), Richard Helms (Director of the CIA), William P. Bundy (Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs), Paul Warnke (the Pentagon's International Security Affairs), and Philip C. Habib (Bundy's deputy).
  171. ^ Pentagon Papers, pgs. 601-604.
  172. ^ Pentagon Papers, p. 604.
  173. ^ Clifford, p. 402.
  174. ^ Major General Phillip Davidson, Westmoreland's chief of intelligence, reflected how the military men thought about Clifford's conversion in his memoir: "Clifford's use of the Wise Men to serve his dovish ends was a consummate stroke by a master of intrigue...what happened was that Johnson had fired a doubting Thomas (McNamara) only to replace him with a Judas." Phillip Davidson, Vietnam at War. Novato CA: Presidio Press, 1988, p. 525.
  175. ^ a b Johnson, p. 399.
  176. ^ Johnson, p. 400.
  177. ^ Pentagon Papers, p. 623.
  178. ^ President Johnson was convinced that the source of the leak was Undersecretary of the Air Force Townsend Hoopes. Don Oberdorfer suggested that the Times pieced the story together from a variety of sources. Oberdorfer, pgs. 266-270. Herbert Schandler concluded that the key sources included Senators who had been briefed by Johnson himself. Herbert Y. Schandler, The Unmaking of a President. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977, pgs. 202-205.
  179. ^ Oberdofer p. 269.
  180. ^ Stephens, Bret, "American Honor", Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2008, p. 18.
  181. ^ Braestrup, 1:679f.
  182. ^ Braestrup, 1:687.
  183. ^ Johnson, p. 415.
  184. ^ Clifford, p. 507. The group consisted of Dean Acheson (former Secretary of State), George W. Ball (former Under Secretary of State), General Omar N. Bradley, Arthur H. Dean, Douglas Dillon, (former Secretary of State and the Treasury), Associate Justice Abe Fortas, Henry Cabot Lodge (twice Ambassador to South Vietnam), John J. McCloy (former High Commissioner of West Germany), Robert D. Murphy (former diplomat), General Taylor, General Matthew B. Ridgeway (U.S. Commander in the Korean War), and Cyrus Vance (former Secretary of Defense), and Arthur J. Goldberg (U.S. representative at the UN).
  185. ^ Karnow, p. 562.
  186. ^ Clifford, p. 516.
  187. ^ The four dissenters were Bradley, Murphy, Fortas, and Taylor. Karnow, p. 562, Pentagon Papers, p. 610.
  188. ^ Pentagon Papers, p. 609.
  189. ^ Clifford, p. 520.
  190. ^ Zaffiri, pgs. 315 & 316. Westmoreland was "bitter" and was upset that he "had been made the goat for the war." Ibid. See also Westmoreland, pgs. 361 & 362.
  191. ^ Sorley, p. 18.

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Sources

Published government documents

  • Hammond, William H. The United States Army in Vietnam, Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1962-1968. Washington DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1988.
  • Hoang Ngoc Lung, Colonel, The General Offensives of 1968-69. McLean VA: General Research Corporation, 1978.
  • Schulimson, Jack, Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Blaisol, Charles R. Smith, and Captain David Dawson, The U.S. Marines in Vietnam: 1968, the Decisive Year. Washington DC: History and Museums Division, United States Marine Corps, 1997.
  • Shore, Captain Moyars S., III, The Battle of Khe Sanh. Washington DC: U.S. Marine Corps Historical Branch, 1969.
  • Tran Van Tra, Vietnam: History of the Bulwark B2 Theater, Volume 5: Concluding the 30 Years War. Southeast Asia Report No. 1247. Washington DC: Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1983.
  • Military History Institute of Vietnam, Victory in Vietnam: A History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975. Trans. by Merle Pribbenow. Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005.

Document collections

  • Sheehan, Neil, Hedrick Smith, E.W. Kenworthy, and Fox Butterfield, The Pentagon Papers as Published by the New York Times. New York: Bantam, 1971.

Memoirs and biographies

  • Bui Diem, In the Jaws of History. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 1993.
  • Bui Tin, From Enemy to Friend: A North Vietnamese Perspective on the War. Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 2002.
  • Clifford, Clark, with Richard Holbrooke, Counsel to the President: A Memoir. New York: Random House, 1991.
  • Johnson, Lyndon B. The Vantage Point: Perspectives on the Presidency, 1963-1969. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1971.
  • Westmoreland, William C. A Soldier Reports. New York: Doubleday, 1976.
  • Zaffiri, Samuel, Westmoreland. New York: William Morrow, 1994.

Secondary sources

  • Ang Cheng Guan, Decision-making Leading to the Tet Offensive (1968) - The Vietnamese Communist Perspective in Journal of Contemporary History. Vol. 33 (3), July 1998.
  • Arnold, James R. The Tet Offensive 1968. Westport CT: Praeger, 1990. ISBN 0-275-98452-4.
  • Braestrup, Peter, Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet in Vietnam and Washington. New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1983.
  • Davidson, Phillip, Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975. Novato CA: Presidio Press, 1999.
  • Doyle, Edward, Samuel Lipsman, Terrence Maitland, et al. The North. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1986.
  • Dougan, Clark, Stephen Weiss, et al. Nineteen Sixty-Eight. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1983.
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  • Elliot, David, The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975. 2 vols. Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2003.
  • Gilbert, Marc J. and William Head, eds. The Tet Offensive. Westport CT: Praeger, 1996.
  • Hayward, Stephen, The Tet Offensive: Dialogues, April 2004. http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/dialogue/hayward-tet.html#2r
  • Karnow, Stanley, Vietnam: A History. New York: Penguin, 1991. ISBN 0-670-84218-4hc
  • Terrence Maitland and John McInerney, A Contagion of War. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1983.
  • Lewy, Gunther, America in Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
  • Morocco, John, Thunder from Above: Air War, 1941-1968. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1984.
  • Nguyen, Lien-Hang T. The War Politburo: North Vietnam's Diplomatic and Political Road to the Tet Offensive in Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Vol. 1, numbers 1 & 2, 2006.
  • Oberdorfer, Don, Tet!: The Turning Point in the Vietnam War. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971. ISBN 0-8018-6703-7
  • Palmer, Dave Richard, Summons of the Trumpet: The History of the Vietnam War from a Military Man's Viewpoint. New York: Ballentine, 1978.
  • Pisor, Robert, The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh. New York: Ballentine Books, 1982.
  • Prados, John and Ray Stubbe, Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh. Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991.
  • Schandler, Herbert Y. The Unmaking of a President: Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977.
  • Schmitz, David F. The Tet Offensive: Politics, War, and Public Opinion. Westport CT: Praeger, 2004.
  • Sorley, Lewis, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam. New York: Harvest Books, 1999.
  • Stanton, Shelby L. The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973. New York: Dell, 1985.
  • Spector, Ronald H. After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam. New York: The Free Press, 1993.
  • Tran Van Tra, Tet: The 1968 General Offensive and General Uprising in Jayne S. Warner and Luu Doan Huynh, eds., The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American Perspectives. Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1993.
  • Weist, Andrew, The Vietnam War, 1956-1975. London: Osprey Publishers, 2002.
  • Wilbanks, James H. The Tet Offensive: A Concise History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.
  • Wirtz, James J. The Tet Offensive: Intelligence Failure in War. Ithica NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tet Offensive of 1968 (1187 words)
The Tet Offensive of 1968 was an initiative of the North Vietnam Army to have the civilian population of South Vietnam join them in their offensive and efforts to overthrow the South Vietnam Government, forcing the withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces.
The Tet Offensive of 1968 was conceived by General Giap, commander of the North Vietnam Army and his staff.
Tet offensive of 1968 was the first time, during the war, that actual street fighting took place in the major cities.
The Tet Offensive 1968 (2479 words)
Not only had Tet shown that the optimism of the previous year had been an illusion but it now seemed that the enemy was far stronger than anybody had thought and that the long efforts to win Vietnamese "hearts and minds" had largely been a disaster.
When the Tet Offensive began, many US officials believed that the NLF had offered the Americans a golden opportunity by fighting a pitched battle where it could be defeated in open combat.
The NLF had gone into the Tet Offensive in the hope of giving a death-blow to the Saigon Government and, if it couldn't capture power directly, it could at least gain a coalition leading to ultimate authority.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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