Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive was a military campaign during the Vietnam War that was launched on January 30, 1968 by forces of the Viet Cong (Vietnamese: Việt cộng) (also known as the National Liberation Front (NLF)) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) against the forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the United States, and their allies. It was a campaign of surprise attacks were launched against military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam, during a period when no attacks were supposed to take place.

The operations are referred to as the Tet Offensive because there was a prior agreement to "cease fire" during the Tet Lunar New Year (Vietnamese: Tết Nguyên Đán) celebrations. Both North and South Vietnam announced on national radio broadcasts that there would be a two-day cease-fire during the holiday. Nonetheless, the Viet Cong (hereafter, NLF) launched an attack that began during the early morning hours of 30 January 1968, on Tết Nguyên Đán. In Vietnamese the offensive is called Cuộc Tổng tiến công và nổi dậy ("General Offensive and Uprising"), or Tết Mậu Thân (Tet, year of the monkey).

The NLF launched a wave of attacks on the morning of 30 January in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones of South Vietnam. This early attack did not lead to widespread defensive measures. When the main NLF operation began the next morning the offensive was countrywide and well coordinated, eventually more than 80,000 NLF and People's Army of Vietnam 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 southern capital. The offensive was the largest military operation conducted by either side up to that point in the war.

The initial attacks stunned the US and South Vietnamese armies and took them by surprise, but most were quickly contained and beaten back, inflicting massive casualties on communist forces. During the Battle of Huế intense fighting lasted for a month resulting in the destruction of the city by US forces while the NLF executed thousands of residents in the Massacre at Huế. Around the US combat base at Khe Sanh fighting continued for two more months. Although the offensive was a military defeat for the communists, it had a profound effect on the US government and shocked the US 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.

The term "Tet offensive" usually refers to the January–February 1968 NLF offensive, but it can also include the so-called "mini-Tet" offensives that took place in May and August.

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SEAL Team 10 - History - Birth of Navy SEALs & Vietnam
... and the Viet Cong orchestrated a major offensive against South Vietnam the "Tet Offensive" ... As propaganda, the Tet Offensive was successful in adding to the American protest of the Vietnam war ... tremendous casualties, and from a purely military standpoint, the Tet Offensive was a major disaster for the Communists ...
Townsend Hoopes - Bibliography
... as his memoir, the book offered the insider's view of the post-Tet Offensive decision making within the Pentagon, especially that of Secretary of Defense Clark M ... The book described how the Tet Offensive destroyed the support for continuing campaigns of aerial bombardment and ground search destroy missions, creating instead the view that ... a year later, he acknowledged "that the Tet Offensive was not the shattering military defeat for the U.S ...
Cao Van Vien - Military Career - Role During Tet Offensive
... Viên played a critical role in the Tet Offensive of January 31, 1968 ... the city's defense throughout the first critical hours of the Tet Offensive, ordering JGS officers and staff into the streets to personally lead combat divisions throughout Saigon ... out until March 7 Viên personally led troops in Operation Tran Hung Dao, the counter-offensive which began on February 3 ...
Tet Offensive - Aftermath - United States - Reassessment
... 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 ... failed to sustain a respectable argument for their position." 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 ... reached." 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 ...
Thieu Nguyen - Tết Offensive
... In the wake of the offensive, however, Thiệu’s regime became more energetic ... the armed forces by the end of the year the bill had been blocked before the Tết Offensive ... Three of the four ARVN corps commanders were replaced for poor performance during the offensive ...

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