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The Tet Offensive - Essay Example

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An essay "The Tet Offensive" claims that the allied forces were surprised by unanticipated attacks from Vietcong forces causing a lot of confusion in Southern Vietnam which formed the base of Ameican operations. The turn of events led to major shifts in opinions on the war in Vietnam…
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The Tet Offensive
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The Tet Offensive
The year 1968 has stood out historically as one of the lowest years for millitary, national politics and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. a major setback came in the name of Tet Offensive which caught both the military commanders in Vietnam, the entire administration as well as the general US public by shock. The allied forces were surprised by unanticipated attacks from Vietcog forces causing a lot of confusion in Soutthern Vietnam which formed the base of Ameican operations. The turn of events led to major shifts in terms the public’s opinion on war in Vietnam. The “Tet Offensive” of 1968 has been widely refered to as moment that defined future policy, political as well as public opinion on the War in Vietnam.
The offensive formed the biggest series of confrontations during the war. On the night of January 30th, Vietcog troops lanched massive surprise attacks on twenty eight procincial capitals in South Vietnam. The assaults targeted major U.S as well millitary installations belonging to the Soutth Vietnam Army. The President’s palace at Hue and America’s Emabassy were some of the targets of assault in the plan. Vietcog troops did not completely take control of any city, the lost approximately 15,000 of their troops but they sucessfully completed the mission. They were able to show force that disenchanted public opinions in both America as well as South Vietnam on the war.The offensive demonstrated clearly that Vietcog was not about to surrender and more importantly that Allied troops could not gurantee the safety of civilians. The U.S millitary was successful in curtailing the offensive but in the eye of the public it was a major defeat for the U.S and Allied troops by the way they were cauht by surprise.
Major players in the Tet Offensive were the Viet Cong and North Vietnam Army launching assaults on Soutth Vietnamesse troops, US forces and allied troops. The campaign was characterised by by surprise assaults on millitary, civilian troops and centers of control in the entire Southern Vietnam. communist forces orchestrated a well cordinatd series of attacks late in the night of January 30 on the 1st and 2nd Corps Tactical Zones of Southern Vietnam. the next morning saw countrywide attacks with over eighty thousand troops of the communists hitting over one hundred ticies & major towns which included thirty six of the fortyfour provincial capitals, five autonomous cities out of six, seventy two district capitals and South’s capital making it the biggest armed operation up to that time in the war. major fighting took place at the Quang Tri, Khe Sanh, Kham Duc and Hue.
The ultimate outcome of the Tet Offensive had far reaching impacts on public and administration of President Johnson back at home in America. The public was now clear that reports of success and nearing end to the war by the authorities were silverlined. Criticism increased frommany corners and this forced the president to reconsider decisions on the war. suport for the war sharply declined, many policy makers questioned reports of gains in the war, the public was concerned of paying the armies continued stay in Vietnam. this turn of events led to a series of discusions which yielded the replacement of Westmoreland who was commander and change of strategy. there were no more discusions on achieving victory against North Vietnam and the new commander-Creighton Abrahams came with the “One War” which directed much effort at Vietnamization of the fight, Conciliation of the countriside and logistically obliteraterating the communists. The new regime unber Richard M. Nixon eventually saw the U.S military withdrawn and negotitions continued.
The New York Times article by Tom Wicker gave an account of the effects of the offensive on the presidency of Johnson, the public’s confience in the military’s contined presence in Vietnam. Mcarther’s Article in Chicago Tribune also analysed the war in terms of economic implications, lose of life on side of American soldiers and whether Americans would suport the war. In both articles the media seemed to focus more on the failures of the american military hence the impression was that America suffered a humiliating defeat.
Works Cited.
1. Mcarther, George. "Battles Rage along Dmz." Chicago Tribune 1968.
2. Tom Wicker. “Vietcong’s Attacks Shock Washington.” The New York Times: Feb 2, 1968. Available at http://www.tpsnva.org/tcm/4042_Vietnam-tetArticle.pdf Read More
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