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The Tet Offensive through the strategic eyes of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese - Research Paper Example

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Name: Course: Date: The "Tet Offensive" through the strategic eyes of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese The "Tet Offensive” is an attack that occurred on the 30th January to February of 1968, coming up as a surprise attack that was not expected, mainly because, the Viet Cog and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), planned and attacked the South Vietnamese and the USA armies, as well as their allies without a hint…
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The Tet Offensive through the strategic eyes of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese
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Download file to see previous pages However, the communist north decided to stage an offensive in what came to be regarded as the biggest attacks ever, since the Vietnamese war began. During this attack, the communists attacked major towns of the South to a tune of more than 100 towns, including the southern capital, while also spreading the attacks to over 36 provincial capitals of the south, using a brigade of more than 80,000 troops (Donaldson, 161). Despite the South Vietnamese and the USA army being caught by surprise, they responded to the offensive and eventually overcame the communists, although the whole scenario took two more months, with the worst occasion being the Battle of Hue, where the whole of the city was destroyed and thousands of residents, to a tune of 7600 executed by the communists, in what came to be referred as the Hue massacre (Collins, 42). There are three main aspects that have made the Tet Offensive stand out, in the whole episode of the Vietnamese war. First, the Tet offensive was launched by the North Vietnam against South Vietnam by surprise, allowing the communists to inflict more damage on the South, on the initial face of the offensive. Secondly, the offensive stands out as the largest military operation that was ever conducted by either the north or the south in the Vietnamese war. Thirdly, it stands out as the worst attack on the civilians, since the offensive did not only aim at the Southern Vietnamese and the USA armies, but also extended its attacks to the civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam, culminating with the horrific Hue massacre that left over 7000 civilians dead (Anderson, 183). Such a massive attack operation could not have just come on board, without efficient and effective planning and execution of the attacks. The Tet Offensive occurred at a time when the pressure was mounting on the USA military and government to consider dropping its involvement in the Vietnamese war, considering that close to 45% of the Americans believed that the war was not worth being pursued, mainly due to the losses it had inflicted on the USA, in terms of the number of the casualties of its soldiers, the increment in taxation to the citizens, and the lack of a slightest indication that the war was coming to an end (Robbins, 12). With such disgruntling within the public, and even some sections of the government and intelligence, the military command needed to act decisively in bringing the whole issue to a halt. The USA military command therefore reacted by mounting the success offensive in 1967, where it sought to assert to the public that the USA would win the war, and brings it to a speedy end. This was achieved through media propaganda where the army generals misled the American public on the capabilities of the Northern Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong, by asserting that they were losing ground and therefore were not in a position to launch any major attack. To curb it all, and give more confidence to the people, the US army General called on the communists to try something, because the USA was actually looking for a fight (Donaldson, 155). Therefore, the anti-war sentiments by the American public, coupled by the underestimation of the communists ability ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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