Tet Offensive Research Paper

2314 Words5 Pages

The Tet offensive was a coordinated attack on several cities and American bases in South Vietnam by a force of over 80,000 PAVN soldiers or “People’s army of Vietnam” they were also called Viet Cong or more commonly “Charlie”. Prior to the Tet Offensive on 30 January 1968 Hue was almost untouched by the war. Hue was the capital of Thua Thien province which bordered North and South Vietnam. The city of Hue was a cultural and intellectual mecca in South Vietnam. Buddhist monks where very influential on the social and cultural aspects of life in Hue. In addition to being a key city in South Vietnam Hue bolstered a population of over 150,000 as well as a very peaceful setting. If you were a citizen of Hue prior to January 30th 1968 life …show more content…

The sun had not set and PAVN commanders made the tactical blunder of sending a select few of the units that were being utilized to capture Hue to their positions in advance to disperse the movement of the following units. While the American bombing was effective, it didn’t even put a dent in the PAVN fighting force. There was no BDA or “battle damage assessment” conducted after the bombing nor were ground troops sent to search the surrounding area for additional PAVN troops. On the morning of 30 January 1968 the PAVN units surrounding Hue were in position and awaiting the order to attack and liberate the ancient Buddhist stronghold from the Americans and their puppet South Vietnamese Christian president. The PAVN soldiers were briefed by their PAVN officers that the citizens of Hue desperately longed to be freed from American occupation. PAVN forces held this belief to such an extent that they wore their best uniforms and ensured they were neatly groomed so they would look presentable in the parade that would follow inside Hue after they effectively captured the city. As the ARVN and American forces inside the city walls of Hue rested with very little concern of the thought of being attacked especially since the holiday of Tet or the lunar New Year had begun. As customary at the time during Vietnam there was a 7 day ceasefire during Tet to allow both sides of Vietnam to celebrate with their families. PAVN senior officers knew that tens of thousands of civilians in North and South Vietnam would be traveling long distances to visit family during the country’s largest holiday. They used this opportune time to transport supplies, equipment, and soldiers to strategic positions surrounding Hue. Apart from the very minor setback that the American bombing caused PAVN forces

Open Document