The Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War

Good Essays
The Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968 became known as the turning point for the entire Vietnam War. Using diversionary tactics months in advance of the Tet Offensive drew the American forces away from cities and key military sites. This led to a simultaneous assault on over more than 100 cities in South Vietnam. Reclaiming South Vietnam building by building left little choices for the American military and turned 1968 into the bloodiest year of the war. The decisions before, during and after the offensive opened the blind eyes of the American people to the truth of the North Vietnamese Army capabilities. The mistakes of the North Vietnamese ended with their defeat, but the ripples of their attack would spur the American people to respond. Public protest became too much for the American government to ignore and began the military drawdown in South Vietnam under President Nixon in 1969.

The Vietnam War was a constant battleground of guerrilla tactics until January 31, 1968 when the war turned in an entirely different direction. The American government and media had always proclaimed that the North Vietnamese Army would pose no strong unified threat. On January 31 1968, the Tet Offensive proved them wrong. In the years leading up to the TET Offensive, the North Vietnamese came to a drastic conclusion their losses in the battles had cost too many casualties, and they were starting to weaken. General Vo Nguyen Giap developed an all out unified military strike on South Vietnam to wipe out all foreign influence and reclaim the south (Library of Congress Country Studies,1987). Little did anyone know that the Tet Offensive would become the turning point for the entire war.

It began in spring of 1967 when Giap began implementing a s...

... middle of paper ...

...on both sides after the Tet Offensive that still echoes to this very day, never underestimate the enemy no matter what. This became a hard lesson that the American government and its citizens had to face. The Tet Offensive became the turning point of the war and ultimately became a direct effect towards the ending of the Vietnam War and the fall of South Vietnam.

Works Cited

Library of Congress Country Studies. (1987). Vietnam: The Tet Offensive. Retrieved

7:59, 23 January, 2014 from


Rosenberg, J., (n.d). 20th Century History: 1968- Tet Offensive. Retrieved 7:34,

January 23, 2014from

Tet Offensive, (n.d). The History Channel website. Retrieved 10:08, January 25, 2014,

Get Access