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The Tet offensive in Vietnam War

The Tet offensive was a massive attack by the North Vietnamese on the lunar new year of Tet. They planned to attack while the United States and the South Vietnamese were least expecting it. They planned extensive attacks ont the border areas, to draw ARVN (army of the republic of Vietnam)troops away from their real targets: Saigon, and other important cities and other key areas. They also hoped for a general uprising by the South Vietnamese people against the Southern government

The Tet offensive was a massive attack by the North Vietnamese on the lunar new year of Tet. They planned to attack while the United States and the South Vietnamese were least expecting it. They planned extensive attacks ont the border areas, to draw ARVN (army of the republic of Vietnam)troops away from their real targets: Saigon, and other important cities and other key areas. They also hoped for a general uprising by the South Vietnamese people against the Southern government

Planning for the Tet offensive began in October of 1967 while there was a kind of lull in the war. It was done by a group of 19 commandos. The Americans had turned the commanding of the US embassy in Saigon over to the southern Vietnamese authority. This gave the commandos easy access to the building. They brought explosives and ammunition into Saigon and it was stored in an auto-repair shop for the day of the attack. There plan was to attack South Vietnam on the lunar New Year. This was a holiday that they had previously promised not to attack. They would launch carefully planned attacks on 24 major cities around South Vietnam. 13 of which were the 16 capitals of Vietnam.

One of the communist party's key objectives was the US Embassy in South Vietnam. In the Early morning of January 31st 1968, they blew a hole in the wall and rushed in with automatic weapons Blazing. 5 GIs were killed but the ambassador was saved.

At the same time that the US Embassy was being attacked, a radio station was taken over. The communist party intended to broadcast proclamations and other propaganda to the city. However a signal was triggered by the attack that cut off the station from the transmitter. By daylight the commandos were trapped inside. They committed suicide by detonating there own explosives.

Mean while, in Hue, the worst blood bath was taking place. It was the communist intentions to kill any enemy collaborators which included: merchants, intellectuals, and clergymen. The Vietcong teams were merciless. People were shot, buried alive, and told to attend study sessions from which they never returned. During the months and years that followed the remains of 3000 people were found in common graves, river beds, and jungle clearings.

The Tet offensive seriously put a damper on American confidence. It caused Johnson and the American people to reconsider the war. Johnson, soon after, limited some of his bombings above the 20th parallel, but the war still continued on and escalated for many more years.


 
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