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Vietnam War Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive

The Vietcong launches fierce attacks in the Tet Offensive

During 1967 and 1968 the North Vietnamese strategist, General Vo Nguyen Giap, launched the famous Tet offensive ( taken from the name of the Vietnamese lunar New Year in mid-February). On the Tet holiday, the Vietcong forces went into action and launched coordinated fierce attacks on more than a 100 cities and towns over the length and breadth of South Vietnam. Despite this idea of Giap to devastate South Vietnam, and his hope that the campaign would be decisive, it failed. The Vietcong failed to capture any towns or cities and were ultimately driven back from most of the positions they had gained.

Vietnamese Losses of the Tet Offensive

In the fighting, North Vietnam lost 85000 of its best troops and many political officers and secret organizers for the guerrillas. Many more had been wounded or captured, and this fighting had created more than half a million civilian refugees. Tet was nothing less than a catastrophe.

US Losses of the Tet Offensive

The Americans lost 2 500 men in the Tet Offensive. In spite of this US victory, however, by the early spring of 1968 much of the American public had concluded that the war would not be a victory for America.

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