Tet Offensive Facts

Tet Offensive Facts
The Tet Offensive was a major military campaign carried out by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) against the United States and South Vietnamese militaries from January 30 to September 23, 1968. The campaign was named for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. The communist forces carried out the offensive in three waves: the first wave took place from January 30 to March 28, the second wave from May 5 to June 15, and third wave from August 9 to September 23. The offensive involved up to 600,000 communist forces attacking more than 100 American and South Vietnamese held towns and cities. The results of the offensive were mixed: around 50,000 communist forces were killed, the Viet Cong was severely depleted, and they were unable to hold any territory, which gave the Americans and South Vietnamese a tactical victory. On the other hand, by striking deep into American and South Vietnamese held territory in an well-planned coordinated effort, the communists showed that they were in the war for the long-run and would not be easily defeated. The offensive also demoralized the American and South Vietnamese forces, giving impetus to the anti-war movement in the United States, making it a strategic victory for the communist forces.
Interesting Tet Offensive Facts:
The Tet Offensive usually just refers to the first phase, but military historians and the communist forces viewed the offensive in three phases.
Much of the communists' success in the Tet Offensive, and the entire Vietnam War for that matter, rested on the Americans' inability to understand the Viet Cong. Many in the military viewed the VC as little more than a loose collection of spies and terrorists working for the North Vietnamese, when in reality they were a well-developed organization with military, intelligence, and sabotage wings.
Although North Vietnam was a communist dictatorship led by Ho Chi Min, there were several factions within the government. The North Vietnamese government was also dependent upon support from the Soviet Union and China: the Soviets favored conventional war, while the Chinese advocated for guerrilla warfare.
The militant pro-Chinese faction in the North Vietnamese government won. They quickly arrested their opponents and began planning the Tet Offensive.
The North Vietnamese believed that that Tet Offensive would lead to a general uprising in the south against the Americans, but that never happened.
The communist forces combined conventional attacks with guerilla warfare. The NVA carried out most of the conventional attacks while the VC handled the guerilla campaign.
Allied intelligence was woeful, as the American and South Vietnamese forces were caught off guard.
South Korean forces supported the American and South Vietnamese troops.
Heavy fighting took place in Saigon, where VC commandos held the city's radio station briefly.
Some of the bloodiest fighting took place in and around the city of Hue. The VC quickly took the city and massacred thousands of known anti-communists. American Marines and South Vietnamese forces retook the city after more than a month long siege.

Related Links:
Vietnam War Facts
Animals Facts