Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive


The Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese was the turning point of the war. It started on January 31, 1968 where about 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched a series of attacks on over 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam. The attack was lead by General Giap and was planned to both stir up rebellion of the South Vietnamese people and to encourage the US to lower their support of the Saigon regime. The North Vietnamese wanted to avoid conventional fighting and instead tried using guerrilla warfare to attack US forces in the jungles of South Vietnam. The attack began with an assault on Khe Sanh, which was a US marine base and was followed by multiple other attacks in South Vietnam.

The attacks were fought off and was a physical disaster for the North Vietnamese, but the public reaction to the attack was the real force. The American public witnessed many of the battles including the battle of Hue City on the news and due to horific video and images of the battles, the public opinion fell drastically. The Tet offensive damaged the confidence of the American public and media who had previously assumed that the war was going well. The Tet Offensive marked the beginning of the American withdrawal from Vietnam.