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The Tet Offensive

Topics: Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Vietnam / Pages: 2 (407 words) / Published: Jan 28th, 2011
Tet started on January 30th (by accident a day earlier) in the five provincial capitalsRead more: The Tet Offensive

The Tet offensive was an attack on the south Vietnamese, launched by the North Vietnamese

(Vietcong) in an attempt to bring communism to the south. It took place between January 31 1968 and

September 23 1968. The Vietcong had approximately 84,000 troops, the United States had 23,300

soldiers deployed at the beginning of the war and near the end of the war they had approximately

542,000 men deployed to areas in south Vietnam. The Tet offensive was an attack consisting of 3

phases, attacking over 155 villages,towns, outposts and cities in south Vietnam. It started when the

United States and the Vietcong agreed to a 3 day cease fire for the celebration of Tet(Vietnamese new

year). The fighting began when the Vietcong broke the cease fire in the morning of January 30 by

attacking Ban Me Thout, Kontum, Hoi An, Tuy Hoa, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, and Pleiku.

Phase 1consisted of drawing out the allied forces from heavily populated areas and then

launching attacks on the cities and lowlands. All of the attacks on the outposts were meant to be

diversions and not meant to do anything other than bringing the allied forces out, they succeeded in this

and got the allied forces out to the city borders. It lasted for 3 months.

Phase 2 began April 29 and lasted to the end of May. Fighting broke out when the Vietcong

threatened the U.S. Logistical base at Dong Ha. The Vietcong initiated the second phase by striking 119

targets throughout south Vietnam. The Vietcong withdrew after losing 3000 soldiers. The biggest defeat

of the war for the U.S. and south Vietnamese was at the battle of Kham Duc. 1800 U.S. and south

Vietnamese soldiers were isolated and under attack. The U.S. decided they did not want a situation like

the one at Khe Sahn so they were evacuated by air lift while under fire, leaving the base for the north


Phase 3 began August 17. It consisted of preceding attacks on the border towns and cities of

Saigon which included Tay Ninh, An Loc, and Loc Ninh, which were initiated to draw out defenses

from the cities. The main target was Saigon but ended in complete failure by North Vietnamese forces.

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