What Are Some Facts About the Tet Offensive?


Quick Answer

The Tet Offensive occurred on Jan. 31, 1968, as a series of coordinated offensives by 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. The forces attacked over 100 cities, towns and targets in South Vietnam. The offensive ended in heavy casualties to the attacking forces; however, the defending American forces saw public support for American involvement due to the coverage viewed back home.

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Full Answer

One of the most important battles during the offensive occurred in Hue. The Battle of Hue saw the town occupied by Viet Cong forces. These forces executed almost 6,000 professionals, civilians and religious leaders who showed support for the South Vietnamese government and American forces. American forces attempted to liberate the city, inflicting over 5,000 casualties to the Viet Cong. Before, the battle finished, however, the Viet Cong destroyed many of the temples, palaces and other monuments in the city.

In another attack, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces stormed the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam. The attackers got inside the complex's courtyard, but American forces destroyed it before the attackers could enter the buildings.

Due to the offensive, General William Westmoreland requested a surge of over 200,000 more American troops to fight in a counter-attack. However, due to growing anti-war sentiment, President Lyndon Johnson halted the escalation, and five years of peace talks ensued.

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