The Tet Offensive. It’s not a battle – it’s a campaign, a campaign that would change the course of American history. Tet combined major set-piece battles with guerrilla strikes up and down the length of South Vietnam, there was fighting everywhere. One Colonel said his situation map lit up like a pinball machine. With this one stroke, General Giap and the North Vietnamese high command undercut the American war effort in Southeast Asia and considerably hobbled American foreign policy for decades. It wasn’t talk or ideas or values that seriously curtailed American policy ambitions – it was a battle – it was war. It was Tet.
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Maps and Figures:
Notice the vulnerable location of Khe Sanh in the northwest of South Vietnam
Initial Communist thrusts of the battle for Saigon
The Tet Offensive: A Concise History by James Willbanks
The Ten Thousand Day War : Vietnam 1945-1975 by Michael MacLear
Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
The Soldier’s Story: Vietnam in their own Words by Ron Steinman
From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776 by George Herring
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden
Battle for Hue: Tet 1968 by Keith Nolan
Battle for Saigon: Tet 1968 by Keith Nolan