"Tet Offensive" in Vietnam (283 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Lucas Paul Richert (University of Saskatchewan)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 10.4.1: Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laos Writing and Culture.


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On 31 January 1968, North Vietnamese communist forces launched large-scale, bold, and unexpected attack on South Vietnam. The offensive, undertaken on the ‘Tet’ holiday, targeted provincial capitals and district capitals, as well as airfields and military bases. Importantly, the offensive also targeted U.S. General Westmoreland’s headquarters in Saigon and the U.S. embassy. Although American and South Vietnamese forces were taken by surprise, they managed to quickly coordinate and execute an effective counter-offensive. Less than three days after the ‘Tet’ offensive, the communists had surrendered much of the territory they had gained initially and suffered high casualties in losing that ground. However, the brazen attack …

Richert, Lucas Paul. ""Tet Offensive" in Vietnam". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=3476, accessed 05 December 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Vietnam War