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The Vietnam Conflict And Its Downfall Essay

, Research Paper In the mid to late 1960’s the Vietnam Conflict was greatly controversial. This is mainly due to the fact that it was an undeclared war and was being fought with unclear objectives. It was fought mainly by Viet Cong guerillas and the NVA from the North and by the USA and ARVN from the south. Throughout the conflict it appeared as if the South was prevailing; up until one climatic battle that turned out to be a failure militarily; it is known as the Tet Offensive.

, Research Paper

In the mid to late 1960’s the Vietnam Conflict was greatly controversial. This is mainly due to the fact that it was an undeclared war and was being fought with unclear objectives. It was fought mainly by Viet Cong guerillas and the NVA from the North and by the USA and ARVN from the south. Throughout the conflict it appeared as if the South was prevailing; up until one climatic battle that turned out to be a failure militarily; it is known as the Tet Offensive.

The Tet Offensive started with diversionary attacks on Khe Sanh on January 21. It began with a concentrated artillery barrage and entrenching troops around the perimeter so that they could prepare further assaults on Khe Sanh?s defenses. This caused the US to move their troops up in order to defend against the enemy intrusion. By causing the US to move their troops from their positions in the other major cities, the North had created an opportunity for an attack on all of those cites.

Then next step of the plan was to infiltrate the major cities of the South like Saigon and Hue with VC and NVA soldiers. It is amazing how effectively the VC and NVA snuck their soldiers into the cities, because only a small number of them actually got caught. They pulled this off by sending their men in slowly, mostly by twos or threes, disguised as refugees, peasants, workers, and ARVN soldiers on holiday. Their weapons were smuggled in separately in flower carts, coffins, and trucks that looked as if they were filled with food for the civilians. All-in-all the amount of troops in these cities equaled about 5 battalions. Once the North had accomplished its goals of distracting the United States soldiers and infiltrating its guarded cities they decided to attack; they chose a day designated for truce, the Vietnamese New Year of Tet.

On January 31st, in the early hours of the morning, the NVA and VC troops and commandoes began the Tet Offensive by attacking virtually every major city and town; including most of the major bases and airfields. Most of the attacks made came by total surprise and caused a maelstrom of chaos among the US soldiers who attempted to defend their posts. An example of one of these attacks is the one launched against the US embassy in Saigon.

In Saigon, nineteen VC commandoes attempted to blast their way through the main doors of the US embassy and killed two of the 5 MP?s on duty. Fortunately for the MP?s, the VC?s attempt to infiltrate the building was a failure and the VC?s remained pinned down in the courtyard by the marine guards in an intense fire-fight. The VC troops were eliminated when a relief force of the US 101st Airborne was brought in by helicopter. This attack was just one of the numerous failures of the North?s attack on the southern cities, but their attack ended up achieving their main goal.

The main goal of this attack was to put the US out of the fight by lowering the morale of its troops and worsening the image of the war in the eyes of the US citizens; it did just that. After the Tet Offensive, the US had lost the will to fight and tried to make it so the ARVN would bear the main burden of the fighting by slowly returning the main roll of American troops to that of military advisors; this policy was named ?Vietnamization?

Even though the NVA and VC failed militarily in their attack, they still prevailed politically with it. The Tet Offensive is the climatic turning point of the Vietnam War that sent the US troops back homeIn the mid to late 1960’s the Vietnam Conflict was greatly controversial. This is mainly due to the fact that it was an undeclared war and was being fought with unclear objectives. It was fought mainly by Viet Cong guerillas and the NVA from the North and by the USA and ARVN from the south. Throughout the conflict it appeared as if the South was prevailing; up until one climatic battle that turned out to be a failure militarily; it is known as the Tet Offensive.

The Tet Offensive started with diversionary attacks on Khe Sanh on January 21. It began with a concentrated artillery barrage and entrenching troops around the perimeter so that they could prepare further assaults on Khe Sanh?s defenses. This caused the US to move their troops up in order to defend against the enemy intrusion. By causing the US to move their troops from their positions in the other major cities, the North had created an opportunity for an attack on all of those cites.

Then next step of the plan was to infiltrate the major cities of the South like Saigon and Hue with VC and NVA soldiers. It is amazing how effectively the VC and NVA snuck their soldiers into the cities, because only a small number of them actually got caught. They pulled this off by sending their men in slowly, mostly by twos or threes, disguised as refugees, peasants, workers, and ARVN soldiers on holiday. Their weapons were smuggled in separately in flower carts, coffins, and trucks that looked as if they were filled with food for the civilians. All-in-all the amount of troops in these cities equaled about 5 battalions. Once the North had accomplished its goals of distracting the United States soldiers and infiltrating its guarded cities they decided to attack; they chose a day designated for truce, the Vietnamese New Year of Tet.

On January 31st, in the early hours of the morning, the NVA and VC troops and commandoes began the Tet Offensive by attacking virtually every major city and town; including most of the major bases and airfields. Most of the attacks made came by total surprise and caused a maelstrom of chaos among the US soldiers who attempted to defend their posts. An example of one of these attacks is the one launched against the US embassy in Saigon.

In Saigon, nineteen VC commandoes attempted to blast their way through the main doors of the US embassy and killed two of the 5 MP?s on duty. Fortunately for the MP?s, the VC?s attempt to infiltrate the building was a failure and the VC?s remained pinned down in the courtyard by the marine guards in an intense fire-fight. The VC troops were eliminated when a relief force of the US 101st Airborne was brought in by helicopter. This attack was just one of the numerous failures of the North?s attack on the southern cities, but their attack ended up achieving their main goal.

The main goal of this attack was to put the US out of the fight by lowering the morale of its troops and worsening the image of the war in the eyes of the US citizens; it did just that. After the Tet Offensive, the US had lost the will to fight and tried to make it so the ARVN would bear the main burden of the fighting by slowly returning the main roll of American troops to that of military advisors; this policy was named ?Vietnamization?

Even though the NVA and VC failed militarily in their attack, they still prevailed politically with it. The Tet Offensive is the climatic turning point of the Vietnam War that sent the US troops back home.

SourcesUnknown Author. The Tet Offensive. (Online). Available: http://www.vwam.com/vets/tet/tet.html January 30, 1998

Platoon. Videotape. 1986

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