Tet Offensive Essay Research Paper The Tet — страница 2
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One U.S. intelligence official stated ?If we?d gotten the whole battle plan, it wouldn?t have been believed. It wouldn?t have been credible to us? (Omicinski 18-19). Intelligence analysts refused to believe that the Vietcong and the NVA were capable of executing such a large scale, coordinated attack, but they were not sure if the Vietcong and NVA were, or if they were not. The U.S.?s suspicions on the upcoming offensive were starting to be confirmed. By mid-January, Westmoreland was almost sure that the offensive would be starting just before or just after the Tet. The U.S. and its officials had strongly doubted that the Vietcong and the NVA would strike during the holiday. The Tet is a very important and religious holiday in the Chinese and Vietnamese cultures which is another reason why the Vietnamese?s victory was psychological. Some smaller battles started to break out in Vietnam before the actual Tet-Offensive did. In the fall of 1967, Vietcong and the NVA units suffered heavy losses during several bouts with the U.S. and the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam (ARVN) forces. Starting on October 27th, and continuing for 22 days, the American and South Vietnamese troops killed over 1,600 more enemy soldiers, almost destroying the 4 NVA regiments (?Vietnam?). When the unavoidable Tet-Offensive came, somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 troops launched an all-out attack on the marines at Khe Sanh on January 21, 1968 (Porter 5). The question that started to be asked by American troops and its citizens was: ?Is this the offensive or not?? The answer to that question was yes, the battle ended up being called ?the most important battle of the world? (Anzalone 4). The first attack was not the Tet-Offensive. This larger battle was composed of many smaller battles. On January 21st, 1968, at 12:30 a.m., the North Vietnamese 325 division launched an assault against Hill 861, a marine outpost northwest of the main combat base (?Massacre?). Following that battle, there were many other battles, until mid/late February. And end to the Tet-Offensive finally came into view. On February 20th, there were 47 marines killed, 240 badly wounded, and 60 wounded, but still fighting (?More?). The Americans had actually killed more than four times the number of dead on their side. They started fighting the Platoon Task Force, which included a sniper team. They had two buildings to secure before they could take over the tower. Amazingly, there was no resistance in the two buildings of the tower itself. On February 21st, the northeast wall of the Citadel fell to Major Thompson?s 1st Battalion marines. The marines then hoisted an American flag over the liberated South Vietnamese soil (more specifically, the Citadel). The Tet-Offensive finally came to an end. The Black Panther Company of the 1st ARVN Division?s 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, secured the main flagpole at the Midday Gate of the Imperial Palace. At 5:00 a.m., they hauled down the NLF (National Liberation Front) flag, that ran up the yellow and red standard of the Republic of Vietnam (?Vietnam?). Although the battle was then officially over, there were still many losses. There were 5,113 NVA/VC dead in Hue, and 89 captured (Young 65). The ARVN had 384 casualties, and 1,830 wounded (73). Among the civilians of Hue, there were 5,800 listed as dead or missing, most of whom had been killed by communist death squads and buried in mass graves in the inner city (98). The U.S. Army had 74 dead and 507 seriously wounded (15). And, the Marine Corps had 147 dead, and 857 seriously wounded (Anzalone 2). From the experience of the Tet-Offensive, the American?s learned to never underestimate the abilities of their enemies. In this battle, each side proved something to the other. The Vietnamese Communists proved that they were able to pull off a large-scale uprising and also still fight with a lot of power. The Americans proved that they too could hold up their side of the fight, but they also learned that sometimes there are no true winners in a battle, each side has its casualties and failures. Bibliography Young, Marilyn B. The Vietnam Wars: 1945-1990. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. Massacre at Hue. 25 November 1999. Excerpt from the Viet Cong Strategy of Terror. 6 Apr. 2000 . Couteau, Robert. Home Page. New Insights Into the Spirit of Place. 6 Apr. 2000. . Anzalone, Tom. Home Page. Tet 1968. 6 Apr. 2000. . Porter, D. Gareth. Home Page. University of Texas. The 1968 Hue Massacre. 6 Apr. 2000. . Vietnam. 17 Feb. 1998. The History Net. 8 Apr. 2000. . Mueller, James M. Tet in Hue. 6 Apr. 2000. . More About the 1968 Tet Offensive. 19 Mar. 1998. Fortune City. 10 Apr. 2000. . Omicinski, John. ?Tet Offensive Marked Turn in War.?