Tet Offensive 1968

This is the Tet Offensive 1968 Military History Book by Osprey Publishing.

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Spotlight Review

"The turning point of the Vietnam war."
This book by J. Arnold provides a good overview of the Tet Offensive. This war was unique, mainly because the Viet Cong/N. Vietnamese Army (VC/NVA) before the tet offensive, avoided any big operation in the open ground, always seeking for a secure escape route, never looking for land objectives that had to be held. Essentially avoiding the type of war that was impossible to win against the U.S. Military. In 1968 The Northern leaders (mainly Giap) felt it was the perfect time for a General offensive in the South in the belief that it would trigger a popular uprising leading to the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. When the main operation (Tet) began it was a countrywide offensive; eventually more PAVN/VC troops were committed than never before. They struck more than 100 towns and cities, including Saigon, Hue (These two are well described in the book) and other provincial capitals. At the beginning, the operation caught the US troops off guard, surprised by the scale and scope of the offensive. After fierce battles in each city (and even inside the US Embassy) the offensive ended as a military and political defeat for North Vietnam, The popular uprising anticipated by Hanoi never happened, and the offensive inflicted heavy losses especially on VC units that struck into the heart of the infrastructure that had been built up for over a decade. However this offensive had far reaching consequences due to its effect on the views of the Vietnam War by the American public and the world broadly. The (VC/NVA) had a coherent overall strategy for conquering South Vietnam that the Americans and its allies neither fully appreciated nor effectively countered. After Tet nothing would be the same...Talking of the definitive importance of morale, von Clausewitz (a war theorist) claims that once you have destroyed your enemy's spirit — his will to fight — you have won the war. Although it feels short in pages this is a very interesting book of the turning point in the Vietnam War.

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