Tet Offensive Defeat-Anti Vietnam Movement

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1a: Explain why the Tet Offensive was a military defeat but psychological boost to the North Vietnamese forces (1000 - 1500 words) The Tet offensive brought about the first major signs to the general public that the U.S government were fighting an un-democratic war. In early 1968, on the Vietnamese lunar New Year a surprise communist groups resisting the South Vietnamese regime launched attack. Being led away from Saigon with false tip off as to the point of attack, the majority of American troops had been sent to the west of Vietnam to the borders of Cambodia. Whilst the American troops sped back returning faster than the NLF had anticipated Their estimated 84,000 troops (Lawrence, 2008) had stormed Saigon and for a brief time a small group held the American embassy, being seen by cameras waving the north Vietnamese flag from the roof. It was only a few days until the NLF troops had been beaten back and the American troops once again occupied Saigon and their own embassy. The Americans were not Militarily defeated, in actual fact defeating and killing 58,000 north Vietnamese troops (Wiest, 2008) however this attack is ranked high above others as the start of the downward spiral that ended the war. Despite the offensive by the North Vietnamese forces the standoff had not changed anything, Lawrence in, the Vietnam War a concise international history, claims it “merely changed the nature of the stalemate” and that the Tet offensive was “confirming opposition to the war among American public.” (Lawrence, 2008 P116). The North Vietnamese forces being able to take and hold the supposed hub of American power in Saigon, to then have the image of the Vietcong on the roof waving the flag of the opposing army is crushing blow to the American public. This Kind of image and media brought about the anti war movement that believed the war was a ‘quagmire’ and needed to be

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