Thiệu also established a National Recovery Committee to oversee food distribution, resettlement, and housing construction for the new refugees. The multi-pronged offensive, named Tet after the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, proved to be a military defeat for the Communists. In what became known as the Battle of Dai Do, the PAVN clashed savagely with U.S. Marine, Army and ARVN forces before withdrawing. :464–7, At 03:40 on the foggy morning of 31 January, allied defensive positions north of the Perfume River in the city of Huế were mortared and rocketed and then attacked by two battalions of the PAVN 6th Regiment.  This attack sparked a ten-day battle that drew in elements of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and the ARVN 18th Division and left 800 PAVN troops dead at its conclusion. During the Tet Offensive the South Vietnam based Viet Cong were essentially wiped out as a fighting force.  Both sides then rushed to reinforce and resupply their forces. , During the first days of the North Vietnamese occupation, U.S. intelligence vastly underestimated the number of PAVN troops and little appreciated the effort that was going to be necessary to evict them. Nationalism and Imperialism in South and Southeast Asia: Essays Presented to Damodar R. SarDesai. Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops occupied the walled fortress of Hue, Vietnam’s ancient capital, until they were finally driven out by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces on February 24. U.S. and other allied forces suffered 1,536 killed, 7,764 wounded, and 11 missing. The popular uprising anticipated by Hanoi never happened. Although the initial attacks stunned the allies, causing them to lose control of several cities temporarily, they quickly regrouped, beat back the attacks, and inflicted heavy casualties on PAVN/VC forces. Both Wheeler and Westmoreland were elated that in only eight days McNamara would be replaced by the hawkish Clark Clifford and that the military might finally obtain permission to widen the war.  On 28 February Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense who had overseen the escalation of the war in 1964–1965, but who had eventually turned against it, stepped down from office. MACV estimated that 5,500 PAVN troops had been killed and considerably more wounded.  The following afternoon, General Cao Văn Viên, chief of the South Vietnamese Joint General Staff, ordered his four Corps' commanders to place their troops on alert. Though the Communists failed to achieve their tactical and operational objectives, James Willbanks claims Hanoi won a strategic victory.  For 49 days during early September and lasting into October, the PAVN began shelling the U.S. Marine outpost of Con Thien, just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).  The offensive, therefore, was aimed at influencing the South Vietnamese public, not that of the U.S. , In the aftermath of the recapture of the city, the discovery of several mass graves (the last of which were uncovered in 1970) of South Vietnamese citizens of Huế sparked a controversy that has not diminished with time. ", Westmoreland was even more emphatic in his assertions. The Tet Offensive ended on September 23, 1968 and was a turning point in the Vietnam War. The clashes there between the four regiments of the PAVN 1st Division, the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and ARVN infantry and Airborne elements, lasted for 22 days. In Saigon, attackers penetrated both the presidential palace and the compound of the U.S. embassy. 1968 Tet offensive . This assignment will requireyou to utilize both direct and paraphrased quotations to support your arguments.To cite the article, simply follow the … With the encouragement of Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Earle Wheeler, Westmoreland renewed an earlier request for more troops. If it failed, it would be a failure only for the Communist Party militants. Preparations for the offensive were already underway.  From October 1966 through April 1967, a very public debate over military strategy took place in print and via radio between Thanh and his rival for military power, Giáp.  Subsequently, the U.S. sought negotiations to end the war. I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing...We have reached an important point when the end begins to come into view. Originally published in the February … They also resisted the idea of negotiating with the allies. The Tet Offensive: a brief history with documents. Westmoreland was replaced by Gen. Creighton Abrams, who aggressively pursued the Vietnamization program and oversaw the reduction of the U.S. presence in Vietnam to fewer than 30,000 troops. From the early to mid-1960s, the militants had dictated the direction of the war in South Vietnam. The U.S. estimated that during the first phase (30 January – 8 April) approximately 45,000 PAVN/VC soldiers were killed and an unknown number were wounded. Foreign Minister Trinh announced on 30 December that Hanoi would rather than could open negotiations if the U.S. unconditionally ended Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing campaign against North Vietnam. They felt that a return to guerrilla tactics was more appropriate since the U.S. could not be defeated conventionally. 1968 - During the Tet offensive, Viet Cong guerrillas attack Saigon, Hue, trying to incite South Vietnamese to join them . Secretary of State Dean Rusk was called before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and questioned for 11 hours. The United States had prevented the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong from taking control of the South, but could not force them to abandon their struggle (Hess, 103).  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