Vietcong soldiers hold a Hue citizen at gunpoint
In 1968 the Vietcong, rebel forces sponsored by North Vietnam, launched a series of attacks on South Vietnamese towns, cities and other establishments. These series of attacks were seen as a major turning point in the Vietnam War, they are known as the Tet Offensive. These series of surprise attacks occurred on January 31st, 1968, two day after the Tet New Year festival, hence the name Tet Offensive. These series of surprise attacks broke the cease fire that had been called while the Tet New Year festival was occurring. In many towns and cities the rebel soldiers were repelled quickly, however in other cities it took more then a month to retake a city. In Saigon the Vietcong soldiers were able to overtake the U.S embassy, a building thought to impregnable. It took nearly eight hours for U.S soldiers to retake the embassy, another week before Saigon was officially retaken. The city of Hue was totally taken and captured by Vietcong forces. It took a month, 216 American lives, 334 South Vietnamese Soldiers lives, and 6,000 citizens before the city was taken back. Overall 45,000 Vietcong soldiers died in this campaign to the 2,500 American soldiers. The 45,000 soldiers lost by the Vietcong was a wake up call to the U.S. This surprisingly high number of casualties showed the amount of South Vietnamese men and women who were willing to fight and die. In addition it revealed the sophisticated and diabolical nature of the Vietcong and North Vietnamese military leaders. The Tet Offensive was the perfect conflict to help restore the negative opinions about the Vietnam War.
Real Footage of the Tet Offensive