A Dictionary of American History

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Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Tet Offensive

Tet Offensive On 30 January 1968, 80,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong attacked the garrisons of 105 cities and the US embassy. They failed to hold any major objective except Hue more than a week and sustained perhaps 45,000 deaths, compared to just 1,100 US and 2,300 South Vietnamese. The Vietcong never recovered from their staggering losses, and North Vietnamese regulars thereafter formed that side’s military backbone. News coverage nevertheless emphasized the enemy’s initial success, the prolonged battle for Hue, and the sharp rise in US casualties. As American public opinion became more confused, demoralized, and sympathetic to the Vietnam antiwar movement, Tet emerged as the war’s turning point for having decisively undermined US resolve to achieve full military victory.

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Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Tet Offensive," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed December 7, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6TLL8ZLJ5TGJB2M.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Tet Offensive." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 7 Dec. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6TLL8ZLJ5TGJB2M.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Tet Offensive' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 7 December 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6TLL8ZLJ5TGJB2M.