They were wiped out. "It was what we call a sucking chest wound -- hit the breast bone, went through the right side and exited under my shoulder blade," he said. The Tet Offensive was a coordinated series of North Vietnamese attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam. Location. The Tet Offensive left similar memories for anyone who was “in country” on January 31, 1968. Dr. Erik B. Villard and a panel will discuss the Tet offensive and Villard’s book, Combat Operations: Staying the Course, September 1967–October 1968. Phase 1: January 31 – March 28, 1968. It was 2:45 a.m., on Jan. 30, 1968—the day Vietnam celebrated the lunar new year—when Viet Cong troops raced through a three … Amen. During the early morning hours of January 31, 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces launched surprise assaults on nearly all of the provincial capitals and urban areas of the Republic of Vietnam in an effort to bring about the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. Why did the enemy commit so much to this assault? The Tet Offensive 50 years ago - co-ordinated attacks by 67,000 guerillas and North Vietnamese troops, taking advantage of the lunar New Year holiday and truce - caught the Americans off guard. Grimy U.S. marines held back and watched as the government troops stormed the palace against light resistance. © 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Vietnam War still rears its ugly head, but Grantham is hiding no longer. If we got to die on this tower let us die like men and Marines and don't embarrass ourselves, our families or the Marine Corps. Wall Street Journal, 3 Nov. 1981. ", "I learned that humanity can be very cruel to each other.". One wounded Marine stands guard over another. Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the our 24/7 digital news network. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the battles of the Tet Offensive, in Hue and elsewhere, have been discussed and dissected in news outlets, books, symposiums, TV segments and exhibits across America, where the attacks are remembered as the moment that turned U.S. public opinion against the war. During the fall of 1967, the question of whether the U.S. strategy of attrition was working in South Vietnam weighed heavily on the minds of the American public and the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Once you learn something, it's hard to unlearn it. Student Looking for Battle of Hue Marines. The Tet Offensive was a turning point in the Vietnam War, but one that irreparably poisoned American public opinion on U.S. involvement and ushered in the steady drawdown of American combat troops. "But it didn't last. About 85,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army fighters rushed across the border to attack over 100 cities and towns in southern Vietnam in an attempt to break a stalemate in the war. Phase 2: May 5 – June 15, 1968. ", The Marines and Tet: The Battle That Changed the Vietnam War, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (vvmf.org), Research the Vietnam War at the National Archives, California Privacy/Information We Collect, To help identify nameless figures in Olson's photographs, or to upload your own stories and pictures from Tet, go to. Walter Cronkite, America's most trusted newsman, went to Hue, the longest and bloodiest battle of Tet. After the launch of the Tet Offensive campaign on January 30, 1968, in South Vietnam, a series of battles were fought between the southern Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the Northern People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN). CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 1968 (UPI) -- In his strongest attack yet on President Johnson's Vietnam policies, Kennedy said "it is time for the truth - time to drop the mask of official illusion" which he said had been shattered by Communist attacks in Saigon and cities and towns all across South Vietnam. Elsewhere they fought house-to-house for South Vietnam's third largest city, Hue. Among Olson's extraordinary photos: A wounded Marine  in agony, wrapped in a blanket, whispering the Lord's Prayer as his life slips away and another wounded Marine stands guard. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. "Many think we're hurting real bad right now," said one Marine during the battle. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, Tet is Vietnam’s New Year and there was to be a cease fire during the week of Tet. For 29 of the past 50 years, he has been in therapy, and doesn't go anywhere without his service dog, Bo. We begin this morning in Vietnam, with the Tet Offensive, which began 50 years ago this coming Tuesday. Articles Related to 1968 Tet Offensive. South Vietnam. "This was our prayer: 'God, we know we are about to see you in person. In late January 1968 the VC launched the Tet Offensive attacking U.S. and South Vietnamese positions across South Vietnam.. Saigon was the main focal point of the offensive, but a total takeover of the capital was not intended or feasible. The first article that was insightful of the time before the Tet Offensive came from a newspaper called The Tuscalossa News in August 5, 1964 which is a day after a big attack on American Navy by the North Vietnamese. Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. 1968: Americans alarmed by 'Tet Offensive' The American command in Vietnam has reported over 5,000 people dead after two days intensive fighting. We begin this morning in Vietnam, with the Tet Offensive, which began 50 … Two-hundred-and-sixteen American troops were killed and another 1,300 were wounded. This article goes by the title of Bipartisan Support Due to Action of Viet Nam. A New Year and a New War - The Tet Offensive 1968. Grantham was diagnosed with severe and chronic PTSD. The May Offensive was considered much bloodier than the initial phase of the Tet Offensive. Phase 3: August 9 – September 23, 1968. The panel will explore the twelve-month period when the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies embarked on a new and more aggressive strategy that shook the foundations of South Vietnam and forced the United States to reevaluate its military … 1968 was a year like no other, and throughout this year "Sunday Morning" will be taking occasional looks back. Search news, photos and videos on Army.mil. David Martin has the story of the conflict in one frontline city: The 26-day battle for Hue was fought street by street, house by house, room by room. Sgt. SAIGON, Feb. 15, 1968 (UPI) - A North Vietnamese regiment was headed for Hue tonight in an attempt to reinforce Communist troops surrounded by Allied forces in the embattled Citadel, intelligence reports said. "Tried to hide back into society and just fade away, you know, and just be like everybody else and live a nice, normal life," he told Martin. "The bleeding wasn't the main problem to begin with; it was the breathing," Grantham said. During the Tet Offensive, provincial capitals, villages, and military bases in the U.S.-supported Republic of South Vietnam were overrun. Get even more great free content! SAIGON, Feb. 24, 1968 (UPI) - South Vietnamese troops blasted through a gate of the imperial palace today and won the 25-day battle for Hue. 1968: The Tet Offensive The month-long battle for Hue, in Vietnam, was fought street by street, house by house, room by room. "It was a totally new combat experience for all these men," said Olson. SAIGON, Feb. 6, 1968 (UPI) - Guerrillas leapfrogged from the flaming streets of Chinatown back into the center of Saigon today. "We lost 2nd Platoon. Planes bombing Viet Cong as Saigon fight rages, Allied planes, tanks and troops today drove fleeing guerillas into the suburbs at Saigon, U.S. says 30,795 Communists killed in Vietnam city battles. 1968 was a year like no other, and throughout this year "Sunday Morning" will be taking occasional looks back. "What I see when I look at that photo today are seven 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids badly wounded," he said. To the north, U.S. marines ripped down a Red North Vietnamese flag that had enraged them and hoisted the Stars and Stripes over U.S. spokesmen said about 900 Viet Cong battled on in Saigon, possibly moving in reinforcements in the ninth day of the guerrilla invasion of South Vietnam's cities. April 18, 2018. Then the North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam (NVA) and Viet Cong struck back against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), the US Armed Forces and their allies, hitting military and … A North Vietnamese regiment numbers up to 1,200 men. Copyright © 2020 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Michaeal Ceranic, a history major at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania, is writing his senior thesis on the 1968 Battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive. It was one the largest and most important battles of the long Vietnamese war. Background. "If there's anything close to Hell, it had to be Hue," said Sgt. The night before, he had joined his Marines in prayer. U.S. radar picked up a convoy heading toward the ancient imperial city from mountain sanctuaries to the southwest and artillery was called in to knock it out. Battle of Hue During the TeT Offensive - Vietnam 1968. Ten-thousand North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had seized Hue at the outset of the Tet Offensive, and the Marines were sent in to claw it back. And I remember somebody saying, 'This one's not dead yet,' and lo and behold, they got me out and I made it.". Explore our Vietnam War digital newspaper archives collection that covers more than 400 years of history, assisting thousands of genealogists and history researchers on their hunt for valuable information. "They had zipped me up into a body bag. 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