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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/1/2001 4:09:10 PM EST
Tonight, on the History Channel on Military Blunders, they discuss the Tet Offensive. The promo seems to suggest that this was a "great victory" for the VC, when in fact, it was a disaster for them. I was a civilian by then, but as I recall, the VC were militarily beaten, and only people like Dan Rather defeated the U.S. Military. Any comments? Thanks, John H Osterholm
Link Posted: 7/1/2001 7:58:24 PM EST
Saying the Tet offensive was a great victory for the Viet Cong is like saying the battle of the bulge was a great victory for the Germans!! The news media reported what they wanted to see, not what actually happened. (Quick war story: I was there at the time. Some time before the attack, one of the Warrant Officers in my Army unit began running around telling anyone who would listen, to include myself, that the VC and NVA were preparing for a massive country-wide attack to include attempts to overrun facilities such as Bien Hoa Airbase and Long Bien (Westmoreland’s Headquarters). This Warrant Officer, who I will not otherwise identify, had been in country several years and was involved with the Phoenix Committee. He initially predicted the attack for Thanksgiving of 67 (I think there was a truce at that time). It didn’t happen. He then predicted it for Christmas (another truce) and it didn’t happen. He then said Tet, and it did happen. I’ve never understood how he knew this while apparently no one else did!! I do know that his information was passed up the chain of command - probably the folks at MACV figured they were smarter than some lowly Warrant Officer.)
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 6:15:24 AM EST
I recently read "The Tunnels of CHU CHI" and at the end it tells of the losses suffered by both the local Viet Cong and the NVA regulars. They were in very big trouble. The US media said we lost but this book puts it in a different perspective.
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 7:11:34 AM EST
It is one of the best examples of defeatism in American history. This says "Perception is Reality". When Cronkite came out and told America that the VC had won and American victory was impossible. It became impossible. The other factor is that the NVA & VC were willing to take losses of 10 of theirs for every one of ours. America wasn't willing.
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 9:46:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/2/2001 9:51:16 AM EST by Wadman]
I don't know about what the History Channel had to say about Tet. But R. Lee Ermey (The Siege of Firebase Gloria) said that after Tet, N. Vietnam took over the war from the VC. And if R. Lee Ermey says so, then damnit I believe him! Hasn't it always been about resolve? And not ground captured and held? That lesson was pointed out in a Korean War movie about Pork Chop Hill. How much are you willing to bleed in order to make the other guy quit over an inconsequential piece of land? I thought it was a good movie, BTW. GI's struggle against huge odds w/o reinforcements until their commanders realize what was really at stake. Only then do reinforcements arrive.
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 11:56:38 AM EST
Thanks for the input! I watched the program, and it appeared to me that the producer was not really there. The fact that U.S intellegence did not predict the attacks made the Tet Offensive as a major U.S. "blunder," according to him. The program showed anti war protesters, re Jane Fonda types - burning the flag and demanding the U.S. pull out of Viet Nam. After all these years, I am still bothered by the U.S. media and the low life dickheads burning the flag and still accepting their wellfare checks. Sorry for ranting, John H Osterholm
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 4:39:26 PM EST
As I recall, it [b]was[/b] predicted. Every year, the VC did some kind of attack on their new year, Tet. We were warned an attack was coming, every guard was at his post, there was no surprise. Almost [b]all[/b] of the VC were killed. You won't find them mentioned in even the most biased accounts of the war after that, because ther weren't any. I got to TanSonNhut a year later. There were a few placques up that "Three dedicated soldiers died here" with names etc. A friend of mine told of burning thousands of VC bodies at Bien Hoa, just a few miles down the road. They had some temporary success in Hue Phu Bai, way up north, where thVC was heavily supported by the NVA. Within thirty days, they were gone. We won the war and our politicians gave it away. Norm
Link Posted: 7/2/2001 5:19:18 PM EST
The Tet/NVA thing I have heard before. The theory was VC was too independent and unreliable to the North Vietnamese, so they launched Tet to let the Americans do the purges for them. I would believe it.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 10:54:16 AM EST
I wish I could remember the who, where, and when I heard this, but I remember hearing/reading an interview with one of the head VC's from after the war. This person admitted that after Tet, we had decimated them to the point that if we had pressed our advantage, we could have won right then and there. Thanks to the media, the public felt otherwise.
Link Posted: 7/8/2001 6:39:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/8/2001 6:48:02 PM EST by lbj]
I don't remember just exactly where I came up with my view but.... The 1968 Tet Offensive was a disaster for the Viet Cong and really the beginning of the end for them. The Tet Offensive was a masterful plan by North Vietnam to get the Viet Cong to basically get themselves slaughtered in huge numbers. Regardless of either the Press accounts then or now, the US soldiers put the wood to them and won that but the North wanted this. Genius the plan was as North Vietnam was looking toward the future as to what might happen if an end game ever came with the US. The plan worked and when South Vietnam collapsed in the mid 70s the Viet Cong had not recovered sufficiently in numbers to be a viable military or political threat when North took over. The Viet Cong surely would have had some problems with the North Vietnamese Government once they had taken over. The North didn't want them around after the War. The North never did seem to be worried about what might happen politically and militarily with surviving ARVN forces after the War but instead worried about the Viet Cong. That's why North Vietnam betrayed them back in '68 even though it appeared they fought side by side with them. They did but with a little surprise in mind. The Press will never admit to the above.
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