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Tet Offensive

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How accurate is it to say that the Tet Offensive of 1968 was the most important reason for US withdrawal from Vietnam?

There are many reasons that lead to the US withdrawing from Vietnam, like the Tet Offensive which can be seen as the most crucial turning point in the war for America as it was the first wide-scale organised attack by the Viet Cong and raised doubt among American public about the causes and the outcome of the war. However it is not the only reason that could have led to withdrawal; the election of the tough President Nixon, the media’s unflattering coverage of US forces and influencing public opinion, the process of withdrawal and the decreased threat of communism due to the Sino-Soviet split. Without any one of these major events or situations I don’t think withdrawal from Vietnam would have been in 1973 but possibly later.

The Tet offensive was extremely significant as it was first and foremost a moral boost for the NVA who saw the success if short-lived of strategic surprise on the US troops and bases in the South. The US troops did not understand the willingness the NVA were to die for their cause and so it was in huge contrast to their own feelings about fighting in Vietnam- the Viet Cong weren’t going to give up easily. It was more of a shock to Americans than a defeat as Tet is a national holiday in Vietnam and was typically a truce but using their large numbers and weapons; the Viet Cong did not succeed in maintaining any control in the Southern cities. Yet it was the year the most US soldiers would die during the entire war. Also it was the acts of soldiers during and after the offensive that were the most shocking; for example the cold blooded shooting of a young Viet Cong soldier by the South Vietnamese Head of Police....

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