Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. Furthermore, Tet was so influential that CBS’ anchorman Walter Cronkite even travelled to Vietnam for two weeks in order to join the camera crews and report on the fighting live.The competing news channels all eager to capture this revolutionary footage meant that the Tet offensive dominated the media, covering all news channels and newspapers; it was impossible to miss. 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. "What I see when I look at that photo today are seven 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids badly wounded," he said. Bob Thoms leads his Marines during the Tet Offensive. "They had zipped me up into a body bag. Location. 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. Part of the Vietnam War. The shirtless figure -- an 18-year-old Marine shot through the chest -- is a symbol of American innocence shredded by the reality of Vietnam. 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. Background. Fifty years after Tet, the Marine on the tank says it's time to see that war more clearly. Then came Tet. Walter Cronkite, America's most trusted newsman, went to Hue, the longest and bloodiest battle of Tet. It was one the largest and most important battles of the long Vietnamese war. 1968: The Tet Offensive The month-long battle for Hue, in Vietnam, was fought street by street, house by house, room by room. 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. He'd come back to tell the public the war could not be won: "It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate," Cronkite said. Grantham said, "I'm hoping that the public can embrace the war now and they can learn exactly what happened and what went on, and that we had many, many, many heroes that didn't come back with us from over there alive.". 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. "If there's anything close to Hell, it had to be Hue," said Sgt. But in Vietnam, the anniversary of this moment in history, leading up to the Tet … This is the New Tet Offensive, similar to what happened during the 1968 Vietnamese Tet Offensive attacks when, under orders of the North Vietnamese government, five South Vietnamese cities, dozens of military installations, and small towns and villages across South Vietnam were attacked simultaneously from all sides. Bob Thoms, wounded six times but still alive today. Sự kiện Tết Mậu Thân. In early 1968 U.S. Marines fought for nearly a month in Hue, Vietnam. He has published three books on presidential politics and international affairs as well as many articles on television news and Vietnam. The May Offensive was considered much bloodier than the initial phase of the Tet Offensive. Battle of Hue During the TeT Offensive - Vietnam 1968. The attack, which came to be known as the Tet Offensive, became a major turning point in the war, setting … Two-hundred-and-sixteen American troops were killed and another 1,300 were wounded. 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 … TET OFFENSIVE On Jan. 30, 1968, the Vietnam War escalated as enemy forces launched surprise attacks during the country's New Year holiday. 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. Correspondent David Martin with photographer John Olson, at the Newseum exhibition, "The Marines and Tet. Later, a chaplain administers last rites. PHASE II of the Tet Offensive of 1968 (also known as the May Offensive, Little Tet, and Mini-Tet) was launched by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Viet Cong (VC) against targets throughout South Vietnam, including Saigon from 29 April to 30 May 1968. The Tet Offensive left similar memories for anyone who was “in country” on January 31, 1968. Why did the enemy commit so much to this assault? Birdwell and other Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division’s 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment helped defend Tan Son Nhut Air Base in a Tet Offensive attack Jan. 31, 1968. 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. © 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. The war has a way of rearing its ugly head from time to time. "The bleeding wasn't the main problem to begin with; it was the breathing," Grantham said. 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 … The Tet Offensive was a coordinated series of North Vietnamese attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam. "Many think we're hurting real bad right now," said one Marine during the battle. Home » News » 1968 Tet Offensive. The night before, he had joined his Marines in prayer. Phase 2: May 5 – June 15, 1968. "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. A North Vietnamese regiment numbers up to 1,200 men. Grimy U.S. marines held back and watched as the government troops stormed the palace against light resistance. Student Looking for Battle of Hue Marines. 1968 was a year like no other, and throughout this year "Sunday Morning" will be taking occasional looks back. 1968 was a year like no other, and throughout this year "Sunday Morning" will be taking occasional looks back. "It was a totally new combat experience for all these men," said Olson. This article goes by the title of Bipartisan Support Due to Action of Viet Nam. The attack by North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong guerrilla forces in South Vietnam known as the Tet Offensive began fifty years ago on January 30th, 1968. A.B. Phase 1: January 31 – March 28, 1968. They were wiped out. Wall Street Journal, 3 Nov. 1981. 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. Two-hundred-and … Once you learn something, it's hard to unlearn it. 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. 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. A week later, on Feb. 25, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, commander of United States forces, compared the Tet offensive to the Battle of the Bulge … We begin this morning in Vietnam, with the Tet Offensive, which began 50 … And as far as 1st Platoon, they lost a lot of people.". He led an assault on a tower the enemy was using to shoot down upon American troops. Grantham was diagnosed with severe and chronic PTSD. 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 last total, reported yesterday, said 30,795 Communists had been killed compared to 3,149 Allied soldiers, including 973 Americans. His name is A.B. "I remember it well," said Grantham, now 68 years old, of having come as close to death as it is possible to come. 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. About the Tet Offensive. For 29 of the past 50 years, he has been in therapy, and doesn't go anywhere without his service dog, Bo. Date. One wounded Marine stands guard over another. SAIGON, Feb. 6, 1968 (UPI) - Guerrillas leapfrogged from the flaming streets of Chinatown back into the center of Saigon today. Phase 3: August 9 – September 23, 1968. 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). About 85,000 Viet … Search news, photos and videos on Army.mil. General William Westmoreland, the commander of the Military Assistance Command, Vietn… And I remember somebody saying, 'This one's not dead yet,' and lo and behold, they got me out and I made it.". Articles Related to 1968 Tet Offensive. 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. "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. Though U.S. and South Vietnamese forces managed to hold off the attacks, news coverage of the massive offensive shocked the A… Get even more great free content! Diplomatic History (“Viet Cong Invade American Embassy” — The 1968 Tet Offensive)." "If you had to choose the most important event of the Vietnam War it certainly would be the Tet Offensive; it changed how people looked at the war and doing so it changed the war itself," Cronkite said on a CBS News special report, broadcast on February 27, 1968. On February 27th 1968, with the Tet Offensive a month old, US news anchor Walter Cronkite appeared on television and delivered an editorial claiming that the Vietnam War was “mired in stalemate”: “Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we’d like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Grantham. 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. Artifact 'Stars and Stripes' Reports on Tet Offensive, 1968 The newspaper's Pacific edition describes how U.S. troops successfully defended the embassy in Saigon and reports communist troops took heavy loses. ", "I don't think it could have gotten any closer," he said. "Moments in U.S. But the leathernecks and other allied troops sweeping through the two-mile-square Forbidden City surrounding the palace fought a series of fierce battles with pockets of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops. The offensive was an attempt to foment rebellion among the South Vietnamese population and encourage the United States to scale back its involvement in the Vietnam War. A New Year and a New War - The Tet Offensive 1968. The Vietnam War: Tet Offensive. The Tet offensive was, by any standard, a military de feat of massive proportions for the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. 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. 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 … SAIGON, Jan. 31, 1968 (UPI)-Allied aircraft dive-bombed and strafed Viet Cong positions on the edge of Saigon today as the guerrillas continued to fight after raids on the U.S. Embassy, the Tan Son Nhut airbase and five hotels housing American officials a The Viet Cong also struck from one end of South Vietnam to the other in a bloody offensive. Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the our 24/7 digital news network. "This was our prayer: 'God, we know we are about to see you in person. By Roger Durham, Army Heritage Museum January … Elsewhere they fought house-to-house for South Vietnam's third largest city, Hue. 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. South Vietnam. '", John Olson, then a 20-year-old Army photographer, described one of the images in this exhibit, of the first 12 men that went up the tower: "And within 30 seconds, five of them were critically injured.". "They'd never been in house-to-house fighting before.". "It's painful to look at.". 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. During the Tet Offensive, provincial capitals, villages, and military bases in the U.S.-supported Republic of South Vietnam were overrun. 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. By the end of January 1968 the American people thought their armed forces were winning in South Vietnam after three years of escalating conflict. April 18, 2018. Amen. 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. 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. SAIGON, Feb. 12, 1968 (UPI) - U.S. military headquarters announced today it would no longer issue casualty tolls on the invasion of the cities because the figures are "no longer meaningful," since urban warfare has died down. We begin this morning in Vietnam, with the Tet Offensive, which began 50 years ago this coming Tuesday. ", 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. "I couldn't breathe because I had a hole in my chest. The Vietnam War still rears its ugly head, but Grantham is hiding no longer. None of the Marines on the tank were identified, and that was fine with Grantham, who didn't want people to know he had been to hell and back. ... Lebanon Daily News Friday, April 05, 1968, Lebanon, ... in that war. "We lost 2nd Platoon. Map indicating towns and cities in which significant fighting occurred during the Tet Offensive of 1968. "There was a lot of memories, a lot of nightmares, a lot of resentment to what had happened to us and what we were put through," he said. The Tet offensive raged from the mud of the Mekong Delta in the south to the leech-infested, booby-trapped hills of the north in South Vietnam. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone. Tet offensive were over reacting and speaking prema turely before the returns were in “We unquestionably su... Tet offensive, both in psychological and physical terms* A By and large, the ‘other war' impact of the Tet... Tet offensive sprang largely from a combination of optimum surprise and meticulous preplanning. Instead, virtually the entire county was attacked by a well-coordinated offensive … ", "I learned that humanity can be very cruel to each other.". 1968: Americans alarmed by 'Tet Offensive' The American command in Vietnam has reported over 5,000 people dead after two days intensive fighting. Olson's photos are now on exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive. "Everybody held hands," he recalled. Americans, wounded during the Battle of Hue, being transported on a tank. "But it didn't last. WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 1968 (UPI) - President Johnson Friday termed the Viet Cong attacks on major South Vietnamese cities "a complete failure" militarily and said they would force no change in American troop levels or basic war strategy. 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. Copyright © 2020 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Grantham examines a photo of himself, wounded, in a photo at the Newseum exhibition, "The Marines and Tet." Nothing delivered that message more vividly than Olson's photo of wounded Marines being carried out of Hue on a tank. "No great new overall moves are going to be made," he said, but cautioned: "Anything can happen on a moment's notice.". 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. With correspondent David Martin. Sgt. 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. ... Lebanon Daily News Friday, April 05, 1968, Lebanon,... in that war Daily Friday. Held back and watched as the government troops stormed the palace against light resistance your TV,,! 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