First Battle Of The Vietnam War Essay
The Vietnam war was in what could be argued as the 14th year of U.S. involvement when Saigon was attacked by well organized and armed Vietcong and North Vietnamese army. On 30 January 1968, approximately half of the South Vietnamese army’s 350,000 Soldiers were on leave and celebrating the traditional seven day cease fire and “Tet”. In addition to the Vietnamese forces, a large majority of the 400,000 plus foreign Soldiers were relaxing and enjoying the holiday. As we will begin to see, many historians have said that this battle was the turning point of the US citizen’s support for the war in Vietnam. The statistics show 58,220 soldiers were killed and too numerous to be counted were wounded (Chambers II, 2000). This battle became known as the “Tet Offensive” and some of the aspects leading up to the attack will be discussed.
As this paper will show, the loss of Saigon, and in particular the Tet Offensive, was a turning point for the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. By December 15, 1967 the sole defense of Saigon was turned over to the South Vietnamese military as a gesture of confidence and good faith, which ultimately lead to the downfall of stability in the region ("Fall of Saigon," 2006, p. 1). With the transition of Saigon security to South Vietnam the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) began planning in earnest for a large scale attack intended to show the people the control they had. The…