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The Tet Offensive

A Concise History
The Tet Offensive
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Columbia Univ Pr

In the Tet Offensive of 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces launched a massive countrywide attack on South Vietnam. Though the Communists failed to achieve their tactical and operational objectives, James Willbanks claims Hanoi won a strategic victory. The offensive proved that America's progress was grossly overstated and caused many Americans and key presidential advisors to question the wisdom of prolonging combat.

Willbanks also maintains that the Communists laid siege to a Marine combat base two weeks prior to the Tet Offensive?known as the Battle of Khe Sanh?to distract the United States. It is his belief that these two events are intimately linked, and in his concise and compelling history, he presents an engaging portrait of the conflicts and singles out key problems of interpretation. Willbanks begins with a historical overview of the events leading up to the offensive, the attack itself, and the consequent battles of Saigon, Hue, and Khe Sahn. He continues with a critical assessment of the main themes and issues surrounding the offensive, and concludes with excerpts from American and Vietnamese documents, maps and chronologies, an annotated list of resources, and a short encyclopedia of key people, places, and events.


In the Tet Offensive of 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces launched a massive countrywide attack on South Vietnam. Though the Communists failed to achieve their tactical and operational objectives, James Willbanks claims Hanoi won a strategic victory. The offensive proved that America's progress was grossly overstated and caused many Americans and key presidential advisors to question the wisdom of prolonging combat.

Willbanks also maintains that the Communists laid siege to a Marine combat base two weeks prior to the Tet Offensive-known as the Battle of Khe Sanh?to distract the United States. It is his belief that these two events are intimately linked, and in his concise and compelling history, he presents an engaging portrait of the conflicts and singles out key problems of interpretation.

Willbanks divides his study into six sections, beginning with a historical overview of the events leading up to the offensive, the attack itself, and the consequent battles of Saigon, Hue, and Khe Sahn. He continues with a critical assessment of the main themes and issues surrounding the offensive, and concludes with excerpts from American and Vietnamese documents, maps and chronologies, an annotated list of resources, and a short encyclopedia of key people, places, and events.

An experienced military historian and scholar of the Vietnam War, Willbanks has written a unique critical reference and guide that enlarges the debate surrounding this important turning point in America's longest war.



Authors: Willbanks, James H., 1947-
Statement of Responsibility: James H. Willbanks
Title: The Tet Offensive
a concise history
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, c2007
Characteristics: xxvii, 264 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [225]-253) and index
Contents: Historical overview
Prelude
Border battles, hill fights, and Khe Sanh
The Tet Offensive
The battle for Hue
The siege of Khe Sanh
The impact of the Tet Offensive
Assessing the Tet Offensive
Issues and interpretations
Motivations and objectives of the Tet Offensive - Military intelligence and surprise at Tet
What happened at Hue?
Why Khe Sanh?
Tet and the media
Tet and American military strategy
Chronology, 1967-68
The Tet Offensive A to Z
Documents
Resources
General works
Subject Headings: Tet Offensive, 1968
Topical Term: Tet Offensive, 1968
LCCN: 2006012721
ISBN: 9780231128407
0231128401
Research Call Number: JFE 07-530
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