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Evaluate the Significance of the Tet Offensive

             I shall not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president." These were the words spoken to the American public by President Lyndon.B.Johnson on the 31st of March 1968 at the end of the offensive. The reason for his departure from the Presidency is often said to be because of the impact that the Tet Offensive had on the US. The Tet Offensive was the turning point in the Vietnam War. It changed the perspective of the US public and opened their eyes into the brutality of the war. The Offensive was also significant to both the governments of Vietnam because it shed a light on both of their futures and also on the mistakes that they had both made.
             The significance that the Tet Offensive had on the US government and public was enormous. During the offensive 19 Viet Cong blew a hole in the US embassy wall and took over the building. In the end the 19 Viet Cong were killed along with 7 marines. Televised images of what was happening at the embassy were being broadcasted around the world. For along time before the Offensive the US public were told that the American military status in Vietnam was impenetrable and that the Viet Cong were an easy target so these images came as a shock to the public. There was public outcry as to what was happening and consequently these images along with the image of General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong suspect collapsed support for an expansion of the war and destroyed any credibility of the US army in claiming success and superiority in the south. General William Westmoreland claimed " The press turned a decisive communist defeat into a psychological victory for the North Vietnamese." The American public now despised the war more than ever and put pressure on President Johnson to evacuate the troops in Vietnam. President Johnson also felt the consequences of the massive effect that the Tet Offensive had on people.

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