Tet 1968: The Victory That Wasn’t

Wilburn “Bud” Meador
Fifty years to the day after the launch of the Tet Offensive of 1968, Bud Meador of the U.S. Army General Command and Staff College examines the two-month struggle by the North to turn the tide of the Vietnam War – a battlefield loss for Communist troops but a success nonetheless.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Reception: 
6 pm
Program: 
6:30 pm
Fifty years ago today, Communist authorities in North Vietnam launched an attack – the Tet Offensive of 1968 – designed to turn the tide of the Vietnam War. Conditions were ripe, they thought, to mortally wound the South’s Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN), hit at U.S. forces on the ground, and eat further into waning public support for the war in America.

They were right about the discontent on the American home front but wrong about the ARVN, which fought well, and especially wrong about the resilience of the U.S. military.

Bud Meador, a military historian at the U.S. Army General Command and Staff College, examines a two-month struggle that proved to be an anomaly. The North was dealt a battlefield defeat. But it succeeded in souring public opinion in the U.S., leading to the withdrawal of American forces and South Vietnam’s collapse.