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How did coverage of the Vietnam War in the USA lead to demands for peace? L/O – To assess the importance of the Tet Offensive in changing public opinion of the War To assess the role that the media played in The Vietnam War.

1965-1968 • Connection • By 1968, there were 500,000 US soldiers based in South Vietnam, hunting for VC and NVA soldiers in the South. • Lyndon Johnson announced that the American strategy was working and America was winning the war of attrition. • A number of incidents between 1968 and 1970 led to the Americans seeking for peace. • How did this happen?

Activation - 1968 The Tet Offensive • A massive offensive by the NVA and VC in the South take American troops by surprise during the Tet New Year(30 Jan 1968) • The US embassy in Saigon is over run by suicide squads. • The ancient city of Hue in over run • Khe Sanh, the American base in the North stands by to be over run. • Some American generals see this as an opportunity to destroy the NVA and VC in the field – they are coming out to fight!

Why was it launched? 1) Giap was keen to break the stalemate in Vietnam. 2) Giap believed that the attacks would cause Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces to collapse and 3) The attack would cause rebellion among the South Vietnamese population, leading them to rise up against the regime in Saigon. 4) Giap believed the alliance between South Vietnam and the United States was unstable; he hoped the offensive would drive the final wedge between them and convince American leaders to give up their defence of South Vietnam.

The TET Offensive • •

Media Coverage • r Play from 2.00 minutes • ated

Demonstration 1) 2)


What does source A suggest was the reason for the turning of public opinion against the Vietnam War? What does source B suggest was the reason for the turning of public opinion against the Vietnam War? In your own words, summarise the impact of the Tet Offensive on the American people using the work sheet and the documentary you have just been shown.

Review/Evaluate • • Johnson announces his resignation – March 1968

Homework • What impact did the media have on the War in Vietnam? Use todays lessons and notes to answer the question and ensure you make reference to the sources you have used. • (5 Marks)

“Television is an instrument… which can paralyze this country” Westmoreland

“Despite the large enemy losses during Tet, the United States was no closer… to achieving its goal in Vietnam than it had been in 1965” US foreign relations

“For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam… Is to end in stalemate” Cronkite

“It became necessary to destroy the town‌ to save it." US Major quoted in Feb 1968

Former Los Angeles Times and Newsweek correspondent Robert Elegant, who covered Vietnam for ten years, wrote that "For the first time in modern history, the outcome of a war was determined not on the battlefield‌ but on the printed page and, above all, on the television screen."

"We think the American people should be getting ready to accept, if they haven’t already, the prospect that the whole Vietnam effort may be doomed, that it may be falling apart beneath our feet."

February 23, Wall Street Journal editorial

“If I’ve lost Cronkite… I’ve lost the country.” LBJ on hearing of Cronkite’s broadcast

"What the hell is going on? I thought we were winning this war.“ Cronkite’s reaction to news footage on Jan 31st ‘68


The Tet Offensive 1968  


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