The 1968 Tet Offensive

 Part Three: Aftermath, 15 February-30 June 

Within ten days or so the communists were forced out of most of the urban areas attacked on 30-31 January, although Saigon and Hue would prove to be bloody exceptions. Otherwise, the Viet Cong proved incapable of holding those areas initially occupied while the NVA, poised to rush into a vacuum that was never created, mostly stayed on the sidelines. Though traumatized, South Vietnam's government and military had taken the enemy's best shot and survived. But an estimated 14,000 civilians had been killed, another half-million or more were homeless. With allied troops drawn in to defend the cities, pacification of the countryside was severely set back, in some cases virtually to square one. At home, the American public was shaken by the magnitude and ferocity of the Tet attacks, audaciously pulled off by an enemy they had been assured was slowly but surely being defeated. The already shaky credibility of leadership in both Saigon and Washington took another nose dive.