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It was just 52 years ago today, January 31, 1968, when the Communist offensive, known as the Tet Offensive, began in full as North Vietnamese troops and Vietcong guerillas attacked every major civilian and military installation in South Vietnam. American combat troops had been in country since 1965, and for years a tough guerilla war had been fought in the jungle. American troops continued the policy of containment, but the war seemed to be dragging on, and protests back home were making the American policy look weak, seriously impacting the American soldiers that were fighting and dying to save South Vietnam. The Communist idea for the Tet Offensive was to strike fear into the U.S. and its allies, and to try and take as much territory as possible. In reality, the Tet Offensive was a major disaster for the Vietcong, as it put them out in the open, for the American military and its allies were to destroy them. In effect, the North lost more men and machinery than they could afford to lose. In the end, though Tet was a military disaster, politically it had an effect on a section of the American population that was already protesting the war, and the American victory was overshadowed by war protests, which would lead to more conflict in the U.S., at a time when America needed to be united.
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