1968 was the year of the bloodiest fighting in the Vietnam War, the USA had won an important military battle with the Vietcong, and the USA inflicted a huge number of casualties on the Vietcong. However it can be argued that it was the year that the USA lost the war, it was only a military victory it had not served a political objective meaning it was useless. The American public were shocked by the scale of the fighting after being reassured by general west-more in late 1967, that the victory was in sight.
The body bags of very young American soldiers, who had died thousands of miles away in a second world country, fighting for reasons the public didn’t know, this began to have an effect. The anti-war movement in the USA gained massively as this was the first ‘TV war,’ images of destruction and murder was shown to the public, shocking everyone. Even politicians began to doubt the reasons for the war, McNamara the secretary of defence resigned, then the president himself (LBJ) decided he has had enough and announced he would not be running for president for another term.
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The Vietnam War was the first ‘TV war,’ the American public where shown brutal images of the war, however the government where lying about nearing victory. 1967 backed up the idea that the government had been lying, as general west-more 1967 promised victory was in sight, however 1968 was the most brutal year of fighting. Thousands of young American soldiers where dying, for reasons that the public didn’t understand. This caused a high increase in the anti-war movement; peace protests increased and this began to effect congress.
This was worrying to the president however the support of congress deceasing was more so. Congress now seemed to change its views on the Vietnam War this leading to high importance people such as McNamara and the president himself resigning. The Tet-Offensive, In January 1968, the military approach of general Thanh again determined the tactics of the Vietcong and the North Vietnam army. Thanh had died in 1967, but the basic idea behinds the tactics were his.
This change in strategy showed impatience with the slow wearing-down approach infantry pressing home an attack with unbelievable courage. Westmoreland was determined not to loose the base and poured supplies and reinforcements in. as a diversion it worked perfectly; or almost perfectly. Peace negotiations and the 1968 presidential election proved difficult with North Vietnam. Johnson had tried various times in the past to sound out north Vietnam about a deal but it had always become clear that only the ultimate take over of south Vietnam was an option.
Now even the venue for talks proved difficult. The Tet-Offensive was a turning point as the push for peace began as USA realised this was the best way as there was no chance for victory. Money, time and young lives lost had been the cost of the Vietnam war, the US public believed it was a pointless war and congress began to agree leading to the resignations of LBJ and McNamara. Peace negotiation was now the best option.