The Tet Offensive as a Turning Point

Official Explanation

A cartoon from February, 1968 in which an American official explains how the Tet Offensive was an American victory

General William Westmoreland had confidently declared to Congress in 1967 that the war in Vietnam was progressing well for America and the South Vietnamese. Within a few months of making those statements, Westmoreland would be on the hot seat. The Tet Offensive shattered any notion of a rapid end to the war. It became abundantly clear to the American people that the war was going to require many more soldiers and perhaps even years of fighting. Combined with President Johnson's announcement that he would not seek reelection, the assassinations of prominent figures like Robert F. Kennedy and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., signified a complete tonal shift in American life. New questions were being asked about why American soldiers needed to fight a war for Vietnam and why the North Vietnamese continued to remain strong despite the indications of the body count rhetoric.

The Tet Offensive as a Turning Point