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Flashcards in Tet Offensive and Election of 1968 Deck (82):

What was the turning point of the war?

Tet Offensive


Were there big numbers at Tet, why?

Yes because the war is very Americanized by now.


What has been the strategy for the Vietnamese up to this point?

guerrilla warfare, waiting for right moment to strike


What do the NVA and VC think is their right moment to strike?



What is actually Tet?

a holiday for the lunar new Year


With Tet being a holiday, describe how the holiday related to the logistics of the war.

In Asian culture, new year is a big deal, there is a fighting truce for this holiday.


When was Tet?

January 1968


Even though there is a truce, what do the NVA do?

They take advantage of the truce with nobody fighting and attack.


What do the NVA attack on Tet?

Attack over 100 Southern Vietnamese cities.


Would Tet be a war crime?

Possibly, but only debatable if they lost.


When they performed the attacks, what did people realize?

They had planned this attack for a while


How was Tet prepared by the Vietnamese?

Weapons, ammo were made to bring to south for Tet attack


What was the goal of the Tet attacks?

-Force US negotiations
-Spark SV uprising against government
-Weaken US-ARVN alliance
-Heavy American losses would drive US out


What did the NVA hope that Tet would do?

The south would want to be united with the North because they do not like the Americans there and dislike their own government.


How was Tet pulled off?

Required lots of planning, guns and ammo were hid under chrysanthemum carts, along with food carts and coffins


What are chrysanthemum carts?

flower carts that are symbolic of holiday


How was ammo hidden under food carts?

When farmers came in with their fresh carts they used when they were not looking and hid the ammo under them.


Why was ammo hidden in coffins?

They were Buddhists, so they avoided to disturb the dead, so they could hide weapons in places they didn't go. Also, there were many dead bodies around with the war, so many places were around to hide them.


How did the NVA and VC get more men to join the fight?

Many people going home to celebrate holidays, many tourists, lots of pedestrian traffic, very easy to blend in all of this, men and equipment are there and just wait for the attack.


What did Westmoreland initially think of the Tet attacks?

The attack is conventional warfare and it fits us well to respond and start our type of warfare.


What is Westmoreland's mistake with figuring out Tet?

He didn’t tell the American people and did not think as a politician, as the intensity of Tet shocked Americans and Johnson.


Who stepped down from his position?

Robert McNamara


Why did McNamara step down?

He was frustrated as Secretary of Defense and had trouble relying on the military and its leaders.


Who replaced McNamara?

Clark Clifford


How did Clifford think of the war when he first got into office?

He is trying to think of options and cannot find answers from anyone else because we are in a rough situation.


How was driving the US out a goal of Tet?

If they put heavy losses on US, we would get out and leave the war up to them.


How was the US-ARVN alliance damaged at Tet?

Our embassy was important, we turned the embassy over to the ARVN and they scattered as it was attacked.


Who wins Tet militarily?



What are the NVA's casualty numbers at Tet Offensive?

52,000 casualties in 4 weeks of fighting and 50,000 men captured, enemy loses 40% of men in 4 weeks in combat


How many men do we lose at Tet?

We only lose 2600 and 12,000 wounded.


After the bombings by the NVA, what did we do next?

We fought back at the NVA and tried to get the bombed Southern cities back to us.


Of the 100 bombed cities, how many do we retain?

All 100


Which city was the last city to join back with us?

Quay, the old imperial capital of Vietnam


Do we win Tet based on the goals of the NVA?



After Tet, what does Westmoreland do?

He asks Johnson 150,000 more men and thinks we will win with more men.


How does Johnson respond to Westmoreland's asking of more men?

He says no


Why did Johnson not let Westmoreland have more men to fight in Vietnam?

He thinks we will not win, especially if they return to guerrilla warfare


Why did Johnson think we will not win, even after we won Tet?

Vietnamese could scatter, hide, and can go back to guerrilla warfare with low resources and beat us that way. We fought our type of war at Tet, but now have to go back to guerrilla.


Who wins Tet when it comes down to politics?



How did Vietnam win Tet politically?

The war begins to be won in Washington with Johnson slowing his general from getting more men.


What did the political loss at Tet lead to?

Johnson would not run for re-election in 1968


What did Johnson's not running for President in 1968 do to the campaign?

It made it a wide open field.


Who turned out to be the Republican nominee for President?



Who was Nixon's running mate?

Spiro Agnew


What did Nixon being the Republican nominee represent?

a political throwback, a 1950s symbol from when he was VP and represents traditional 50s culture and values/


How did Nixon represent the values of the 1950s?

We had relative peace and prosperity in the 1950s, and after a very unpopular war, and all the social movements making the 1960s a busy stressful time, we can go back to the good old days.


What was Nixon's economic plan if he won?

Cut Great Society Budget and Programs


Why did Nixon want to cut the Great Society Programs?

As a political conservative, he was against government spending and tax interference. He wants a small government letting people take ownership and letting our economy drive.


What was Nixon's plan for the Vietnam war?

Peace with Honor


What was Peace with Honor?

It was originally a secret plan and it was that we get out of the war, achieve peace on our terms, walk away positively


Why did so many people believe in Peace with Honor?

We believe him because we want to believe him because 8 years have gone by and he can be the answer to this big change.


How did Peace of Honor help with the war?

We saved South Vietnam from falling to Communism, until the war came up again and they fought themselves.


Who were the Democrats running in the 1968 election?

-Hubert H. Humphrey
-Eugene McCarthy
-Robert Kennedy


What was Humphrey's political background?

Johnson’s VP, senator from Minnesota


What is Humphrey's plan if he wins election of 1968?

To continue Great Society with economy and war on poverty and continue Vietnam War with some changes and hold the line against Communism.


What was McCarthy's political background?

ultra-liberal peace candidate, senator from Minnesota


What was McCarthy's plan if he wins election of 1968?

He wanted to expand Great Society, socialize medicine, legalize marijuana, deems Vietnam as unwinnable, we have no sense of fighting so we get out of Vietnam.


Who supported McCarthy with his plan with the Vietnam War?

The counterculture hippies


Who was the clear Democratic front runner?

Robert Kennedy


Why was Kennedy the Democratic front runner?

Has Kennedy name, memory of Camelot and his brother, what the dream was to America and the optimism for it, has Kennedy’s charisma, well-spoken


What is Kennedy's economic plan?

He will continue Great Society because it was his brother’s idea and plan


What is Kennedy's plan with the Vietnam War?

He proposes to get an honorable way out of Vietnam, no date, but soon he will get them out of Vietnam, give South Vietnam a fighting chance.


How well is Kennedy doing in the primary voting?

He is winning big.


What state does Kennedy win in June 1968 that was a big win for him to get the nomination?



What did he do after he won California?

He gave a speech


What happened to Kennedy after he left the speech stage?

He leaves through a kitchen and is shot.


Who was RFK's assassin?

Sirhan Sirhan


What gun was used to kill RFK?

22 caliber handgun


Where was RFK shot?

the head


What happened to Kennedy after he was shot?

He was rushed to Good Samartian Hospital and died 26 hours later.


What happened to Sirhan after he shot RFK?

he was charged with murder and sentenced to life in California prison


What was Sirhan's background and how did this lead to him killing RFK?

He was a 25 year old from Middle East, immigrated and family broke up. His killing was not about Kennedy, he just wanted to kill someone because he blamed America for his family breaking up in hopes they would have a good life in America, but it turned worse for him.


After RFK died, what was the situation for Democrats?

Puts them between Humphrey and McCarthy


Who wins the remaining primary votes for the Democrats?



Where was the 1968 DNC held?



What happened as Humphrey was being nominated in Chicago?

McCarthy supporters (hippies) show up and try to fight for him.


What happened in response to the McCarthy supporters coming to the DNC?

Rioting breaks out between the same party in the streets of Chicago with hippies liking McCarthy. Then, the mayor of Chicago orders for the National Guard to break up fighting. They are wearing American flags and counterculture is burning flags in the streets, protesting the election's results.


What did the scenes in Chicago show?

Democrats are unorganized and cannot control their own party.


Who was the Third Party Candidate in the election? What party was he from?

George Wallace-Independent Party


What was Wallace's plan if he would win?

He is an ultra-conservative candidate, wants to turn back clock on segregation and go back to it, Vietnam will be won because we do not win, if we have to nuke it, we will to win it.


Who won the election?



What were the election's results and numbers?

Nixon 31.8M (301)
Humphrey 31.3M (191)
Wallace 10M (46)