Fifty Years since the Main Battle in the Vietnam War

Author: Grigory LOKSHIN

Abstract. The year 2018 marked the passage of fifty years since the general offensive of the armed forces of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam on the eve of the New Year holiday Tet, which changed the course of events in the Vietnam War. Numerous mass media publications were devoted to the event. This author argues with a number of American scholars on the nature and consequences of that offensive, emphasizing that U.S. crimes can in no way be justified and that their actions cannot be considered equal to those of the Vietnamese fighters who were forced, arms in hand, to defend the freedom, independence, and unity of their country from U.S. intervention.

Keywords: National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, Hue, general offensive, Lê Duẩn, Lê Đức Thọ, Mylai (Songmi), Vietcong, Paris talks, Vietnamese syndrome.

In 2018, Vietnam marked the 50th anniversary of the general offensive of the armed forces of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLFSV) on the Tet Holiday in 1968, which opened the road to Paris negotiations to stop the war. After that offensive developed on January 21-31 and the capture of the ancient capital and cultural center Hue, on the Zuong Song River the entire course of events in Vietnam's war against the U.S. aggression changed.

The memorable date attracted attention not only in Vietnam, but also in America itself. A host of various books, articles, and memoirs by military and political figures of the time were devoted to this most important operation of the 2nd Indochinese War, which was supported by the troops of the Vietnamese People's Army. Among them were quite a few rank-and-file participants in these events of both countries. Mention should be made of the memoirs by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, which came off the press in the Russian translation in


Grigory M. Lokshin, Ph.D. (History), leading research associate, RAS ...

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