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Profs and Pints presents, “The Tet Offensive: A 360-Degree View,” with Erik Villard, military historian and author of Staying the Course: U.S. Army Combat Operations in Vietnam, Oct. 1967 to Sept. 1968.
The Tet Offensive, a massive North Vietnamese and Viet Cong military campaign, challenged President Lyndon Johnson’s assertions that the US could see a light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam. Join Erik Villard, a leading scholar of that offensive, for a talk examining it not just from America’s perspective, but the perspectives of the North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, South Vietnamese, and the civilians caught in the middle.
He’ll discuss in detail the series of military attacks that the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies launched at the end of January 1968. The campaign helped trigger a general uprising in South Vietnam that sowed chaos and destruction across its urban landscape and disrupted allied pacification programs just beginning to take hold in rural areas. It shook the foundation of the South Vietnamese state and forced the United States to reevaluate its military calculations in Southeast Asia.
For the enemy, however, such achievements came at a staggering cost in terms of lives, manpower, and material. The Tet offensive failed, moreover, to cripple the South Vietnamese government or convince the United States to abandon its ally. As the dust settled, President Johnson ordered his military commanders to press ahead with their current strategy, unchanged apart from some short-term tactical adjustments and a modest increase in the U.S. troop deployment.
Drawing upon nearly two decades of research, Dr. Villard will discuss the causes and consequences of the Tet Offensive in a talk that challenges the conventional interpretation of Tet and dispels some of our most stubborn myths about it.
The speaker’s proceeds from this talk will be donated to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15. Save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk begins 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself adequate time to get seated and settled in.)
Advance tickets available at https://profspintstetoffensive.brownpapertickets.com