Vietnam: A Television History (1983): S01E07 – Tet 1968


Vietnam: A Television History (1983) is a 13-part American documentary and television mini-series about the Vietnam War (1955-1975) from the perspective of the United States.

It was produced for public television by WGBH-TV in Boston, and it was originally broadcast on PBS between 04 October and 20 December 1983.


The year 1968 was to be a new year for US efforts in Vietnam. Reports from the Embassy said that they were winning the ground war but American TV reports were showing a different picture altogether. The Tet offensive showed to what extent the Johnson Administration’s status reports on the war differed from reality. There was a major attack on Khe San several days before Tet. The New Year’s attack was the biggest offensive of the war, with Viet Cong (VC) and regulars from the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) attacking nearly every province and district capital in Vietnam. The attack on the US Embassy in Saigon was the greatest shock with opposing troops managing to breach the security perimeter. Elsewhere in Saigon, VC and NVA troops gained control of the main Vietnamese language radio station. The battle for Hue, the ancient capital, lasted 24 days and the city was destroyed in the process, leaving 75% of the people homeless. While the Tet offensive did not meet the North’s expectations, the US realised that after three years in control of the fighting in Vietnam, they found itself in a war that was deadlocked. When news leaked that the military had requested an additional 206,000 troops, street demonstrations sprung up across America. It also led to an increase in popularity for a peace candidate, Senator Eugene McCarthy, who nearly defeated President Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. On 31 March 1968 President Johnson made a televised speech about peace in Vietnam and announced a halt to the bombing. He also announced he would not seek re-election.

Vietnam: A Television History Series

You can find a full index and overview of Vietnam: A Television History here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 08 November 1983.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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