Dien Bien Phu 1954, TET Offensive 1968, and Clausewitz: An Analysis
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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This paper presents an analysis of Dien Bien Phu and the TET Offensive of 1968 by the author, a student at the National War College. The analysis is in response to a request by President Lyndon B. Johnson to get some clarification on any linkage between Dien Bien Phu and the TET Offensive, and the role of Carl von Clausewitzs theories in explaining the two battles. The result is a comparative analysis between the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and the TET Offensive of 1968 in South Vietnam. On the tactical level of war the two operations could not be more dissimilar. The former was an outright tactical defeat of a French strong point by the Vietminh, while the latter was a defeat of a large number of South Vietnamese Communists by U.S. Forces. However, it is on the strategic level of war, in support of strategic national policy formulation and execution, that the lessons of Dien Bien Phu and TET 68 merge.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics