How did the Tet offensive add to the "so-called" credibility gap?

1 Answer
Apr 23, 2017

It emphasised the credibility gap between what the American public were being told about the war, and what imagery they saw on their televisions.


Tet was launched at the end of January 1968 at the start of the Chinese New Year. The communists switched their offensive from the countryside to the cities a high risk strategy. After several weeks of bitter fighting the communists had been defeated with very heavy losses.

However Tet was as much a psychological as physical assault. Images on millions of American televisions such as the Vietcong being inside the US embassy in Saigon, the destruction of Hue, the summary execution of a teenager by a South Vietnamese police chief, and pictures of the victims of napalm told a very different story. It accelerated the swing in US public opinion against the war.