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Tonight on your -- It was supposed to be a holiday troops something.
You'll have this terrible field.
Instead it was one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.
I just don't know why the lord allowed me -- to go through that day.
Benefits it was a disaster for the American government.
That's next on war story.
-- -- -- all over north investors the patriots point museum of Charleston, South Carolina.
Welcome -- war stories.
Was the most tumultuous years in American history.
The nation's resolve was tested by war riots demonstrations.
And the assassination of leaders like mark -- Robert Kennedy.
Began I was in my final year of -- apples preparing for a tour of duty here.
The names in the -- -- dead Marines and naval officers that are going to school with only -- year -- -- earlier.
Repairing with the increasing regularity and memorial hall and -- -- 1968.
Soldiers sailors airmen Marines were fighting and dying in Vietnam.
-- began with a -- series of surprise attacks from the north Vietnamese and Vietcong.
During the Lunar New Year celebration all at more than a hundred cities and towns were -- Devastating consequences.
For both sides and some say that was the beginning of the of the Vietnam War.
But -- summer of 1967.
Supported hold for the war in Vietnam was you -- Half of those interviewed in the Gallup poll that -- said they had no idea.
The war was about.
The United States have been involved -- this is making it.
US combat units were introduced in 1965.
American troops have been killed.
That -- confident president Lyndon Johnson announced it was sending 50000.
Additional troops to the jungles of regret.
And perhaps in the current account.
Except for -- propane.
LBJ also proposed that Americans -- average household income was under 8000 dollars -- even deeper into their wallets.
In the summer of 1967.
President Johnson in order to pay for the war.
To impose any surtax.
An extra 10% on their income tax to pay for the war.
Gone over -- -- was a journalist covering Vietnam for Knight newspapers and later wrote at the turning point in the Vietnam War.
So any political.
Support for the war diminished sharply.
And in response president Johnson.
Tried to convince Americans that the war was very you -- And he put on what I thought the success since.
You brought back to this country general question.
Do you achieve the American forces -- Who period before congress.
And before that at its best.
Told of that civil war was.
It almost -- 1968.
Was an election -- in America.
And the war was costing LBJ precious votes.
LBJ's problems continued to -- Here begin with a seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korean parents would use a crew of -- -- -- at around 6000 Marines and soldiers are being held under -- -- case -- -- north Vietnamese forces near the demilitarized zone separating north and south Vietnam.
But one thing both sides agreed upon was celebrating the Lunar New Year.
-- -- That is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
Which is the biggest holidays in Vietnam.
It is sort of the combination of Christmas and New Year's and Thanksgiving Day all rolled into one.
Proposed by the Communist north Vietnamese -- to promise the people of faith holiday breathe from the ever present anxiety of war.
And there had been a number of -- who can look at.
Earlier in Vietnam War both sides agreed not to have any military action.
During that period and so.
Soldiers and -- that Google would be with their families.
Tet celebrations seemed like it would be no different than any other -- Especially since both sides and announced there would be a ceasefire when I came up.
-- -- Not to be out.
Might be cordial Vietnamese because it was holiday.
But that would be a lot of fireworks store you'll hear that -- FitzGerald recalls his first took celebration after arriving in Vietnam.
There was a very trusted.
Born in Yonkers, New York -- FitzGerald was -- 23 year old army intelligence officer when he was set to Saigon in December of 67.
-- was an ROTC graduate of Fordham college.
Went to infantry school told them that I hope Germans except Germany.
That there are Smart enough or German.
You're in Saigon were in uniform it was supposed to work that these.
Because there was no war and Saigon before it said it was still trying hang on him and -- Paris of these.
That not everyone was convinced that cities like Saigon would remain out of the war.
-- January 5 1968.
The US embassy issued this press rooms warning of attacks during -- Taken from captured enemy documents that statement warned that quote.
The revolutionary forces are for the first time going to attempt attacks in the major towns and cities including Saigon.
But it did not say where this was going to happen and most people didn't believe.
I got a copy of the press release myself inside.
And I wrote in my own handwriting right next to it -- I didn't believe this would happen.
It was not a probably intelligence it was a probable belief.
But all that changed in late January just as the ten holiday beginning.
Northern part of.
30 of January.
And the main attacks which took place in Saigon in the grass it clips a day later on the first.
Get a brazen move the north Vietnamese and their south Vietnamese supporters -- Viet -- simultaneously target and more than a hundred cities towns and military bases.
One of these assaults would deeply -- the American site.
A daring attack on the US embassy in Saigon now.
The American Embassy is in place that Americans can again.
If you say.
Vito -- Didn't long hours of other place it just sounds like a -- of words to Americans.
But when you say they're attacking the embassy.
People -- that is something very important.
-- -- -- -- -- I -- radio and turned on -- going.
And that's when I learned museums.
And nothing like what -- Right anyone in the country at that time.
The US embassy attack and one US army military policeman helps to take it back from the -- -- That's next on war stories.
In the early morning hours of January 31 1968.
A simultaneous attack and over a hundred cities and towns.
What Americans and south Vietnamese by surprise.
The Tet offensive it begun.
And -- was in the plus.
Automatic weapons that was the first thing going that I that something was wrong.
And radically wrong.
You're listening to the actual recording of the military -- pinned down Saigon desperately re doing his -- for help.
-- -- Yeah.
Shortly before -- Vietcong guerrillas launched their surprise attack on the -- The US -- the squad that attacked what it is.
Arms and its borders.
And it's kind of -- In two -- One was under a load of firewood that truck.
Coming into Saigon and the other was mixed in with a load of tomatoes coming in from the country's.
Here's how the attack went -- Approximately twenty gorillas left in the -- -- just five blocks from the embassy the attackers drove a truck in a taxi -- over to the target.
-- they shot at him -- Charles Daniel and William C dance of the 760.
Military police tonight.
-- -- returned fire slammed the embassy gate shut and radioed for help.
Next the guerrillas used to fifteen pound explosive and blew a three foot hole in the compounds war then they charged inside.
Military policeman Charles Daniel reportedly yelled into his radio they're coming in and shortly after that transmission.
She -- and Daniel were killed.
And he's Johnny Thomas and only just heard -- radio call and raced to the embassy.
And died in a hail of bullets when they arrive.
For his colleagues were already dead when 26 year old -- -- ribbons from Cleveland was awakened shortly after 3 AM.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MPs and a group of Marines quickly surrounded outside of the US embassy.
And began battling the Kit -- hunkered down inside I took over behind the concrete.
Telephone forward like -- base.
And I'm looking.
-- the main gate to the embassy waiting for the -- to come out as I -- there.
I see a black -- -- Boulevard directly at me but you know he was silly and it was just lost.
Caught up in this business.
Constructed in the hole in Vietnamese.
They could see he was like the whole.
Lesson of burst.
Rifle fire crossed his windshield he.
Didn't stop -- which time I took him under four.
Meanwhile no one knew the fate of the eleven people inside the -- We have these Marines had to fight their way in the end of the branding from it was a few opening.
And then military police in fact Canada.
The grounds they then finished searching in destroying.
The enemy that they that they encountered there.
At 9:15 AM on -- -- 31 six and a half hours after the first shots were fired the US embassy was declared secure.
For MP is -- -- -- -- south Vietnamese civilians have been killed along with most of the invaders post -- -- -- I thank god for let me move through.
General William Westmoreland arrived at the compound to survey the damage and decided to downplay the attack.
The and I mean.
Very do you secretly has taken advantage of the approach.
And my opinion this is diversionary.
-- is the main effort right here he had planned to take place and long.
Any problems with problems to some degree of this character you lose forty with the opener a lot of people thought -- -- Book was really Smart we'll.
Eric candles the military is -- and the author of fire in the streets.
When there at Westmoreland was.
The -- got flames of things well.
Talks with the -- -- the accolades.
The Harvard educated Westmoreland face this -- general cool million jobs.
Former school teacher -- no formal military -- The -- have been a soldier since the forties and it helped drive the French out of Vietnam.
He now had a master plan to reunite the country and North Korea -- army and get behind me where woods.
Launching tactical and operational assaults -- south Vietnam.
And the -- -- people south Vietnam would have an uprising they would they would join the cause.
And overthrow media government take the place over and ultimately agreed upon the content the country.
Intelligence officers like Edmund FitzGerald a good job of questioning the prisoners that -- being rounded up from the -- attacks.
We bring a mob -- was that interrogate them if they had any knowledge.
When that occurred our area was totally surrounded all of a sudden we were interviewing everyone that was dragged him.
We went from having forty prisons.
Matter of hours majority of them worry me that morning so.
Not very well educated.
Not very much.
Military training but believe in the cause and believe they were fighting to save their country.
-- seven MPs lost their lives in Saigon that day.
That small pockets of fighting continued in the south Vietnamese capital for weeks at the same side.
And life for everyone and -- yeah it was.
But true story behind one of the most shocking photographs taken in Vietnam has made front -- -- and outrage the American people.
I'm more strokes.
On February 1 the morning after the attack in the US embassy mop up operations were underway throughout -- 34 year old and yet was working in the associated press office and an NBC cameramen and stuck his head in the door history.
We murders little firefight provincial law which -- Chinese section of -- There's anybody wanna go and I Tiago.
You know of those slow day.
Adams dreamed about becoming a -- since his childhood in Pennsylvania.
He went to Korea is a marine combat photographer and -- 1965.
Volunteered to cover the war in Vietnam for the Associated Press.
As for walking we've -- the such an incompletion pool this guy out the -- They just grabbed from a second story -- slightly and we start following him.
Walking up the street we get near the corner and out of nowhere for my left I seen this guy walking and this is it got close to a -- -- -- there's the man brandishing that gun was the national police chief Louis north lawn.
As he raised the pistol.
I raised my parents took a picture us.
And it turns out it was a time that he shot him.
The lieutenant fell for the ground.
And never in my life of a site like this where the blood and -- least three or four -- of blogs -- screwed up from him.
Since you shot him.
He walked right up against us as he put -- socialist pollster -- they killed many of my men and many of your people.
I went back to the office and I dropped a film -- -- lunchtime.
And I said that people in -- us I think I got a picture of somebody shooting somebody I thought absolutely nothing office.
If somebody shooting somebody -- war that happens every day he later.
I want to -- left the film there.
Within 24 hours Eddie Adams snapshot of a Vietcong guerrillas being executed make front pages around the world became a big big deal it was a dramatic photos and it was one of the most important photos it is war -- were outraged that the photos showed the grim realities of a very uncivil.
Civil war and America.
They said that he -- some pretty cold blood to lives were destroyed that part of person which.
The man -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And they were there -- them I don't second guess man he was a good guy he was fighting for America with America as he was a goddamn hero.
-- shocking photo -- win the Pulitzer Prize but he remains to -- about the -- the image received.
I honest to god don't get it even today stop the fight regarding what you want are kind of in the second -- -- won't -- have a lot of people.
One autograph pictures that I wouldn't -- that her like that my house.
The Tet offensive left no major city in south Vietnam -- Some of the fiercest fighting took place and ancient capital of the way.
We were happy to be going out of the field 29 year old marine captain Myer and Harrington from Augusta Georgia became the commander of -- -- -- -- crisp tied in fifth Marines.
Just a week before the Tet offensive start.
Delta company was fighting in the remote fields -- flu -- They got in order to move north to -- city.
We had no awareness.
Of what was happening in -- city we were just totally removed in two to way to support.
The operations up there in -- course by that point in time voice that he is essentially been invaded.
By the north Vietnamese army -- city was taken over by approximately 121000.
Army troops -- -- -- -- we're a little scared little trying supported.
Local Vietcong infrastructure.
And preparing for this some time how did in the get into the city of -- basically.
From a military point of view was isolated.
That app shelves -- with Vietnamese.
Correctly this into the city from the -- -- -- from the list really -- -- And forces out there may have been listening devices and things like that to pick up movement.
But whatever they had out -- they missed.
When it in the enemy was dug in so well the Marines had to take it back black roadblock in the house by house and -- -- -- Managed to raise the American flag over the nation's capital.
That's an -- -- war stories.
So that would place with a river running through it and never perfume.
It is the place where many of the leaders of north -- went to school.
Where many of the leaders of south Vietnam -- school it was the seat of the old imperial order -- Lieutenant colonel stationed -- was 44 year old Richard Brown from Nebraska.
It was already a veteran of world war two and Korea by the time he became a military advisor in Vietnam.
Brown wrote about his time to weigh -- palace -- -- took off my normal concert tour and show clearly.
Morning after first that the interest due to holidays -- most of a bunch of trails coming from the jungle.
That have not used for nine months.
Primary job was to advise south Vietnamese general legal -- wrong.
Who is headquartered in -- citadel on the north side of the river.
Estimated that hundreds if not thousands of people and in Australia.
During the night.
One night because they look like I always compared with the.
All -- them.
The -- human trail was a network of roads and trails -- the north Vietnamese used to bring tens of thousands of troops.
And their supplies into self Vietnam.
Some call -- north Vietnam's rode to victory.
On January 31 1968.
-- suspicion about troop movements was confirmed.
-- -- was attacked.
One of the primary targets for the north Vietnamese army was the military assistance -- in Vietnam or Mac V compound.
You know some 200 advisors to the south Vietnamese army including -- sleeping Richard -- First Amanda just across the street from second man.
Definitely that was vehicle -- that's when I was wounded.
In the war store's exclusive you're listening to the actual -- the ground made of that horrific assault on the map the compound.
Whoever happened to be in the compound at that time literally mean on the walls of and is the -- On and they helped us in the news today.
Through the night on -- -- -- fairly close to breaching it -- that it.
We weren't sure we will come.
Late in the afternoon of the world tanks were cannons going.
Five -- texting -- I was universalist in my life and -- -- I can never forget approach and the -- become path.
It almost looked like fort Apache the Bronx you know it's like the cowboys and Indians they're they're -- in the four run Christmas was -- 28 year old marine captain from Pennsylvania when he arrived in Vietnam in 1967.
He was named the commanding officer of hotel company's second battalion fifth Marines.
Christmas was stationed in a lot when he got -- order to move hotel company until way he quickly discovered they were facing any kind of battlefield Vietnam.
-- drank three quarters before build a person's career salute right.
-- -- strong points fighting positions -- -- several days to prepare they know you're coming.
Yeah they do if you look that what they really expect because was Vietnamese city the US forces.
That the Vietnamese would one we would happen at the house by house.
It really could confuse them they would hopefully that would uphold and defend because they do that Marines -- -- -- take them out one by one.
The second battalion fifth Marines battled their way through the -- streets of the city.
By February 6 they secured the treasury complex the university library in the city hospital.
But their next objective -- special significance you succeeded in capturing.
The capitol building itself was really depend very very him.
How we see these -- veterans when it -- -- -- and be happiness.
But they didn't put -- on hold.
It gave us just enough time.
Crossed the court -- into the hotel company made it into the building but there was something in the courtyard did had to go.
There's large flagpole.
And flag -- was flying -- you know north Vietnamese fly that flag is really bought it and I said.
Find an American play.
Don't think -- can't -- them around them -- -- -- in this small group even -- the fighting was still going around.
Tore down that flag and of course ran -- stuff.
How we'll take that was the most.
In my life.
Even the battle seemed to stop I kept hearing cheers from Marines inside the building that we're fighting.
But a week after raising the stars and stripes high above way.
Hotel company sustained 23 casualties in just one day that you -- wounded herself pretty badly.
That's solid and the soldier come up with a rocket with an RPG a rocket propelled grenade and fire.
And I can -- -- stuff.
-- -- that before tank game.
Was severely active fire mortar round at that time I was down two it is to platoon -- wounded both of them.
-- -- After the capitol was secured the fighting on the south side of the city began to wane and the Marines got a new mission.
Helping south Vietnamese general -- take back the citadel on the other side of the river where did you get the orders to cross.
River go north we got the orders to cross the reverend join the rest battalions citadel.
On the the evening of the thirteenth of February joining captain Harrington that day it was nineteen year old Robert Carroll from California.
Fresh out of high school Carolyn joined the Marines -- sent to Vietnam and assigned to alpha company first battalion fifth Marines.
Margaret Jean hit it just want to get.
There's we proceeded up the perfume river.
We came under enemy fire I realize what the Marines and or -- to -- To hit the speeches well.
Don't tell offense and the realities of the Vietnam War seldom disturb the 140000.
Residents of play.
But as the long and bloody battle raged on the once beautiful and historic city.
And back at home president Johnson decided.
For over two weeks south Vietnamese general -- one strong hunkered down in his headquarters inside the city.
The citadel was a four square mile walled compound built in the -- to -- modeled after the Chinese Imperial Palace and making.
Surrounded by the end -- and his troops desperately tried to hold their ground.
It was obvious the -- Clinton takes -- -- back as tightly packed buildings there -- areas and just couldn't fire artillery for example it has taken out important national artifacts.
I'm sure the general tone would prefer to get -- to think that.
-- was the old imperial capital.
Getting and had a lot of symbolic meaning to it -- But it turned out to be too difficult to do -- had great relations with the Americans -- -- one of the few Vietnamese generals who was respected.
The job to take back the citadel fell to the nearly 2500 troops -- the first and fifth.
Marine regiments what are your orders.
Well at that point we move into.
Media citadel area.
Join up with major Thompson.
And -- the battalion meeting that night he tells me that there's at least heavily fortified position is.
Obstructing the battalion advance and it.
It needs to be taken out in the morning -- company will take.
Pick one course objecting had a -- hit me.
What -- with the power.
Couple call me.
It was a very revered him in that situation and who's -- and him.
For days the Marines -- tried to take out snipers perched in the Dong Bok tower.
Now was captain Harrington and delta company's term we conducted in the major attack basically -- -- One -- in the coming.
As -- -- everything you could.
Wrong went wrong right -- starting now lost communications.
-- -- -- -- -- And it wasn't until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon several hours later before -- able to.
-- communication with them.
It took Harrington has meant eight long hours to secure the -- but the victory didn't last long about 4 o'clock the next morning.
Took over the tower again and we had to force them back out again.
Because we had spent you know a very bitter hours and taking the tower so you're about given up so -- Charged back up there and -- so it was some difficult times but I was surrounded by -- some magnificent Marines and and made it easy it was scrolling.
We were in Constant Contact -- had a very very short range.
Tony thirty meters snipers.
Closes -- ten meters to us they were firing mortars.
I just don't know why.
The lord allowed needed to go through that unscathed.
But he did.
Myron is a good example all of the other thought their fitness -- he was a marine but it is very much tradition of of -- -- office.
Career he'd be joined because people that you.
He -- for example.
That -- men respectively right off the fat.
Author is fearless actually -- I was the only officer left in the company basically.
-- less than a platoon.
When we finished that it was about 50%.
Both battalions to five and one.
Along with Harrington rifleman Robert Carroll would spend the next two weeks fighting and vicious street battles throughout the walled citadel.
They conceivably removing and -- -- And snipers.
I think at north Vietnamese army soldiers with -- PGA setup.
And when the respective doors.
Sometimes on the -- sometimes they have holes is done.
And cover them up -- Weeks from different type of -- -- themselves and every day.
During that confrontational way it was that they thought inmate die.
Because -- got that man.
That night it quieted down its voted at -- -- in the morning and you had to go take another -- but we settled -- a little.
Together had a Morgan.
Right between -- take legal.
Most likely dismiss me by a fraction of him and that's when I really realized that the guy and actually wasn't firing the -- snipers killed him.
And February 25 after 25 days of heavy fighting the citadel was declared secure.
80% of the houses and buildings in the historic capital have been destroyed.
142 Marines have been killed in action nearly 900 seriously wounded it was one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War when you reflect back -- You see yourself in various parts and engagement you wish I'd done in this system that we -- carry.
A lot of guilt because.
Was responsible as a company commander the death and wounding of a lot of workers.
And that's something that you care it would.
But then that's why we were there.
We were there to to kill or be killed and you know we were carted -- getting them before they got us.
And Byron Harrington and run Christmas were awarded the navy cross the nation's second highest award for -- was for their courage and play.
-- Harrington was also awarded a silver star.
There's always survivor's guilt why did I come out of them and other people who can still remember the faces and names.
-- uses it as if it was yesterday.
Coming up next half of the battle was over the residential -- struggled -- -- This series of horrific discovery made that.
Next one -- In the weeks and months following the -- offense of the people voice city made a series of gruesome discoveries.
In parks school yards and rice patties they found mass graves containing the bodies of 2800 of their citizens.
Who'd been shot stabbed her buried alive.
But the north Vietnamese army there's.
Was the political side to cut Vietnamese in this case -- -- -- at all.
-- -- -- -- -- leaders.
And that was also to kill -- local government workers to lessen any level.
Their friends and relatives came.
I'm with the good.
But -- use some people's bodies were found.
Very close to where -- had killed.
To the mass of those who were killed play.
-- marched off.
Far away from the scene in -- Vietnam was the first war to be televised in America every night on the evening news.
And it had a profound effect on how Americans felt about the good Americans reacted different ways to news that -- -- yet.
There is in this country normally.
-- rally around the flag reported acting.
Forces of the United States however in this case Johnson industry.
Had spent months.
People that the war was very nearly one.
And the tat attacks.
Seemed to completely give the lie did this idea that the war's almost over.
But most Americans -- the war really wasn't almost -- over after the New York Times reported general Westmoreland is next move.
In March general Westmoreland.
Don't choose to -- ask for 206000.
Patient groups -- look at the same time we're claiming that it had been a great victory.
For the American side and a great defeat for the kind of it is accurate if this -- has been achieved great success why do -- do 200000 more troops.
Although president Johnson rejected sending additional troops.
A record 63% of Americans disapproved of his handling of the Vietnam War and the Gallup poll.
On March 31.
Two months to the day after the US embassy was attacked in Saigon president Johnson went on television and made his shocking announcement.
I shall not -- And I will not accept.
Denomination -- my party for another term as your press he was extremely anguished.
He had central.
And -- he had been thinking for a while.
About whether he would -- again the Tet offensive of 1968.
Was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War.
It is the only that people that are prepared well north Vietnamese.
Q so in that sense military.
It was -- failure.
And he had -- they were beaten Donald -- awaited -- never.
Four was absolutely apparently everybody.
-- -- -- -- -- Does it bother you.
The soldiers sailors airmen Marines who participated in.
The Vietnamese were depicted as something less than there were.
Well clearly test the Marines that I was blessed.
To fight with -- command.
We're as good as any marine.
In any battle any time in our history can police city.
You know they talk about that -- -- achievement you know uncommon valor now there's -- common church.
Kuwait City uncommon valor was a common virtually all of us every day in -- the enemy.
Do something he didn't need.
But he did it because.
His brother Marines and it's.
Created as a group.
You know there's nothing as an individual guy.
Feel bad about that -- be proud of my service there -- members.
Those Marines and sailors.
-- -- We're absolutely magnificent.
And usually you think about it -- -- things and you can't help.
-- that because at that time.
In that so much to you and they still leaves much to me.
We're north and you're watching -- stories on the Fox News event.
The soldiers sailors airmen Marines who fought in the Tet offensive of 1968.
Knows that they -- their bloody battles.
That the casualties -- the -- broke the spirit.
Lot of the warriors in Vietnam.
But of the politicians in Washington.
The terrible images and seven wounded Americans do back home and the fact that coaches -- general Japanese and despite the terrible losses inflicted on north Vietnamese.
-- launched the offensive that would eventually win in the war.
The fighting in Vietnam went on for seven more years for for those of us who arrived in Vietnam after a 68.
The courageous man who want that grueling campaign were extraordinary heroes bears is a war story that deserves to control.
I'm Oliver North.
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