TET OFFENSIVE 1968
Joe’s Pics – PART 1
31 Jan 1968
This 28mm Vietnam wargame was set at the start of the Tet Offensive. The US supply base 242, known as ‘Ft Knox’ and located on the Mekong River, was set up to supply US outposts and fire bases further up river. The US objective was to keep open the three routes of supply to these isolated and vulnerable outposts:
By road – overland trail through jungle
By river – for transporting heavy materials by barge
By air – for med-evac and rapid squad deployment
Far upriver, the isolated US outpost at Chau Phu was running low on ammo. A munitions convoy was dispatched by road to re-supply them. The base at Chau Phu was on high alert following the shooting down of a command huey by an RPG shortly after daybreak. It crashed atop a rocky promontory called Ka Nhang, located a few kilometers south of the camp. Survivors from the crash radioed for emergency med-evac by helicopter.
At the start of the game, the US Army was unaware that the North Vietnamese Army had infiltrated in force along both banks of the Mekong between Ft Knox and Chau Phu. Their first day objective was to cut the supply lines between Ft Knox and its forward bases. Vietnamese positions and moves were plotted off-board, moderated by the umpire (Martin Monks). The North Vietnamese figures were brought on to the table only when a contact between troops occurred.
The Tet Offensive was a military campaign conducted between 30 January and 23 September 1968, by forces of the Viet Cong, or National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese army, or People’s Army of Vietnam against the forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the United States, and their allies during the Vietnam War. The purpose of the offensive was to strike military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam and to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow.
The operations are referred to as the Tet Offensive because they began during the early morning hours of 31 January, the day of the most important Vietnamese holiday, Tết Nguyên Đán, which celebrates the first day of the year on a traditional lunar calendar. Both North and South Vietnam announced on national radio broadcasts that there would be a two-day cease-fire in honor of Tết, also called “Spring Festival.” In Vietnamese, the offensive is officially called Cuộc Tổng tiến công và nổi dậy năm 1968 (“The General Offensive and Uprising 1968”). The common name is (Xuân) Mậu Thân (“[Spring] Year of the Monkey”).
The Vietcong launched a major offensive beginning with a wave of attacks on the morning of 30 January in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones. This early attack did not, however, cause undue alarm or lead to widespread allied defensive measures. When the main communist operation began the next morning, the offensive was countrywide in scope and well coordinated, with more than 80,000 Vietcong troops striking more than 100 towns and cities, including 36 of 44 provincial capitals, five of the six autonomous cities, 72 of 245 district towns, and the national capital. The offensive was the largest military operation yet conducted by either side up to that point in the war.
The initial Vietcong attacks stunned allied forces and took them by surprise, but most were quickly contained and beaten back, inflicting massive casualties on the communists. The exceptions were the fighting that erupted in the old imperial capital of Huế, where intense fighting lasted for a month, and the continuing struggle around the U.S. combat base at Khe Sanh, where fighting continued for two more months. Although the offensive was a military disaster for Vietcong forces, it had a profound effect on the American administration and shocked the American public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the communists were, due to previous defeats, incapable of launching such a massive effort.
Copyright: Public Domain
The pics of the game are divided in two parts.
Each part contains 127 pictures with captions.
Part One follows here.
For Part Two, use this link:
Figures & vehicles: Ron Ringrose
Terrain & scenery: Ron & Sue Ringrose
Customised figures: Terry Thornton
Umpire: Martin Monks
Photography & Text: Joe Dever
Game played: 25-01-09
004: Air Rescue squad get ready to depart
012: West bank checkpoint
022: Swift boat ‘Macho’ policing Vietnamese river traffic
032: Munitions on the move.
036: Fire Base Delta catches sight of the munitions convoy
038: Munitions convoy scout car recce’s ahead.