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Giap served as minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the People's Army of Vietnam. With the outbreak of hostilities with South Vietnam, and later the United States, Giap led North Vietnam's strategy and command. In 1967, Giap oversaw the planning for the massive Tet Offensive. While initially against a conventional attack, Giap's goals were both military and political. In addition to achieving a military victory, Giap desired the offensive to spark an uprising in South Vietnam and show that American claims about the war's progress were wrong.
While the 1968 Tet Offensive proved to be a military disaster for North Vietnam, Vo Nguyen Giap was able to achieve some of his political objectives. The offensive showed that North Vietnam was far from being defeated and significantly contributed to changing American perceptions about the conflict. Following Tet, peace talks began and the US ultimately withdrew from the war in 1973. Following the American departure, Giap remained in command of North Vietnamese forces and directed General Van Tien Dung and the Ho Chi Minh campaign that finally captured the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon in 1975.
by Dancing with Fire July 01, 2011
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