On 30 January 1968 the North Vietnamese communists launched a coordinated surprise attack - the Tet Offensive - across South Vietnam against the South Vietnamese and American armies. Superior firepower eventually crushed the offensive, but it proved to be a major psychological victory for the communists - a turning point in the Vietnam War. Anthony Tucker-Jones, in this photographic history of Tet - and of American involvement in the struggle against the forces of the Viet Cong and the regular North Vietnamese army - uses over 180 contemporary images, colour and black and white, to show all sides of the conflict and to reassess a defining moment in the protracted and bitter campaign against communism in South-East Asia. The images record in vivid detail the conditions and the nature of the fighting, in particular the battles for Hue, Khe Sanh and Saigon, and the equipment and the weaponry that was used. They show the impact of the fighting on the civilian population in the countryside and cities as they became battlegrounds.
And they illustrate why the US public was so shocked by the capability of the communists to launch such an all-encompassing assault that many lost faith in America's commitment to the South.
Anthony Tucker-Jones is a former defence intelligence officer and a widely published expert on regional conflicts, counter-terrorism and armoured warfare. He is author of over a dozen books including the Rise of Militant Islam, Falaise: The Flawed Victory, Operation Dragoon: The Liberation of Southern France 1944, Armoured Warfare on the Eastern Front, The Kalashnikov in Combat and The Soviet-Afghan War. He is security and terrorism correspondent for intersec - The Journal of International Security and has freelanced for Channel 4 News. For further information his website can be found at www.atuckerjones.com.