Segments in this Video

Helicopter War (03:57)


Ron Ferrizzi recalls flying in Vietnam, drawing enemy fire, and speaking to a journalist; pilots flew over 36 million sorties.

Watershed Year (02:23)

Leaders reassured Americans that victory in Vietnam was within sight; North Vietnam would mount a massive offensive. Hear a portion of Robert Kennedy's 1968 editorial.

General Offensive, General Uprising (05:21)

Gen. Westmoreland explains his optimism. Ho Chi Minh broadcasted a poem on January 1, 1968. Le Duan believed the offensive would end the war; the NVA infiltrated South Vietnam. American intelligence officers had hints of enemy plans.

Battle of Khe Sanh (03:37)

The NVA began shelling Khe Sanh on January 21, 1968. President Johnson made the Joint Chiefs pledge the base would never fall. Le Duan counted on the A.R.V.N. collapsing and the South Vietnamese joining the revolution.

Realities of War (04:59)

Army doctor Capt. Hal Kushner was wounded in a helicopter crash and captured by the Viet Cong.

Tet Offensive (08:49)

The NVA and Viet Cong prepared for the major offensive. Roger Harris was leaving Vietnam when airstrips came under enemy fire. The NVA and Viet Cong attacked 36 of 44 provincial capitals, military bases, and the six largest cities in South Vietnam.

U.S. Embassy Attack (05:19)

U.S. television stations broadcast news about the Tet Offensive. Commandos attacked the embassy in Saigon; all the intruders were killed or captured. Nguyen Van Tong reflects on the attack.

Terror in Saigon (03:16)

Viet Cong assassination squads killed "blood enemies of the people"; Nguyen Tai recalls carrying out many operations. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed Viet Cong agent Nguyen Van Lem.

Battle of Hue (16:29)

President Johnson expressed anger at the press to Jack Horner.

Bill Ehrhart at Hue (00:0-304)

Ehrhart was wounded by a rocket; he lost all hearing. Ehrhart is ashamed of his actions with a Vietnamese woman. A helicopter lifted Ehrhart out of the battle zone.

Casualties at Hue (05:05)

The Viet Cong and NVA were trapped inside Hue; U.S. Marines supported the A.R.V.N. Hear battle statistics. A single photograph defined the Tet Offensive for many.

Prisoner of War (02:03)

Kushner's captors led him to caves where a nurse attended his wound before he joined other American prisoners at a jungle camp.

Communist Executions (08:46)

Phil Gioia and his platoon found buried bodies along the Perfume River; Hanoi denied the murder of civilians. President Johnson described the Tet Offensive as a Communist defeat; the report contradicted previous claims about the war.

Approval Ratings (05:33)

President Johnson won less than 50% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary; Robert F. Kennedy declared his presidential candidacy. "The Wisemen" advised Johnson to change course in Vietnam. See portions of Johnson's address to the nation on March 31, 1968.

Civil Unrest (05:21)

Harris recalls his reception upon returning home in uniform. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and riots ensued; military units patrolled the streets. Students against the war seized buildings at Columbia University; protestors took to the streets around the world.

War and Assassination (05:33)

The North Vietnamese agreed to negotiate but launched another offensive; May 1968 was the bloodiest month of the war for Americans. Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June. Hear war statistics.

Credits: Things Fall Apart (January 1968-July 1968) (03:07)

Credits: Things Fall Apart (January 1968-July 1968

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Things Fall Apart (January 1968-July 1968)

Part of the Series : The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



On the Tet holiday, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch attacks on cities and military bases throughout the South, suffering devastating losses but casting doubt on Johnson’s promise that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”

Length: 86 minutes

Item#: BVL145812

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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