The Battle of Saigon was a battle fought between attacking Viet Cong battalions and the combined defending forces of US troops and South Vietnamese Army’s elements. Being part of the Tet Offensive, it took place in the city of Saigon, from January 31 to March 7, 1968, during the Vietnam War. The Battle of Saigon was ignited by communist forces, which mounted a coordinated attack againgt the capital of South Vietnam on the first day of the anniversary of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam -a holiday known as Tet to the Vietnamese. Among the Viet Cong guerrilla forces were North Vietnamese Army’s elements.
Although the communist forces attacked the whole of South Vietnam from all sides, launching assaults on different targets, Saigon was the main focal point of this offensive. There were six main targets in the city which 35 Viet Cong’s battalions had to attack and capture: the headquarters of the South Vietnamese Army, President Thieu’s office, the US Embassy, the Tan Son Nhut air base, the Long Binh Naval Headquarters, and the National Radio Station.
Summary of the Battle of Saigon
The Battle of Saigon began in the early morning hours of January 31, 1968, when the Viet Cong and NVA launched a massive and coordinated attack against Saigon. North Vietnamese sappers and VC local forces attacked the Presidential Palace, the National Radio Station, the US Embassy, and other principal targets.
The 5th Viet Cong Division launched an attack on the military bases at Long Binh, and Bien Hoa. While the North Vietnamese 7th Division launched an attack on the US 1st Infantry Division and the 5th South Vietnamese Division at Lai Khe, The VC 9th Division launched another attack on the US 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi.
Despite the seemingly overwhelming and unsurmountable assault on Saigon, by mid February most of the attacking communist forces were beaten back by US and South Vietnamese troops. Sporadic fighting continued in Saigon until March 7 as some sections of the city were left badly damaged by the feroucious combats that raged on for more than month.
Attack on the US Embassy during the Battle of Saigon (Video)