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1968 Tet General Offensive and Uprising: A strategic turning point

December, 18 2017
MPS - The Central Party Committee of Public Security (Ministry of Public Security) in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee held a scientific workshop named “Role of the Public Security Forces in the General Offensive and Uprising 1968”, on December 16.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Thanh and participants at the workshop.

The scientific workshop drew the participation of leaders and former leaders of the Ministry of Public Security, representatives of other Central agencies, experts and many historical witnesses.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thanh, Deputy Minister of Public Security and Mr. Tat Thanh Cang, Party Central Committee member and Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee, co-chaired the workshop.

The organizing board received 110 reports from historical witnesses and people who had directly participated in the operations. All the reports highlight the role of the Public Security Forces in the Tet General Offensive and Uprising in South Vietnam.

They all agreed that the victory of the Tet General Offensive and Uprising had created a turning point in the road toward the final victory of the Vietnamese people in the war against American invaders.

 

 

In his report sent to the workshop, Senior Lieutenant General To Lam, Ministry of Public Security asserted that, in response to the appeal of President Ho Chi Minh and implementing the Party's guidelines, the Public Security Forces in both Northern and Southern regions of Vietnam had actively prepared sufficient forces and assets for the Tet General Offensive and Uprising.

The Northern police and security forces focused on maintaining order, security and defeating enemy sabotage operations in the North; and at the same time, actively supported the security forces in the South and ensured the continuity of secret communications networks. 

Additionally, the Southern security forces in collaboration with other armed forces launched assaults and raids on enemy dens and eliminated many henchmen and chieftains, creating a momentum for the masses’ forward revolution.

The Southern security forces also ensured the absolute safety of the revolutionary headquarters in the South, revolutionary leaders and regional commanders responsible for directing battlefields during the Tet General Offensive and Uprising. In the enemy-retaken areas, the Southern security forces tried to recover its force, persistently clung to the land and people so as to protect revolutionary bases.

Regarding the role of the Public Security Forces in the battle of Hue, Major General Phan Van Lai, Hero of the People's Armed Forces stated that the combat plan was perfectly secured. The Public Security Forces managed to distract enemy henchmen and clandestine agents’ attentions to successfully transfer 2,000 tons of rice from the plain to mountainous areas and tens of tons of weapons from mountainous areas to the plain.

The forces also captured several enemy headquarters such as the US intelligence service office and detention center, seized more than 500 kg of documents. These documents contained  important information about the CIA's organizational system and its lists of collaborators in Saigon and tactical zones in the South.

On behalf of the organizing board, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thanh said that all of the speeches were of high quality and practical values, reconfirming the  sound and strategic direction of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh in the 1968 Tet General Offensive and Uprising.

From discussions at the workshop, the Public Security Forces could draw valuable experiences and lessons in all aspects, especially on intelligence, direct combat, reconnaissance, and protection of leaders, bases and headquarters.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Thanh also hoped that participants will continuously provide additional documents relating to the activities and role of the Public Security Forces, particularly the Southern security forces, in the Tet General Offensive and Uprising so that the research institutions can make additions to and complete ongoing scientific projects on the Public Security Forces in this period.

By Linh Bui
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