The U.S. officially withdrew from the Vietnam War in 1973, marking the end of the country’s involvement in what had been a long and bloody conflict. More than 58,000 Americans had lost their lives fighting, while one estimate gives the number of Vietnamese civilian casualties as 1.4 million dead or wounded. And in the decades since North Vietnam claimed its unlikely victory, there have been several stories about the war that have practically become popular legend. But not all of them are true. Take these 20 myths, for example – all of which have since been widely disproved.
20. The Tet Offensive was well-planned, and the Viet Cong occupied the U.S. Embassy
To American soldiers on the ground and their commanders, the Tet Offensive in January 1968 must have seemed ruthlessly competent. In that month, North Vietnamese forces attacked cities all over South Vietnam, inflicting grievous losses as a result in many places. Early press reports even claimed that the Viet Cong had actually occupied the American Embassy building in Saigon itself.