Archives par mot-clé : 1968

Panel discussion : The Tet Offensive – Lessons from the Campaign After 50 Years (CSIS)

[ndlr] Annonce du CSIS sur un panel consacré à l’Offensive du Têt.

The Project on Military and Diplomatic History cordially invites you to

The Tet Offensive: Lessons from the Campaign After 50 Years

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Conference Call for Papers and Panels : “1968 and the Tet Offensive”

[ndlr] Annonce du Vietnam Center & Archive.

Conference Call for Papers and Panels

“1968 and the Tet Offensive”

April 27-28, 2018, Lubbock Texas

The Vietnam Center and Archive (VNCA) and the Institute for Peace & Conflict (IPAC) at Texas Tech University are pleased to announce a conference focused on the year 1968 and the Tet Offensive. We expect in this conference to approach these historical events in the broadest possible manner by hosting presenters who examine diplomatic, military, international regional, and domestic aspects of the Vietnam War during that year, as well as the strategic and tactical decision-making and actions that led up to and followed the Tet Offensive. This will include presentations that look at all participants to include the US, RVN, DRV, NLF, and the numerous allies and other nations involved. We will also strongly encourage presentations that examine the antiwar and peace movements at home and abroad, the efforts to support the war effort, and the efforts to end the conflict through international diplomacy, as well as military and diplomatic means in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Recent and emerging scholarship on the Tet Offensive and on 1968, more broadly, is refocusing much needed attention on some of the pivotal events that took place during that fateful year. In late November 1967, General William Westmoreland publicly conveyed his optimism regarding eventual US victory in Vietnam, helping President Johnson to buoy flagging US popular and political support for the war effort. In the aftermath of the Tet Offensive, as fighting broke out in every major city throughout the entirety of South Vietnam, many started to doubt the veracity of those previous claims, including prominent politicians and members of the American media.

Attention within the US came to focus on some of the more brutal battles that emerged as US Marines fought to retake Vietnam’s ancient Imperial city in the Battle for Hue and they came under heavy fire during in the Siege of Khe Sanh. As the fighting intensified in Vietnam, so it did in the streets and on campuses across America, as critics of the war continued their calls for an immediate US withdrawal and an end to the war. So powerful was the effect of these events that on March 31, President Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection – adding to the leadership changes already in play with the departure of Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense in late February and the emergence of General Creighton Abrams and departure of General Westmoreland as commander of US forces in Vietnam in June. The violence that year included some of the most horrific wartime atrocities committed against civilians in Vietnam, including the Hue Massacre and the My Lai Massacre, while violence in the US claimed the lives of nationally prominent figures, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. The presidential election that year witnessed last-minute attempts by the Johnson administration to end the war in Vietnam sabotaged by the Nixon campaign.

By the end of 1968, approximately 550,000 Americans engaged in more than 200 major combat operations, dropped more than 500,000 tons of bombs, and the overall financial costs of the war for that year alone totaled approximately $20 Billion. 1968 resulted in the highest numbers of casualties in a single year with more than 16,000 Americans and approximately 100,000 Vietnamese killed on all sides. All the while, the North Vietnamese and NLF fought on. With a new president and leadership team preparing to take over in January of 1969, innumerable questions remained as to whether a US victory could be achieved in Vietnam.

This two-day conference will be hosted at the MCM Elegante Hotel and Suites in Lubbock, Texas. Conference organizers welcome both individual presentation proposals as well as pre-organized panel proposals that include a moderator/commentator and three individual presentations. Conference sessions will follow the standard 90-minute format to include 60 minutes for presentations (20 minutes per presentation) followed by 30 minutes for questions and discussion. Presentations by veterans are especially encouraged as are presentations by graduate students. Graduate student travel grants will be made available to select students. All presentations will be video recorded and made publicly available after the conference via the Vietnam Center and Archive website. Select papers may also be published in a collection by the TTU Press.

Proposal submission deadline is February 15, 2018

Please submit a 250 word abstract and separate two-page CV/resume to The program committee of Ron Milam, Steve Maxner, Justin Hart, Dave Lewis, and Laura Calkins will evaluate all paper proposals and develop a program that reflects the many remarkable aspects of 1968. If submitting a panel proposal, please include separate abstracts for each proposed presentation and CVs/resumes for each speaker.

Thank you for your interest in participating in this conference.


Contact Email:

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Illustration “à la une” : photo de couverture du magazine Life, 9 février 1968 : “A guerilla is taken alive during the Ambassy battle” © 1968 Life.

Nha Ca : Mourning Headband for Hue – An Account of the Battle for Hue, Vietnam 1968

[ndlr] Parution de la traduction de l’ouvrage emblématique de l’écrivaine Nha Ca relatant les tragiques événements de Hue en 1968.



Nha Ca, Mourning Headband for Hue

Translated with an Introduction by Olga Dror

 Vietnam, January, 1968. As the citizens of Hue are preparing to celebrate Tet, the start of the Lunar New Year, Nha Ca arrives in the city to attend her father’s funeral. Without warning, war erupts all around them, drastically changing or cutting short their lives. After a month of fighting, their beautiful city lies in ruins and thousands of people are dead. Mourning Headband for Hue tells the story of what happened during the fierce North Vietnamese offensive and is an unvarnished and riveting account of war as experienced by ordinary people caught up in the violence.

Table of contents

Note on Translation
Translator’s Introduction
Small Preface: Writing to Admit Guilt
1. First Hours
2. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
3. Hodge-podge
4. On a Boat Trip
5. A Person from Tu Dam Comes Back and Tells His Story
6. Going Back into the Hell of the Fighting
7. Story from the Citadel
8. Returning to the Old House
9. A Dog in Midstream
10. Little Child of, Hue Little Child of Vietnam, I Wish You Luck!

Nha Ca, meaning a “courteous, elegant song” or “canticle” in Vietnamese, is the penname of one of the most famous South Vietnamese writers of the second half of the 20th century, whose real name is Tran Thi Thu Van. She was born in Hue in 1939 and spent her youth there before moving to Saigon where she became a popular and prolific writer and poet. Initially her works focused on love but starting from the mid-1960s in many of her works she began to describe the fighting, atrocities, and suffering inflicted by the war that was ravaging her country. The most significant and famous of these works is Mourning Headband for Hue, which describes the experience of Vietnamese civilians in Hue during the Tet Offensive. This work was one of the winners of South Vietnam’s Presidential Literary Award. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Communist authorities put Nha Ca into a prison camp where she remained from 1976 to 1977. Her husband, the poet Tran Dạ Tu, was jailed for twelve years. In 1989, a year after he was released from prison, the couple and their family received political asylum from the Swedish government. Later they moved to the United States and now live in Southern California, where they publish the Vietnamese-language newspaper Viet Bao.

Born and raised in Leningrad, USSR, Olga Dror received an MA in Oriental studies from Leningrad State University in 1987 and later pursued an advanced degree from the Institute for Linguistic Studies in the Academy of Sciences, Moscow. She worked for Radio Moscow’s Department of Broadcasting to Vietnam. In 1990 she immigrated to Israel, studied international relations at Hebrew University, and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its embassy in Riga, Latvia, from 1994 to 1996. She continued her study of Vietnam and earned a PhD from Cornell University in 2003. Now an associate professor of history at Texas A&M University, she is author of Cult, Culture, and Authority: Princess Lieu Hanh in Vietnamese History and editor of two volumes on Vietnamese and Chinese religions. Her current research concerns the identities of Vietnamese children during the war in Vietnam.


“The author’s narrative burns with firsthand accounts, her own and those of others who shared their stories, as they all were trapped in blasted houses, churches and makeshift shelters, wounded, starving, sick and overrun by the Communists and their squads of vengeful executioners…[A] searing first-person account of the misery of war visited upon her family, neighbors and countrymen, caught in senseless, chaotic horror…A visceral reminder of war’s intimate slaughter.” —Kirkus Reviews.

“Nha Ca relates countless moments of terror she and her extended family members suffered and shares stories told to her by others who faced similarly dire circumstances. It’s an intimate—and disturbing—account of war at its most brutal, told from the point of view of civilians trying to survive the maelstrom.” —Publishers Weekly.

“A superb piece of work. I have never encountered anything remotely like it in the voluminous literature on the Vietnam War. Nha Ca’s voice is so powerfully immediate, and her caring determined eyes carefully guide the reader into the thick of a chaotic world painfully under siege. A wonderful testimonial history but also a great work of commemoration.” —Heonik Kwon, University of Cambridge, author of Ghosts of War in Vietnam.

“Mourning Headband for Hue is a personal account of what happened in Hue during the month-long occupation of parts of the city by communist troops during the 1968 Tet Offensive, a very bloody episode of the Vietnam War which inflicted extremely heavy losses on the civilian population in both human and material terms. Stranded in Hue where she had come to visit her family, the author found herself face-to-face with the war. . . . Horrified, she recounts her experiences day by day as if weeping and wailing in the remembrance of the atrocities she has seen and heard. It is indeed a book laden with blood, sweat, and tears, but records events without distorting them. With explanatory information on many persons and events provided by the translator, the book is a valuable document for the history of the Vietnam War.” —Nguyen The Anh, Rector of Hue University at the time of the events described in this book, is professor emeritus, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris-Sorbonne, and author most recently of Vietnam: A Journey into History (in French).

“The stunning formal techniques the book employs to convey the horrors of [the Vietnam War] endow it with a measure of universal literary significance that lies outside the local arenas of Vietnamese politics and culture. . . . A Mourning Headband for Hue is, quite simply, a great piece of modernist war writing and it deserves to be read alongside All Quiet on the Western Front, Homage to Catalonia, Johnny Got His Gun, The Naked and the Dead, The Things They Carried, and Black Hawk Down.” —Peter Zinoman, University of California Berkeley, author of Vietnamese Colonial Republican: The Political Vision of Vu Trong Phung.

“In this searing and unsparing memoir, Nha Ca bears witness to the mindless violence against civilians in war. Her civilian focus is important: in all of the writing on the Vietnam War, too little has been written on the civilian experience of conflict, a conflict that profoundly shaped the lives of millions of Vietnamese. It is important that we read about this violence, and through first-hand accounts: the further we move away from the Vietnam War, and the more we clinically dissect the war in terms of high politics and military strategy, the less we seem to remember that the war, on the ground, could be vicious, brutal, and devastating. A Mourning Headband for Hue is an anguished testimonial to that reality.” —Shawn F. McHale, George Washington University and author of Print and Power: Confucianism, Communism, and Buddhism in the Making of Modern Vietnam.

Source : Indiana University Press

GS Nguyễn Thế Anh : Những năm sau cuộc đảo chính Ngô Đình Diệm

Un entretien à réécouter du Professeur Nguyễn Thế Anh accordé à la BBC programme en vietnamien en 2013.

University_of_Hue[ndlr / Résumé] Alors qu’il rentre de France pour enseigner à l’Université de Huê, le Professeur Nguyễn Thế Anh revient sur la période troublée au Sud Viêt-Nam après la chute de Ngô Đình Diệm en 1964. Recteur de l’Université de Huê de 1966 à 1969, il doit s’accommoder de la fronde bouddhiste et estudiantine dans le centre du pays. Son témoignage englobe les événements tragiques du Tết 1968 à Huế lors desquels il fut épargné. On comprend pourquoi il fut profondément marqué par la situation chaotique de Huế pendant la guerre. Il termine cet entretien sur son départ du Viêt-Nam avec son épouse quelques jours avant la chute de Saigon le 30 avril 1975. Un départ pour Washington avant de rejoindre la France où il intégra le CNRS puis l’EPHE en tant que Directeur d’études.

* * *

Giáo sư sử học Nguyễn Thế Anh đã kể lại với BBC về những năm tháng hậu Ngô Đình Diệm ở Huế và Sài Gòn.

Ông Anh đáng ra đã trở về Việt Nam từ Pháp, nơi ông du học, hồi năm 1963 nhưng phải lùi lại tới năm 1964 vì cuộc đảo chính hồi tháng 11/1963.

Từ Pháp ông về Huế làm khoa trưởng rồi viện trưởng Đại học Văn khoa Huế trong tình hình mà ông nói “rất căng thẳng” vì các cuộc biểu tình phản đối liên tục của Phật tử và sinh viên.

Giáo sư Nguyễn Thế Anh cũng chứng kiến vụ Mậu Thân 1968 trong những năm về sau nhưng cho rằng nhờ may mắn và nhờ có người anh làm tướng chỉ huy của miền Bắc trong dịp Mậu Thân mà thoát nạn.

Ông cũng kể về chuyện ông đã rời Sài Gòn, bốn ngày trước khi thành phố sụp đổ, như thế nào.

Source : BBC, 07/11/2013. URL :


Pour en savoir plus : Tiểu sử Giáo sư Nguyễn Thế Anh