Tet beyond the Wire: TCK/TKN, the General Offensive/General Uprising
The general uprising phase of the Tet Offensive of 1968 has often been portrayed as a spontaneous event that the enemy hoped would accompany and assist the offensive's wider strategic and tactical objectives. However, at least in I Corps, the northernmost military region of the Republic of South Vietnam, the general uprising phase of the Tet Offensive followed a detailed plan that left little to chance. A series of preparatory attacks in I Corps during December and January 1968 were launched as part of an effort to weaken the will and destroy the confidence of local peasants in the South Vietnamese government. These attacks were designed to ensure that subsequent main force VC and NVA operations would both complete the revolutionary education of the masses and employ them in support of what Hanoi and the NLF hoped would be the decisive action of the war. The relationship of these localized attacks and their sequels during the Tet Offensive were made apparent to me as the American in Ly Tin District of Quang Tin Province in I Corps during the months immediately before and after the Tet Offensive.
In December 1967 the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, was operating in my area of Quang Tin Province. On December 4 they captured an enemy document that gave more specific guidance to the local VC cadres than had as yet been seen in higher-level documents previously obtained by American military intelligence. This document, described in MACV Bulletin No. 8613, dated November 17, 1967, instructed the VC cadres
to intensify proselyting activities and concurrently promote political struggle among the population within their respective areas. The document announced that the "strategic objectives" set forth by the Party consisted of: 1. An all-out effort to