Sky Pilot #5: The Tet Offensive + Sky Pilot = Popularity?

I was saving this last post as a clenching segment detailing various chaplains who did not go with their soldiers; sadly, I have not found anything.  It leaves something to be desired in my paper, but I will have to make do, it appears.

So, for now, I shall give details about the Tet Offensive.

The reason why the Tet Offensive of 1968 is important is because it is chronologically linked with the Animals’ “Sky Pilot.”

Johnson said that we were winning the war prompting Americans to breathe a slight sigh of relief.  Ah, how many times leaders have said that, including Hitler during his regime’s final moments (heck, his own final moments).

Ho Chi Minh had us right where he wanted us.  The Viet Cong amassed a huge spearhead of Vietnamese who were thought to be pro-South.  These VC led a counterattack that lasted virtually the whole year of 1968, starting in January on the Chinese/Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tet.  It was assumingly a period of cease-fire (as even occurred during Mogadishu in 1993).  VC overran everything and everyone.

The event was particularly important in the scheme of things due to its close coverage on American TV.  Even Walter Cronkite personally visited Vietnam during to witness the results of the Tet Offensive, later saying: “What seems now more certain than ever is that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.”

The first stage of the Tet Offensive began in January 1968, the month that Sky Pilot is released in the UK.  Stage two began in May, the month Sky Pilot is released in the States.  By this time, quite a bit of damage had been done.

The VC had broken into the American Embassy in Saigon.  This was supposed to be the safest place in South Vietnam.  They also annihilated Khe Sahn, which was virtually a replay of Dien Bien Phu.

Slowly but surely, American forces successfully repelled the attack.  However, it cost many lives and resources, making us look weak and vulnerable to defeat.  The damage hit hard in America, as the parents and children saw what could happen to them and theirs.  In fact, most of the Animals’ demographic tuned into the song “Sky Pilot,” no doubt, increasing its popularity (#14 on American Pop Charts).

Word Count: 382

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