The Tet Offensive, launched in January 1968 by forces from North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front, targeted more than 100 towns and cities throughout South Vietnam. In the most dramatic hours of the attack, Vietnamese guerrilla fighters occupied the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, the symbolic center of the American war effort. Though Communist troops suffered catastrophic losses in these efforts, their ability to penetrate into the heart of South Vietnamese territory suggested to government officials, and to the broader American public, that – despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of troops, and the full, deadly arsenal of the American military – the United States was engaged in a war it could not win.
“Tet Offensive Scorches Saigon,” 1968
Pulitzer Prizes Committee Records