While the initial wave of NVA attacks took major cities from the U.S. and inflicted heavy casualties, the U.S regrouped and fought back, inflicting heavy casualties on the North Vietnamese. Major battles include the Battle of Khe Sanh, Saigon and the Battle of Hue, in which the NVA took control of the city, and executed thousands during their occupation. The U.S eventually destroyed the city to reclaim it. In Saigon and other cities, small teams of Viet Cong would go out and attack embassies and bases, killing civil servants, military personnel, and anyone who was allied against them, then large and numerous battalions would attack large U.S and South Vietnamese military bases.
Whilst considered a military defeat for the North Vietnamese, who were dejected and utterly defeated by the offensive due to heavy loses, its effects on the U.S were profound. The American public was led to believe by political and military leaders that the Viet Cong were incapable of carrying out such a large, precise, and coordinated attack. After seeing that they were being lied too, the U.S public support for the war declined. This eventually led the U.S to seek peace negotiations in Vietnam.
a map showing the major battles of the Tet offensive
the battles left cities and towns destroyed.