On 31 January 1968, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) guerrillas launched a spectacular offensive in South Vietnam. Five of the country’s six major cities, 36 of its 44 provincial capitals, and 64 of its 245 district capitals were attacked that day. A sapper squad even penetrated the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The media broadcast images of combat at the embassy and in other key cities, causing tremendous psychological shock for the American viewing public. Ultimately, U.S. and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) troops killed or captured most of the enemy combatants in Saigon in the next few days. Allied troops quelled most of the fighting in the rest of the country by March, killing over 58,000 NVA and VC troops in the process. The ARVN suffered 4,954 dead, and the Americans, 3,895. It would take North Vietnam four years to rebuild a force capable of mounting a similar offensive, and the Viet Cong never recovered.