Tunnel Warfare in Vietnam Past
During the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s, the Cu Chi tunnels were largely used by Viet Cong soldiers. They served as hiding spots during combat, as communication and supply routes, and even as hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces.
The tunnels of Củ Chi near Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) didn’t stay unnoticed by US officials. The American army recognized the advantages that the Viet Cong held with the tunnels and so tried to destroy the underground network. A number of campaigns were unsuccessful until General Williamson (Allied Forces Commander in the South) came up with a new tactic. An elite group of volunteers were trained in the art of tunnel warfare. Also known as tunnel rats, they entered tunnels on their own, armed only with a gun, flashlight, knife and piece of string in order to dismantle booby traps or imprison enemy soldiers.
After the war, 75 miles (121km) of Củ Chi tunnels were preserved by the Vietnamese government. They are now are a war memorial park. Visitors can enter the site at either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc. At Ben Dinh it is more comfortable for western guests as the tunnels are larger.
Electric lights make traveling through both of them easier. The underground conference room where the 1968 Tet Offensive was planned is a remarkable place.
Khiri Travel Vietnam can offer special visits with experts and lunch arrangements for VIP groups, just drop us an email at [email protected] for more information and bookings.
Photo 2 by samurai_dave
Photo 3 by graeme_newcomb