Cuci Tunnels in Vietnam, detailed description
Tunnels and traps of Vietnamese guerrillas.
Cu Chi is a rural area about 70 kilometers northwest of Saigon that became a pain in the ass first for the French and then for the Americans. It was a case of “the ground burning under the boots of the invaders. The local guerrillas were never defeated, even though an entire American division (25th Infantry) and a not insignificant part of the 18th Division of the South Vietnamese Army were stationed close to their base. The fact is that the guerrillas dug a whole network of layered tunnels with a total length of over 200 kilometers, with many camouflaged exits to the surface, firing bunkers, bunkers, underground workshops, warehouses and barracks, thickly covered by mines and traps. To describe them is quite simple: they are underground fortifications that are perfectly camouflaged in the local rainforest. The main purpose of their creation is to deliver a surprise blow to the enemy during the years of American aggression. The tunnel system itself has been thought out in the most meticulous way, thereby making it possible to destroy the American enemy almost everywhere. The intricate zigzag network of underground passages diverges in different directions from the main tunnel with many offshoots, some of them are independent shelters, and some suddenly cut off because of the geographical terrain.
The Vietnamese craftsmen did not dig tunnels very deeply to save time and energy. But their calculations were so accurate that when tanks and heavy armored vehicles, artillery shells or bombs passed over them, the tunnels would not collapse and would continue to serve their creators faithfully.
The multilevel underground tunnels with secret trapdoors, which close the passages between the floors, have survived intact to this day. In some parts of the tunnel system there are special plugs designed to block the way of the enemy or to stop toxic gases from entering. Throughout the tunnels there are skillfully concealed air vents, with many inconspicuous openings reaching the surface. Plus, some passages at the time could perfectly serve as fortified firing points, which, of course, was always a big surprise to the enemy.
And even this was not enough for the Vietnamese. The tunnels and approaches to them were equipped with a large number of cunning death traps and masterfully camouflaged “wolf” pits. At the entrances and exits, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines were placed for greater safety, which have now, of course, been destroyed.
Often, entire villages lived in the tunnels during wartime, and this allowed the Vietnamese to save many lives. They housed weapons and food stores, smokeless kitchens, hospitals for the wounded, as well as living quarters, marching headquarters, and shelters for women, the elderly, and children. Not like a village, an entire city underground! Even during the war the Vietnamese did not forget about culture and education: large underground rooms were used for school classes, movies and theatrical productions. But for all that, this entire underground world was carefully hidden and camouflaged.
Added link: lurkmore.so/images/d/d8/VietnamTunnels6.jpg Because the numerous bombings and shellings were unsuccessful, the Americans eventually had to go underground themselves. The Tunnel rats recruited short, skinny, desperate guys who were willing to climb into the unknown with one gun, where they faced cramped quarters, darkness, mines, traps, poisonous snakes, scorpions and, after all that, if they were lucky, angry guerrillas.
Not many U.S. soldiers could fit through such a narrow hole.
The pictures clearly show it all.
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A three-tiered system of tunnels secretly hollowed out in the hard clay soil with primitive tools by numerous groups of three or four people. One digs, one drags the earth out of the tunnel to a vertical shaft, one lifts it up, and another drags it somewhere and hides it under leaves or tosses it into the river.
When the team makes their way to the next one, a thick tube of hollow bamboo trunk is inserted into the vertical shaft for ventilation, the shaft is backfilled, and the bamboo is disguised as a termite or a stump or something else from above.
Only a Vietnamese could squeeze through such a gap.
The Americans used dogs to find tunnel entrances and ventilation shafts. Then they started hiding trophy uniforms there, usually M65 jackets which the Americans often threw during the first aid and evacuation of the wounded. The dogs smelled the familiar scent, mistook it for one of their own, and ran past it.
If they did find an entrance, they tried to flood it with water or shoot tear gas into it. But the multi-level system of airlocks and water locks protected the tunnels quite reliably: if only a small segment was lost, the guerrillas would simply collapse its walls on both sides and forget it existed, eventually tearing out a bypass.
Now the entrances have no camouflage; they are widened for tourists.
The bunkers have been brought to the surface, and the flat roofs have been replaced by high slopes, so that it becomes spacious enough to comfortably view Vietcong-shaped mannequins depicting guerrillas in their natural habitat.
Like many other things, metal was in terrible short supply, so the guerrillas collected numerous unexploded bombs and shells (and some absolutely incredible amount of them were dumped on the tiny patch, the jungle was carpet-bombed by B-52s, turning the area into a lunar landscape), sawed them up, used the explosives to make homemade mines…
…and metal was forged into spikes and spears for traps in the jungle. In addition to the workshops, there was a canteen, a kitchen (with a specially arranged outside smokeless hearth that did not give away the place of cooking with a column of smoke), a workshop for sewing uniforms….
…and, of course, a hall for political briefings. Only at that time all this was at a sufficient depth underground
Consider the traps used by the Vietnamese guerrillas during the war and how they ruined life for the occupiers.
Vietnamese traps, being very insidious and effective products, at one time ruined a lot of blood for the Americans. Perhaps you could use one, too. The jungle at Cu Chi was full of nasty surprises, from the already mentioned mines, which even detonated tanks like this M41, to the famous movie homemade traps, some of which you can see up close.
“The Tiger Trap. J.I. is walking along quietly, and suddenly the ground beneath his feet opens up and he falls to the bottom of a staked hole. If he’s unlucky and doesn’t die right away, but screams in pain, his comrades will gather around him trying to pull the poor guy out. Needless to say, around the trap in several places from the tunnels there were exits to the surface, to camouflaged sniper positions? The trap was covered to match the terrain: with leaves
Or covered with turf and grass
Or more humane traps, “Vietnamese souvenir”. This is quite a technological trap. On the bottom are reinforced pins, in addition, under the round platform are stretched ropes connected with nails. When a soldier steps into an inconspicuous hole, closed from above with a piece of paper and leaves…
His foot falls through and he first pokes his foot with the pins at the bottom, at the same time the ropes are stretched and pull the nails out of the holes, which pierce the foot from the sides, while fixing it and not allowing it to be pulled out.
As a rule, the soldier was not killed, but lost his leg as a result, then receiving the pins extracted from his leg in a Saigon hospital as a keepsake. Hence the name.
The next few photos show a similar design. Eins
Or here’s a wider trap.
As you might have noticed, the main emphasis was not only on the task of piercing the foe, but also to keep it in place and prevent it from getting off the hook. This “basket” was placed in flooded rice paddies or at river banks, hiding it under water. A paratrooper would jump out of a helicopter or a boat, “OPA! – Here we go…
The soldiers try to follow their footsteps.
And who was not lucky, it’s time to go back.
However, there were times when the problem was not to wound, but to damn well kill. Then put such grindilki, in which the G.I. quickly stuffed himself under his own weight. One…
For those who liked to enter a house without knocking, just by kicking the door, they hung a device like this over it. The slowest one would go straight to the other side, but the fastest one could get a machine gun – for such people the bottom half of the trap was suspended on a separate hinge and made a canapé out of their eggs. So the quick-witted, as the Vietnamese guide put it, would then go to Thailand, a transvestite’s paradise.
Well, the simplest, most reliable and popular design in the movie industry. Since it flies much faster than the “home”, there is no need to go to two halves. And so it will sweep away. The guide likes it best.
The traps were of all sorts.
The usual wolf pit,
A painting in a Vietnamese museum. That’s pretty much how it went down.
Multiple wounds were assured, and it was a hell of a way to get out ……..
The foremost Vietnamese production workers went to their workplaces. Long nails, thin steel rods – everything goes. It is enough to hammer more stabbing objects into a wooden bar, and the base for the trap is ready.
The magazine clearly shows that even women and children took part in making traps.
Trap-catcher. The most simple and widespread trap. It is said that at one time it was massively made by Vietnamese schoolchildren in labor classes. The principle is simple. When the enemy will step on it, under the weight of his leg, the planks will dent and the nails, previously smeared with manure, will penetrate into his leg. Blood poisoning is assured.
You can go deeper:
A board with spades. Made on the principle of a rake, with a board with nails on the end. When an enemy steps on the “pedal,” the board joyously jumps up and hits the soldier in the chest, either in the face or neck, or wherever it hits.
Trap-Trap. Consists of two wooden boards moving on rails and dotted with pins. The boards are pulled apart, a support is placed between them, and an elastic rubber harness (or Pilates tape) is wrapped around them. When the support, holding the planks, shifts, the latter, under the action of the tourniquet, slide along the rails toward each other. But they are not destined to meet, because someone’s soft body is already between them.
A hospitable trap. It is not difficult to make such a trap, and it will please you for a long time. You and your guests. You will need: two stems of bamboo, steel rods and wire. Connect the bamboo to the letter “T” and hammer the bars into the headboard. We hang the ready trap over the door, connect it to the wire and call the neighbor to come over, for example, to watch soccer. When the neighbor inadvertently crosses the wire, the trap whistles and flies toward the guest.
According to an old Vietnamese belief, rakes hung over the entrance and smeared with manure mean peace of mind in the house.
Someone was “lucky” to run into this trap. It is better to dismantle it.
A log with spikes
The spiked trap falls from above.
The bamboo whip is a tension trap.
Bamboo whip in action.
Stretch on the trail
Luvushka – Buried cartridge trap.
Or cartridge trap
Spike trap box – spike box trap
Pointed bamboo stakes
Spike trap pit
Steel arrow trap
Barber – spike plate
Helicopter explosive traps
Then the Americans paid a heavy price for their invasion.
But since then, there have been many more U.S. aggressions into other countries. It seems they drew conclusions, but they will hardly try to approach the courageous Vietnamese any more.
The United States: non-returnable losses – 58,000 (combat losses – 47,000, non-combat losses – 11,000; of the total number as of 2008 over 1,700 are considered missing); wounded – 303,000 (153,000 hospitalized, minor injuries – 150,000). The number of veterans who committed suicide after the war is often estimated at 100-150,000 (which is more than people who died in the war).
South Vietnam: figures differ; military losses are estimated at about 250,000 dead and 1 million wounded, civilian losses are unknown, but enormously huge.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are a relatively modern man-made structure, but they are world famous. The tunnels are an outstanding symbol of the tenacity and determination of the Vietnamese people in their quest to free themselves from the Western colonizers. This most interesting monument to modern Vietnamese history is also located about halfway between Tay Ninh and Ho Chi Minh City in Cuci.
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The tunnels were first talked about in the late 1940s when the Viet Minh (Vietnam Independence League) tried to expel the French from the country. The Cu Chi Tunnels are dug on four levels. This work was unbearably hard. Not only did it have to deal with poisonous snakes, scorpions, and insects, but the tunnels had to be constantly reinforced to keep them from collapsing. In the beginning, the tunnels served only as hiding places for weapons and ammunition, but soon became a hiding place for Viet Minh fighters.Patriot squads regularly struck at the rear of Saigon troops and interventionists from here. To escape the devastating American bombing raids, the guerrillas dug a network of underground shelters connected by tunnels in the jungle. These structures, built with bare hands, according to some reports, stretched for almost 200 kilometers. One of the tunnels even went under a U.S. military base located there. The tunnels allowed many groups of Viet Cong fighters to communicate and even penetrate Saigon. For several years neither Special Forces, nor napalm, nor heavy air bombs could do anything about the stubborn “children of the underground”. The manholes leading into the depths were no larger than the size of a stovepipe and were easily camouflaged. Kuchi’s underground galleries were also small – 80 cm wide and 120 cm high. It was the kind of tunnel that best withstood the shaking of the ground during bombing raids. Partisans actually lived underground – they cooked food, repaired weapons, sewed clothes and treated the wounded, the tunnels had schools, even operated theaters and a small movie theater. The chimneys from the kitchens ran parallel to the ground for several meters. As a result, the smoke had time to cool and drift across the ground, indistinguishable from fog. Special adits led to streams and supplied the “children of the underground” with water. A meager ration of the guerrillas consisted of the fruits of low-maintenance plants that grew everywhere – tapioca, peanuts, etc.
The 110-kg bomb craters, overgrown with bushes, can still be found in abundance in the surrounding jungle. Some of the bombs and shells never exploded. The guerrillas defused them and used the explosives to make homemade grenades and mines. The lack of weapons forced the Vietcong to invent all sorts of traps. A gallery of such devices is one of the most impressive attractions of the Kuci Tunnel Museum. The infernal devices are set against a backdrop of paintings depicting GIs with signs of Down’s disease falling into staked wolf pits.
More than 12,000 people died here during the Vietnam War, but the Tet Offensive, whose plans were discussed in these tunnels, may have made the Americans realize that they would never win this war.
Now in Kuchi you can see the military inventions of the guerrillas, shoot with combat weapons in the shooting gallery, and most importantly, go down into one of the underground galleries. Here you can fully understand the hardships and hardships the Vietnamese patriots had to endure for the sake of victory. The shooting range features a variety of firearms, from pistols to machine guns. Shooting is quite expensive: at VND 20,000 per shot, the owners do not sell less than 10 rounds. Meanwhile, all the weapons on the firing range are permanently attached to a guardrail designed for the height of the average Vietnamese. The galleries that are open to the public stretch for about 100 meters. Under the ground reigns total darkness and unbearable heat. You can only crawl forward. On the way to the finish line there are two “emergency exits” for those who can’t bear to stay at depth. Not far from the exit is a sink, and further tourists are invited to try the daily dish of the Vietnamese guerrillas – boiled tapioca with a spice of crushed peanuts.
A day trip in a group (8.30-18.00) with a visit to Caodai sanctuary and guerrilla tunnels Kuchi can be purchased at any travel agency in Ho Chi Minh City for $ 5 USD. In Tay Ninh, the group is taken to lunch, which costs an additional 40-50 thousand VND.