Imagine a complex of tunnels that could house up to 11,000 people. Well that is what the Viet Cong built during the Vietnam War. You get to understand how very different tactics are needed in a classic war, and a guerilla war.
Making the tunnels would have been gruelling work, and living in them not much better. They were often just 1.2 metres high if that, and infested with critters.
This is how they got air to the tunnels below. They would use termite mounds as cover for air holes. Bear in mind in some areas there were three layers of tunnels, and the third layer could be 10 metres below the ground.
There are 121 kms of tunnels in total. regardless of your views on the Viet Cong, that is an incredible achievement – and one that many say was reasonably influential in their ability to remain potent.
A solider showing one of the entrances into the tunnels. Pretty damn narrow hole, and under the leaves could easily be undetected.
You can see how narrow it is. Imagine walking through the bush and having armed soldiers spring out of the ground.
This is half of a pit trip. The grass covers swings when you step on it, and the bamboo spikes below would be lethal. Nasty.
One of the tunnels wen went through. You don’t spend much time underground, which is a relief as you are crouched over the whole time.
The VC made rubber sandals out of the discarded tyres left by the US forces.
The tour through the area takes around 90 minutes and is absolutely fascinating. Regardless of your political opinions on the war, it is a fascinating example of how to fight a guerrilla war.