Communist forces began digging a network of tunnels under the jungle terrain of South Vietnam in the late 1940s, during their war of independence from French colonial authority. Tunnels were often dug by hand, only a short distance at a time.
Why did the Viet Cong build tunnels?
The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters.
How big were the Viet Cong tunnels?
Some complexes ranged up to 40 miles long; the Cu Chi tunnel complex contained 130 miles of passageways. Having begun construction during their fight for independence against the French, the Vietnamese had incorporated a number of unique, battle-tested design features in their tunnels.
How deep did Vietnam tunnels go?
At the total length of 250 kilometres and depth of 10 metres, the systematic network stretched from suburbs of Saigon to the Cambodian border and often passed beneath the American bases.
How did the US expose Vietcong tunnels during the war?
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Do Viet Cong tunnels still exist?
Now part of a Vietnam War memorial park in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the Cu Chi tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction.
What advantage did they give the Viet Cong?
Most of the fighting in the Vietnam war took place in jungles. The Viet Cong were mostly peasants who were recruited from local villages or cities. Their having lived in these areas prior to the war gave them superior knowledge of the land, which they used to plant traps and plan ambushes.
How good were the Viet Cong?
For destroying armored vehicles or bunkers, the Vietcong had highly effective rocket propelled grenades and recoilless rifles. Mortars were also available in large numbers and had the advantage of being very easy to transport. Many weapons, including booby traps and mines, were homemade in villages.
How Viet Cong won the war?
More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. … Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.
Who was the leader of Viet Cong?
Ho Chi Minh was the key figure and held the main leadership of North Vietnam during both wars in the country. He remained a great source of inspiration for the Vietnamese who were fighting for a united Vietnam as in his wish after he officially stepped aside in 1965 and even after his death in 1969.
How many tunnel rats died in Vietnam?
Imagine been alone down there, a million miles from home during those crazy 10,000 days in Vietnam. That both sets of men had to endure this life is appalling. There were never more than 100 Tunnel Rats in country at any one time and around 700 in total. There were 36 killed and 200 wounded.
Who were the Viet Cong and what did they want?
The Viet Cong were South Vietnamese supporters of the communist National Liberation Front in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the American War). They were allied with North Vietnam and the troops of Ho Chi Minh, who sought to conquer the south and create a unified, communist state of Vietnam.
What was a tunnel rat in Vietnam?
The tunnel rats were American, Australian, New Zealander, and South Vietnamese soldiers who performed underground search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War.
Who won the war between Vietnam and USA?
Those who argue that the United States won the war point to the fact that the U.S. defeated communist forces during most of Vietnam’s major battles. They also assert that the U.S. overall suffered fewer casualties than its opponents. The U.S. military reported 58,220 American casualties.
Was the US main goal in Vietnam?
The United States’ main goal in Vietnam was to prevent a communist takeover of the entire nation.
What was it like being a tunnel rat?
”The Tunnel Rats were combat engineers,” Mangold says. ”They had to be small and thin, volunteers, and highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat. The job was to kill, capture or entomb Viet Cong with explosives. … ”There never were more than 100 Tunnel Rats, and most were killed in the tunnels.