They aren’t your normal tunnels, however a very complex network of tunnels which served as hospitals, living quarters, communication and supply routes, in addition to storage areas for the weapons and food from the Viet Cong guerrillas. They were constructed without using any sophisticated machines or tools however only crude tools and human resilience. The Viet Cong guerrillas began building them during their resistance against the French inside the late 1940s. Its original purpose was for communication between villages without getting detected through the French army. In 1960, however, Vietnam’s National Liberation Front began excavating and increasing the tunnels. The tunnel system was very strategic contributing to the victory of the North Vietnamese Army contrary to the Americans.
Most of these secret tunnels were built underneath American bases. Its importance was not only limited by military purposes but also took over as the hub with the Vietnamese community life as the Americans burned and destroyed villages. Everything proceeded normally for your Vietnamese of these tunnels where lovers met, couples got married, children visited school, and performances were held.
All was not normal, obviously. The Vietnamese needed to face troubles of living in cramped quarters where ants, scorpions, vermin, and poisonous centipedes thrive. In addition to that, they have to ration everything because food, water, and even air were scarce. Quite often, they merely got from the tunnels in the evening to scavenge something that could be useful for town if they were supplies or food. At times when the Americans bombed and infiltrate villages, they had to be during these claustrophobic quarters for what seemed like endless days. Those living conditions made sickness, especially malaria, rampant. Actually, it is now the other major reason behind death among the Vietnamese during that time. Adding to that, the majority of the tunnel inhabitants had serious instances of intestinal parasites.
Whilst the Cu Chi tunnels had been a haven to the Vietnamese, it was a way to obtain frustration for the Americans. They’d tried various strategies to detection and infiltration which are all failing. The American troops conducted massive operations burning villages, bulldozing jungles, and destroying rice paddies. They deployed planes which sprayed chemicals to defoliate other locations burning it afterwards. Through these offensive attacks, the Vietnamese guerrillas, along with the rest of the villages, remained safe and secured within their tunnels. Regardless of this, only 6,000 Vietnamese in the original 16,000 tunnel inhabitants could survive following the war.
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