They aren't your family tunnels, but a very complex network of tunnels which served as hospitals, living quarters, communication and provide routes, along with storage areas for your weapons and food in the Viet Cong guerrillas. They were constructed without the need for any sophisticated machines or tools only crude tools and human resilience. The Viet Cong guerrillas began building them on their proofed against in france they from the late 1940s. Its original purpose was for communication between villages without getting detected with the French army. In 1960, however, Vietnam's National Liberation Front began excavating and increasing the tunnels. The tunnel system was very strategic leading to the victory of the North Vietnamese Army against the Americans.
A large number of secret tunnels were built underneath American bases. Its importance had not been only limited by military purposes and also had become the hub in the Vietnamese community life because the Americans burned and destroyed villages. Everything proceeded as normal for the Vietnamese during these tunnels where lovers met, couples get married to, children went to school, and performances were held.
All had not been normal, of course. The Vietnamese needed to face troubles of living in cramped quarters where ants, scorpions, vermin, and poisonous centipedes thrive. Aside from that, they should ration everything because food, water, as well as air were scarce. Most of the time, they only got out of the tunnels at night to scavenge any situation that will be useful for the community whether they were supplies or food. When the Americans bombed and infiltrate villages, that they had to keep in these claustrophobic quarters for appeared like endless days. Those living conditions made sickness, especially malaria, rampant. The truth is, it is now the second major source of death among the Vietnamese during that time. In addition ,, a lot of the tunnel inhabitants had serious instances of intestinal parasites.
As the Cu Chi tunnels had been a haven for the Vietnamese, it had been a method to obtain frustration for the Americans. That they tried various ways of detection and infiltration that have been all a dysfunction. The American troops conducted major operations burning villages, bulldozing jungles, and destroying rice paddies. They deployed planes which sprayed chemicals to defoliate areas burning it afterwards. Through these offensive attacks, the Vietnamese guerrillas, along with the remaining portion of the villages, remained safe and secured in their tunnels. Not surprisingly, only 6,000 Vietnamese from your original 16,000 tunnel inhabitants were able to survive following the war.
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