The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's "Tunnel Rats" in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam (Paperback) - Common
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The riveting, true story of the remarkable, but little known, Vietnam War campaigns fought inside 200 miles of secret tunnel networks around Saigon, between Viet Cong guerillas and special American forces.
until December of 1967, found 577 tunnels, but the copious after-action reports scarcely mention tunnel rats. Unlike the Big Red One, farther north across the Saigon River at Lai Khe, the 25th Infantry did not give priority to detecting and destroying the tunnels. General Fred Weyand, who commanded the division when it first arrived, did not feel unduly concerned about their existence. “They were there, they’d always been used by these people to protect themselves and to move about, but I never
phase of the Phoenix program was the collection and coordination of intelligence about the Viet Cong, chiefly from prisoners and Hoi Chanhs. Where possible, spies were placed inside the Viet Cong. Pham Van Nhanh, the former guerrilla commander at Trung Lap village in Cu Chi district, said that during Phoenix “one tactic of the enemy was to train pretty girls to infiltrate our organization. They seduced a number of our cadres and collected information about our organization and activities.”
guests into the underground by the Phu My Hung tunnel complex, stand them in a circle about twenty feet in diameter, and challenge them to find the tunnel trapdoor within that area. No one has ever done it. Linh then stamps on the ground and suddenly a grinning comrade lifts the trapdoor and pops out. The point is made. Only the most laborious, time-consuming, and dangerous probing with knife or bayonet would reveal a good trapdoor. The blueprint for trapdoor construction laid down by the manual
ends embedded in the sides; an arrow was held under tension in the bow, and a simple release mechanism was activated by a tripwire running across the track. Historically contemporaneous was a medieval macelike device: a heavy mud ball with spiked bamboo stakes sticking out of it. This was attached to a tree by a seemingly innocuous jungle vine. When freed by the tripwire, the ball swung hard across the track. Then there was the coconut mine, a hollowed-out nut packed with explosive powder and
around. At any time, over 4,500 men and a few women lived, worked, and played inside it—not counting the army of Vietnamese workers who performed all the most basic tasks. Outside the main gate was a sign that read ALOHA. 25TH U.S. INF. DIV. HAWAII’S OWN. Inside was the divisional headquarters, an elegant and broad-fronted one-story building with three gables in its sloping tin roof. In front of it stood a lifesize bronze statue of a GI between two flagpoles, one flying the Stars and Stripes, the