They aren't your family tunnels, but a very complex network of tunnels which served as hospitals, living quarters, communication and still provide routes, and also storage areas to the weapons and food from the Viet Cong guerrillas. These were constructed without needing any sophisticated machines or tools however only crude tools and human resilience. The Viet Cong guerrillas began building them during their proof against france in 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 lengthening the tunnels. The tunnel system was very strategic leading to the victory of the North Vietnamese Army up against the Americans.
Most of these secret tunnels were built underneath American bases. Its importance has not been only limited to military purposes but also took over as the hub from the Vietnamese community life as the Americans burned and destroyed villages. Everything proceeded as normal to the Vietnamese during these tunnels where lovers met, couples get married to, children went along to school, and performances were held.
All wasn't normal, obviously. The Vietnamese were required to face the contests of living in cramped quarters where ants, scorpions, vermin, and poisonous centipedes thrive. In addition to that, they should ration everything because food, water, and also air were scarce. More often than not, they just got out of your tunnels at night to scavenge anything that will be useful for town whether or not they were supplies or food. When the Americans bombed and infiltrate villages, they had to keep in these claustrophobic quarters for seemed like endless days. Those living conditions made sickness, especially malaria, rampant. In reality, it has become the next major reason for death on the list of Vietnamese in that time. In addition to that, almost all of the tunnel inhabitants had serious installments of intestinal parasites.
While the Cu Chi tunnels had been a haven for the Vietnamese, it has been a method to obtain frustration to the Americans. That they tried various types of detection and infiltration which are all failing. The American troops conducted major operations burning villages, bulldozing jungles, and destroying rice paddies. They deployed planes which sprayed chemicals to defoliate other locations burning it afterwards. Through all these offensive attacks, the Vietnamese guerrillas, along with the remaining portion of the villages, remained safe and secured within their tunnels. Despite this, only 6,000 Vietnamese from the original 16,000 tunnel inhabitants could actually survive after the war.
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