The infamous Vietnam War has ended for more than 40 years, but today, there’re still many historic sites in Vietnam that still demonstrate the brutality of the meaningless war as well as the exceptional will and determination of the Vietnamese in trying to reunify their country. One of which is Cu Chi Tunnels, a site that used to play great importance to the National Liberation Front for Southern Vietnam (hereby referred to as NLFSV) in resistance against American forces.
Located just 50 kilometers to the northwest of Saigon, Cu Chi Tunnels is an extensive of underground tunnels which was once the base of several operations and military campaigns during the Vietnam War. Particularly, the NLFSV soldiers used it as hiding spots during battles as well as supply and communication routes. Many fighters from the north also sheltered for more than 20 years.
Cu Chi Tunnels is divided to two main parts, Ben Drug Tunnels which houses Based Park and the Military Region Party Committee of Saigon – Gia Dinh. This part is preserved in Phu Hiep Hamlet of Cu Chi District. Meanwhile, the second part, Ben Dinh Tunnels is protected in Ben Dinh Hamlet, another area of the district. That shows how big this underground network is. As a matter of fact, if all tunnel paths here were placed back to back, it could reach as far as Phnom Penh in Cambodia!
Once you have sneaked under the narrow hole, you will enter an entirely different world, a world with no sunlight and is limited to extremely narrow paths (you sometimes have to duck to get through them). With a huge number of stratums and several different storeys, Cu Chi Tunnels is filled with command rooms, weapon storage and factories as well as countless trapdoors. It also consists of living areas, kitchen, hospitals and even schools. It is hard to imagine how it feels like to live in Cu Chi Tunnels. But the Vietnamese did it with their tenacious spirit. Several operations with the only aim of breaking Cu Chi resistance by the Americans have all failed. It was not until 1969 when heavy bombing was used that they finally achieve its goal. Back then, Cu Chi was called “the most bombed, shelled, gassed, defoliated and generally devastated area in the history of warfare by BBC journalists Tom Mangold and John Penycate, authors of The Tunnels of Cu Chi.
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