During the Vietnam war, America and its South Vietnamese allies forces faced a deadly enemy that not only fought on the jungle’s surface but could raise up from concealed underground bunkers and tunnels to ambush troops as well; the Viet Cong tunnel.
Travel an hour from Ho Chi Minh City, and you’ll arrive at the Cu Chi District where Communist guerrilla soldiers dug elaborate tunnels to store and transport supplies to combat American and South Vietnamese forces.
After completion, the Cu Chi tunnels stretched approximately 120 miles long, were buried 30-feet deep and helped provide the enemy cover from aerial attacks.
These tunnels were specifically designed to act as underground villages and could support months of living, making it simple for VC troops to ambush American forces and slip away nearly undetected.
The VC were masters at camouflaging the tunnel entrances and used neighboring villages to blend in with regular foot traffic to and from the tunnels.
Typically, the entrances were hidden underneath heavy cooking pots, large supplies of rice and leaves found in the jungle which made them tough to discover.
After discovering a tunnel, a detailed search began with the hopes of finding valuable intelligence, weapons, and enemy personnel who were detained for questioning.
Although considered very efficient, the tunnels also brought extreme dangers to the VC units that called it home, like flooding, disease, poor ventilation, and snake bites just to name a few.
Check out HISTORY‘s video to explore the ingenuity behind the Viet Cong’s tunnel systems that still exist today.