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The Tunnels of Cu Chi

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Tristan Alphey

on 22 June 2013

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Transcript of The Tunnels of Cu Chi

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To a lesser extent
To what extent where the tunnels of Cu Chi used primarily for
the protection of its guerrilla soldiers?
The Viet Cong could not afford to remain hidden for an extend amount of time as their tactics demanded the continuous harassment of American forces.

The Viet Cong could not afford to sit by and wait for the Americans to take objectives
Map of the layout
“Tunnels will turn hamlets into fortresses” -Communist info booklet
“As mere shelters, their great advantages are wasted”
–Communist info booklet
“Their sheltering purpose is only significant when they serve our soldiers in combat activities”
- Communist info booklet
The tunnels provided a technique for holding areas of land without the large number of men that were traditionally needed.
Defensive positions
Defence: The active attempt to resist the endeavors of another

Protection: The passive use of a location to stop the loss of life/ belongings
Defensive positions
The tunnels provided the opportunity for the Viet Cong to bog down a large number of soldiers with very few of their own. An ambush provided the perfect way to combat the American’s numerical and technological advantages.
The tunnels were a key military network: with a multitude of applications:
Firing points
Quick escapes
Luring America soldiers into ambushes
Military uses
Several bunkers that were built into the tunnels had roofs made of pilled trees and compact earth to stop the impact of American shells and bombs.
Bomb shelters
Living areas
Munitions factories
Storage facilities
Protection uses
Were the tunnels dug as a protection method to hide the soldiers or as a military set-up?
The Viet Cong were forced to adapt a revolutionary form of guerrilla warfare and dig the tunnels into the earth to combat the superior American forces.
“Unlike the main troops, who saw themselves as professional soldiers, local Vietcong groups tended to be far less confident. For the most part, recruits were young teenagers”
The Viet Cong new their way around the area
Their Guerrilla tactics worked exceptionally well.
Advantages of the Viet Cong
The Cu Chi tunnels were a set of interconnecting tunnels (250km worth) , dug by hand that ran the length of the Cu Chi district.
Tristan Alphey
To what extent where the tunnels of Cu Chi used primarily for
the protection of its guerrilla soldiers?

Vietnam War: 1st of November 1955 – 30th April 1975
The journey
I chose the topic of the tunnels as I wanted to do my HPQ project on some aspect of military history ( a particular interest of mine), but one I had no prior knowledge in.
I examined a collection of sources, including various eye witness reports from both the Viet Cong and the Americans, along with several documentaries and article. "The tunnels of Cu Chi" by Tom Mangold and John Penycate was also a valuable source.
Throughout the process I have learnt the importance of note taking. The HPQ required every piece information that was learnt to be recorded for further use; I believe the project has extended my ability in this area.
Although the tunnels served minor purposes in terms of protection (including the protective capacity of storage), the main purpose of the tunnels was to aid the Viet Cong in combat operations against the Americans.
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