Black Echo

Life ten feet below -- Củ Chi

American soldiers used the term "Black Echo" to describe the conditions within the tunnels

The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district about 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Southern Vietnam

A trap door on the jungle floor leads down into the Củ Chi tunnels. Closed and camouflaged, it is almost undetectable

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an elaborate underground community that run around 200 ~ 250 km (124 ~ 155 miles) of tunnels and chambers, in total length in this area alone, are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam Wars a) served as a network of underground passageways by the Viet Cong commenced in 1948 as a means of shelter from the French air attacks during the Indochina conflict, b) and were the Viet Cong's base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968, also known as the Second Indochina War, named as Resistance War Against America or simply the America War.

Journeys Ten Feet Below

Can you tell and believe that this is a highly camouflaged chimney which provides ventilation for hot flue gases and smoke from a boiler, stove!

According to the blueprint, the tunnels were built with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers, by creating a well kept about 16 m (53 feet) diameter, 0.6 m (2 feet), 3 m (9.8 feet) deep, the mouth of the adjacent eyelid. From the bottom of deep wells drilled picks used to create tunnels with 50 cm (1.6 feet) width , 80 cm (2.6 feet) height. Tunnels in the corner of the last fight, has followed from the tunnel to the other tunnel into the continuum is a very scientific calculations. So there are short cuts, with parallel sections, intersection, under the paragraph above, within crooked, winding, extending to over 100 kilometers.

The network provided vital access and strategic control over the large rural area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City; over the following two decades the tunnels became a complex underground city including supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches, defenses and living quarters. This meant despite all the relentless bombings in their town many of the local people could still continue to live underground, some even wed and gave birth underground! In its prime and at its most impressive the Củ Chi Tunnels stretched from the southern Vietnamese capital all the way to the Cambodian border to the west, usual depth is 3 meters (9.8 feet), in places was dug to three stories deep.

for more insight photos of Củ Chi below,

Day 2: AM Củ Chi, Vietnam

Improvised Traps in Vietnam War


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