For my research of the Vietnam era I chose the the topic of The Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a vast system of roads that stretched from North Vietnam down to South Vietnam (9,940 miles). The purpose of the trail was to help transport resources and supplies to the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army. The trail consisted of paths and waterways used for trucks, bicycles and travel by foot. The name Ho Chi Minh came from a North Vietnamese leader who helped form The Democratic Republic of Vietnam just 9 years before the war. It's said to take 6 months to hike the trail by foot but many died from bombings, gunfire and nearly 10% from disease such as malaria. Many camps were along the trail to help treat for injury and illness but hidden underground. Tunnels built by North Vietnamese soldiers would hold thousands of troopers along with food, medical kits, weapons and most deadly communication. The north would send as many as 20,000 soldiers a month but the U.S could not stop because the tunnels and parts of the trail would travel through countries officially stated neutral. Hundreds of tons of war supplies was being moved south through the trail but on November 11, 1968 Operation Commando Hunt was sent into affect by the U.S and allies. At the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs were dropped on the country of Laos which held many of the tunnels that aided in war supplies transportation. This operation slowed down supplies and resource transportation but didn't officially end until 1954. Many people view the Ho Chi Minh Trail as being strictly war related but many civilians used its waterways and trails as a way of life. People even say that hiking the trail symbolized aspirations of a generation.
|This is an image to show the vast area of the trail.|