By Gordon L. Rottman
Box fortifications and tunnel platforms are usually considered shielding and energetic protecting measures, however the VC/NVA additionally hired them offensively. It was once universal for huge box works to be built to help attacks and sieges on US fire-support bases and distant camps. Their strategies mirrored makes an attempt to counter the large firepower they confronted: whilst without delay attractive the enemy they hired “hugging” strategies (moving in and final heavily engaged, even intermingling devices, to avoid the enemy from bringing his artillery and shut air aid to bear). Their box works integrated defended villages, base camps, fortified complexes, hilltop defenses, trench structures, person battling positions, crew-served weapon positions, bunkers, caches, and wide tunnel structures. Camouflage and misleading measures, and the employment of hindrances and booby traps went hand-in-hand with such box works. This booklet examines those special fortifications.
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Additional resources for Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War
With each 8 These were defected VC who were validated and accepted as Hoi Chanhs (ralliers) under the Chieu Hoi (open arms) Program implemented by the RVN Government in 1963. They were attached to US units and were invaluable as scouts, for locating booby traps and tunnels, communicating with civilians, and the like. The camouflage and trapdoor having been removed, a tunnel rat examines the entry shaft for booby traps before descending. He carries the two most important items of equipment for a tunnel rat: a Colt AS-cal M191 IA I pistol and a TL122D flashlight.
Although a unit would fight from a base camp, it would not fight to keep control of it: the camps were not tactically important and the goal was to avoid fighting the enemy when he had the advantage. They were often placed in terrain where there was only one or two suitable approach routes for large units and defenses and booby traps would be concentrated there. In some areas it was possible to assess where camps might be located. The 1st Brigade, 101 st Airborne Division, for example, studied known camps for common positioning factors.
The hills, ridges, and gorges around Khe Sanh were saturated by fighterbombers and B-52 "Arc Light" strikes. Thirty-five B-52 sorties delivered over 1,000 tons of bombs every 24 hours, with cells of three bombers arriving every one to three hours. , 105mm, 155mm and 175mm rounds plus fifty-six 500 lb. bombs into small areas. The targets were detected by ground and aerial observation, patrols, and various sensors. The NVA at Khe Sanh employed kilometers of winding assault trenches, sneaking toward the base mainly from the east and southeast.
Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War by Gordon L. Rottman