|Stronger united: Soldiers push a truck stuck in the mud on the trail. |Viet Nam News
Named after the country’s first president and designed by military genius Gen. Võ Nguyễn Giáp, the Hồ Chí Minh Trail ran over 20,000km through Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia. During the American War in Việt Nam, the trail, despite heavy bombardment and even the use of chemical weapons by the Americans, never ceased to function as a crucial lifeline that connected the country’s North and South.
Everyday, supplies and soldiers were sent down the trail. The several-months long journey was perilous, due to American bombers’ constant raids, minefields, electronic fences, tropical diseases and poisonous insects. Soldiers considered it a test of resolve, one to help them get ready for the long fight ahead to win their people’s independence and unite their country.
The soldiers were not alone on the trail. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers took part in building and repairing the trail. Thousands of them never made it back home, and far many more were seriously injured during their years of service. They were the force behind the trail, which was said to be unstoppable and regarded as a symbol of the Vietnamese people indomitable spirit. They were the trail. — VNS
|Man and machine: Sappers carry logs to help a tank get out of a crater. |
|Sacred safety: Soldiers cook rice at a rest stop. Fierce fighting and constant threats from American bombers made every life moment invaluable to Vietnamese soldiers. |
|The greatest sacrifice: Female volunteers work on a bomb crater at the Đồng Lộc Junction in Hà Tĩnh Province, one of the most heavily bombarded site on the trail.Only a few of them survived the war. |
|The long road: Supply trucks slowly make their way through hundreds of bomb craters.|
|Platonic friendship: Soldiers reach the exit of a cave along the Hồ Chí Minh Trial. — VNA/VNS Photos|