Vinh Moc Tunnels – a “steel rampart” legend


Updating Date: 21/06/2021 09:25:22

(QTO) -  Among many revolutionary bases on the "fire land" of Quang Tri province, Vinh Moc village tunnel system is a symbol of indomitability  and not giving up to the invaders of our ancestors. In 1965, Vinh Moc village was completely destroyed by the devastating attack of the US air force and artillery. With the will of “ not leaving  a piece of land behind” , Vinh Linh's soldiers  and people had silently  moved their lives from the ground to the underground. After 18,000 days of hard work, the soldiers of Border Guard Station 140 together  with  Vinh Moc and Son Ha villages people had dug and delivered more than 6000m3 of soil and rock to create a huge  tunnel village system on a red basaltic hill in the south  of Vinh Moc village, adjacent  to the sea.

 

Vinh Moc Tunnels is located in Vinh Moc village, Vinh Thach commune, Vinh Linh district, Quang Tri province- Ảnh: ST

 

The entire tunnel system has a dome-shaped structure measuring 0.9m x 1.75m, 2,034m long, including many branches connected to each other through a main axis of 870m long. The tunnel has 13 doors, of which 6 were connected to the hill, 7 were facing the sea and 3 were ventilation wells. Moreover, the hatches were reinforced by wooden pillars  to prevent landslide and collapse, discreetly camouflaged, inclining to the wind to ensure a good ventilation. The ground level of Vinh Moc tunnels was  5m higher than sea level, inclined south-north and west- east direction from 8 to 12 degrees to drain away water flow  and avoid  stagnation in the tunnel, all activities  were normally conducted  underground,  even in the rainy season. Thanked to that, the clay in the tunnel became harder and made   Vinh Moc tunnesl structure remain  almost as originally as it is up to day.

 

This was  not only a  simply battle tunnel village like other public works, but it was also an underground living space for soldiers and local people as well . They  had turned the ground into a solid fortress with three interconnected floors. The first floor was 8-10m deep, used for fighting and hiding. The second floor, was 12 to 15 m deep , used for people living . The third  floor was more than 23m deep, used for keeping  food and weapons for Con Co island as well as for fighting of  the Vinh Moc soldiers and people. It was being said that Vinh Moc tunnels was  an entire underground village with several works like  water wells, rice storage, Hoang Cam kitchen, guard station, telephone station, clinic,  operation  room, maternity house, bathroom, etc. Especially, along both sides of the tunnel, there was a number of small cells, 0,8 m wide and 1,8 m deep carved into the soil to serve a living space for families with 3-4 persons. In the tunnels,  there was  also a hall used for  meeting, art  performances and, movies  with a 50 persons size capacity.

 

With such  great historical values, in 1976, the Ministry of Culture and Information (presently  the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) had exceptionally  recognized the Vinh Moc tunnels as a national level historical and cultural relic. In 2014, Vinh Moc Tunnels  continued to be recognized as a special national relic. This is one of the attractive sites of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) tourist program  and attracts many travelers to visit. The Vinh Moc Tunnels relic also has its museum on the site, which displays war remains , especially a painting  with a famous phrase “To Be Or Not To Be”.

 

ST

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