Vietnamese Woman Soldier Hurls Wooden Hand Grenade
Photo copyright unknown.
These photos show more Vietnamese ingenuity on the battlefield.
To conserve live ammunition, and so they could keep their presence quiet in the jungle, both the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong trained with wooden hand grenades, in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The below wooden grenades were captured at a Viet Cong camp in Cambodia, in a haul which also included an enormous amount of real weaponry.
The Viet Cong also made grenades out of discarded US C-ration tins, Coke cans and anything else they could lay their hands on.
There was a high percentage of duds in these grenades, which is understandable if you think they were home-made out of scraps of metal, often using explosives from US-fired ordnance which had failed to explode and which the North Vietnamese cut open and reused.
It seems interesting to reflect that the US were developing ever-more sophisticated weapons in Vietnam, while the North Vietnamese were travelling in the opposite direction, but with an ultimately victorious result.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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