Vietnam War Tank discovered on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

Vietnam War Tank discovered on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

Above Photo: Chinese tank unearthed by roadworks along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos

A while back, some road upgrading works in Attapeu Province in Laos were being carried out in an area that used to form part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War.

The North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong used the Ho Chi Minh Trail to move men, weapons and supplies from North Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia, into South Vietnam, often under the cover of dense, triple-canopy jungle, which mostly hid the Trail from US bombing.

Vietnam war secret war in laos POWs MIAs wartime mysteries and jungle war secrets Vietnam and laos POWs left behind mystery backpackers disappear in Asian jungle Chinese tank on ho chi minh trail Vietnam war relics

The driver’s seat. The glass  prisms allowed the driver to see while the hatch was shut.

One of the road-building crews unearthed this tank, which may have been bombed off part of the Trail as it snaked its way along a mountain, and it had lain buried ever since.

Chinese lettering on the tank's engine. Vietnam war secret war in laos POWs MIAs wartime mysteries and jungle war secrets Vietnam and laos POWs left behind mystery backpackers disappear in Asian jungle Chinese tank on ho chi minh trail Vietnam war relics

Note the Chinese lettering on the tank’s tanks.

There were still munitions on board, and it was in excellent condition.

Racks for storing tank rounds UXO Vietnam war secret war in laos POWs MIAs wartime mysteries and jungle war secrets Vietnam and laos POWs left behind mystery backpackers disappear in Asian jungle Chinese tank on ho chi minh trail Vietnam war relics

Racks for storing tank rounds (when the tank was unearthed there were still munitions in it)

UXO Lao’s Attapeu office were called out to deal with the unexploded ordnance and to pose for souvenir photographs into the bargain.

I never cease to be amazed at how hard the UXO and mine-clearing teams work in Laos when I go into the field with them, usually in dense jungle and along rivers that once comprised part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Going out with them in the remote tri-border area, where Laos meets Cambodia and Vietnam, gave me much inspiration for my novel, Back, which catapults events along the Trail in 1968 into a modern-day setting, as backpackers enter the dark, war-ravaged tri-border jungle in Laos.

And that’s why I like stories like this, as they bring events from those times into the present day, along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, where the legacy of the Vietnam War is far from over.

UXO Lao from Attapeu defuse UXO Vietnam war secret war in laos POWs MIAs wartime mysteries and jungle war secrets Vietnam and laos POWs left behind mystery backpackers disappear in Asian jungle Chinese tank on ho chi minh trail Vietnam war relics

Smile – UXO Lao from Attapeu arrive to defuse the ordnance

See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:

Approximate area of Attapeu Province, in red cicrle

Approximate area of Attapeu Province, in red cicrle

© Peter Alan Lloyd

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

 

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2 Comments

  1. Colin H

    Peter – great photos, an interesting article and an excellent website.

    Is your book printed in hard copy or only as an e-book?

    Reply
    • Peter Alan Lloyd

      Thanks for your kind comments.

      I am pleased to see how popular the stories and photos have been so far.

      Yes – the book is available on Amazon and Smashwords, not hard copy – and the background on my site will take you to the Yahoo page if you click it!

      Best wishes,

      Peter Lloyd.

      Reply

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