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.
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.
There were still munitions on board, and it was in excellent condition.
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.
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:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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