RARA-AVIS: Cu Chi - tunnel rats

From: E.Borgers ( wbac12034@tiscali.be)
Date: 21 Feb 2005

These are the Cu Chi tunnels, near Saigon.

There was an extraordinary account of this war episode, told by two BBC investigation reporters Tom Mangold and John Penycate. Tough, hair raising, gripping and close to nihilistic by certain aspects... Titled
"The tunnels of Cu Chi " (1985), I read it years ago but I still remember the chilling effect of the simple facts. And it collected testimony from both sides including Viet Cong veterans who lived and fought in the tunnels Curio: American fighters had to be of the short type to volunteer as tunnel rats. Few years back there was a film planned, based on the book, but the greasy famous hollywood star ( forgot his name) declined to be the hero as there where no very good opportunity to "shot" good photography of himself in these grim tunnels! If height matters, Tom Cruise will fit the bill for a future film project! (unless declared too small...)

The tunnels became a tourist attraction the year of my second visit to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh Ville), mainly because of the wide infrastructures implanted in these tunnels by the Viet Cong (living quarters, hospital, workshops...). I did not see the filmed documentary mentioned by Michael.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384

Michael Etchison

>The History Channel has an hour today on the tunnel rats, 6-7pm
Central. (I
>don;t suppose Michael Connelly is mentioned.)
>Tune In:
>Sunday, February 20 @ 7pm ET/PT
> < http://www.historychannel.com/global/listings/images/spacer.gif>
>Here is the heroic story of an intrepid band of infantry soldiers, the
>"Tunnel Rats", charged with a daring mission--to search for, find, and
>destroy a secret subterranean network of enemy tunnels in Vietnam. Armed
>with only a flashlight, valor, and a .45, they faced a determined
foe and
>overcame lethal odds, uncovering secret enemy arms and intelligence
>Tragically, many of these volunteers died and others were seriously
>on this terrifying suicide mission.

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