10 Things About Vietnam Tunnel Rats
1. Tunnel rats were American, Australian and New Zealand military soldiers who went inside Viet Cong (VC) tunnels to kill any VC inside.
2. They did underground search and destroy missions to gather any Intel, recover arms and finally demolish the tunnels by planting explosives
3. They were usually infantry and volunteers. However, Tunnel Rats from the 1st Infantry Division were combat engineers.
4. The tunnels had booby traps, pressure release bombs, punji stakes, snake traps (VC would tie a deadly bamboo pit viper which has a hemotoxin venom to ceilings, bushes so that they bite an unaware enemy in the neck, face or hands.
5. A lot of them were deaf because of the loudness of explosives and gun usage in the confined space of a tunnel.
6. It was largely believed that Tunnel Rats were usually smaller men to fit in the tunnels. Most of the men who were there from ’65 to ’67 know better.
7. Equipped with only a standard issue .45 caliber pistol and a flashlight. Troops were instructed not to fire 5-6 shots in a row as it would tell the enemy that tunnel rats were about to reload
8. The tunnels were not cut in a straight line which made shooting straight impossible and helped to deflect explosive blasts from grenades that might be thrown down.9. Originally the tunnels were started during the war against the French, but which were rapidly expanded upon when the American’s arrived.
10. Their unofficial motto was Non gratum anus rodentum” in Latin. It meant ” Not worth a rat’s Ass”. Tunnel Rats required nerves of steel.
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