Fortifications and Traps




 
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June 13th, 2005  
ozmilman
 

Topic: Fortifications and Traps


Does anyone know where i can get information and more importantly pictures of Vietnam war fortifications, like how things were built like bunkers, trenches, pillboxes etc... Info on modern field fortificationswould also be cool if that could be found...

Also, i'd like to know how the VC made their booby traps, like what the traps were and how they worked - especially punji traps.

I'm not really up on the history lesson of the veitnam war, i read enough of that already, i'm just intrigued by the fortifications and traps of the war - it was all basic, but it all worked so well.

Rich.
June 13th, 2005  
PershingOfLSU
 
A punji trap is simple. You dig a pit, put some sharpened stakes in it and then cover the pit.

Another simple trap was to use a trip wire hooked up to an artillery shell. You trip the wire and a 105mm howitzer shell goes off a couple feet from you.

Vietnam wasn't exactly a war with a great deal of fortification. The Vietnamese would hand dig tunnels. It's not that hard to figure out how a tunnel system works. In some cases entire villages could live in an elaborate system of tunnels.

American fortifications were almost entirely meant to be temporary as part of the fire base concept. Of course the fire bases ended up not being temporary. But imagine a cleared out area of land with a base in the center. Around the outskirts you would have temporary defenses; sandbags, barbed wire, machine gun nests, possibly mines. But none of the elaborate defenses that you saw in the First and Second World Wars.

This site has a picture of a firebase: http://firebaseeagle.org/doc/p2.html
Also: http://www.landscaper.net/images/FB6.jpg

Edited in: I didn't mean you would set off the artillery shell with just a tripwire. I honestly can't think of a way to trip the firing pin with just a tripwire Lastly: Listen to anything Dtop says over anything I say.
June 13th, 2005  
DTop
 
 

Topic: Re: Fortifications and Traps


Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmilman
Does anyone know where i can get information and more importantly pictures of Vietnam war fortifications, like how things were built like bunkers, trenches, pillboxes etc... Info on modern field fortificationswould also be cool if that could be found...

Also, i'd like to know how the VC made their booby traps, like what the traps were and how they worked - especially punji traps.

I'm not really up on the history lesson of the veitnam war, i read enough of that already, i'm just intrigued by the fortifications and traps of the war - it was all basic, but it all worked so well.

Rich.
Pillboxes? Wrong war my friend, never saw a pillbox in all the time I was there. Those booby traps were not "all basic".
Oh Pershing, I'd hate to have you laying booby traps for me. I'd like to see you detonate any artillery or mortar round with just a trip wire. You could get away with a hand grenade and trip wire though.
You would have had to have been really good at covering and placement of that punji pit for it to have any effect at all. We were pretty good at finding them.
As I said many booby traps were surprisingly ingenious. I'm not going to give a how to class on booby traps on this forum however.
American firebases were meant to be mobile. Their purpose was to provide indirect fire support for the infantry. They were set up in such a way that the infantry would never be out of range of artillery or mortar support. At the same time, fire bases supported each other when needed. Fire bases were constantly moved as the infantry moved. The fact is they would use us (air assault infantry troops) to set up new fire bases. They take us to a hilltop by chopper and we'd have to fight our way down. Once the hilltop was reasonably secured, the other troops would be brought in such as engineers with bulldozers, mortars, howitzers, etc. Once that was done we'd be tasked with patrolling the perimeter and looking for the bad guys.
OK, back on topic. Why do you need to know about booby traps?
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June 13th, 2005  
ozmilman
 
Sorry mate, don't know what i was thinking saying pillboxes - i was thinking more along the lines of the machine gun nests and that kinda stuff.

About the booby traps - i've always been useless at figuring out how things work, so whenever i get the URGE to know about things i just need to ask someone about them. I've got a real respect for hunters who know their bushcraft and set traps and stuff, and then i started reading a little on the Vietnam war and read about all these traps and stuff that used to blow up, or something that a soldier would step on and it would shoot a bullet up through his foot.

I just find anything to do with traps really fascinating, well really anything to do with survival and hunting fascinates me.

Rich.