Elucidate the significance of Ho Chi Minh’s trail in the Vietnamese war

The story of the Ho Chi Minh trail is one way of understanding the nature of the war that the Vietnamese fought against the US. It symbolised how the Vietnamese used their limited resources to great advantage.

  • The trail, an immense network of footpaths and roads, was used to transport men and materials from the north to the south during Vietnamese war. From 1967 about 20,000 North Vietnamese troops came south each month on this trail which had support bases and hospitals along the way.
  • In some parts supplies were transported in trucks, but mostly they were carried by porters, who were mainly women. These porters carried about 25 kilos on their backs, or about 70 kilos on their bicycles.
  • Most of the trail was outside Vietnam in neighbouring Laos and Cambodia with branch lines extending into South Vietnam.
  • The US regularly bombed this trail trying to disrupt supplies, but efforts to destroy this important supply line by intensive bombing failed because they were rebuilt very quickly.