Video of Booby Traps Used by Viet Cong in Vietnam War Horrifies Internet

A video showcasing some of the booby traps used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War has surfaced on social media, and viewers have reacted to it with a mix of shock and horror.

The footage was first posted to TikTok by thao50211, where it garnered over 2.7 million views. It has since been reposted to Reddit by aloanhbinhgold where it has earned more than 103,000 upvotes. The video can be viewed here.

In the clip, which appears to have been filmed at a museum or exhibit focused on the Vietnam War, a tour guide takes viewers through a selection of the traps purportedly used in the conflict.

It makes for a difficult watch, with the guide showing off a selection of contraptions designed to maim and kill American GIs during the war, which ran from November 1955 to April 1975.

The video showcases hidden trap doors, revolving spikes and other improvised weaponry that proved a crucial component of the Viet Cong's guerrilla tactics against the superior firepower of the U.S. military.

Accustomed to their homeland's dense jungle surroundings, the idea was to create hidden traps in the undergrowth that effectively hindered GIs' ability to pursue the Viet Cong's retreating forces.

According to History Hit many of the traps were "designed to maim instead of kill" and had a two-pronged effect.

"Not only did this mean other soldiers were required to remove their wounded colleagues which hampered operations, but it also meant the traps were a psychological weapon as word about them spread," they explained.

It's estimated that as many as 11 percent of deaths and 15 percent of wounds to U.S. soldiers during the conflict were a result of the kind of booby traps and landmines showcased in the clip.

The clip drew shocked reactions on Reddit with Mandascuck branding the traps "resourcefully brutal" and LoneWolf_855 agreeing they were "horrifying."

For users like Salt-Birthday-5527 imagining what the American GIs' fighting in the conflict must have gone through was almost too much to bear.

"The boys went in thinking they were saviors to the local people," they wrote. "This is dark age brutality. The boys went through hell."

One user, posting as Leelee1976, claimed his father fought in Vietnam and told him "they refused to find out the new recruits name until they had been in the unit for more than 90 days" on account of the number of new recruits who would be killed within that time.

Another, posting as Vegetablelasagnaaaa added that many of the spikes used in these traps "were covered in excrement" in order to "heed infection."

According to U.S. Wings, young recruits did indeed make up the majority of U.S. casualties with some 61% younger than 21 years old when they died. The average age of the men killed during the conflict was also 23.1 years.

History Collection also confirms the claims that spikes were often contaminated to encourage infection.

They say the Viet Cong "made punji stakes out of heated and sharpened wood or bamboo" and would often "smear the tip of the stakes with urine, feces, poison, or other contaminants to infect the wound when it penetrated the skin."

Newsweek has contacted thao50211 for comment.

Last month a woman hit the headlines after discovering a wallet filled with teeth and World War II-era currency. In October 2021, a Nazi-era machine gun was also found at the bottom of a river.

Underground trap used during Vietnam war.
Underground trap used during Vietnam war in Chu Chu Tunnel - a video showcasing some of the booby traps used by the Viet Cong has sparked discussion on TikTok and Reddit. vasare/Getty

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