Join us for a journey through the history of Vietnam conflicts.


The DMZ tour from Hue.

The Demilitarized Zone ( DMZ ) of Vietnam.
dmz vietnam
The DMZ Vietnam in 1954

The Vietnam War had its origins in the broader Indochina War since 1941, when Ho Chi Minh - a nationalist founding Viet Minh Front inspired by Chinese and Soviet Union, fought the colonial rule first of Japan and then of France. The French Indochina War broke out in 1946 when the French re-establishedand the colonial rule in Indochina, and went on for eight years, with France’s war effort largely funded and supplied by the United State. Finally, with their shattering defeat by the Viet Minh at the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954, marking the end of the French colonial rule in Indochina. The battle prodded negotiators at the Geneva Conference to produce the final Geneva Accords in July 1954. The accords established the 17th parallel as a temporary demarcation line separating the military forces of the French and the Viet Minh. The North of the
ben hai river
The DMZ Vietnam today
line was North Vietnam under the control of Worker's Party, led by Ho Chi Minh, which had beaten the French at Dien Bien Phu. In the South the French transferred most of their authority to the State of Vietnam, which had its capital at Sai Gon and was nominally under the authority of the former Vietnamese emperor, Bao Dai. Within 300 days of the signing of the accords, a demilitarized zone, or DMZ, was to be created on the either side of Ben Hai River in Quang Tri province, by mutual withdrawal of forces north and south of the 17th parallel, and the transfer of any civilians who wished to leave either side was to be completed. Nationwide elections to decide the future of Vietnam, North and South, were to be held in 1956. Ngo Dinh Diem - the newly installed premier of South Vietnam, thus faced opposition not only from the communist regime in the North but also from the Viet Minh’s stay-behind political agents, armed religious sects in the South.
By late 1955, Diem had consolidated his power in the South, defeating the remaining sect forces and arresting communist operatives who had surfaced in considerable numbers to prepare for the anticipated elections. Publicly opposed to the elections, Diem called for a referendum only in the South, and in October 1955 he declared himself president of the Republic of Vietnam. After all that happened, Vietnam found itself divided into two states along the DMZ at the 17th parallel.
When the VietNam War broke out in late 1964, 
North Vietnamese Army began sending men and supplies across the virtually undefended demilitarized zone (DMZ) into South Vietnam. This vast network of trails running from Hanoi to Saigon was being improved to the point it could handle convoys of large vehicles and was capable of funneling more than 1,000 tons of supplies a day to the south. One of the main orders of business for the U. S. military was to stop this flow of resources. To do this required abandoning the previous posture of being a defensive element and moving to the offence. Nowhere was the need for this new strategy more evident than along the border separating the North from the South. Johnson's Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara came up with his ambitious plan to create a barrier of both muscle and high technology to block the enemy's movement across the border. This plan involved creating The Trace, an area cleared of vegetation several hundred meters wide along the southern edge of the DMZ. American planes would also drop hundreds of thousands of listening and sniffing devices designed to detect any movement or troop build up in the area. And the DMZ area would become a free fire zone where anyone found was considered to be enemy. The civilian population was removed out of the southern half of the DMZ where the US could freely open fire and drop bombs on any target which moved. 
Of course, to properly patrol this "McNamara Line" required more troops to seek out and destroy the enemy that was able to get across the line. The 3rd Marine Division was given the primary responsibly of keeping the NVA troops out of the DMZ and built a series of military instalions along south of the DMZ to prevent the enemy troops infiltration and interdict the supplies across the DMZ.

The DMZ tour from Hue.