Paperback Writer


Right, I know what your going to say. I visited in Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh and 5th Military museum. Another museum Wardy, ffs!!!

But no, while this was, it was totally different and fascinating. I could not help thinking as I was wandering around, that my work buddy and silent taxi Mr Gordon Hendry, who will be out and about tomorrow celebrating National Vinyl Day, would love what was on show.

It’s round the back of my gaff, so a 5 minute walk, a nice local coffee and i’m in, or not as the case was. I walked to a main entry, a chap shouted halt? Marched, two paces to the side, then marched 5 steps right up to me, arms swinging and me thinking oh no. He stops right in front of me, slamming his boots down all official like, another is watching. ‘So sorry’ he says, just round the corner, phew.

I nip in and I’m sat down, I pay 60,000vnd (£2) and given an Invoice, a map and shown on the map where I have to go, which was useless, cos I got lost a number of times, as I noted in my last post. I’m keen tho, despite the negative reviews on trip advisor. I dinny read the reviews, but instead look at the pictures, maybe that is why I did not do well at school? I liked the pictures by the way.

There are signs that tell you where to start and you follow a route. Why? It tells a story that’s why. First of all, we have the pristine conditioned French and American hardware captured during the wars, including a doozy fighter, M1 Tank and a big ole red tractor. The tour starts with old battles from the North and moves onto the colonial battles with the French (1946-54) and some of basic weaponry they used like crossbows, but also the traps they set, with bamboo and spikes, designed to mame and incapacitate.

What intrigues me is they have journals of the soldiers, kept at the time and while their cased, their unique, as are the clothes they wore and the trinkets the guerrilla’s kept to remind them of loved ones. I move into the Vietnam war section which has some of the seen before stuff, agent orange things, but a whole lot more.

The first thing I come cross are in a picture frame is bomb and bullet fragments, pulled out the wounded bodies by doctors operating, showing where it was taken from. while there is the usual stories, weapons and the likes, War is not just Good v Evil, that battalion v another, but also the non fighting, support side of the war. How did the Vietnamese get cereal to the frontline? cook food, get fresh water and communicate? What did they do to unwind and at times where there was no action?

There are a couple of bikes, used to get weapons through basic dirt tracks to the front line. Films to watch movies, a printing press to produce inspiring leaflets on the war and musical instruments, used to entertain the troops. I got some good snaps of some of the booklets, leaflets they had at the time and they are well preserved with illustrations to boot and buttons, buttons about the war, peace and the likes – doozy!

Not all the bikes were to get supplies thru, one tells about 8 kilos of explosives (C4) that hit an arms depot and there are a pair of slippers there, worn by a female special task force member who detonated an American fuel depot in 1972 by smuggling dynamite powder in her slippers.

Enjoy the photo’s – Cheerie





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