Braving Vietnam’s Roads

John Teasdale reports on the dangers the US Marines faced when travelling on land

When thinking of the Vietnam War, images of fleets of helicopters flying over the jungle spring readily to mind. Certainly, helicopters were a vital tool of the US military in taking the war to the enemy. However, the bulk of the heavy transport during the war was done by trucks.

Although helicopter-borne troops kept major units of the People’s Army of Vietnam at bay (for most of the time), trucks forming convoys throughout much of South Vietnam were always vulnerable to attack by relatively small parties of Viet Cong guerrillas. Convoys were protected wherever possible by armoured vehicles operated by such as the 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment and Military Police units. However, it is the trucks that we shall look at here. The bulk of these comprised two and half ton M35 series and five ton M54 series 6x6 cargo trucks.

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