5 Intense Booby Traps Encountered During Vietnam

first published on January 20, 2016 by

As if the Vietnam conflict wasn’t rough enough, here are 5 intense booby traps used by the Viet Cong in the jungles of Vietnam.

5. Two-Step Charlie.
Two-Step Vietnam

Two-Step Charlie was the nickname for several of the snakes in the jungles of Vietnam. Rumors stated that after being bit by one of these highly venomous snakes, you would die within two steps. This booby trap was an act of pure ingenuity. The Viet Cong were using every single thing they had at their disposal to inflict casualties on American forces, which included animals in their environment. They would take the snakes, and trap them in old weapons caches, to attack soldiers who might discover them. On top of this, they would often nail the snakes to doorways and trees, to strike out at passing soldiers.

4. Keepsake, Lose Hand.
Keepsake Booby

Not anything particularly uncommon, but the Viet Cong were known to booby trap items as they retreated. They would chose items that they thought servicemen would want to take with them as a keepsake, and rig it to explode when picked up. Hence the term, “Keepsake, Lose Hand.”

3. Punji Stakes
Punji Booby

The ever infamous Punji Stake is something just about everyone who has studied the Vietnam conflict has heard about. The stakes were essentially sharpened sticks of bamboo, and they would be strategically hidden within the jungle to impale servicemen on patrol. Punji traps were often hidden in pits, or rigged to tripwires. Smothered in fecal matter, they were cheap, and extremely effective if not spotted.

2. Tiger Traps, and Dead Falls
Tiger Trap Booby

This large spiked ball, suspended in the air high above, was generally rigged to a trip wire. When triggered, like a dead fall trap, it would come crashing down on top of whoever triggered it. If it connected with its target, it would both crush, and impale them.

1. Project Eldest Son
Eldest Son Booby

Not to be completely out done, America decided to start fighting fire, with fire. Project Eldest Son was a semi-covert operation where rounds of ammunition found at supply caches were heavily tampered with. The rounds would be completely disassembled, and then reassembled in a fashion that would cause them to explode when fired.

If you would like to read more about the large variety of booby traps encountered during the Vietnam conflict, you can find some information here.