The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a set of roads built from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. Construction of the trail began on May 9, 1959 which happened to be Ho Chi Minh's birthday. Within Vietnam the Ho Chi Minh Trial is called Duong Truong Son or Truong Son Road. These roads also went through Laos and Cambodia. These roads were created to in order to provide logistical support to the North Vietnamese Army. It was a combination of truck routes and paths for bikers and foot travelers. The trail was 9,940 miles of tracks, waterways and roads. If a soldier had to walk down this trail, it would take them nearly 6 months to reach South Vietnam. As time went on the trail was improved and the journey down the trail was reduced to 6 weeks.
For 16 years these series of trails carried more than a million Vietnamese soldiers, and a large amount of supplies to South Vietnam. The trail was also known as the "the blood road" because of all the deaths due to American air strikes and illnesses such a malaria. 10 percent of the casualties along this trail were caused by illness. Along the trail there were base camps set up providing a place for sick or injured soldiers to rest.
Underneath the trail were hand made tunnels which hid thousands Vietnamese soldiers from American soldiers. These underground tunnels had radio facilities, food, medical facilities and barracks.
On November 11, 1968 operation commando was initiated by the US. By the end of the operation nearly 3 million tons of bombs were dropped. This slowed down the use of the trail, but it did not completely disrupt trail operations.