July 1974: Ngô Viễn Chí Battles “Fierce” Water to Deliver Supplies

In July 1974, artist Ngô Viễn Chí was stationed with Đ814 Unit. The unit was a combination of Unit 81 and Unit 84, and served as the Rear Service for troops fighting on the front line.

Ammunition, medicine, rice and military equipment was brought by road and then ferried on the river to Unit Đ814. Wounded soldiers were taken from Đ814 to hospitals like “K50” on the return trip.

Ngô Viễn Chí, July 1974. “Vận chuyển hàng hoá vào chiến khu; Ý chí mạnh hơn thác dữ; Đ814 (Transporting supplies to amilitary zone; Will is more stronger than fierce falls; Đ814).” Watercolour and pencil on paper.

Transporting goods, supplies and troops successfully during the Second Indochina War proved to be a major factor for the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the National Liberation Front (NLF). Without the use of substantial air force resources, PAVN troops needed to utilise land routes to move the length of the country. They largely used the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Artists regularly encamped themselves with transport units, like Bùi Quang Ánh travelling along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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