Place Asia: Vietnam
Accession Number ART41036
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 275 x 550 x 280 cm
Object type Diorama
Physical description Figures: Pewter (tin, antimony and zinc) Background: synthetic polymer paint on plywood; Modelling:synthetic polymer paint on plaster over wood and wire armature with wood, plastic tin and wire
Maker Feltham, Juanita Cecily
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Bungendore
Date made 1970 -1973
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

This diorama portrays one type of 'cordon and search' operation conducted by Australians in South Vietnamese villages. Also shown is a form of Viet Cong tunnel system often encountered by Australians. Cordon and search operations were conducted with the aim of eliminating Viet Cong influence in the villages. Before dawn, Australian troops would surround the designated village with a cordon of men. With the assistance of South Vietnamese forces, they would search the village for Viet Cong guerrillas and political leaders, arms and food caches. The entire population of the village (which, in some cases, was temporarily removed from the village) would also interrogated, a process which often led to the capture of further Viet Cong and suspected sympathisers. The Viet Cong used intricate tunnel systems to store rice, arms and ammunition and to provide secret refuges. Command posts and small hospitals were also incorporated into the systems. Entrances and exits were carefully disguised; sharpened bamboo panji stakes were some of the booby traps used to protect the tunnels.

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