To sustain the war effort of the Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) in South Vietnam, supply lines were set up through the mountainous dense jungle along the borders with Laos and Cambodia. The Ho Chi Minh trail followed existing paths hidden beneath the jungle canopies and was maintained by the 599th Transportation Group of the PAVN. The trail soon became a vital lifeline for the forces fighting against the Americans and South Vietnamese, and developed over the years with large portions being covered by asphalt which could withstand the destructive rains of the monsoon season. In Cambodia, which had managed to stay neutral since the end of the First Indochina War, Prince Sihanouk began to fear that the expansion of communism to his country was inevitable. To gain favour, he allowed the construction of the Sihanouk Trail along the border with Vietnam, with supplies being brought in via ship from the north.
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