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Tham Piew
secret war

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Tham Piew Cave

Tham Piew Cave
Caution this may distress some people.

During the "Secret War", the US essentially declared the east of Laos as a "free fire zone", bombing all the buildings and attacking any people spotted. I should add that this area was under the control of the Pathet Lao, who eventually won power in Laos. Many people became refugees in the west of the country, but some villagers stayed, living in caves by day and tending their rice fields at night.

The Tham Piew cave was such a refuge, until 24 November 1968 when it was attacked by three fighter aircraft. The bombs from the first two cleared the jungle from in front of the cave, the third sent its bomb load into the cave, incinerating all 374 of the villagers inside. Only one was outside at a safe distance to witness the atrocity and give a report. The cave is now a national memorial and the date is a national Lao Day of Remembrance.

PiP1 - the statue of a soldier, holding a dead child, near the entrance area
PiP2 - the view from the cave, looking in the direction from which the bombers came
PiP3 - the blackened rocks at the cave entry, with little memorials to the people lost
PiP4 - the stairway down from the cave, on the walkway built since the event.

Erhard Bernstein, Christel Ehretsmann, Jörg, Ruebenkraut and 28 other people have particularly liked this photo

20 comments - The latest ones
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
An excellent set of images and a sad story of atrocities, so many innocent people wiped out for a political idyll.
16 months ago.
©UdoSm club
A very impressive series...
I could add a few more things to my opinion on the Amis, but I leave it here...
16 months ago. Edited 16 months ago.
 Rosalyn Hilborne
Rosalyn Hilborne club
A very good series and information George. Such dreadful times of war. I used to dread opening the paper, as they often printed very graphic pictures. Atrocities still go on. I don't understand how anyone could be cruel to another human, or animal come to that.
16 months ago.
Rosalyn has expressed my feelings. It's such a beautiful place. So green and lush. To think of such horrors happening and probably in cold blood. A political act. I wonder what the aircrews felt.
16 months ago.
RHH club
Great information and great photos, George.
16 months ago.
RHH club
Have a good day, George. We are on our way to the Olympic Peninsula.
16 months ago.
 Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda club
Luxuriante végétation verdoyante..!
Les notes sont formidables et merci pour toutes ces informations.
Bonne journee.
16 months ago.
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Excellent series and info! Stay well!

Admired in:
16 months ago.
 Rainer Blankermann
Rainer Blankermann club
A sad story. But a great photographic work. Thanks for the photo and the explanatory text, George.
Have a good week.
16 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
Wild and beautiful ! An impressive place, George ! With a scary history ! Thanks for explaining !
16 months ago. Edited 16 months ago.
Nouchetdu38 club
This statue in the middle of this superb tropical jungle: a remarkable photo********
16 months ago.
Léopold club
I was shocked to know that Laos was bombed during 9 years several times a day on a regular basis. I learned this from a Laos travel guide speaking fluently french when I was In Phnosavan in 2019.
16 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club
16 months ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
GREEN as green can be; nice series George.
16 months ago.
Annemarie club
wonderful this
16 months ago.
 Marie-claire Gallet
Marie-claire Gallet club
MARVELOUS, George *************************
16 months ago.
 Herb Riddle
Herb Riddle club
A poynient story George. A well documented series of images for sure -well worth remembering.

Regards, Herb
16 months ago.
 Amelia Heath
Amelia Heath club
A beautiful and lush area, yet. the PiPs tell of its tragic past. Thank you, George, for the history. .
16 months ago.
 Fred Fouarge
Fred Fouarge club
de echte jungle
16 months ago.
 Christel Ehretsmann
Christel Ehretsmann club
great series of photos...
how green !
16 months ago.

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