An exhibition of 716 weapons made by Vietnamese soldiers and citizens and dating back to 1930 will be exhibited at the Vietnam Military History Museum.

The expo will include a variety of firearms and explosives of varying designs, features and size which helped to win victories over France and the US and liberate the country.

Each displayed weapon is illustrated with supplemental materials, eye-witness accounts and instructions for use.

The 50,000 weapon exhibits were each homemade, and will be shown in a 1,000 square meter space, Major-General Le Ma Luong, museum director, told Vietnam News.

The museum is cooperating with local museums to display the items once the current expo is finished.

It, "also plans to work with museums in Austria, Belgium and Germany to exhibit the items abroad with the aim of introducing and popularising modest weapons, the strong will, creativeness, intelligence and self-reliance of the Vietnamese people and its army," he said.

The expo gives an unique insight into Vietnam's history as a small, poor country which has had to deal with enemies whose economic and military potential were much more powerful.

The creation, production and usage of home-made, primitive weapons is part of the unique military-cultural heritage of Vietnam.

The people and army contrived primitive weapons from readily available materials from all over the country, such as: bamboo, wood, stone, steel, and poisonous leaves.

They also ingeniously created explosive mines, bombs, and ammunition from equipment that was captured from the enemy. Though primitive, their designs were powerful enough to destroy enemy tanks, armoured vehicles and checkpoints.

Unique items include guerrilla Nguyen Thi Chien's shoulder pole. Chien was famous for the legendary courage she displayed when fighting foreign enemies.

Another exhibit describes special traps made by Doan Van Chia, who kept bees and trained them to sting American soldiers. When they were stung, they would fall down Chia's other traps.

All 716 items displayed at the exhibition will be documented in a book set to be released in December.

The exhibition will remain open until the end of this year.

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