Punji sticks were sharpened bamboo branches that were used by the Viet Cong. Sometimes the sticks were smeared with crap in order to spread infection throughout the wound. On the show, punji sticks were placed in a pit where a falling pig carcass fell on top of the sharpened sticks inflicting many wounds. It was also placed on a ball of mud to form a huge Morningstar. When the wire was tripped, the "mace" will fly towards the enemy and kill him. However, the Flammenwerfer 41 used by the Nazi SS was given the edge over the punji stick booby traps.


  • 3 feet
  • Poison: Human feces
  • Sharpened bamboo
  • Hidden
Vietnamese trap 1


Booby Traps accounted for 10% of US casualties in the Vietnam War, however most Booby Traps were not designed to be lethal. Instead they were to seriously injure or permanently cripple soldiers, as the VC knew that the US troops would waste time and resources carrying the injured back to a hospital and waste money trying to revive them, while a dead person would simply be buried in a grave. Also the VC knew that if Americans saw returning veterans mutilated from the war, then the war would lose popularity.

The VC also used Punji Sticks combined with barbed wire to create protective fences against enemy troops. [1]


  • Punji Sticks were also used against the Mongolian Invasions of Vietnam. They varied from normal sizes to some large enough to disable ships (these were used underwater). This helped the Vietnamese under the leadership of General Tran Hung Dao defeat the superior Mongol Army in the many attempted invasions. Tran Hung Dao would later write his military strategies down in several books, which the Viet Cong studied in the Vietnam War to fight the USA.
  • In addition to the pit and morningstar traps that were seen on the show, which were some of the most commonly used traps, the Viet Cong also used other kinds of traps.
    • The Viet Cong would make drop pits filled with Bamboo Pit Vipers inside their tunnels, so that US tunnel rats might get bitten when they were surching the tunnel systems.
    • The Swinging Man Trap: The swinging man trap was a weighted beam that was pivoted and had a pressure plate. When the pressure plate was pushed down, the spiked end would swing upwards with enough force to impale the enemy.
    • The Bamboo Whip: The 'whip' was a long and flexable bamboo pool that was fitted with sharp spikes that were a foot long, the bamboo pool would be pulled back into an arc using a catch attached to the tripwire. When the wire was tripped, the catch gave out and sent the spikes into the enemy.
    • The Tiger Trap: The tiger trap was very similer to the morningstar trap, only insted of a swinging mace the trap was a man-sized plank that was weighted with bricks and full of barbed metal spikes. When the wire was tripped, the plank would quickly fall down onto the enemies head.
  • Vlad the Impaler was known to have used traps very similer to punji sticks against the larger Ottoman army when Mehmed II attempted to invaded and conquer Wallachia.
  • The Punji Stakes are the only booby trap weapons on the show to not use any explosives.

[2] [3]