This article aims to comprehend the physical suffering that occurs when bodies face the experiences of war and death, or the "decay of bodies," as we call it, in particular on the Hồ Chíí Minh Trail. The study focuses on a specific group of so-called wartime volunteers, the Youth Shock Brigades [Thanh Niêên Xung Phong], established in July 1950 and mainly composed of young girls and women between 13 and 22 years old, who were often sent to the front line. The objective is to investigate these young people's tragic fate, caught between barbarism and heroism, by stressing how their sacrifices were, and have been, entrenched in individual bodies and collective memory. Confronted with an official historiography that is positivist and "male," the singular history of those young women is crucial to our understanding of the mechanisms of the thirty-year-old war led by the Lao Động Party.

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