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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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North Vietnamese Decision-Making, 1973-1975

A collection of published Vietnamese documents dealing with North Vietnam’s decision-making from the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 until the end of the war in April 1975. Compiled by George J. Veith and Merle L. Pribbenow, much of the material in this collection formed the basis of Veith's book, Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-1975 (2013). The collection is also introduced and contextualized in CWIHP Working Paper #84, "The Return to War: North Vietnamese Decision-Making, 1973-1975" (November 2017). (Image: Fall of Saigon, April 1975.)

  • January 12, 1973

    Cable from the Central Military Party Committee to COSVN on Guidance Principles for Leading the Struggle Movement After a Political Settlement and Ceasefire

    In preparation for future attacks from U.S. and South Vietnamese forces, the Central Military Party Committee sent COSVN guidance on strengthening combat units, monitoring enemy operations, and expanding political struggle activities.

  • January 19, 1973

    Cable from General Vo Nguyen Giap and the Central Military Party Committee to COSVN Providing Guidance on the Military Struggle

    General Vo Nguyen Giap and the Central Military Party Committee sent a guidance cable to COSVN laying out a number of military struggle measures to be carried out in response to military operations by their enemies in liberated zones, especially Loc Ninh.

  • January 19, 1973

    COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Issues Directive on Urgent Tasks After a Political Settlement was Concluded

    On 19 January 1973, the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issued a directive on policies and urgent tasks to be implemented after a political settlement was reached and a ceasefire was implemented, before the signing of the Paris Agreement.

  • January 24, 1973

    Party Secretariat Directive No. 200-CT/TW

    The Vietnamese Workers' Party outlines its strategies following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on January 23, 1975.

  • March 23, 1973

    Cable from Nguyen Thi Binh to the Politburo

    Nguyen Thi Binh sent a cable to the Politburo to report on her meeting with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Vietnam Tran Van Lam, in negotiations for the Paris Agreement.

  • February 25, 1973

    COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Guidance on the Struggle to Demand that our Opponents Implement the Paris Agreement

    COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee sent a cable to the local areas, following the instructions given in Directive 02/CT73 to prepare for the struggle in South Vietnam after the Paris Agreement was signed.

  • March 01, 1973

    Cable from Nguyen Duy Trinh [Foreign Minister of the DRV] to the Politburo

    Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Duy Trinh sent a cable to the Politburo to report on his private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers concerning peace negotiations.

  • March 06, 1973

    Cable from Nguyen Duy Trinh to the Politburo

    Foreign Minister of the DRV Nguyen Duy Trinh sent a cable to the Politburo to report on the meeting of all sides to approve and sign the peace treaty on March 1 and 2.

  • March 09, 1973

    Meeting of the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee to Discuss Policy Guidelines and Struggle Goals of the South Vietnamese Revolution following the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

    Summary from a meeting of the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee held on March 9 and 10, 1973, to discuss the situation in South Vietnam and lay out goals and strategies for the revolution following the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

  • March 27, 1973

    COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Lays Out Immediate Missions and A Number of Urgent Tasks After Two Months of Implementing the Paris Agreement

    Two months after the Paris Agreement and ceasefire, COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issues a directive to address the precarious situation among all sides and lay out guidelines on urgent tasks to be carried out.

  • June 30, 1973

    COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Guidance on Stepping up Struggle Activities Demanding that the U.S. and the Puppets Implement our Post-Paris Agreement Proposals

    Upon submitting a Post-Paris Agreement proposal at the negotiating table with the U.S. and the DRV, the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issues an announcement that requests all levels of command and all branches to launch another struggle phase focusing on three urgent issues: ceasefire; exchange of detained civilian personnel; and guaranteeing the right to freedom and democracy.

  • October 13, 1973

    Resolution of the 21st Plenum of the Party Central Committee, No. 227-NQ/TW (Excerpts)

    Resolution of the 21st Plenum of the Party Central Committee detailing the tasks of strengthening socialism and national defense in North Vietnam while continuing the South Vietnam revolution, ensuring strict enforcement of the Paris Agreement.

  • November 13, 1973

    Cable from Comrade Sau Manh [Le Duc Tho] to Comrade Pham Hung and COSVN Headquarters Providing Guidance for Military Struggle Operations in the Cochin China Lowlands, and for Launching a Political and Military Struggle Movement in South Vietnam

    Cable from Le Duc Tho to Pham Hung and COSVN Headquarters providing guidance on local military activities in the Cochin China lowlands and plans for a political and military struggle movement in South Vietnam.

  • May 04, 1974

    Letter from Le Duan to Military Region 6

    Letter from Le Duan to Military Region 6 providing guidance on its operations and urgent tasks in the two years 1974-1975.

  • July 28, 1974

    COSVN Plenum Number 13 (Expanded) to Review the Situation and to Establish the Revolution’s Guidelines, Directions, Missions, and Requirements for Late 1974 and 1975

    After the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the withdrawal of U.S. troops, COSVN holds a full Party conference to agree on its assessment of the situation and to set out directions and missions for late 1974 and 1975

  • August 13, 1974

    Politburo Resolution No. 236-NQ/TW

    The Politburo issues a resolution addressing Nixon's resignation of the U.S. Presidency and laying out a number of urgent Party tasks.

  • August 18, 1974

    Cable from the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee to the Politburo Reporting on the Results of COSVN’s 13th Party Plenum

    Cable from the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee to the Politburo reporting on the results of COSVN’s 13th Party Plenum, including all aspects of the situation since the dissemination of COSVN Resolution 12 and on the implementation of the Central Committee’s Resolution 21.

  • September 10, 1974

    Comrade Le Duan’s Comments After Listening to Comrade Vo Quang Ho’s Briefing on the Draft Plan (Notes Taken by Comrade Ho)

    Le Duan's comments on the draft plan presented by Vo Quang Ho, laying out plans to liberate South Vietnam in two years 1975-1976.

  • October 01, 1974

    Continue Supplying Weapons and Ammunition in Accordance with the 1973 Plan and Preparing for the 1974-1975 Plan and for the Supplemental Plan (KH-75B)

    Military report in implementation of the resolution of the first session of the General Technical Department’s Party Committee, carrying out the mission of supplying the South Vietnamese battlefield that was approved during the General Department’s first Political-Military Conference.

  • November, 1974

    COSVN and the COSVN Military Headquarters Decide to Launch a Wave of Operations during the 1974-1975 Dry Season

    In late November 1974 COSVN and the COSVN Military Headquarters approved a decision to launch a 1974-1975 Dry Season Campaign, divided into two waves of operations