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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.)

  • March 27, 1975

    Cable No. 83 from Brother Tho [Le Duc Tho] to Brother Tuan [Van Tien Dung]

    Le Duc Tho briefs Van Tien Dung on the Politburo's assessment of the situation in Hue and Danang and tells him to carry out their plan as quickly as possible.

  • March 27, 1975

    Cable No. 919 from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra] and the COSVN Military Party Committee; Information Copies to Brother Bay Cuong [Pham Hung] and COSVN

    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap to report on a meeting by the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee and their assessment on the strategic general offensive.

  • March 29, 1975

    Special Resolution of the 15th Plenum of the Central Office for South Vietnam (Excerpts)

    Excerpts from the Resolution of the 15th Plenum of COSVN with instructions on taking over and administering newly liberated areas.

  • March 30, 1975

    Cable No. 939 from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra]

    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap reporting on the progress of the South Vietnamese revolution and directing Tran Van Tra to complete his mission quickly.

  • March 31, 1975

    Letter from Le Duan to Cuong [Pham Hung], Sau [Le Duc Tho] and Tuan [General Van Tien Dung]

    Letter from Le Duan with guidance on communications and plans of attack in Saigon.

  • April, 1975

    Cable from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brothers Tuan [Van Tien Dung], Bay Cuong [Pham Hung], Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra] and Sau [Le Duc Tho] (Excerpts)

    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap briefing his comrades on the Central Military Party Committee's order of Region 5 to carry out the capture and occupation of islands in the Nam Sa Archipelago.

  • April 01, 1975

    Cable from the Central Military Party Committee to COSVN Military Headquarters

    Cable from the Central Military Party Committee analyzing the situation of the South Vietnamese revolution and offering guidance on attack plans.

  • April 02, 1975

    Cable from Central Military Party Committee to the COSVN Military Party Committee and the Headquarters of the B2 Front (Excerpts)

    Cable from the Central Military Party Committee with order to concentrate artilleries and forces to secure Xuan Loc and Bien Hoa.

  • April 02, 1975

    Cable No. 961 from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brothers Bay Cuong [Pham Hung] and Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra]

    Vo Nguyen Giap briefs Pham Hung on the enemy's disintegration in Southern provinces including Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Hanh Son and preparation plans for a decisive battle.

  • April 02, 1975

    Cable No. 971B from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho]

    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap to Le Duc Tho to brief him on the battle plan and required logistics.

  • April 02, 1975

    Cable from Central Military Party Committee to Comrades Van Tien Dung and Tran Van Tra (Excerpts)

    Cable sent to Van Tien Dung and Tran Van Tra to reiterate Politburo’s instructions on taking bold and timely action and a follow-up plan.

  • April 06, 1975

    Cable No. 993/TK from the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee to Brothers Dong [Le Tu Dong], Le [Tran Le], Nam [Le Duc Anh], Hai Manh [Chu Huy Man], Nam Cong [Vo Chi Cong], and Nguyen [Dong Si Nguyen], Group 559

    Cable from the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee, with briefings on the new phase of the South Vietnamese revolution.

  • April 07, 1975

    Cable from the Central Military Party Committee to All Units Being Poured into the Battlefield (Excerpts)

    Order from the Central Military Party Committee to quicken the liberation battle, maintain high spirit, and secure total victory.

  • April 09, 1975

    Cable from Le Duan to Tuan [Van Tien Dung], Sau [Le Duc Tho], Bay Cuong [Pham Hung], and Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra]

    Cable from Le Duan with instructions on dispersing combat forces to attack the enemies and infiltrate into the city.

  • April 14, 1975

    Cable from Le Duan to Tam Thanh [Hoang Van Thai], Bay Cuong [Pham Hung], and Tuan [Van Tien Dung]

    Cable from Le Duan carrying the Politburo's approval of battle plans for the liberation campaign in Saigon, now dubbed the "Ho Chi Minh Campaign."

  • April 18, 1975

    Anti-Reactionary Forces Study and Implement a Directive from the Party Secretariat on Policy toward Enemy Troops who Surrender and Enemy Prisoners of War

    Directive from the Secretariat’s with directions on categorizing enemies who are surrendered into four separate categories: mutineers, soldiers who returned to the revolution, prisoners of war, and enemy remnants who turned themselves in.

  • April 18, 1975

    Party Secretariat Directive No. 218-CT/TW

    Directive by the Party Secretariat containing policy towards enemy soldiers who are captured or surrender during the liberation.

  • April 19, 1975

    Party Secretariat Directive No. 219-CT/TW

    Directive from the Party Secretariat with policy towards captured South Vietnamese soldiers and government officials and policy on combating counter-revolutionaries and maintaining security in newly liberated areas.

  • April 20, 1975

    Cable to Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho] and Brother Bay Cuong [Pham Hung] (at the B2 Front)

    Cable from Le Duc Tho discussing educational and administrative tasks regarding discipline in the newly liberated zones and captured materials for units in the focal-point battlefield.

  • April 22, 1975

    Cable No. 10/TT.75, KBN [COSVN] Party Current Affairs Committee Circular

    Cable from the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee discussing President Thieu's resignation and plans to quickly secure Saigon both militarily and politically.