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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Vietnam War

 Documents on the Vietnam War. These telegrams, minutes, and discussion notes range from the mid-1950s to the end of the 1970s, and most come from Chinese and Albanian archives. There are many documents from Albania archives on Vietnam-Albanian relations. The collection also includes several Chinese telegrams and memorandums on foreign and economic relations with Indochina, as well as discussions with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. See also the Indochinese War and the 1954 Geneva Conference. (Image, American POW, 1973, US Department of Defense, DDST9904270)

  • March 08, 1966

    Letter from East German Foreign Minister Otto Winzer to [Politburo Members] Comrade Walter Ulbricht, Comrade Willi Stoph, Comrade Erich Honecker, and Comrade Hermann Axen[Excerpts]

    Letter from East German Foreign Minister to members of the SED Politburo which contains parts of a report by a Soviet delegation headed by Ambassador Shcherbakov. The Vietnamese situation is discussed, and it is asserted that Vietnamese officials are to quick to listen to Chinese advisors. It is also noted that, while the American morale is decreasing, it will still be most difficult to bring about the second "Dien Bien Phu" they are looking for.

  • March 23, 1966

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai and Le Duan

    Zhou Enlai cautions Le Duan against Soviet assistance.

  • April 13, 1966

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Deng Xioaping, Kang Sheng, Le Duan and Nguyen Duy Trinh

    China stresses the importance of Chinese aid in Vietnam, while pointing out Vietnam’s seeming mistrust; Vietnam relies on Chinese support.

  • July 08, 1966

    Telegram from East German Deputy Foreign Minister Hegen to Ulbricht, Stoph, Honecker, and Axen

    Telegram from the GDR ambassador to China, Bierbach, assesses the Chinese position in the Vietnam conflict. He states that China aims to exacerbate the conflict for it's own gain; by pushing theDRV to action in the South, it focuses its efforts in the North, with minimal risk of conflict with US troops. Specifically, Bierbach believes China is attempting to instigate a conflict between the US and the USSR.

  • July 09, 1966

    Note on a Conversation with the First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, Comrade Sverev, on 8 July 1966 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. at the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi

    Conversation with First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, Sverev, describing the Vietnamese attitude toward China as becoming colder. At the same time, printing of China's anti-Soviet propaganda has become more limited and the Vietnamese appear grateful for Soviet aid. Sverev also estimates that there are over 200,000 Chinese troops stationed in North Vietnam.

  • July 17, 1966

    Ho Chi Minh's Appeal to the Vietnamese Nation to Fight Against the Americans

    Ho Chi Minh discussed the American military escalation: The deployment of troops in South Vietnam, the use of chemical poisons and napalm, the bombing of the North, etc. He said that the only way peace can be achieved is by the US pulling out from Vietnam and accepting the DRV's 4 points and the NLF's 5 points. Ho Chi Minh then called on the Vietnamese nation to keep on fighting until victory.

  • August 23, 1966

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Pham Van Dong and Hoang Tung

    Zhou Enlai proposes sending more military personnel to Vietnam, he also criticizes Vietnamese press for writing about historical Chinese aggressions toward Vietnam.

  • August 23, 1966

    Memorandum, P. Ivashutin to CC CPSU on US Military Attaché Colonel Fitzgerald

    Report on comments made by the United States military attaché, Colonel Fitzgerald, on the Soviet Union's potential leading role in negotiations to end the Vietnam War.

  • September, 1966

    Information on the Visit of a Czechoslovak Party and Government Delegation Headed by [Czechoslovak Prime Minister] Comrade Lenart in North Vietnam, 24-28 September 1966

    Information on a Czechoslovak delegation to the DRV. The Czechoslovak delegation assess the Vietnamese situation and determine that the Vietnamese successes are overestimated while American strength and fighting potential are underestimated. The Czechoslovak and Vietnamese groups disagree on China, with the Czechoslovak delegation saying the Vietnamese are simply unable to take a stance against China because it would jeopardize the aid they are receiving.

  • September, 1966

    Information from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee to the Polish United Workers’ Party Central Committee

    A record of a North Vietnamese delegation to Moscow, which affirmed their belief that they would be able to defeat the Americans. They raise a request for additional supplies in 1967, and it is noted that China has continued to refuse to unite with the other socialist countries, which has complicated matters.

  • September 21, 1966

    General Vo Nguyen Giap’s Decision On North Korea’s Request to Send a Number of Pilots to Fight in Vietnam

    An excerpt from an official People’s Army of Vietnam historical publication describing a North Korean request to send an Air Force regiment to help defend North Vietnam against U.S. air attacks. The request was approved.

  • September 30, 1966

    Signing of a Protocol Agreement for North Korea to Send a Number of Pilots to Fight the American Imperialists during the War of Destruction against North Vietnam

    Agreement for the dispatch of a North Korean Air Force contingent to fight in North Vietnam. The agreement stipulates that the North Koreans would provide pilots for one North Korean Air Force regiment consisting of two companies (ten aircraft each) of MiG-17s and one company of MiG-21s, while Vietnam would provide the aircraft and all necessary technical equipment, maintenance, and logistics support for the North Korean flyers.

  • October 05, 1966

    Zhou Enlai's Talk with Ion Gheorghe Maurer, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Romania, in Beijing

    Excerpt from the talk in which Zhou Enlai explains that China remains opposed to peace negotiations to end the Vietnam War.

  • November 10, 1966

    Note on a Talk with the Soviet Ambassador, Comrade [Ilya] Shcherbakov, on 28 October 1966 in the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi

    Soviet Ambassador Ilya Shcherbakov reported that Vietnamese officers lately seem defensive and not trusting, while emphasizing their autonomy. Also states that Ho Chi Minh was made to promise not to talk with the US or call for volunteers from socialist countries without first consulting the Chinese.

  • November 10, 1966

    Note of Comrade Bergold, East German Ambassador, with the Polish Ambassador in North Vietnam, Comrade Siedliecky

    A note on a conversation between Mao Zedong and Le Duan. Zedong confronts Le Duan with instances where he has spoken out against China. Le Duan states that Vietnam does not support the Cultural Revolution, but will do nothing to oppose it. He answers other questions about economic policy and Soviet revisionism.

  • January 23, 1967

    Secret North Vietnam Politburo Cable

    The Vietnamese Politburo informs COSVN (the communist command in South Vietnam) of new developments in the war, stating that international opinion is turning against the US after the escalated bombing of North Vietnam. It then outlines the Vietnamese "Talk-Fight" strategy.

  • January 23, 1967

    Report by Nguyen Duy Trinh to the 13 Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam

    North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh discusses American military strategy in Vietnam as well as the US's internal political situation. He then outlines the rational for the Vietnamese "Talk-Fight" strategy.

  • April 07, 1967

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai and Pham Van Dong

    Soviet proposals to increase aid to Vietnam, via China

  • April 07, 1967

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Pham Van Dong and Vo Nguyen Giap (1), 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

    Zhou Enlai comments on the American military personality.

  • April 07, 1967

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Pham Van Dong and Vo Nguyen Giap (2), 3:30 - 6:30 pm

    Zhou Enlai reinforces his and China’s commitment to the war in Vietnam, even though he is almost seventy years old.