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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 04, 1950

TELEGRAM FROM SHTYKOV TO STALIN

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    Shtykov reports on a meeting with Kim Il Sung and Pak Heonyeong concerning requests for arms, advisers and advice on how to move troops more efficiently. Shtykov proposes resolutions and advice.
    "Telegram from Shtykov to Stalin," July 04, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, Fond 45, Opis 1, Delo 346, Listy 105-107 and AVPRF, Fond 059a, Opis 5a, Delo 3, Papka 11, Listy 111-114 http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112985
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CIPHERED TELEGRAM No. 405840/sh.
From Pyongyang Sent 4.7.50 0:05
Received 4.7.50 3:55

Sent to 8th Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces 4.7.50 4:10
To Comrade FYN-SI [Stalin].

Today July 3 I met with KIM IL SUNG and Pak Heon-yeong [Pak Hon Yong].

At the beginning of the conversation KIM IL SUNG described the situation at the front. In his opinion the troops are moving very slowly, especially in the Central direction. The troop crossing was disorganized, although there was a minister in place there. He expressed dissatisfaction with his [the minister's] work.

Further, noting the seriousness of the situation at the front and in the liberated territories and the danger of landings by American troops in the rear or at North Korean ports or airborne landings of troops, he asked me to report to you his request for quick delivery of arms in the following amounts: 50,000 rifles; 5,000 PPSh sub-machine guns, 5,000 PPS [sub-machine guns]; 1,500 light machine guns; 350 heavy machine guns; 200 82mm mortars; 78 120mm mortars, 80 76mm ZIS-3 artillery pieces; 24 122mm howitzers; 60 37mm anti- aircraft guns; 120 machine guns; 500 trucks.

All these arms are needed for the formation of two divisions, 12 battalions of marines and for the formation of security detachments.

Because of American air attacks on the railroad stations in the region of Kanko [Hamheung], Seisin [Cheongjin], he asked that the arms be sent on an accelerated schedule through Manchuria [along the route of] Andong-Singisiu [Sineuiju]-Pyongyang.

He also communicated that they have begun fitting out reserve regiments and 2 tank brigades and that these need arms and tanks.

Further in the conversation he asked advice about how better to organize troop command in the complicated situation. Since the People's Army is fighting against American troops, he considers it necessary to strengthen the leadership of the army.

Further he asked advice about how better to organize troop command and what kind of organizational command structure to choose so that the General Staff is brought closer to the troops.

After consulting with General VASILIEV we proposed the following structure:

1. To create two army groups headed by Military Councils composed of: a commander, a member of the Military Council and a chief of staff.

To place 4-6 units under the command of each army group.

2. To create a front headquarters headed by a commander of the front, a chief of staff and a member of the Military Council of the front.

The front headquarters should be created from [the facilities and personnel of] the General Staff.

3. To preserve the Ministry of National Defense, since it already exists only in a reduced form.

The Ministry's task should be the supply of combat troops with everything needed (foodstuffs, fuel, transport, ammunition) as well as the training of reserves, new troop formation and the organization of anti-aircraft defense for the northern part of the republic.

4. To appoint Kim Il Sung as Supreme Commander of troops. He agreed with our proposals.

The restructuring will proceed without harm to the military operations on the front.

He then asked our opinion about how best to arrange the disposition of commanding cadres.

From my part I proposed to appoint the following group commanders: Deputy Minister in charge of artillery Mu Deun for the left flank group, and for the commander of the right flank group Kim Gu, Deputy Chief of the General Staff (presently commanding an operational group). To appoint as commander of the front the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Industry, Kim Chaek (he knows military affairs, was a partisan and served in the Chinese brigade in Khabarovsk, is a very strong-willed, thoughtful and brave man).

To appoint as Chief of Staff of the front Gang Geun, who is now Chief of the General Staff.

The Minister of National Defense will remain in his post. He will manage the formation of new units and the organization of anti-landing defense, and also supplying troops with everything needed.

They want this measure to be passed through the military committee on July 4 or

5. I judge that in this complicated situation this measure will yield positive results.

The staff of the front will move to Seoul in the near future.

I ask your permission:

1. To have two advisers in every army group (adviser for the group commander and adviser for the artillery commander).

2. I ask your permission for the main military adviser Comrade VASILIEV to go to Seoul with a group of officers, together with the staff of the front, and to be permanently located there with the staff.

3. I ask you to hasten the resolution of the questions touched on.


SHTYKOV

No. 439/sh.
4.7.50.
Copies: Stalin (2), Molotov, Beria, Malenkov, Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Bulganin.