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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 28, 1954

TELEGRAM, MAO ZEDONG TO PENG DEHUAI AND HUANG KECHENG

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    Mao Zedong writes to comrades Peng Dehuai and Huan Kecheng informing them of the dangers that face the communists in Vietnam. There is a risk of enemy movement near the transportation line in the rear area which could force troops out of Dien Bien Phu.
    "Telegram, Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai and Huang Kecheng," April 28, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mao wengao, vol. 5, p. 90. Translated for CWIHP by Chen Jian. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121145
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Comrades Peng Dehuai and Huan Kecheng:

It seems that the biggest possible danger in Vietnam now exists not in areas south of Dian Bian Phu, but in the transportation line in our rear area. If the enemy uses two parachute battalions to land at the most crucial points in the transportation line in our rear area, and construct strongholds to defend these point and thus interrupting the whole of our transportation system; and if our troops cannot eliminate the enemy quickly and allow the fight to become a prolonged one, it is possible that our troops at Dien Bien Phu might be forced to withdraw. The telegram by the Military Commission has noticed the possibility of the enemy occupying our transportation line, but the emphasis of this issue is not sufficient and this question is only listed together with (the problem existing) in the Luang Prabang direction. Please give this issue reconsideration, and ask the Vietnamese side to quickly deploy the force that is needed in the proper area, which should be specifically for dealing with such a sudden change of development, so that the operations at Dien Bien Phu will not fall short of success because of lack of sufficient effort.

Mao Zedong
April 28