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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 08, 1951

TELEGRAM, MAO ZEDONG TO FILIPPOV (STALIN) TRANSMITTING 4 JANUARY 1951 MESSAGE FROM PENG DEHUAI, KIM SON, AND PAK IL-U TO KIM IL SUNG

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    Message from Mao to Stalin informing him of the PLA's intent to push south of the Han River to capture key staging points such as Gimpo Airport and deny the enemy time to regroup.
    "Telegram, Mao Zedong to Filippov (Stalin) transmitting 4 January 1951 message from Peng Dehuai, Kim Son, and Pak Il-u to Kim Il Sung," January 08, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, Fond 45, Opis 1, Delo 336, Listy 88-90 https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111207
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SECOND MAIN ADMINISTRATION OF THE GENERAL STAFF OF THE SOVIET ARMY

CIPHERED TELEGRAM

Copies: Stalin (2)

From BEIJING Received 02 hours, 40 minutes
8.1.1951

EXTREMELY URGENT T.

TO FILIPPOV [Stalin].

I send you a copy of the telegram to Comrade Kim Il Sung from Comrades Peng Dehuai, Kim Son and Pak Il-u [Pak Il U], sent 24:00 4.1 [January 4].

I ask you to familiarize yourself with it:

“To Premier Comrade Kim Il Sung. We are simultaneously sending a copy to the commanders of the corps and army Comrades Hun Xianchu, Wu Ruilin, Chzhou Biao, Pan Khe-som and to the commander of the 1st Corps NRVS and to the staff of the Northeast.

1. Today (4 January) the 116th infantry division and a unit of troops from the 117th infantry division occupied the city of Seoul. Enemy troops defending Seoul withdrew to the south bank of the Han-gang river. The city of Chuncheon was also taken on 3 January by units of our 66th army.

The enemy withdrew to the area of Hongcheon and to areas further south.

It is supposed that the next attempt by enemy troops will be the defense of the river, which is beginning in the area of Jemulpo [Incheon], Gimpo, Iokhei, and is going on along the south bank of the Han-gang river, through Wonju, Seikheisio to Gangneung.

It is possible that the enemy, regrouping behind the natural barriers, like the Han-gang river and the mountainous areas, will gather the remnants of its forces, gain time and make preparations for new military operations.

Another possibility is that, in case of further more powerful strikes by our troops, the enemy will withdraw to the south.

2. If we give the enemy the possibility to continue to occupy defensive positions along the south bank of the river Han-gang, to control the airport at Gimpo and to use the port at Jemulpo [Incheon] for supply, then although Seoul will be in our hands, it will be under constant threat from enemy air force and artillery, which will be extremely disadvantageous for preparing our troops for a spring offensive.

If, in the presence of success, our troops make one more effort and destroy another unit of enemy troops and force the enemy to retreat from the south bank of the Han-gang river, then we not only will be able to take the Gimpo airport and control the port of Jemulpo [Incheon], but this will create more advantageous conditions for the preparation of our troops for a spring offensive.

In order to achieve the aforementioned goals the following plan has been worked out:

a) To leave 1 division of 1st corps of the People's Army for garrison duty in the city of Seoul.

The main forces of the corps will be deployed in the area of Toto, Tok-heiri, Dzinsori, Mokudo.

After rest and regrouping, in three days they must prepare to make a forced crossing of the Han-gang river and at the appropriate moment occupy the Gimpo airport, Jemulpo [Incheon] port and consolidate themselves there.

b) Troops of the left column as before are under the unified command of Khan' Sian'-chu.

The 50th army will continue to advance in the direction of Kosainairi, Kando, Kiriudo and the area to the northwest of these points. It will send out immediately a strong detachment to control the bridge across the Han-gang river (by a counterattack attempt to occupy the fortification before the bridge on the south bank of the Han-gang river). This detachment will find out what the situation is, make active preparations for a forced crossing of the Han-gang river, attack the enemy on the south bank and continue to carry out the battle in cooperation with the main forces.
If the enemy continues to withdraw to the south, then it is necessary, while pursuing him, to occupy Suwon and to wait for further orders.

The line of delimitation between the 50th army and the 1st corps of the People's Army runs through Kokusekiri, Yongsan, Kasaivairi. The line itself and the areas to the west of it belong to the 50th army, the areas to the east of this line belong to the 1st corps.

The 38th, 39th and 40th armies will put themselves in order, rest for three days (until 7.1 inclusive) and prepare for a forced crossing of the Khokukan-ko river above and below Songcheon. They will first strike the enemy in the area of Iuokhei, after which they will develop an offensive along a line from the southeast to the northwest on the enemy positions in the area of Icheon, Kosiu, Suien, Yeongdeok.

A detailed plan is being worked out by Comrade Hun Xianchu.

c) The 42nd and 66th armies under the unified command of Wu Ruilin and Chzhou Biao, and also the 2nd and 5th corps of the People's Army under the unified command of Pan Kho-Son, in accordance with the joint forces plan established earlier, must destroy the enemy troops in the region of Hongcheon, Odzio, and afterwards await further orders.

All the aforementioned troops must send spies and outposts toward the enemy troops located in front of the frontline.

When the troops of the right column begin a new offensive these units must be ready to render assistance. Peng Dehuai, Kim Son, Pak Il-u. 24:00 4.1.”

With Bolshevik greetings.

MAO ZEDONG.

No. 103
7.1.51.