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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 29, 1951

TELEGRAM FROM MAO ZEDONG TO I.V. STALIN, CONVEYING 28 JANUARY 1951 TELEGRAM FROM MAO ZEDONG TO PENG DEHUAI

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    A forward to Stalin of a message sent earlier by Mao to Peng Dehuai. It outlines operational plans for the PLA and KPA in and around Seoul and talks about the need to gain an advantageous military position with negotiations in mind.
    "Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, conveying 28 January 1951 telegram from Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai," January 29, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, f. 45, op. 1, d. 337, ll. 41-43. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112096
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SECOND MAIN ADMINISTRATION OF THE GENERAL STAFF OF THE SOVIET ARMY

CIPHERED TELEGRAM No. 16052

Copies: Stalin (2)

From BEIJING Received 18 hours 40 minutes
29.1.1951

EXTREMELY URGENT T

To FILIPPOV [Stalin]

At the present time the American troops are trying to attack the regions of the southern bank of the Han River adjacent to Seoul and Incheon [Jemulpo]. Such a situation has developed that our troops are deprived of the possibility of continuing rest and reformation and are forced immediately to begin preparation for the fourth operation. I send you my telegram of 28 January 1951, addressed to Comrade PENG DEHUAI.

I ask you to familiarize yourself with it and communicate your opinion about whether this is advisable from the point of view of the international situation:

“Comrade PENG DEHUAI!

1. I received your telegram of 27 January 1951, 24:00, and your order about preparation for conducting military operations sent to all armies.

2. Our troops must immediately conduct preparations for the fourth operation, with the goal of the destruction of 20,000 to 30,000 American and puppet [South Korean] troops and the occupation of the area to the north of the Daejeon-Andong boundary.

3. In the course of the preparation for this operation it is necessary to hold Jemulpo, the fortification before the bridge on the south bank of the Han River and the city of Seoul, and also to draw out the main enemy forces to the Suwon-Jemulpo region. After the beginning of the operation the main forces of the North Korean and Chinese troops must break through the enemy's line of defense in the region of Wonju and make attacks in the direction toward Yeongju and Andong.

4. The withdrawal of the Chinese and North Korean troops for 15-30 km to the north and the publication of a communication about support for the proposal about a temporary ceasefire is disadvantageous for us, since the enemy precisely wishes to cease military operations only at the time when our troops withdraw some distance to the north and in order that he (the enemy) can blockade the Han River.

5. After the conclusion of the fourth operation, it is possible that the enemy will conduct peace negotiations with us regarding a resolution of the Korean question. Conducting negotiations will then be advantageous for China and Korea. However, the enemy at present is calculating to return the fortification before the bridge on the south bank of the Han River, to the south of the line Seoul-Jemulpo and to blockade the Han River, so that Seoul would be under threat of shelling from enemy artillery, so as thereby to force us to cease military operations and begin peace negotiations. In this way the enemy wants to place China and Korea in a disadvantageous position, which we can in no case allow.

6. Our troops have not been able to receive reinforcements. Transporting troops is also inadequate. We have a very great difficulty in this regard. However, we are in a position to concentrate the main forces and with a strike in the direction of Wonju-Yeongju destroy a unit of American troops and four to five divisions of South Korean troops.

I ask you explain this to a meeting of the high command. This meeting must be completely directed to the preparation of the fourth operation.

7. After the Chinese and Korean troops occupy the region to the north of the Daejeon-Andong boundary, they must again make a two to three months long preparation, after which to accomplish the last, fifth, operation of decisive significance. This is advantageous in all respects.

8. The ninth army group must in the near future be redeployed to the region of Pyongyang, Seoul, Jemulpo, Suwon for rest and reformation. At the same time they must fulfill the task of defending the given region so as not to give the possibility to enemy troops to land in Jemulpo and Jinnampo [Nampo]. At the time of the fifth operation the given army group must participate in military operations on the western portions of the front.

9. At the time of implementing the fourth operation I ask you to think over the question of whether it will be better for the main forces of the Chinese and North Korean troops to divide into two echelons. Troops of each echelon must have a five day dry ration. Troops of the first echelon must make the breakthrough and carry out the pursuit of the enemy to a determined border, and the troops of the second echelon must continue the pursuit of the enemy, so that the operation will continue for 10-12 days and that in this time it will be possible to destroy as many enemy troops as possible.

I ask you to communicate your opinion.

MAO ZEDONG, 28 January 1951
19:00.”
No. 478.
28 January 1951 MAO ZEDONG

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