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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 11, 1975

CABLE 01/TK FROM BROTHER CHIEN [VO NGUYEN GIAP] TO BROTHER TUAN [VAN TIEN DUNG]

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap to Van Tien Dung capturing main talking points from a meeting by the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee on the current situation.
    "Cable 01/TK from Brother Chien [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Tuan [Van Tien Dung]," March 11, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dai Thang Mua Xuan, 1975: Van Kien Dang [Great Spring Victory, 1975: Party Documents] (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2005), 110-113. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/175940
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1. I received your Cable No. 3 and am very excited about the tremendous, clear victory our troops have won in the primary sector as well as in the supporting sector.

2. This morning, before we received your cable, the Political Bureau and the Central Military Party Committee met to assess the situation. The following are the main points from that meeting:

a) The strategic and campaign plans that the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee approved were precisely correct, our preparations for this attack were rather good, and we achieved surprise. That is why we have been able to achieve such great victories in the very first days of the campaign.

b) The victories at Ban Me Thuot and Duc Lap, along Route 19, and in other sectors demonstrate that we have the capability of winning a tremendous victory more quickly than we anticipated.

The most significant point about the current situation is that the enemy’s morale has sunk very low.

c) Because of this situation, during this current phase of operations, and even in our follow-up plan, we need to display a spirit of urgency and daring, because only by exploiting this opportunity in a timely fashion will we be able to win a great victory.

d) In B3 [The Central Highlands] we must devote particular attention to the task of taking over the government and supplying the people’s needs. We must pay attention to our policies on ethnic minorities (make it clear that our ethnic minority policy is aimed at uniting all ethnic groups and achieving equality, and do not mention the issue of ethnic minority autonomy). Also pay attention to our policy toward citizens of foreign countries (all Americans who are captured are to be considered to be prisoners of war; citizens of other countries are to be treated well and may be released early). Also pay attention to the work of handling prisoners of war and collecting the spoils of war.

3. I received your cable this afternoon. I believe that the policy you propose in your cable is completely consistent with the ideas discussed this morning in the meetings of the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee. I have just discussed your cable with Brothers Ba [Le Duan] and Sau [Le Duc Tho]. We are all in complete agreement with the proposals you make in the cable; specifically:

a) In Ban Me Thuot, quickly annihilate all remaining enemy unit while at the same time we spread out forces out through the surrounding area and stand ready to attack any enemy relief force (the more enemy troops we annihilate and the more we expand the size of our liberated zone, the less capability the enemy will have to rectify the situation).

b) Quickly expand our operations toward Cheo Reo. You should send forces out ahead to immediately surround and besiege Cheo Reo in order to overrun it and at the same time annihilate the enemy troops in the area.

c) Immediately deploy your forces to surround Pleiku, block the enemy’s avenues of supply, and prepare to advance toward overrunning and taking Pleiku.

As for Kontum, you should isolate it and overrun it later.

d) In order to completely isolate the Pleiku-Kontum area, the General Staff has a plan to direct F3 [3rd Division] and E95 [95th Regiment] to expand their area of control of Route 19 to strategically cut off the area and to surround and to prepare to overrun An Khe.

e) The advance to the south will be delayed until the next step.

f) During the course of developing and expanding the attack, make sure that you maintain a firm grip on our main force units, avoid dispersing your forces, and prepare a plan to quickly consolidate and ensure our logistics support.

g) The enemy has been taken by surprise, he has suffered a heavy defeat, and he is presently on the defensive and confused. We have issued instructions to monitor the reactions of the U.S. and their puppets. If I receive any news I will cable it to you immediately.

4. Brothers Si and Ba Long [Le Trong Tan] will send you a separate cable presenting a number of specific, concrete ideas.

5. The Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee has decided to award Comrade Y-Bloc the rank of Senior Colonel. A cable on this has already been sent to Brothers Nam Cong [Vo Chi Cong] and Hai Manh [Chu Huy Man].

6. The Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee warmly commends all cadre, enlisted men, Party members, Youth Group members, and other personnel for their determined-to-win-spirit, for their heroism, cleverness, and creativeness, and for boldly and quickly winning a tremendous victory during the very first days of the campaign. We need to seize this favorable opportunity quickly in order to win even greater victories.

7. I send you my best wishes and ask that you relay my regards to the others down there. I am sending some letters and books to you.

[signed]

Chien [Vo Nguyen Giap]