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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 27, 1975


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    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap to report on a meeting by the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee and their assessment on the strategic general offensive.
    "Cable No. 919 from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra] and the COSVN Military Party Committee; Information Copies to Brother Bay Cuong [Pham Hung] and COSVN," March 27, 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), 189-191. Translated by Merle Pribbenow.
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1. The Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee met on 25 March. During this meeting they concluded that in practical terms, our strategic general offensive began with the great victories we have won in the Central Highlands and on our other battlefields. The South Vietnamese people’s revolutionary battle has moved into the phase of advancing by leaps and bounds as we informed you earlier. The enemy’s army has suffered heavy losses to its forces, the enemy’s morale and his political strength have deteriorated, and he is now implementing a massive strategic withdrawal aimed at massing the bulk of his forces in the Saigon area and a portion of the Mekong Delta.

The victories we have won and the defeats that the enemy has suffered on the Hue-Danang battlefield and on the battlefields of Cochin China have caused the situation of the Americans and their puppets to deteriorate even faster, thereby creating new steps forward for us in the military and political arenas, and especially in the focal point area, moving the situation forward much faster than we had originally anticipated.

2. The Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee have concluded that a great strategic opportunity has arrived and that we need to strive to move as fast as possible to mass our forces in the focal point sector. We must take bold action and take the enemy by surprise so that the enemy does not have time to react in order to accomplish the great strategic goal that the Politburo has laid out as quickly as possible.

3. We have sent instructions to Brother Tuan [Van Tien Dung] to quickly concentrate his forces and deploy them as quickly as possible. Brother Tuan has probably already discussed with you all the preparations necessary for this contingency.

4. In addition to the cable you sent to Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho], Brother Tuan [Van Tien Dung] has also sent me a cable laying out the points you made in the letter you sent to Tuan about B2’s plan. Comrade Cuu, who came up from down there, has also briefed us on the plan. We applaud your efforts and the victories that you have won. Because we are not fully aware of the concrete situation down there, I will only raise the following general ideas:

a) In this new situation, the enemy may experience new collapses. If we do not prepare our forces, including preparing our cadre both politically and spiritually, in many cases their understanding of the situation will not change rapidly enough to keep pace with our requirements. We need to give our cadre at all levels a better understanding of the situation so that we can concentrate more of our forces against the primary targets and so that our actions are bolder, more unexpected, and more urgent.

b) While we are massing our forces in the focal point sector, we must implement our three-fist strategy. For that reason, strongly intensifying our military and political attacks in the lowlands to liberate the rural countryside and surround the focal point is an extremely important mission. This mission must be carried out in parallel with intensifying our main force attacks and our combined blows in the cities.

c) In the Region 8 sector, study your ability to mass even more forces to overrun district capitals and district military headquarters, to destroy or cause the disintegration of enemy troops, to carry out the plan to expand the liberated zone in the Plain of Reeds and cut Route 4 ahead of schedule, to threaten Tan An and My Tho, and to prepare the necessary conditions to be able to move toward liberating that area and implementing strategic encirclement [of Saigon] in that sector.

d) In Region 9, we approve the general outline of the proposed plan, but you should push them to work harder and in a more focused manner.

e) In the Eastern sector, in parallel with implementing the current plan you must also step up work on the plan to achieve strategic encirclement [of Saigon].

5. When Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho] gets there he will give you a full briefing on the resolution approved by the Politburo and the Central Military Party Committee. Because time is short I have sent you a cable providing you a brief summary of the main points so that the COSVN Military Party Committee can issue timely instructions to the troops and make the necessary battlefield and material preparations along the lines that were previously discussed but which now must be carried out much more quickly than originally planned.

Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho] has also sent a cable to Brother Bay Cuong [Pham Hung]. I wish you and the other members of the COSVN Military Party Committee good health and great victories. Please transmit my best wishes to Brother Bay Cuong and the other members of the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee.


Van [Vo Nguyen Giap]