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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 02, 1975

CABLE NO. 971B FROM BROTHER VAN [VO NGUYEN GIAP] TO BROTHER SAU [LE DUC THO]

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    Cable from Vo Nguyen Giap to Le Duc Tho to brief him on the battle plan and required logistics.
    "Cable No. 971B from Brother Van [Vo Nguyen Giap] to Brother Sau [Le Duc Tho]," April 02, 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), 225-226. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176058
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(Reference Brother Ba’s [Le Duan] Cable No. 956, 1 April 1975)

With regard to the battle plan at the focal point target, because the situation is developing so rapidly, as a follow-up to Brother Ba’s [Le Duan] cable I have sent a number of ideas to Brothers Bay Cuong [Pham Hung], Tuan [Van Tien Dung], and Tu Nguyen [Tran Van Tra] so that they would have time to study them in order to be able to begin their work of carrying out the spirit of the Politburo’s instructions that they need to have a plan to take quick, timely action with the forces that they have on hand, especially in the event of a political upheaval in Saigon, while at the same they must also prepare a plan for follow-up actions using the additional reinforcements being sent down there from the B3 Front and from up here [North Vietnam].

Deaf Hoa’s unit [Nguyen Hoa] has been ordered to move out quickly with two of its own divisions, the 320th and the 312th, along with [Nguyen] Huu An’s 325th Division. They are taking these troops from Tri Thien and Quang Da in order to try to have the lead unit arrive in the Dong Xoai area circa 10 April. The technical specialty branch units are all now on the road and moving rapidly.

I will provide you with the details of our movement plan for the reinforcement units. We have sent cadre down to supervise the movement along the route and to push the units forward quickly.

Brother Tuan [Van Tien Dung] has probably already sent you a cable informing you that Ba and Dam’s troops have left and will arrive on 6 April [Translator’s Note: This probably refers to 316th Division, commanded by Dam Van Nguy.] The 320th Division will follow and will arrive on 12 April. As for the 10th Division, it has destroyed the airborne brigade and is now advancing eastward rapidly. This means that we have been able to expand our offensive posture to win victories continuously, victories that also make it difficult for the enemy to predict where we will direct our primary effort. As for timing, according to what Brother Tuan has told us, it will take them [the 10th Division] no longer than if they had turned around and gone back to follow the old route. We believe that this is a good idea, and Brother Ba [Le Duan] agrees.

We have just received Brother Tu Nguyen’s [Tran Van Tra] cable on the battle plan. The contents reveal a greater effort, but it is divided into two stages, one stage in April and one stage in May, still following the pace of the old two-year plan. I have sent a cable to Brothers Bay [Pham Hung] and Tu [Tran Van Tra] telling them that they need to act more boldly in accordance with the spirit of the Politburo’s instructions. The people down there [at COSVN] have received Brother Ba’s [Le Duan] cable and have replied that they are in complete agreement with the Politburo. They said that they are very excited and confident and that they are now discussing developing a new plan. Tuan will arrive down there on the 3rd of April.

I wish you the best of health.

[signed]

Van [Vo Nguyen Giap]