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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 06, 1975

CABLE NO. 993/TK FROM THE CURRENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE OF THE CENTRAL MILITARY PARTY COMMITTEE TO BROTHERS DONG [LE TU DONG], LE [TRAN LE], NAM [LE DUC ANH], HAI MANH [CHU HUY MAN], NAM CONG [VO CHI CONG], AND NGUYEN [DONG SI NGUYEN], GROUP 559

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    Cable from the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee, with briefings on the new phase of the South Vietnamese revolution.
    "Cable No. 993/TK from the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee to Brothers Dong [Le Tu Dong], Le [Tran Le], Nam [Le Duc Anh], Hai Manh [Chu Huy Man], Nam Cong [Vo Chi Cong], and Nguyen [Dong Si Nguyen], Group 559," April 06, 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), 243-247. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176067
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1. In a short period of time our general offensive has won an extremely tremendous strategic victory (the General Staff has issued a message on this subject). The revolutionary war being fought by the South Vietnamese people has moved into a new phase in which it is advancing by leaps and bounds. Our people’s revolutionary forces have become enormously large and powerful in the military and political spheres and in the size of their population, in the size of the liberated zone, in their strategic posture, in their leadership and command arts, etc. We already have ample conditions and capabilities to move forward to completing the strategic mission that was set forward by the Politburo ahead of schedule.

2. The Americans and their puppets have suffered an extremely heavy defeat, one that is beyond their expectations. The puppet army and puppet government is now facing the danger of complete collapse. The U.S. is increasingly displaying impotence in the face of its greatest strategic defeat ever in Vietnam and Cambodia. On this rapid downward slide that is leading toward total defeat, the Americans will certainly struggle insanely, floundering like a fish out of water:

a) Currently they continue to stubbornly prop up the Nguyen Van Thieu puppet government and made the extremely reactionary puppet Nguyen Van Can the Prime Minister [Translator’s Note: The cable misspells the new Prime Minister’s name. It should read “Nguyen BA Can”]. There are increasingly fierce conflicts within the puppet army and puppet government. In the near future there may be upheavals in Saigon, and we cannot exclude the possibility that when it feels it necessary the U.S. will turn on Thieu and overthrow him.

b) The Americans are urging the Nguyen Van Thieu clique to consolidate their defense lines around Saigon that have been seriously weakened, to send the remnants of their evacuated troops north to strengthen the defenses of Phan Rang (where the Thanh Son Air Force Base is located), and to try to prevent our forces from advancing further south from Nha Trang and Cam Ranh. It is possible that they will abandon several provinces in Western Cochin China [the Mekong Delta] in order to muster additional forces to send to help defend Saigon.

c) They are making a great show of playing the humanitarian card, sending ocean-going ships to evacuate reactionary elements and some of the civilian population to foreign countries.

d) In coordination with the above plans, they have ordered enemy commandos who are still skulking around in our liberated zone to carry out acts of sabotage and are utilizing leading enemy thugs to sabotage law and order in our rear area. We also need to be on guard against possible actions by the enemy’s air forces, either by providing support to their troops during their retreats and during defense of their lines or by making attacks against our traffic and lines of communications, especially against those locations where our important reserve supply and logistics stockpiles are located.

[Translator’s note: In the original Vietnamese, it states - Note: The section from Point 3 on is not to be sent to Group 559.]

3. As the Center [the High Command in Hanoi] is now massing our forces and concentrating our guidance to speed up and intensify our strategic offensive, the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee has issued directives on the work of taking over and building up the newly liberated areas.

The Region Party Committees and the Military Region Party Committees have also issued directives on this and are now beginning to carry out this work. We would like to remind you all to pay attention to and closely monitor the following important tasks:

a) Plan to move more quickly to appeal to remnant enemy soldiers to turn themselves in and to hunt them down and set policies establishing different treatment methods for enemy enlisted men and enemy officers (officers, evil criminal enlisted men, and puppet governmental official must be detained. If your local areas have trouble doing this, these individuals should be sent to North Vietnam). Continue to educate and mobilize the civilian population, on the one hand spreading propaganda about the Provisional Revolutionary Government’s policy of leniency and amnesty, while on the other hand quickly punishing enemy thugs and the leaders of reactionary parties and factions. Make sure that you implement our policy correctly and avoid widespread, indiscriminate arrests and detentions.

b) Work with People’s Public Security to maintain law and order, issue very strict orders to our troops to strictly follow our political and civilian proselyting disciplinary regulations, and station military policemen in the cities and province capitals.

c) While you are now implementing your defensive deployment plan, you need to review the plan and strengthen it another notch to ensure that our troops are constantly combat-ready and prepared to annihilate enemy commando saboteurs. Pay special attention to defensive deployments to protect key focal points such as Hue City and the Thuan An Inlet, the Cua Viet Inlet in Tri-Thien, Danang City, Quy Nhon City, Nha Trang City, the Cam Ranh Military Port, and Ban Me Thuot.

d) Do a good job of building new armed forces, of consolidating and strengthening main force units and specialty branch units, and of developing and expanding local force units in accordance with the plan issued by the General Staff. Quickly organize new technical specialty branch units equipped with captured weapons, such as artillery units, tank units, 12.7mm anti-aircraft units, military transportation units, etc.

e) More closely monitor and check on the administration and security guard arrangements for military logistics and technical facilities, airfields, seaports, warehouses containing weapons, ammunition, fuel, and communications equipment, etc. Quickly send captured aircraft that are in good condition to secure locations (in accordance with the plan prepared by the Air Defense-Air Force Command).

f) While you are carrying out the tasks listed above, you must assign top priority to the issue of supplying our front lines in Cochin China, and especially to arranging transportation support, protecting the routes and lines of communications, and assisting the units that are now moving forward toward the Front. Military Regions must maintain a firm grip on your armed forces in this situation where some locations have been so busy and pre-occupied with the work of taking over and administering the newly captured areas that they have not adequately supervised and pushed the work of regrouping and strengthening our forces and ensuring combat readiness.

4. This section is for Region 5 only and is not to be sent to Tri Thien: We have just received a cable from Brother Nam [Vo Chi Cong] informing us of his intention to form a new army corps. This decision must have been born out of your Region’s earnest desire to participate in the task of completing the liberation of all of South Vietnam. Brother Ba [Le Duan] and I believe that currently Region 5 has very heavy responsibilities to fulfill. Therefore, on the military side you should continue to reorganize and strengthen your current Military Region Headquarters organization. With regards to your main force units, you should reorganize and strengthen your divisions and your newly organized regiments. You should not organize a new corps at this time. The General Staff will send you all a cable informing you of the Central Military Party Committee’s intentions regarding building military forces and planning the defenses of Interzone 5 so that you can study them, contribute your ideas, and then carry out these tasks.

With regard to defending Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, you are to study and carry out the capture and occupation of a number of the islands in the Nam Sa [Spratley] Archipelago. We have already sent a cable to you on this subject, and when [Le Trong] Tan arrives he will discuss this subject with you in greater detail.

5. For Military Region Tri Thien:

a) The Politburo recently issued a resolution eliminating the Region Party Committee. However, from the military standpoint you should still maintain the Military Region command level. Therefore we wished to inform you all of this so that you can correctly implement the decision.

b) You all usually send the reports of the Region Party Current Affairs Committee to the Party Secretariat and to the Central Military Party Committee. I would like to remind you all that the Military Region Party Committee and the Military Region Headquarters need to send clearer, more detailed and specific reports on the status of your armed forces units, on your force-building and development plans, and on your defense plans to the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee.

I wish you all good health.

[signed]

Van [Vo Nguyen Giap]