March 1975 Troop Deployments in III Corps

US Ambassador Graham Martin retransmitted the following cablegram that he had received from Richard Peters, US Consul General in Bien Hoa.

P 010535Z APR 75
FM AMEMBASSY SAIGON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4448
INFO USDEL JEC PARIS PRIORITY
COMUSSAG NKP THAI PRIORITY
CINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
COMIPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

S E C R E T SAIGON 3885

EXDIS - MILITARY ADDRESSEES HANDLE AS SPECAT EXCLUSIVE

FOLLOWING TELEGRAM SENT ACTION AMEMBASSY SAIGON FROM AMCONSUL BIEN HOA 31 MAR 75, REPEATED FOR YOUR ACTION/INFO.

QUOTE.

S E C R E T BIEN HOA 244

EXDIS

FOR THE AMBASSADOR

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: MOPS, VS

SUBJ: MR3 COMMANDER ADJUSTS HIS DEPLOYMENTS IN MR3

1. THIS MESSAGE IS CLASSIFIED SECRET/EXDIS BECAUSE IT CONTAINS FRIENDLY OB INFORMATION. MR3 SENIOR COMMANDERS HAVE RECENTLY SHOWN EXTREME SENSITIVITY WITH RESPECT TO FRIENDLY DEPLOYMENTS, SOME OF WHICH ARE MORE SENSITIVE THAN OTHERS.

2. OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS, THE MR3 COMMANDER, LTG TOAN, HAS MADE A NUMBER OF ADJUSTMENTS IN MAJOR TROOP DEPLOYMENTS THROUGHOUT THE REGION WHICH HE DESCRIBED TO ME DURING A PRIVATE CONVERSATION ON THE MORNING OF MAR 31. IN GENERAL, THESE DEPLOYMENTS APPEAR TO REFLECT AN ASSESSMENT THAT THE PRESSURE IS NOW SOMEWHAT EASIER AROUND TAY NINH CITY AND MORE STRENGTH IS NEEDED ALONG ROUTE 1 AS WELL AS IN BINH DUONG. THE MOVES HAVE GIVEN THE 48TH REGT BACK TO THE 18TH DIV IN THE EASTERN PROVINCES.

A. THE 32ND RANGER GROUP WITH 2 BNS HAS TAKEN OVER DEFENSE OF ROUTE 26 IN EASTERN TAY NINH PROVINCE, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 2 BNS OF THE 48TH REGT WHICH HAVE BEEN ON ROUTE 26 BACK TO THE 18TH DIV IN LONG KHANH PROVINCE.

B. THE 2 BNS OF THE 7TH REGT WHICH HAD BEEN ON ROUTE 1 WEST OF GO DAU HA HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED BACK TO THE 5TH DIV IN BINH DUONG PROVINCE AND THEIR POSITIONS WEST OF GO DAU HA ARE NOW HELD BY ONE BN OF THE 9TH REGT (5TH ARVN DIV) AND ONE RECON COMPANY FROM THE 9TH DIV. GEN TOAN SAID THAT HE THOUGHT THIS FORCE SUFFICIENT WEST OF GO DAU HA IN VIEW OF DECREASED NVA PRESSURE FROM THAT SIDE AND THE DIFFICULT TERRAIN.

C. TWO TASK FORCES OF THE 3RD ARMORED BRIGADE REMAIN ALONG ROUTE 1 IN THE GO DAU HA AREA IN MOBILE RESERVE.

D. THE THIRD OF THE ARMORED BRIGADE'S THREE TASK FORCES WILL BE ATTACHED TO THE 5TH ARVN DIV NEAR LAI KHE FOR OPERATIONS THERE IN THE NEAR TERM.

E. THE 81ST AIRBORNE WHICH HAD BEEN OPERATING IN TAY NINH PROVINCE NORTH OF TAY NINH CITY IS NOW BEING ASSIGNED TO OPERATE NORTHEAST OF BIEN HOA IN THE AREA OF THE BIEN HOA/LONG KHANH BORDER WHERE IT WILL CARRY OUT DEEP PENETRATIONS AND LONG-RANGE RECONNAISSANCE SEEKING INTELLIGENCE ON ANY NVA/VC BUILDUP IN THAT AREA.

F. ONE BN OF THE 48TH REGT IN LONG KHANH PROVINCE IS AT THE JUNCTION OF ROUTE 1 AND ROUTE 20, ANOTHER IS ABOUT 5 KMS SOUTHWEST OF XUAN LOC, AND STILL ANOTHER BN IS IN BINH TUY PROVINCE.

3. DURING OUR CONVERSATION, GEN TOAN TOLD ME FURTHER THAT HE WOULD GET ABOUT 4,000 TROOPS FROM THE 2ND DIV AND THAT THEY WOULD LAND TODAY OR TOMORROW IN BINH TUY PROVINCE TO FIGHT THERE. ONE DEPLOYMENT HE WAS CONSIDERING WAS AN ATTACK BY THESE TROOPS FROM BINH TUY PROVINCE TO TRY TO OPEN ROUTE 1 THROUGH EASTERN LONG KHANH PROVINCE. TOAN SAID HE IS ALSO TRYING TO GET PERSONEL FROM MRQJS 1ST ARMORED BRIGADE. IF HE SUCCEEDS, HE WANTS TO COLLECT THEM AT THE ARMORED SCHOOL AND DRAW UPON THEM FOR REPLACEMENTS IN THE 3RD ARMORED BRIGADE.

4. NEITHER TOAN OR OTHER SENIOR MR3 OFFICIALS HAVE MENTIONED IT BUT WE HAVE FAIRLY RELIABLE REPORTS THAT THREE RECON COMPANIES OF THE AIRBORNE DIV ARE NOW DEPLOYED IN TAY NINH CITY. WE ALSO HAVE INFORMATION THAT ONE OF THE TWO AIRBORNE BRIGADES WHICH WERE MOVED SOMETIME AGO FROM MR1 TO SAIGON IS DEPLOYED TO HELP PROTECT LONG BINH BASE. THE EMBASSY IS PROBABLY AWARE THAT SENIOR GVN OFFICERS HAVE BEEN VERY CLOSE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT DEPLOYMENT OF THE AIRBORNE BRIGADES.

SIGNED PETERS.

UNQUOTE

MARTIN

SECRET

This document was declassified and released by the US Department of State on July 05, 2006.

Nguyen Van Tin
26 September 2008

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