Friday, 24 April 2015

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954 Volume XIII, Part 1, Indochina (in two parts), Document 530

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954Volume XIII, Part 1, Indochina (in two parts), Document 530

751G.52/2–154: Telegram

The Consul at Hanoi (Sturm) to the Department of State

425. Repeated information Saigon 309, Paris 180. Paris limit distribution. Attempted and completed acts of sabotage and terrorism appear to be increasing in Red River delta, as if to offset Viet Minh failure to attack and overwhelm Dien-Bien-Phu.
Director of railway connecting Haiphong and Hanoi advises that yesterday morning about 0900 as troop train en route from port to capital passed post at Pham-Xa, 72 kilometers east of Hanoi, it was blown up by electrically detonated device containing estimated 50 kilograms of explosive and buried at edge of ballast. Three cars carrying 50 French Union troops each were hit; about 15 men were killed and 25 wounded. One of the Viet Minh responsible for detonation was caught and killed. Average of one train monthly has been blown up since last April.
Last night five air force DC–3s were sabotaged at Doson field near Haiphong. General Cogny said at the time his reserve parachute battalions were taken from Tonkin and sent to middle Mekong that he was especially concerned by resultant weakening of his air base security, since these troops had been stationed near, and had helped to guard, principal fields.
At about time State Secretary Jacquet arrived 25th, plastic explosive charges with clock mechanisms were discovered in two Hanoi officers messes: one belonging to Air Transport Command and the other to Headquarters Engineers.
Chief political officer of Delegation General said today it should be anticipated that Viet Minh will undertake still wider program of terrorism, directed particularly against Occidentals, and will intensify efforts to sabotage such critical installations as air bases, at same time stepping up pace of more conventional military activities throughout delta.

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