ePub 版

records indicating whether Stalin knew of U.S. delegate
to the UN Warren Austin's famous statement to the UN
Political Committee made the day before: “Today the
forces of the United Nations stand on the threshold of
military victory... The aggressor's forces should not be
permitted to have refuge behind an imaginary line
because that would recreate the threat to the peace of
Korea and of the world.”
29. See Chronology, list 61.
30. The purported Mao to Stalin cable of 2 October
1950 appeared in an official Chinese compilation of
Mao's writings published by the Central Committee of
the Chinese Communist Party: Jianguo Yilai Mao
Zedong Wengao Diyi Ce (1949.9-1950.12) [The Manu-
scripts of Mao Zedong Since the Founding of the
Nation, vol. 1 (Sept. 1949-Dec. 1952)] (Beijing: Cen-
tral Documents Publishing House, 1987), pp. 539-541;
an English translation appears in Goncharov, Lewis,
and Xue, Uncertain Partners, 275-76, reading as fol-


9. (Ed. note: In addition, some high-level declassified
Russian documents bearing on the period examined by
this article were published in English translation in
Kathryn Weathersby, “The Soviet Role in the Early
Phase of the Korean War: New Documentary Evi-
dence,The Journal of American-East Asian Relations
2:4 (Winter 1993), 425-458; see also Col. Gen. D.A.
Volkogonov, “Should We Be Frightened by This?—
Behind the Scenes of the Korean War," Ogonok (Mos-
cow) 25-26(June 1993), English translation in Vladimir
Petrov, "Soviet Role in the Korean War Confirmed:
Secret Documents Declassified,Journal of Northeast
Asian Studies 13:3 (Fall 1994), 42-67, esp. 48-57.]
10. Although this document has still not been declassi-
fied, it is alluded to in a detailed chronology of events
prepared by officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry
who had access to still-classified materials. In particu-
lar, the chronology entry dated 20 September 1950,
describing the content of Stalin's reply to Zhou Enlai's
inquiry about the military situation in Korea after the
Inch'on landing (an inquiry which Zhou had conveyed
to Amb. Roshchin and Soviet military advisers Kotov
and Konnov on September 18), states: “These Soviet
recommendations (regarding what the KPA should do
following the Inch'on landing) were transmitted to Kim
Il Sung on 18 September 1950." See Chronology of
Major Developments on the Eve of and During the
Korean War (January 1949-October 1950) (hereafter
Chronology). Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Fed-
eration (AVPRF), Moscow, Fond 5, opis 58, delo 266,
list 55.

It appears that this is the same telegram which
Stalin referred to in his message to Mao Zedong and
Zhou Enlai on 1 October 1950 (Document 10), in which
he stated that on September 16 “Moscow warned our
Korean friends that the landing of the USA troops at
Chemulp'o (Inch'on) had great significance....” Per-
haps the discrepancy can be explained by the fact that
although the telegram may have been drafted in or sent
from Moscow on September 16, given the time differ-
ence and the chaos of the military situation it might have
been handed to Kim only on September 18. Further
declassification is required to resolve the question con-
clusively, however.
11. At this point, it is worth clarifying a bit of confusion
that has emerged over the fact that there were two senior
Soviet military officials with the surname Zakharov at
this juncture of the Korean War. Army Gen. Matvey
Vasilievich Zakharov (1898-1972), the Deputy Chief of
the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces, was
dispatched to Pyongyang in late September 1950 to
inspect and report back to Stalin on the military situa-
tion. He signed and received messages using the
pseudonym, “Matveyev.” In October 1950, shortly
after M.V.Zakharov was sent to Korea, Corps Commisar
Semyon Egorovich Zakharov (1906-1969) was sent to
Beijing as Stalin's personal military envoy to Mao
Zedong and Zhou Enlai and remained in the Chinese
capital until the end of the war in July 1953, and
documents involving him bear his actual name.
12. See Chronology, AVPRF, Fond 5, Opis 58, Delo
266, listy 52-53.
13. In Uncertain Partners (p. 174), Goncharov, Lewis,
and Xue refer to a five-man team which was dispatched
from China to Korea on September 17 "to survey local
topography.” This must be the same team of senior
military officers to which Zhou referred.
14. Chronology, listy 54-55.
15. See Chronology, listy 55-56.
16. Rees, Korea, 91.
17. These charges are not completely fair because the
Soviet military advisers were severely restricted in their

mobility by Stalin's early order that under no circum-
stances they cross the 38th parallel, even when the KPA
was on the offensive at the Naktong River front. Hence,
their own knowledge of the military situation and
ability to influence it were very much limited.
18. See Shabshin's conversation with Pak Hon-Yong,
recorded in Document #5. A. I. Shabshin had been the
Soviet Deputy Consul in Seoul before the end of the
Second World War; as Adviser on Political Affairs; in
1946, he was appointed as a Political Adviser to the
Soviet 25th Army responsible for the occupation of
North Korea; when the Korean War started, he was
assigned to Gen. Matveyev's team.
19. Kim was reported to be very upset that Ch'oe failed
to report to him regularly about the development of the
military situation in Seoul, despite his access to radio.
20. Kim Il Sung commanded his troops from inside an
underground bunker located in the vicinity of
Pyongyang. According to Yu Song-ch'ol's memoirs,
during the entire war Kim Il Sung made only one visit
to the Front Line Command. That was when it was
located at the Seoul Capitol Building. Others disagree
and insist that he came down as far as Suanbo to inspect
the front lines and allegedly even bathed in hot springs
there. (See Yu Song-ch'ol, “Recollections,” Choong-
ang Ilbo (Seoul), 14 November 1990.] Consequently,
the only more or less reliable source of updates on the
military situation for Kim Il Sung at that time was his
Soviet advisers. But as the predicament of the KPA
deepened, they seemed to begin to dodge his inquiries,
citing insufficient knowledge, and to avoid giving rec-
ommendations on strategy and tactics.
21. See Document #5.
22. One should note that two days earlier Zakharov had
told Kim that it was wishful thinking on his part to count
on manning those nine divisions from among "the
southerners” because the UN offensive would most
likely cut off and rout them. See Document #4.
23. Such“shyness" was quite unusual for Shtykov, who
in the past had pushed Kim Il Sung around as he pleased
and often used Kim's name to promote his own ideas in
24. The origins of this request were not without contro-
versy even within the DPRK government. In his con-
versation with A.I. Shabshin on September 28 (Docu-
ment #5), Pak Honyong mentioned that originally the
WPK CC PC intended to ask only for Soviet air support
because some nationalistic North Korean leaders advo-
cated only limited direct Soviet participation in the war.
As of September 29, Kim Il Sung still insisted, perhaps
pro forma, that “we should continue to fight on and
eventually unite Korea by our own forces.” However,
as the military situation continued to deteriorate, in-
creasing the perception in Pyongyang that only an all-
out intervention by the USSR could bail out the North
Korean regime, which was on the brink of complete
disaster, Kim felt compelled to seek full Soviet military
25. Quoted in Rees, Korea, 103.
26. This timetable may have reflected Stalin's hope that
the remnants of Kim's troops would be able to resist the
UN troops on their own at least for the next few days
while he would be busy seeking Chinese support.
27. His justification for this measure was that most of
these enterprises were destroyed by American air raids
and out of operation anyhow.
28. I have not located any evidence in the Russian
archives as to whether Stalin was informed on October
I that MacArthur had just made an unconditional sur-
render demand to the North Koreans to “forthwith lay
down your arms and cease hostilities under such mili-
tary supervision as I may direct." Nor could I find any

1. We have decided to send some of our troops to Korea under the name of Chinese People's] Volunteers to fight the United States and its lackey Syngman Rhee and to aid our Korean Comrades. From the following considerations, we think it necessary to do so: the Korean revolutionary force will meet with a fundamental defeat, and the American aggressors will rampage unchecked once they occupy the whole of Korea. This will be unfavorable to the entire East.

2. Since we have decided to send Chinese troops to fight the Americans in Korea, we hold that, first, we should be able to solve the problem; that is, (we are] ready to annihilate and drive out the invading armies of the United States and other countries. Second, since Chinese troops are to fight American troops in Korea (although we will use the name Volunteers), we must be prepared for a declaration of war by the United States and for the subsequent use of the U.S. air force to bomb many of China's cities and industrial bases, as well as an attack by the U.S. navy on (our) coastal areas.

3. Of these two problems, the primary problem is whether or not the Chinese troops can annihilate the American troops in Korea and effectively resolve the Korean issue. Only when it is possible for our troops to annihilate the American troops in Korea, principally the Eighth Army (an old army with combat effectiveness), can the situation become favorable to the revolutionary camp and to China, although the second problem (a declaration of war by the United States) is still a serious one. This means that the Korean issue will be solved in reality along with the defeat of the American troops (in name it will probably remain unsolved because the United States will most likely not admit Korea's victory for a considerable period of time). Consequently, even if the United States declares war on China, the war will probably not be of great scope or last long. The most unfavorable situation, we hold, would result from the inability of the Chinese troops to annihilate American troops in Korea and the involvement of the two countries' troops in a stalemate while the United States publicly declares waron China, undermines the plans for China's economic reconstruction, which has already begun, and sparks the dissatisfaction of (China's) national

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bourgeoisie and other segments of the people (they are very afraid of war).

4. Under the current situation, we have reached a decision to order the 12 divisions stationed in advance in South Manchuria to set off on October 15. They will be deployed in appropriate areas in North Korea (not necessarily reaching to the 38th parallel). On the one hand, they will fight the enemies who dare to cross the 38th parallel. At the initial stage, they will merely engage in defensive warfare to wipe out small detachments of enemy troops and ascertain the enemy's situation; on the other hand, they will wait for the delivery of Soviet weapons. Once they are (well]equipped, they will cooperate with the Korean comrades in counterattacks to annihilate American aggressor troops.

5. According to our intelligence to date, an American corps (composed of two infantry divisions and a mechanized division) has 1,500 guns of 70 mm to 240 mm caliber, including tank cannons and anti-aircraft guns. In comparison, each of our corps (composed of three divisions) has only 36 such guns. The enemy dominates the air. By comparison, we have only just started training pilots. We shall not be able to employ more than 300 aircraft in combat until February 1951. Accordingly, we do not now have any certainty of success in annihilating a single American corps in one blow. Since we have made a decision to fight the Americans, we certainly must be prepared to deal with a situation in which the U.S. headquarters will employ one American corps against our troops in one (of the Korean) theaters. For the purpose of eliminat completely one enemy corps with a certainty of success, we should in such a situation assemble four times as many troops as the enemy (employing four corps to deal with one enemy corps) and firepower from one-anda-half times to twice as heavy as the enemy's (using 2,200 to 3,000 guns of more than 70mm caliber to deal with 1,500 enemy guns of the same caliber).

6. In addition to the above-mentioned 12 divisions, we are moving 24 divisions from south of the Yangtze River and from Shaanxi and Gansu provinces to areas along the XuzhouLanzhou, Tianjin-Pukou, and Beijing-Shenyang railroad lines. We plan to employ these divisions as the second and third groups of troops sent to aid Korea in the spring and summer of next year as the future situation requires.

appears to leave two principal alternatives: 1) that both Russian documents, and others in the Presidential Archives collection that are logically and chronologically consistent with the events they describe, are elaborate fakes (which I find highly unlikely, especially as the collection includes plenty of documents that are highly incriminating regarding the Soviet role in the war); or 2) (what I find more likely) that the published Chinese version of the October 2 telegram is unreliable: inaccurate, unsent, or perhaps misdated; nor can one exclude the possibility that the text was altered or falsified by Chinese authorities to present what they deemed to be a more ideologically or politically correct version of history. (In contrast to the case with Russian documents, scholars have not been permitted access to the relevant Chinese archives to examine original documents or facsimiles, and have been forced to rely on published versions.) In any case, numerous important accounts of the events leading to the PRC's entry into the Korean War relying on the Chinese version of the 2 October 1950 Mao to Stalin cable must now be called into question. (Ed. note: Some of the more important of the many examples of recent works using the Chinese version of the cable--an English translation of which was reprinted under the headline, “Mao's Cable Explains Drive Into Korea,” in The New York Times on 26 February 1992—include Christensen, “Threats, Assurances, and the Last Chance for Peace," esp. 135-142; Hunt, “Beijing and the Korean Crisis," esp. 460-463; Shu Guang Zhang, Deterrence and Strategic Culture: Chinese-American Confrontations, 1949-1958 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 97; Goncharov, Lewis, and Xue, Uncertain Partners, esp. 176-183; Chen Jian, China's Road to the Korean War, esp. 175-180; Stueck, The Korean War, esp. 99-100; and Shu Guang Zhang, Mao's Military Romanticism, esp. 78-80.)

Clearly, further research is necessary, in both the Moscow and Beijing archives, to establish the precise contents and chronology of the communications between Stalin and Mao during the first two weeks of October 1950. In the meantime, the evidence cited here should induce additional caution in treating the Chinese version of Mao's decision to enter the Korean War. 31. N. S. Khrushchev, The Korean War (Moscow: Progress Publishing House), 28, in Russian; for a slightly different English translation, see Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes, trans. and ed. by Jerrold L. Schecter with Vyacheslav V. Luchkov (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1990), 147. 32. I believe that Shtykov referred to the members of the DPRK government and various administrative agencies and organizations who originally came from the USSR as Soviet citizens of Korean nationality. This was an “escape clause" for all the so-called Soviet Korean leaders, including Kim Il Sung himself and his guerrilla comrades. 33. I believe that herein Shtykov referred to the Soviet aircraft maintenance and support teams which were transferred from the Maritime Province to the vicinity of Pyongyang in the last week of September. At that time, the Soviet General Staff had still been considering Stalin's order to dispatch a Soviet fighter aviation squadron to provide air cover for the North Korean capital. However, once the UN forces moved over the 38th parallel on October 1 and were rapidly and successfully advancing toward Pyongyang, apparently Stalin made a decision not to deploy the Soviet Air Force directly in North Korea, but to redeploy it in northeast China. Therefore, Shtykov requested authority to send home the remaining aircraft maintenance and support teams. 34. See Goncharov et al., Uncertain Partners, 183.

35. See Goncharov et al., Uncertain Partners, 185,279. 36. One can notice also that from then on, Kim Il Sung started to conclude his personal letters to Stalin with the words “respectfully yours," instead of “faithfully yours.” 37. See Rees, Korea, 108-109. 38. See Shi Zhe, op. cit. 39. The above account of Stalin-Zhou talks in October 1950 is based on the author's June 1995 interview with Dr. Nikolai T. Fedorenko, one of the Soviet participants at these talks who interpreted them and later composed minutes thereof. In the near future, the Center for Korean Research expects to receive copies of the minutes of the Stalin-Zhou talks as part of its project on academic cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. 40. Goncharov et al., Uncertain Partners, 190. 41. It is noteworthy, however, that Goncharov, Xue, and Lewis's account is based on the personal recollections of Kang Yimin, a confidential secretary of Zhou Enlai from the CCP Central Committee who accompanied the latter to Moscow. One may speculate that Zhou might have attempted to distort the record of talks in order to manipulate Mao's opinion, and later used his confidential secretary to leak his preferred version of what allegedly happened in Moscow. 42. This conclusion is based on the author's June 1995 interview with a former high-ranking official at the International Department of the CPSU CC who asked not to be identified. 43. Intriguingly, the first time Stalin mentioned his willingness to provide Chinese troops with air cover if they engaged in Korea was in his letter to Zhou Enlai dated 5 July 1950(!). In his ciphered telegram #3172 wired to Beijing at 23:45 p.m., he stated that “we consider it correct to concentrate immediately nine Chinese divisions on the Chinese - North Korean border for volunteers' actions in North Korea in the event of the enemy's crossing the 38th parallel. We will do our best to provide the air cover for these units.” For the full text, see Document #7. 44. See Chronology, list 61. 45. See Goncharov et al., Uncertain Partners, 192-195. 46. Although we do not have this ciphered telegram in our physical possession, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to believe that this document actually existed: Stalin cited and referred to this ciphered telegram several times in Documents #20 and #21; also, a reference to it appears in Shtykov's telegram to Stalin in Document #18. 47. Major-General Ch'oe Kyong-dok was a member of the Front Military Council. Before the war he was the Chairman of the DPRK Federation of Trade Unions. 48. This account is based on the author's interview with Dr. V. K. Pak (Pak Gil-yon), former Deputy Foreign Minister of the DPRK (1954-1960) in charge of the DPRK's relations with socialist countries, who has been in exile in the USSR since his purge in 1960. During the Korean War, Mr. Pak served at Kim Il Sung's headquarters as his second personal interpreter. The interview took place in Moscow on 10 July 1995. 49. Although this note was written and wired out in the early morning hours of October 14, Stalin seems to have pre-dated it as of October 13. Perhaps he wanted to make everybody in the loop, as well as posterity, forget about his original evacuation order sent to Kim only a few hours earlier.

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Is the above text-indicating a firm Chinese decision to intervene militarily against the Americans in Korea (albeit with some trepidation and an explicit statement that the “Volunteer” forces would require adequate Soviet weaponry before they could take the offensive)compatible with the message from Mao to Stalin dated 2 October 1950 which Roshchin cabled to Moscow on 3 October 1950 (Document #12], according to the document recently declassified in the Russian archives? Clearly not. Nor is it compatible with Stalin's statement to Kim Il Sung on October 8, stating that, in response to his own letter of October 1 seeking Chinese entry into the war, “Mao Zedong replied with a refusal, saying that he did not want to draw the USSR into the war, that the Chinese army was weak in technical terms, and that the war could cause great dissatisfaction in China.” (Document #13.) That

Alexandre Y. Mansourov is a doctoral candidate at the Center for Korean Research, Columbia University.


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Document 1: Soviet Defense Minister several radar units designed to locate the operation. A.M. Vasilevsky to Stalin, 21 September enemy's aircraft, as well as a team of radio At present, there are no maintenance 1950

operators who can set up communications personnel at these airdromes because they

between the airbase and these radar posts. had all been redeployed to airfields south of To Comrade STALIN

Otherwise, our airplanes on the ground will Seoul. Neither are there fuel and munitions

be subject to sudden raids by the enemy's for combat aircraft in the vicinity of Regarding the question of the transfer aviation.

Pyongyang of fighter aviation regiment of “YAK-9s” to 5. We ask You to give us permission to Therefore, first, from September 25 to provide air cover to Pyongyang, I herewith report all our final calculations regarding the September 30, we will transport the followreport:

regiment's transfer to Pyongyang as soon as ing by railroad from the Maritime Region 1. In order to speed up the regiment we find out in Pyongyang the details related via Andong to their destinations: transfer, we consider it the most expedient to to the questions of the regiment's redeploy- a team for the technical maintenance use the 84th fighter regiment of the 147th ment. At the same time, we will report to of the regiment with the minimum required aviation division based on 40 metal-made You our considerations concerning the or- airbase equipment; "YAK-9s”, deployed in the Maritime Re- ganization of the air defense system of the - a team of radio technicians with four gion in the vicinity of Voroshilov. The airbase from which the regiment will oper- radar units for locating the enemy's planes regiment shall be dispatched by air via Chi- ate.

and guiding our planes thereto; nese territory by the route Yanji-Andong


- an air defense artillery battalion conPyongyang. The regiment's overflight


sisting of three 85-mm gun batteries and one should take two days. During the prepara- “21” September 1950

37-mm gun battery, in total 16 artillery guns, tion for the overflight one has to take into No. 1172cc

for providing air cover to the airdrome; account the inevitability of air combat in the Copies: Stalin, Malenkov, Beriya,

- fuel for 15 refueling cycles and 15 sets area of Andong-Pyongyang. Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Bulganin,

of munitions. 2. In a very cautious manner, we made Khrushchev.

3. On September 24, in order to orgaa number of inquires to Comrade Shtykov

nize the reception of the regiment and its concerning the following questions: (Source: Archive of the President, Russian combat operation, we are sending by car

- the suitability for the landing of our Federation (APRF), fond 3, opis 65, delo from the Maritime Region to Pyongyang the aircraft of airbases in the vicinity of 827, listy 79-80]

commander of the aviation corps Colonel Pyongyang which have been badly damaged

Noga who is supposed to meet the regiment by the enemy's air raids, especially lately;

in Andong, assign combat tasks thereto, and - the availability of aircraft maintenance Document 2: Vasilevsky to Stalin, 23 be in charge of its flight over to Pyongyang. personnel, fuel, and munitions thereat. September 1950

4. The regiment is expected to com3. If the Koreans do not have aircraft

mence fulfilling its combat mission aimed at maintenance crews, before the regiment's

To Comrade STALIN

covering Pyongyang from the air on October transfer we will have to dispatch an aviation

3. maintenance battalion for this regiment, com- I herewith report concerning the under- 5. At the same time, we consider it posed of 223 men with air-base equipment, taken measures relating to the redeployment necessary to report that our pilots' work in to Pyongyang by the railroad via Andong. It of the fighter aviation regiment based on the the skies over Pyongyang will inevitably be is likely to take us five-six days to transfer “LA-9" type of aircraft from the Maritime discovered by the U.S. troops right after the this battalion, given the transport overload Region to provide air cover for the city of first air combat, because all the control and across the Yalu River in the vicinity of Pyongyang.

command over the combat in the air will be Andong.

1. For the redeployment we assigned conducted by our pilots in the Russian lanIf the Koreans do not have fuel and the 304th fighter aviation regiment of the guage. munitions, we will have to ship them to 32nd fighter aviation division numbering 40

[signature] Pyongyang simultaneously with the battal- airplanes “LA-9” currently deployed at the

VASILEVSKY ion transport.

air base Spassk in the Maritime Region. "23" September 1950 In this case, accounting for the transfer On October 1-2, the regiment will be of the personnel, it is likely to take up to redeployed by air via Chinese territory by (Source: APRF, fond 3, opis 65, delo 827, eight-ten days for the final readiness of the the route Spassk-Dongning-Yanji-Tonghua- listy 81-82] regiment for combat in the vicinity of Andong-Pyongyang. Pyongyang

We will carefully elaborate the flight 4. Bearing in mind the lack of Korean plan, especially regarding its segment from Document 3: Telegram from Fyn Si aerial surveillance and alert system in the Andong to Pyongyang, and the regiment's (Stalin) to Matveyev (Army Gen. M.V. vicinity of Pyongyang, in order to create pilot crews will study it thoroughly.

Zakharov) and Soviet Ambassador to normal conditions in combat for our regi- 2. The information which we received the DPRK T.F. Shtykov, approved 27 ment, we would consider it necessary to from Korea indicates that airdromes in the September 1950 Soviet Communist dispatch along with the regiment at least vicinity of Pyongyang are still suitable for Party Central Committee Politburo

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unprepared for combat, could not produce mand, especially in the questions of an orgaVKP(b) CC

any effect because of lack of coordination nized pullout of the KPA troops from the # P78/73

and communications with the staff. The southeast and the prompt organization of a 27 September 1950

division which arrived from the southeast new defense front to the east, south, and [To:) Cmrds Malenkov, Bulganin,

was thrown into combat in a disorganized north of Seoul, our military advisers must Vasilevsky

manner and in odd units, which made it arrange the following:
easier for the enemy to decimate and annihi- 1. The pullout of the main forces must

late it. As we directed earlier, you should be conducted under the protection of strong Extract Minutes from Protocol #78 of the have deployed this division for combat at the rear guards dispatched from the divisions

Meeting of the Politburo of the CC line northeast and east of Seoul, reorganize it and capable of rendering serious resistance VKP(b) Decision dated September 27, there, give its soldiers at least one day of to the enemy. This can be achieved if the 1950

respite, prepare it for battle and only after- command over the rear guards is assigned to

wards introduce these troops into combat. commanders with considerable military ex#73. - Questions of Korea.

One cannot help taking serious note of perience, if the rear guards are strengthened

erroneous and absolutely inadmissible tac- with standing and antitank artillery, field Approve of the attached directive tics for tank use in combat. Lately you have engineering units, and, if possible, with tanks. to Comrades Matveyev and Shtykov. used tanks in combat without preliminary 2. The rear guards must engage in com

artillery strikes aimed at clearing the field for bat from defensive line to defensive line, Secretary of the C[entral] C[ommittee) tank maneuvers. As a consequence, the making broad use of engineering fortifica

enemy easily destroys your tanks. Our mili- tions, including mines and materials at hand. tary advisers who have personal experience The rear guards must act decisively and

from the Great Patriotic War must be aware actively in order to gain the time required for

Attachment to that such ignorant use of tanks leads to their the pullout of the main forces. #73 (op) of the Politburo Protocol #78 loss.

3. The bulk of the troops of the diviOne cannot help noticing the strategic sions, to the extent possible, must be with

Top Secret illiteracy of our advisers and their incompe- drawn in a compact manner, ready to force Pyongyang

tence in intelligence matters. They failed to their way forward, but not in separate and

grasp the strategic importance of the enemy's odd units. The major force must dispatch TO MATVEYEV (ZAKHAROV) assault landing in Inch'on, denied the gravity strong forward guards armed with artillery TO SHTYKOV

of its implications, while Shtykov even sug- and, if possible, with tanks.

gested that we should bring to trial the author 4. Tanks must be used only in joint The serious predicament in the area of of an article in the “Pravda” about the U.S. action with infantry and only after prelimiSeoul and in the South-East in which the assault landing. This blindness and lack of nary artillery fire. Korean People's Army has found itself lately strategic experience led to the fact that they 5. One must dispatch forward detachhas to a great extent been caused by a series doubted the necessity of redeploying troops ments to occupy and hold ravines, bridges, of grave mistakes made by the Frontline from the South toward Seoul, as well as ferries, passes and important road junctions Command, the Commands of the Army procrastinated over their redeployment and located along the way of the movement of Groups and army groupings in matters re- slowed it down considerably, thereby losing the major forces until the latter pass through lated to command and control over troops, a week to the enemy's enjoyment.

them. as well as to the tactics of their combat use The assistance provided by our military 6. Special attention must be paid to the in particular.

advisers to the Korean Command in such questions of the organization of field intelliIt is our military advisers who are even paramount matters as communications, com- gence, as well as flank protection and mainmore to blame for these mistakes. Our mand and control over troops, organization tenance of communications between marchmilitary advisers failed to implement scru- of intelligence and combat is exceptionally ing troops' columns. pulously and in a timely fashion the order of weak. As a result of this, the KPA troops, in 7. When preparing for defense, one the Supreme Commander-in-Chief for the essence, are beyond control: they are en- should avoid stretching out the troops along withdrawal of four divisions from the cen- gaged in combat blindly and cannot arrange the entire front line but tightly cover the tral front to the area of Seoul despite the fact the coordination between the various armed main directions and set up strong reserve that at the moment of adopting this decision services in battle. One can tolerate such a units for active actions. such a possibility existed. Consequently, situation during a successful offensive, but 8. When setting up communications they lost seven days which brought about an one cannot allow this to happen when the with troops via the line of the Korean Comenormous tactical advantage in the vicinity frontline situation is worsening.

mand, one must utilize radio with the use of of Seoul to the U.S. troops. Had they pulled You must elucidate all these points to codes. out these divisions on time, this could have our military advisers, and first of all to In the future, while organizing the work changed the military situation around Seoul Vasilyev.

of our military advisers in accordance with considerably. Odd battalions and separate In the present military situation, in order this directive, you must undertake all necesdetachments arriving in the vicinity of Seoul, to provide assistance to the Korean Com

sary measures so that none of our military

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advisers will be captured by the enemy, as over Sangju and Antó to the north and north- Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Defense was directed earlier. west of Taegu.

Minister in his hands, to set up a Staff Office Report on the implementation of this According to the information which still for the Supreme Commander-in-Chief for directive.

needs to be verified, some tank units of the the command and control over troops, and to

enemy's Seoul group continue to advance pay serious attention to the work of the rear. FYN SI. (STALIN] toward Ch'ungju, which creates the danger At present, they have begun to form

of encirclement of the First Army Group of only six infantry divisions in the northern (Source: APRF, fond 3, opis 65, delo 827, the KPA.

part of Korea, whereas the current military listy 90-93]

The People's Army troops, suffering situation has made impossible the formation heavy losses, mainly from the enemy's of nine infantry divisions manned with the

airforce, having lost almost all their tanks Southerners. Document 4: Ciphered telegram from and much artillery, are engaged in difficult KIM IL SUNG issued a directive to take Matveyev (Zakharov) to Fyn Si (Stalin), battles to hold their positions. The troops immediate steps aimed at withdrawing the 26 [27] September 1950

lack ammunition and fuel the delivery of remaining KPA troops from South Korea so

which has been virtually halted. The ac- that to use it to form new divisions in North CIPHERED TELEGRAM # 600262/sh counting for the available weapons and am- Korea and deny this opportunity to the South.

munition is organized unsatisfactorily. The In connection with the fact that the From Pyongyang

Sent on

top-down command and control system is Chinese railroads are overloaded transport26.9.50 at 8:10' a.m., by wire

set up poorly. The wire and radio communi- ing supplies to Korea, it is desirable that the Received in Moscow on 27.9.50 at 20:55 cations work intermittently because of the armaments designated for use by the six p.m.

interruptions inflicted by the enemy's air divisions which are being newly formed be Arrived in the 8th MDGS? on 27.9.50 at raids and due to the lack of qualified radio shipped first, and only then should the am21:10 p.m.

operators and the lack of fuel for radio sta- munition be delivered. Deciphered by Morozov on 27.9.50 at tion generators correspondingly. Courier After our conversation with KIM IL 23:50 p.m. mail is almost nonexistent.

SUNG we got down to work in order to assist

The predicament of the KPA troops, in in: Number of copies made - 10

particular on the Southeastern front, remains - organizing good command and conDistribution List: unclear.

trol over troops; Stalin - 2, Molotov - 1, Malenkov -1,

Upon our recommendation, on the night rearranging the system of troop supBeria -1, Mikoyan - 1, Kaganovich - 1, of 26.9.50 (26 September 1950), some Ko- plies, shipments, and transport services;


, Bulganin - 1, Vasilevsky - 1, 8th MDGS rean communications officers were dis- - Preparing defensive fortifications. file - 1.

patched to the Front Command and the Seoul The People's Army is experiencing a group in order to collect information on the dire shortage of drivers. The 3,400 trucks troops' situation.

which are to arrive soon have no drivers at TO COMRADE FYN SI (STALIN)

On 25.9.50, at 19:00 pm, local time, all. It may be expedient to propose to Kim Il

Kim Il Sung's order was forwarded to the Sung that he ask the Chinese friends to Having familiarized myself with the troops, according to which the Seoul group- dispatch not less than 1,500 drivers to Kopredicament of the KPA, I report:

ing and the Second Army Group operating rea, may it not? The situation of the People's Army in the northern part of the southeastern front troops on the Western (Seoul) and South- were told to go on the defensive and hold up

MATVEYEV (ZAKHAROV) eastern (Pusan) fronts is severe. the enemy by any means.

# 1298/sh Seeking to encircle and destroy the main The troops of the Second Army Group 09/27/50 forces of the People's Army, it is in the operating in the central and southern parts of 12:35pm, Pyongyang time general direction of Ch’ungju that the U.S. the southeastern front were ordered to begin Typed by Budanova on 28.9.50 at 0:15 troops have concentrated the major efforts general retreat northwestward with the aim a.m. of the assault group which had landed in the of getting to the area of Chénchang, Taejon, area of Chemulp'o, as well as of the troops Poún for further levelling off the front line (Source: APRF, fond 3, opis 65, delo 827,

( that had launched an offensive from the area approximately following the line Seoul, listy 103-106) to the North and Northwest of Taegu. Yóju, Ch'ungju (in Russian translation:

Using the support of the air force which Seoul, Reisiu, Tsiusiu, Naidzio, Urutsin). has dominated the air space without hin- On 26.9.50, KIM IL SUNG received Document 5: Ciphered Telegram, drance and caused aircraft-fright our group

Shtykov to Deputy Foreign Minister [aviaboiazn '] both among the ranks within The meeting was also attended by For- Andrei Gromyko and Instantsia the People's Army and in the rear areas, the eign Minister PAK HÓN-YONG and Com- (Stalin), 29 September 1950 U.S. troops have managed to move from rade SHTYKOV. Suwon eastward and southeastward for 25 to As a result of our conversation, KIM IL CIPHERED TELEGRAM # 600301/sh 30 kilometers and some of their troops took SUNG decided to combine the duties of the

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