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Approved For Release 2000/06/07: CIO 49R000200270002-8 NO FOREIGN DISSEM COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF MEN AND SUPPLIES INTO SOUTH VIETNAM CIA/RR EP 65-11 February 1965 WARNING This material contains information affecting the National Defense of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, USC, Secs. 793 and 794, the trans- mission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-S 1 'W9R00020 GROUP 1 Excluded from automatic downgrading and Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RP 92 4'9R000200270002-8 FOREWORD In this publication an attempt is made to survey and summarize the highlights of the available source material regarding the Vietnamese Communist infiltration of men and supplies into South Vietnam. It has been found that various components of the intelligence community have studied the source material and that numerous intelligence items have been written on various current aspects of the problem. Information on the infiltration problem is presented in an attempt to point out the significance and potential of the various infiltration routes and the problems of interdicting them. Also included is a statement of signifi- cant gaps that were found to exist in the available information, and it is hoped that this statement may be useful as general guidance in the collection process and in directing further research on the infiltra- tion problem. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIAP789R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T CONTENTS Pale Summary and. Conclusions I. Tntrnr1iiP+.i nn A.. Terrain . . B. Boundaries . II. Land. Infiltration from North Vietnam ..... 7 A. Personnel . . . B. Infiltration of Supplies . . , . , . , . . . . . . 9 III. Sea Infiltration from North Vietnam A.. Preparations for Maritime Infiltration 14 B. Routes . . . . . . . . . . 14 IV. Infiltration from Cambodia into the Delta Area A.. Water Routes from Cambodia . . . . , , , 18 B. Land Routes from Cambodia . . . , , , . . . . . . 19 Append axes Appendix A. Photographic Analysis of Possible Infiltration Routes in Laos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . o Appendix B. Border Surveillance and P t 1 a r o . . . . . . . . . 23 Appendix C. Gaps in Intelligence . . . , . . . , . . . . . 25 Appendix D. Source References . . . . . , , , . . . . . 27 Ma s (Inside Back Cover) Figure 1. South Vietnam: Terrain and. Transportation Figure 2. South Vietnam: Inland, Waterways of the Mekong Delta Figure 3. Communist-Controlled. Areas of South Vietnam and Communist Infiltration Routes - v - Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : * RQR78S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF MEN AND SUPPLIES INTO SOUTH VIETNAM* Summary and Conclusions The generally rugged terrain and dense vegetation along the long border of South Vietnam offer an excellent environment for Communist infiltration into the country. The Vietnamese Communists, therefore, use a variety of routes to infiltrate men and supplies to maintain the insurgency. According to a recent report by the US Assistance Command in South Vietnam, more than 34,000 men have been infiltrated into South Vietnam during 1959 through mid-1964.** This estimate was based on a tabulation of interrogation reports of prisoners of war and appears to be a reasonable figure. Most of the men entered the northern provinces of South Vietnam from North Vietnam over mountain trails through Laos. Those infiltrators who were destined for the delta area continued south near the western border of South Vietnam. Because of the strict security maintained during the journey, the exact trails used by the infiltrators cannot be designated, but the general route can be defined. Infiltration of both men and supplies over these trails within Laos is controlled and supported by the 70th Transportation Group, which is subordinate to Hanoi. Within South Vietnam, local transportation groups are responsible for the continued movement of the infiltrators. Less information is available regarding the various routes used to infiltrate supplies into South Vietnam, and it is impossible to esti- mate with precision the volume of supplies that has been or is being infiltrated during a given period. Recent information indicates, however, that a sufficient number of porters were assigned to the Laotian trail system to transport about 1 short ton per day into South Vietnam. The volume of goods that has been infiltrated over this route and over other routes probably is larger than has been previously estimated, but it is still generally believed that the Viet Cong obtain the bulk of their supplies from indigenous sources. Food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and other nonmilitary supplies are obtained locally by purchase at fair prices, are grown or produced by the Viet Cong themselves, or are seized if necessary. Weapons, ammunition, and explosives have been obtained for the most part by capture from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and small arms, mines, and grenades are fabricated by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam. A few essential ingredients for this fabrication, such as TNT and detonators, are infiltrated as are more complicated and newer types of equipment, such as communications equipment, dual-purpose machineguns, and 75-millimeter (mm) recoilless rifles. An apparently * The estimates and conclusions in this publication represent the best judgment of this Office as of 25 February 1965. .* Information now available indicates that the total number of infil- trators during 1959 through 1964 may have been as high as 40,000 men. S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T growing percentage of arms used by the Viet Gong, however, is manufac- tured in Bloc countries. Interrogation of prisoners and the location of supplies when captured indicate that there are two major supply in- filtration routes: the trails through Laos that serve the northern provinces of South Vietnam. and the routes through Cambodia that serve the area of the Mekong Delta. Interrogated prisoners indicate that the supply route to South Viet- nam through Laos consists of a well-organized porter system utilizing nearly 2,000 coolies. The porters are based at some 40 stations located one-half day's journey apart, a distance that allows them to carry a load to the next station and return within 1 day. There is no evidence that supplies which have arrived in South Vietnam on this route have been moved farther south than the Province of Kontum in the north-central part of the country. Until recently sea transport directly from North Vietnam does not appear to have been a major means used for infiltrating either men or supplies to the northern part of South Vietnam. The men entering by sea for the most part have been intelligence agents under the control of the Research Bureau of the Lao Dong Party (Communist) of North Vietnam. The large amount of military supplies captured in con- nection with the sinking of the Communist vessel off Cape Varella on 16 February 1965, however, indicates that sea transport may become in- creasingly important. The supply system through Cambodia uses river craft on the Mekong- Bassac River complex and coastal craft in the Gulf of Siam and possibly as far along the coast as the mouth of the Mekong-Bassac Rivers. The supply operation also utilizes a porter system on forest trails, mainly through Tay Ninh Province. Supplies infiltrated on these routes appear to consist principally of food, explosive chemicals, radio equipment, medicine, and the like. Most of the movement within Cambodia is handled by smugglers and within South Vietnam by hired boat crews or Viet Cong transport units. The northern route supplies a large number of regular Viet Cong troops in an area where local sources of supply are scarce. This sup- ply route is comparatively long and difficult and therefore must require a larger effort than other routes. On the other hand, the Cambodian route, which supplies an area where local sources of some supplies are available, requires less effort because of the shorter supply lines and the comparative ease of water transport, which can be used to some ex- tent. The volume of supplies moving over all routes can be expanded, depending on the amount of effort expended and the risk that the Viet- namese Communists care to take. Patrol]:;tng the land border of South Vietnam is mainly the responsibility of the South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Groups, which consist of about 21,000 men not all of whom are located at camps along the border. These Special Forces make irregular trips along the numerou3 trails in the dense northern jungle and over the trails and waterways in the delta area. S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : QgWEWZ~692149RO00200270002-8 I. Introduction The current strength of the Viet Cong forces operating in South Vietnam is estimated to be about 33,000 hard-core troops and between 60,000 and 80,000 irregular, or part-time, forces. These forces rely for the most part on indigenous sources for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and other nonmilitary supplies, which frequently'are pur- chased at fair prices or grown or produced by the Viet Cong themselves, although they are seized if necessary. In areas where the Viet Cong have established firm control, they operate as a government, levying taxes and providing some services. For weapons, ammunition, explosives, and related supplies, the Viet Cong in the past have relied primarily on capture from government forces. Some stocks were left behind when the Communists withdrew in 1954, some were brought in by infiltrators, and some have been fabricated by the Viet Cong. Military items fabri- cated by the Viet Cong have been of two types: (1) homemade copies of US small arms (such as carbines and submachineguns), unique rifles and pistols, and grenade and rocket launchers of various types and (2) items of explosive ordnance such as antivehicle and antitank mines and offen- sive and defensive hand grenades, which are produced by factory methods on a small scale. To make these grenades and the various types of mines that have been captured, the Viet Cong had to procure only TNT and detonators clandestinely from outside sources or from operations against the South Vietnamese forces. Evidence now available indicates that regular supply lines have been established over which these and other clandestine supplies are obtained. The importance of the infiltration problem has been emphasized during 196+ by the increase in the tempo of Viet Cong operations in the northern area as well as in the delta area and by the use of new types of weapons (such as dual-purpose machineguns and 75-mm recoilless rifles) and ammunition not produced. or reloaded in South Vietnam. A. Terrain The rugged terrain and geographical situation of South Vietnam offers an excellent environment and numerous opportunities for infil- tration of men and supplies from adjoining areas and for clandestine movement within the country. South Vietnam is composed of the Mekong Delta, a coastal lowland, and a highland, as shown on the map, Figure l.* The roughly triangular and virtually flat delta plain fanning out from the Mekong River measures some 300 miles along the South China Sea littoral from Pointe de Ca Mau to Baria. The whole delta area is inter- laced with about 2,500 miles of navigable canals, rivers, and streams, as shown on the map, Figure 2.* 'The two channels of the Mekong aver- age more than one-half mile in width throughout South Vietnam, and the land between and adjacent to them consists of large areas of marsh and paddy land. Mangrove swamps also line the rivers in some places. Even these great channels are unable to contain all the water during - 3 - Approved For Release 2000/06/07: c44-R9R 2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/O7-E E B 1J f 8SO2149R000200270002-8 the flood season. More than one-half of the delta area is flooded each summer and autumn. Most of this area is densely populated, and local water traffic is heavy. Patrolling this expanse of water, even if only at the border and along the coast, is an enormous task. Else- where, particularly in the rugged northern mountains, the country is relatively undeveloped, settlements are sparse, and transportation is poor. The coastal lowland extending northward from the delta plain varies in width from 5 to 30 miles. In places the seaward edge of the lowland is bordered by belts of sand dunes several miles wide. Spurs and outliers of the highlands encroach on the lowlands and serve as potential avenues of ingress to the interior uplands for small parties that land in the sheltered bays and anchorages along the coast. Where the highlands extend to the sea, many such sheltered landing areas are found between the promontories and the steep rocky islands offshore. Between the coastal lowlands and the Mekong Valley lies the highland region, which extends from the southern end of Annam Moun- tains, just northeast of the Mekong Delta, northward into North Viet- nam. North of about the 14th parallel the highlands consist mainly of steep mountain ridges with intervening deep, narrow valleys. The southern part of the highlands, however, is a complex of mountain ranges and scattered plateaus, including the Darlac and Kontum. The mountains, with some peaks above 8,000 feet, and the deeply incised parts of the plateaus make surface transportation difficult. B. Boundaries The land boundaries of South Vietnam extend more than 900 miles, all of which adjoin Communist-controlled or unfriendly territory. On the east and south, for a distance of about 1,500 miles, the country fronts on the South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam. The boundary with Cambodia extends about 600 miles northeast- ward from the Gulf of Siam, about 460 miles of which is in the delta area and is crossed by numerous -rivers and streams that are used as infiltration routes. The remainder of the boundary with Cambodia crosses forested plains and the hilly-to-mountainous western edge of the Annam Mountains. Established vehicular roads cross the Cambodian border in the delta area and in the forested plains north of Saigon, but the Viet Cong use trails to cross the border in numerous places. The entire border with Cambodia is-an area of tension because of con- stant border clashes between the forces of both countries. Furthermore, the Cambodian government regards its boundary with South Vietnam as subject to adjustment in the southern area. 2 * For serially numbered source references, see Appendix D. Approved For Release 2000/06/07S: -AD, '.7S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CSl4; 7?S92149R000200270002-8 The boundary with Laos continues generally northward for about 300 miles along the crest of the Annam Mountains. Passage across this boundary is generally tortuous, and the best trail crossings and the ones apparently used most by the Viet Cong are in the northernmost part, where the border is hilly rather than mountainous. The demarcation line between North and South Vietnam, about 50 miles long, descends the eastern slope of the Annam Mountains and crosses hills and a narrow coastal plain to the South China Sea. Through- out most of its extent the boundary follows the center of the Ben Hai River slightly south of the 17th parallel. The demilitarized zone ex- tends 3 miles on each side of the demarcation line. An inoperable rail- road. and a road cross this line, but normal traffic on these routes has been stopped by military outposts on both sides of the border. The de- militarized zone reportedly is patrolled quite frequently by the South Vietnamese armed forces and is inspected occasionally by a representa- tive of the International Control Commission. The full extent to which the Communists take advantage of the opportunities for penetration of these land and sea boundaries is un- known, but apparently all possible routes have been used to some extent in the past. The available information indicates that at present cer- tain parts of the borders probably are more significant than others for infiltration of men and material. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : C41-RBP. 02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T Recent information obtained from interrogation of prisoners of war and. from a summary of the information accumulated. since 1959, prepared, by the United. States Military Assistance Command. Vietnam and. released in October 1964, indicates that a large number of the infiltrators arrived. in South Vietnam through Laos. These reports also indicate that the same general route was used. for a considerable amount of the sup- plies which arrived. in the northern provinces of South Vietnam. This information from prisoners of war in general is considered. to be valid. and. constitutes one of the primary sources on which an assessment of the infiltration can be based.. Captured documents have provided. some information concerning infiltration, especially concerning infiltra- tion that took place during the earlier years. A. Personnel The recent report of the Assistance Command. estimated. that as many as 34,000 men probably were infiltrated. from North Vietnam into South Vietnam during 1959 through mid.-1964. 3/ This estimate was based. on data obtained. from the interrogation of 187 prisoners who provided. information on their own infiltration group and., in many cases, on sev- eral other groups. Although some of the data, particularly those ob- tained from infiltrators who described other infiltration groups, are subject to a considerable margin of error, the estimated total of 34,000 men appears to be a reasonable achievement for a well-organized infiltration program. The infiltrators consisted. of military, political, security, proselytizing, economic, financial, and, education specialists. Only about 2,600 of the 34,000 were reported. to be civilians; the re- mainder were military personnel. The number declined. in 1963 but may have risen substantially in 1964. The following tabulation taken from the report of the Assistance Command. shows the distribution of infil- trators by year and. indicates that the largest number entered in 1962. Approximate Number of Military and. Civilian Infiltrators 1959-60 4, 6oo 1961 5,400 1962 12,800 1963 6,4oo 1964 (January-July) 4,700* Total (round.ed.) 34000 Before leaving North Vietnam, the infiltrators received. train- ing for 45 days to 6 months. The major training center appeared, to be * Information obtained 23 February 1965 indicates the total number of infiltrators during 1964 may have been more than 10,000 men. S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 located at Xuan Mai and was under the direct control of the General Staff of the Peoples Army of Vietnam, although the 338th Infantry Brigade provided instructors and housekeeping support. J Another major training center was located at Son.Tay, and other groups re- portedly were tr;:rood in various other cities, such as Gia Lam, Ha Dong, Vinh, and Haiphong. The infiltrators received political and economic instruction and military training in the use of different types of weapons, ambush techniques, jungle warfare, and the like. Some groups received specialized training in such subjects as demoli- tion and the use of 70-mm howitzers. The men also practiced marching over different types of terrain and carrying packs. On leaving the training center, each infiltrator was issued some clothing, including a khaki uniform and black pajamas, some dry food, simple medicines, and a few small items of camping equipment. The group usually was issued a radio and some weapons consisting of pistols, rifles, carbines, grenades, submachineguns, machineguns, automatic rifles, and recoilless rifles. The infiltration route through Laos to the border of South Vietnam was reported by the infiltrators to be under North Vietnamese control. This segment of the trip was organized and conducted by the 70th Transportation Group, which is directly subordinate to Hanoi and has controlled the infiltration of men and materials along the route since the beginning of 1959. According to an infiltrator captured in the 70th Transportation Group operated with about 400 men in 1959 and probably was increased in 1961 to about 2,000 men, who were responsible for about 20 communications-liaison stations. J The infiltration trip usually required between 45 days and 4 months. The infiltrators did not walk every day but spent some days resting. Individuals who became ill remained at a station until well while the rest of the group continued the trip. The personnel who main- tained stations all along the routes issued or sold rice to the infil- trators and cared for those who were sick. The men were led over the trails by communications-liaison personnel who normally changed be- tween stations. Security was very strict -- the infiltrators were for- bidden to talk with civilians, to discuss their location with the guides, or to keep a diary. As a result, the captured infiltrators usually were unable to identify the exact dates on which they traveled or the locations of the trails and stations. They also were required to take precautions to avoid being discovered by unfriendly individuals. Before leaving North Vietnam, each person changed his uniform and left behind everything with North Vietnamese markings. Apparently the route used by the infiltrators was not a single trail system but involved a complex of trails within the infiltration corridor.* Use of a particular trail was determined by the weather, * For photographic interpretation of the trail network, see Appendix A, and for the general location of the trails and for names of South Vietnamese provinces, see the map, Figure 3, inside back cover. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 CIA-FQDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : dtALt bi37btb2149R000200270002-8 activities of the South Vietnamese forces, or Viet Cong logistic and operational requirements. Although ground observers in Laos indicated that about 4,000 men (of whom 2,000 were identified as Vietnamese Com- munists) were moved south by truck toward the Tchepone area in the first half of 1964, 6/ none of the infiltrators captured by mid-1964 claimed to have been among them.* It appears from available interroga- tion reports that infiltrators were trucked down route 1 a-short dis- tance past Dong Hoi and then southwest to a point north of the de- militarized zone and east of Laos. From this point the men walked southwest, probably through the tip of the demilitarized zone into Laos** and then south along the Laotian - South Vietnamese and Cambodian - South Vietnamese borders, crossing into South Vietnam at different points. Most of the men who infiltrated in 1963 and 1964, including those destined for the southern highland provinces, reportedly entered South Vietnam in the northern province of Thua Thien near the boundary between this province and Quang Nam. There have been some re- ports from Laotians that the infiltrators moved southward on trails paralleling route 23 (south of route 9) and then on trails paralleling route 16 north of Attopeu. Available interrogation reports, however, did not support these reports on the movement of infiltrators in this area, although it is possible that the route was used by men.who have not yet been captured. Similarly it is possible that some infiltrators have crossed the demilitarized zone directly into South Vietnam in 1963 and 1964, but available interrogation reports do not indicate the use of this route. B. Infiltration of Supplies There is a scarcity of information on the overland supply of weapons, ammunition, and other military supplies from North Vietnam to the northern province of South Vietnam. There are, however, a few un- confirmed reports from infiltrators and observers and slightly more detail from former members of Communist transportation groups. Although interrogations of the latter revealed the organization of the trans- portation system, they did not reveal the routes used, nor did they provide sufficient information on which to base an estimate of the volume of material that was transported. These interrogation reports indicated, however, that the volume of goods that has been transported, at least as far south as Kontum Province, could have been considerable. As mentioned above, the 70th Transportation Group was respon- sible for the transportation of goods and the guidance of infiltrators along the corridor from Quang Binh (the southernmost province in North Vietnam) through Laos to the border of Thua Thien Province, South It is possible that the number of men on the trucks was exaggerated or that the infiltrators had not been captured as yet. It is also pos- sible that these personnel are still in Laos. ** A recent North Vietnamese map indicates that most of this route is in territory now claimed as North Vietnamese. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : C3lic'F bP7ba2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/076 qI FP?7~S02149R000200270002-8 Vietnam. The 70th Transportation Group had two companies whose func- tion was to protect the infiltration corridor. The transport system had about 40 stations located one-half day's march apart. The short distances, anywhere from 4 to 12 miles, depending on terrain and tac- tical situation, allowed the coolies to haul the material to the next station and return to their home station within 1 working day. A relatively large number of men, about 400 to 600 men for every 10 stations, were required to handle the material. In order to estimate the amount that this supply system could have delivered to South Vietnam, it can be assumed that about 2,000 porters were avail- able and were evenly distributed between the 40 stations, or about 50 porters serving each station. It also can be assumed that each porter carried 38 pounds (which is an average of the Communist planning fig- ures for normal loads -- 55 pounds of rice carried in level country and 22 pounds of arms carried in mountainous terrain). Thus the 50 porters in the final segment of the route could have delivered 1,900 pounds, or about 1 short ton daily. At the border of Thua Thien Province, the responsibility for the movement of men and material shifted to the 72d Transportation Group, which controlled 26 stations from Thus, Thien through Quang Nam Province to southern Quang Tin Province. 7/ This group reportedly was subordinate to the communications-liaison section of the head- quarters of Military Region 5 and had at least 1,500 men. This group also had at least one security company responsible for protection of the communications-liaison corridor. The existence of another group, operating south and east of the 72d Transportation Group in Kontum and Quang Ngai Provinces, was indicated in a captured Viet Cong docu- ment. Although there are units in the southern highlands suspected to be transport security units, no information is available to indi- cate that supplies are moved from the north to the area south of Kontum Province. The information regarding these transport groups was received from only a few prisoners, but it is supported in part by other infil- trators. Several infiltrators have reported that while traveling in Laos between route 9 and Thua Thien they saw supplies being carried by men and on bicycles and carts at certain points. One man reported see- ing bicycles at one place that could carry about 500 pounds. 8/ There also were reports from Laotian villagers in 1964 of coolie trains carrying ammunition, heavy weapons, and supplies along trails from near the end of the demilitarized zone to route 9 at both the Tchepone area and also closer to the South Vietnam border. These villagers reported that some of the groups were destined for South Vietnam. These coolie trains may have been part of the supply system of the 70th Transporta- tion Group. The available reports, however, are too general and scattered to allow a determination of the whole picture of the Viet Cong overland supply system. Approved For Release 2000/06/07S_QI,4_?DP7-RS02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA.Rip-$.02149R000200270002-8 It is interesting to note that infiltrators and supply trains have not been intercepted at the border. Because of the rugged ter- rain and dense jungle, the border cannot be guarded by patrolling parallel to the boundary line. Moreover, the area of South Vietnam through which the trails pass is for the most part controlled by the Viet Cong. Some trails in the border area are patrolled irregularly by the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) that has been trained by the South Vietnamese Special Forces and advised by the US Special Forces. Many of the 21,000 men in the CIDG are located at camps along the border of South Vietnam.* Other than that provided by the CIDG, border defense is limited to that provided by a few regular army units located at permanent posts such as those on routes lA and 9 at the boundary line. * For details on the organization and duties of the CIDG, see Appendix B. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 :31 78S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T Analysis of the available information indicates that until recently sea infiltration directly from North Vietnam was not a major means of supplying Viet Cong elements in the northern provinces. In the past, men, ammunition, weapons (including antiaircraft guns), radio equip- ment, and. other supplies reportedly were transported. to South Vietnam by water. The description of these items was very vague, however, and. the amounts transported. by water for any given period. or even by any one 6hip could. not be estimated. with reliability. The men infil- trated, were mainly intelligence agents rather than military personnel. The lack of information in the past, however, is not conclusive evi- dence that sea infiltration was not a major means of supplying the Viet Cong in the northern provinces. The scarcity of accurate infor- mation probably was due in part to the security procedures used by the Communists and, to the problems of intercepting the sea infiltra.- tiona The South Vietnamese naval patrol:is limited. in number and, effectiveness,* and the volume of normal junk traffic to be inspected. is large. There are more than 40,000 junks** operating along the 1,500 miles of South Vietnam's coast. In addition, North Vietnam has between 5,000 and, 8,000 coastal junks that could, be used, for maritime infiltration, although it apparently has never used, more than a fraction of this number for infiltration purposes. ll Further- more, it takes a junk only a few days to sail from the 17th parallel to almost any place on the coast of South Vietnams The recent capture of a large cache of weapons, ammunition, and. medical supplies in connection with the sinking of a Communist vessel off Cape Varella on 16 February 1965 indicates that the supply pattern could. be changing and, larger quantities of material may be arriving by sea directly from North Vietnam. Documents captured. with the materials clearly revealed that the shipment came from North Vietnam, although the weapons were mostly of Communist Chinese manufacture. The suppo- sition that sea shipments may become more important is reinforced, by the fact that the Viet-"Gong are being reequipped. with weapons that will require ammunition not available in South Vi.etnama Therefore, the Viet Cong must expect to have a larger flow of supplies arriving from sources outside of South Vietnam. Such a flow could. most easily be maintained. by sea. Although the ability of this fleet to intercept Communist craft has been improved by the addition of new junks, the improvement of maintenance of the fleet, and. the increased. discipline of the crewmen, they are still too few for the area to be patrolled.. Also, the Com- munists have increased. the speed. and size of their craft, 2/ ** As of January 1962, 40,206 junks and boats, each with a capacity of less than 60 tons, had. been registered, under the junk control program. 10 S-.E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C- R-E- T A. Preparations for Maritime Infiltration Although at one time there appeared to be at least three organi- zations responsible for waterborne infiltration from North to South Viet- nam, in mid-1961 it appears that this activity was under the supervision of the Research Bureau of the Lao Dong (Communist) Party of North Vietnam. This bureau, often referred to as the Central Intelligence Bureau, in turn supervised a Maritime Transportation Office, which controlled two or more provincial maritime infiltration units. These units controlled three cells each, each cell consisting of one boat and its crew. The Research Bureau was responsible for making all arrangtrients for waterborne infiltration such as preparing itineraries and time -schedules; selecting, training, and briefing crew members and infil- trators and supplying them with forged identification papers; and de- briefing returning members of infiltrating groups. Selection of crew members and infiltrators was made on the basis of several criteria. For example, the men selected had to be between 35 and 15 years old, in good health, members of the lowest social class, and imbued with the Communist dogma. 12 Crew members received Communist political indoctrination and training in the use of firearms, sabotage techniques, boxing, and judo. / Infiltrators for special jobs, such as radio communications, received additional training when necessary. The boats used in maritime infiltration apparently were primarily junks obtained from South Vietnam In the provinces of Quang Tri or Quang Nam. 11 There are about 17 different types of junks in these two prov- inces. 15 Recent reports have stated that motor boats and submarines also have been used for infiltration purposes. According to available reports, sightings of submarines have been very rare and seem to have taken place from January through May 1961. 16 One report mentions the possibility that vessels with low superstructures may have been mistaken for submarines. 17 B. Routes The entire coastline of South Vietnam is open to infiltration at which a boat can anchor. He listed 10 such places. 18 This type of infiltration is possible when it is "legal," -- that is, when up to two agents are being transported to a specific port or ports in South Vietnam and all persons on the boat have been provided with false docu- ments of the Republic of Vietnam. In general, the routes taken have depended on the type of mission, the time of year, and the location of South Vietnamese patrol boats. C-R-E-i Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 S-E-C-R-E-T Two types of routes were referred. to by the informant mentioned above. 1g/ A "near-shore" route, paralleling the coast at about 3 miles offshore, was used. for "legal" infiltration missions. A ",distant-shore" route, ranging from 50 to 100 miles from the coast, was used for "semi-legal" infiltrations. (A. ",semi-legal" infiltration is one involving more than two agents and./or large amounts of equipment, although the same types of identification papers are required. as are used. for a "legal" infiltration.) Infiltration trips were made only from December, through August, except for" emergencies, because of the rough seas usually encountered. from September through November. December through April or May was said. to have been the period. during which most attempts at "semi-legal" infiltration took place. By the beginning of August, boats usually went no farther south than Binh Dinh Province, and. by mid-August no farther south than the town of Da Nang. 20 The Communists seem to be well informed. on locations and, movements of South Vietnamese patrol boats, and. the location of these boats often determines the routes that will be taken by the Communist Junks. On 22 December 1961, for example, a barrier patrol composed of US and. South Vietnamese naval ships was established. along the 17th parallel to intercept infiltrators from the North. During the initial Phase of the operation:,-; several suspicious junks were picked. up, but in less than 2 months the number of suspicious junks decreased, markedly, and. Communist activities indicated, use of a sea route around, the end. of the barrier patrol. 21 S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CIA-RDP78SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : ttAiKB 2149R000200270002-8 IV. Infiltration from Cambodia into the Delta Area The vagueness of the borderline between Cambodia and South Vietnam and the large number of people moving about in the border area compli- cate the patrol of the area. The border runs generally through ricefields and scraggy timber and between villages that normally trade with each other. Smuggling across this border, as elsewhere in Southeast Asia, is common and provides a traditional livelihood for a number of people. The Viet Cong use Cambodia as a safe haven and as a source of supplies by taking advantage of the poorly defined and lightly patrolled border, of the political hostility between the two countries, and of the experienced smugglers. The extent to which the Cambodian government cooperates with, or is aware of, Viet Cong activities within its borders is not known, but it is quite likely that Viet Cong activities in Cambodia are well con- cealed. The Viet Cong probably have not set up large training camps, hospi- tals, and the like in Cambodia, as has been reported mainly through South Vietnamese government channels, but they appear to have set up ad hoc camps, hospitals, and rest havens on a small scale. Captured Viet Cong have reported that Viet Cong installations were located,on Cambodian soil and that small bands of Viet Cong (more than 30 in one report) have based themselves in Cambodia and raided South Vietnam villages over the border. 22 Based on investigations by US advisory personnel, on reports by South Vietnamese customs patrols and intelligence sources, and on the fact that significant quantities of explosives have been captured, it is obvious that the Viet Cong have received considerable quantities of important war supplies through Cambodia. The infiltration occurred by land trails, by rivers and canals, and by coastal craft.* The logistics routes used'for border crossing were well organized, as in the case of the northern mountain trails, and the rules and means of transport varied according to the situation existing in the areas to be infiltrated. * The coastal craft based on the islands in the Gulf of Siam may range as far around the south coast as the mouths of the Soirap, Mekong, and Bassac Rivers, an area that is said to be under nearly complete control of the Viet Cong. Sea infiltration from North Vietnam reportedly has not occurred south of Saigon. 23 It is obvious, however, that the Viet Cong do receive supplies from that direction because Viet Cong porters have been captured transporting the supplies away from the coast in that area. These supplies either arrived from Cambodia or North Vietnam or were unloaded directly from oceangoing vessels coming from Communist China or other Communist countries. Of these alternatives, arrival by small craft from Cambodia is the most likely because of the short distance involved and the ease of arranging contact with the Viet Cong in South Vietnam. Approved For Release 2000/06/07'-dr'i- P7tSO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/O'9; J ..RQPii8S02149R000200270002-8 The supplies infiltrated from Cambodia appear to have consisted for the most part of explosive chemicals, radio equipment, medical sup- plies, and food. Other reports indicate that ammunition and guns also may have been moved across the border. Various sources state that the Viet Cong can easily purchase drugs and some military supplies in Phnom Penh and other Cambodian towns and foodstuffs from Cambodians in the border area. It appears that established importing firms in Phnom Penh, some of which probably are Communist fronts, have imported some of the necessary supplies as part of Cambodia's normal trade through the ports of Sihanoukville, Kampot, and Phnom Penh. Recently about 20 to 25 international vessels have arrived at Phnom Penh monthly after passing through South Vietnam on the Mekong River. It is quite possible that some of these vessels have carried material destined for the Viet Cong, and it is suspected that some cargo has been dropped off in South Vietnam at night. In November 1964 the South Vietnamese government began implementing a decree to control traffic on the Mekong River. Regulations now being enforced provide that (1) foreign ships transiting the river must apply on arrival for authorization -- military craft through diplomatic chan- nels and commercial craft through customs; (2) commercial vessels which have come from a Communist port, which carry the flag of a country that does not have diplomatic representation in Saigon, or which carry muni- tions or military hardware shall not be allowed transit; (3) holds of commercial craft may be inspected and sealed by customs; and (4) all vessels must move during daylight hours and can halt at only four desig- nated points. A. Water Routes from Cambodia Two major water routes have been used by the Viet Cong -- the Mekong-Bassac River complex and the coastal route involving the islands in the Gulf of Siam. More than 22 short tons of explosives were captured by the South Vietnamese patrols on the rivers during the last 9 months of 1963. 24 More materials have been captured on the river route than on the coastal route, but it is larder to capture material that is moved on the coastal route. Although the Mekong supply line appears to be operated by smugglers whose normal job it is to smuggle all kinds of goods across the border, their operations appear to be well organized and, in the context of a guerrilla war, have been of substantial magnitude. 25X1X A description of the logistics system on the river route was re- e explosives were smuggled from Phnom Penh on a ship to a point within 1 mile of the border. The explosives were then transferred to samll junks of 2 cr 3 tons capacity that were manned by men hired to take the junks downstream at night to about 5 miles below the border from where other crews took over. In the first 3 months of 1963, about 3 to 5 short tons of explosives were transported almost every other day in this fashion by one or two boats. The materials were well Approved For Release 2000/06/07 EQ1ArRDPJT8SO2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CII.RDPJ 02149R000200270002-8 camouflaged in sacks under layers of sand, salt, or fruit, or in false bottoms and tops of the boats. If the hired crews asked what the boat carried, they were given false information. stated that the Viet Cong man the boats themselves when certain material such as rifles and ammunition is being transported. 26 Although less material has been captured along the.coastal route, it could be equally important. The Communists reportedly had a supply organization at the port of Kampot, Cambodia, from which the imported supplies were moved to supply dumps on the northern side of Phu Quoc island. The Viet Cong used large motorized junks to distribute it into the delta waterways. Although representatives of the United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam who talked to local officials in this area found that there was little haxd evidence to support this thesis, they found a strong belief that as many as three fairly large junks left Cambodia each month carrying ammunition on this route. 27 L-d The problem of control of the water traffic on both routes is complicated by the large number of watercraft normally operating on these routes. On the inland waterways of South Vietnam there is an estimated total of 8,000 junks, barges, and river vessels in addition to innumerable sampans. Although commercial traffic between South Vietnam and Cambodia has been reduced greatly in the past several years, numerous inland craft and oceangoing vessels normally move up and down the Mekong. Not enough patrol boats have been made available in the past to control traffic on the Mekong and on the various canals and streams nearby. Reportedly, only two customs boats were available in April 1963 to patrol the Mekong in the border area. 28 B. Land Routes from Cambodia The major land routes from Cambodia, which enter South Vietnam through Tay Ninh Province, have been used to transport weapons, ammuni- tion, and other military equipment. Two routes enter the province from the north, one from the west, and one from the south. The Viet Cong reportedly have assembled as many as 300 porters at one time to carry their supplies across the border. 291 Interrogation reports in- dicate that the porters have made regular trips into Cambodia in this area to receive supplies that have been transported to the supply point by oxcart. 30/ To avoid trouble, when the Viet Cong were in Cambodian territory, they kept their porters from going near Cambodian outposts. An Giang Province, located on the south side of the Mekong at the border, is another area through which land supply routes possibly pass. According to a commander of the Takeo* Provincial Guard in Cambodia in Marcn 1963, Viet Cong crossed the border almost nightly. He also stated that supplies usually are taken to the border and there picked up by the Viet Cong. 31 Although this supply route has not been Takeo Province is located opposite An Giang Province, South Vietnam. Approved For Release 2000/06/0HH~-I9- RfPI[8S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/7 i CdJARRPP778SO2149R000200270002-8 confirmed by the capture of supplies or porters, captured Viet Cong have reported that they had made numerous border crossings for the purpose of taking refuge on Cambodian soil, J/ indicating that the border is open to infiltration. Approved For Release 2000/06/27E ~IF ~78S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : P.IA-J DR7 2149R000200270002-8 APPENDIX A PHOTQGRA.PHIC ANALYSIS OF POSSIBLE INFILTRATION ROUTES IN LAOS The border areas of Laos and, North and South Vietnam have been examined by photographic interpreters for routes that might be used. for land. infiltration of men and supplies from North Vietnam into South Vietnam. The photographic analysis located only one truckable road. (route 9) crossing the Laotian - South Vietnamese border, and. this road was said. not to have been maintained. for about 6 miles on the Laotian side and, for a short distance on the Vietnamese side. The photographic interpreters were able to discover innumerable trails along the Laotian - South Vietnamese border, most of which were in Laos, but were unable to state that all trails in the area had been located, because of the dense jungle cover. It was the opinion of the photographic interpreters that the analysis did., however, minimize the possibility of the existence of any network of trails that was not discovered.. Two sets of networks of trails along the border were located. One of these is centered. about 40 miles east-southeast of Tchepone near Phou Ke Lo (XD 9015), and. the other about 45 miles north- northeast of Attopeu near Kong Nang (YB 5595). Of the trails located by photography in the Phou Ke Lo area, about 16 crossed the border, whereas only about 5 of the trails in the Kong Nang area crossed the border, and, reportedly none of the trails was jeepable. The trails were mostly very narrow, being less than 5 feet wide, generally suitable only for foot and pack-animal traffic. Parts of some trails, especially in the areas near large villages or new villages, appeared to be from 5 to 7 feet wide. Such a width means that they possibly could. accommodate animal-drawn carts, jeeps, and small trucks on those sections. Most of the trails were natural surfaced, and. unimproved.. A few narrow foot bridges were seen, but most of the streams would. have to be forded or crossed. by boats. Almost none of the bridges would hold jeeps or trucks. In the area east of Attopeu, one trail crosses the border into South Vietnam, but this leads to a road. that connects with route 14 at Kong Hojao (ZB 0522). Approved For Release 2000/06/07 ~t ACR `$ 02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 :1--$F02149R000200270002-8 APPENDIX B BORDER SURVEILLANCE AND PATROL The South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) has the primary responsibility for the surveillance and patrol of the more than 900-mile South Vietnamese border with Laos and. Cambodia. The CIDG has about 21,000 men who are recruited in the local area to which they will be assigned. and, who are trained, by the South Vietnamese Special Forces. About 800 members of the US Special Forces have acted as advisers to the CIDG, and the number of US advisers is soon to be increased. to about 1,300 men. . Units of the CIDG are located. principally along the inland border, with a few units located in other strategic areas. The basic operating units are called. "A" detachments, of which there were about 40 as of 15 November 1964. "B" teams have command. duties over about four to eight "A." detachments, and "C" teams command and. control about four "B" teams. The CIDG is responsible to the South Vietnamese army only at the corps level. The CIDG currently is undergoing expansion and, relocation. It cannot be determined. as yet whether the change will make the CIDG any more effective against Communist infiltration. The following quotation from a letter of instruction to the Commanders of A. B, and C opera- tional detachments, dated, 7 November 1964, sets forth their objectives and missions: ' The Special Force/CIDG Program is a phased. and. combined. military-civil counterinsurgency effort designed. to accom- plish the following objectives: (a) destroy the Viet Cong and. create a secure environment; (b) establish firm govern- mental control over the populat:i.on; and. (c) enlist the popu- lation's active and willing support of, and participation in, the government's programs. These objectives are accomplished. while executing any one of these possible assigned missions: (a) border sur- veillance and control, (b) operations against infiltration routes, or (c) operations against Viet Cong war zones and bases. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 Sc AGRD S02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : C+A BR O2149R000200270002-8 APPENDIX C GAPS IN INTELLIGENCE The most serious gap in intelligence regarding Communist infil- tration of South Vietnam is information on the Communist supply system. Information on the infiltration of men has been accumulated, but very little information on the supply system has been confirmed. Informa- tion is needed. on the type and. quantity of supplies now stored in South Vietnam and. their sources of external supply. It is known that a supply system has been organized on trails through Laos, but infor- mation is needed on which to base an estimate of the volume of sup- plies that this system has delivered, in the past, what kinds of materials have been delivered, and. the capacity of the system. The same information is needed. on the land, and water supply routes that operate through Cambodia. More specific information also is needed regarding the exact location of the land. routes and the particular area of the rivers and coastal waters used for infiltration. Details on the operating methods and on the type of vehicles and. craft used would help in the estimating of the total capability of the supply system. Although information currently available does not indicate that any significant volume of material or large number of men has been infiltrated, by sea directly from North Vietnam, the fact remains that the Communists have considerable opportunity to do so. More infor- mation is needed to continue checking on this mode of infiltration and. to be sure that it has not been or does not become more signi- ficant. More information is needed. on the activities of the Viet Cong in Cambodia and. on the help they receive from importers and smugglers. Information also is needed on the extent to which the Cambodian govern- ment is aware of this activity. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : QIA'= -'?02149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CR2CT8?0,?149R000200270002-8 APPENDIX D SOURCE REFERENCES 1. CIA. CIA/RR GM 60-4, South Vietnam, 12 Oct 60. S. 2. NIS 43D, South Vietnam, Chap I, Brief, Apr 60, p. 4. S. 3. USMACV. Infiltration Study, Oct C. 4. Army. USARPAC Intelligence Bulletin, Feb 64. S/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 5. USMACV. Ser. 01372 (IPW Reports nos 0306 and 0306A), 8 Oct 64. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM EXCEPT GOVT OF VIETNAM ONLY. 6. CIA. CIA/RR EM 64-31, Analysis of Truck Traffic on Selected Routes in North Vietnam and Laos, Oct 64. S/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 7. USMACV. Ser. 01372 (IPW Reports nos 0306 and 0306A), 8 Oct 64. C/NO FOREIGN ))ISSEM EXCEPT GOVT OF VIETNAM ONLY. 8. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no F 075 105164, 14 May 64. C. 9. Ibid., no 5 903 01483 63, 2 Dec 63. C- 10. Army, Pacific Command. Weekly Intelligence Digest, no 7-62, 16 Feb 62, p. 5-10. S NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 11. DIA. Intelligence Bulletin, no 43-62, 2 Mar 63, p. 1-2. S/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 12. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no 1 531 0164 64, 21 Jan 64. C NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 13. Ibid., no 1 531 0786, 11 Sep 63. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 14. Ibid.., no 1 531 0084 64, 16 Jan 64, p. 9. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. Ibid., no 1 531 0166 64, 21 Jan 64. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 15. Navy. The Junk Blue Book, 1962, . iv-v. C. 16. 17. 18. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no 1 531 0090 64, 31 Jan 64. C NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid.. Ibid.., no 1 531 0166 64, 21 Jan 64. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 21. Navy, Pacific Command. Weekly Intelligence Digest, no 7-62, p. 5-10. S- .22 . 23. Study of the Delta Infiltration Problems, South Vietnam (Captain Bucklew's Report), Feb 64. S. 24. Ibid. 25. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no 5 903 0068 63, 2 May 63. C. 26 . 27. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no 5 903 0148 63, 2 Dec 63. C. 28. Ibid., no 5 0 0068 6 2 Ma 6 . C. 29. Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : OJJ RJ Z> SQ2149R000200270002-8 Approved For Release 2000/06/0754IE79S02149R000200270002-8 30. State, Saigon. Airgrem A-251, 10 Oct 63. C. 31. Defense. Intelligence Information Report, no 2 813 0042 63, 28 Mar 63. C NO FOREIGN DISSEM. 32. USMACV. Ser. 0989 (IPW Report no 4500), 12 Aug 64. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM EXCEPT GOVT OF VIETNAM ONLY. USMACV. Ser. 0887 (IPW Report no 4560), 27 Jul 64. C/NO FOREIGN DISSEM EXCEPT GOVT OF VIETNAM ONLY. - 28 - Approved For Release 2000/06/07 ,E PZ8S02149R000200270002-8 SECRET COMMON t6"&aq&j&M28?0 / ~: fI ftW7AWtW#8A P9AWWAflON ROUTES 50946 lproved For Release 2000/06/07 : 3S02149R000200270002-8 GROUP 1 FiCAON nG Approved For Release 2000/06/07 : CISIMI? Approved For Release 2000/06/0&..i S02149R000200270002-8