LOW MORALE PREVALENT AMONG COMMUNIST TROOPS

Created: 10/30/1968

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Low Morale Prevalent Among Communist Troops

18. Serious morale problems among Communist units are reflected in several documents captured recently in III Corps.

Allied pacification and psychological warfare activities following clear-and-holdcaused considerable difficulties to alocal force unit operating cast of Saigon, according to two captured reportsctober. The one document states that despite "intensive indoctrination" on Communistshortages of funds and provisions together with "fierce" allied attacks adversely affected the morale of the cadre and troops.

The reports also claim that some of the troops doubted the effectiveness of the "generaltactics and became discouraged at the prospectrotracted war. Some troops hoped that the Paris talks would bring peace, and "dissension divided the cadre ranks." Troops also deserted or abandoned their duties, according to the document.

A sapper battalion operating near Saigon was criticized for "poor results" during attacks in August and September according to another captured report. These results were contrasted with the greater successes achieved during the Tet and May fighting and attributed to the "unstable morale" of the majority of personnel in the unit.

The concern with which the Communists view low morale among their forces is suggested bydocuments outlining measures to correct the problem. One Viet Cong unitlan for acampaign to be conducted between8 and The purpose of the campaign, thestates, is to promote "steadfast determination

to fight and win" among Communist forces and tohatred and resentment toward the enemy" among the local population.

document concerning indoctrination todesertion in the Dong Ngai Regiment reflectseffort. The regiment, which sufferedduring the Kay fighting in the Saigon have had particularly severe morale problemsmonths.

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24. The document instructs cadre to convince the troops that difficulties ond hardships will be only temporary and totrong bolief in victory." Unit leaders mustloee watch on their troops. In order to keep morale up,attention should be paid to following the daily activities, attitudes, talks and arguments of all members, and action should be taken tothe dissemination of rumors which may affect the morale of the troops."

2b. Despite such efforts, the morale oftroops will continue to be significantlyby the course of the war. Capturedhave indicated that earlier this year some units were encouraged to bolieveommunist "final victory" was close at hand, and it probably will be more difficult to motivate these units for prolonged fighting.

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