INCREASED SUPPLIES SHIPPED TO THE SOUTHERN PART OF NORTH VIETNAM DURING THE FOR

Created: 12/30/1965

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CIA/ RK CBC No. 5 Copy No.

5

intelligence br ikk

INCREASED SUPPLIES SHIPPED TO THE SOUTHERN PART OF NORTH VIETNAM DURINC THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 5

directorate of intelligence office of research and reports

cument contains classified information affecting the national securit^of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws... The law prohibits its transmissio?SQr the revelation of its contents In any manner to an unauthorized pehMjn, as well as Its use in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interesTslthe United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to theoalriment of the United States.

It is to be seen only bygonnel especially indoctrinated and authorized to receive COMMENDATIONS INTELLIGENCE information; its security must be maintained in accordance with COMMUNICATIONS INTELLIGENCE REGULATIONS

No action is to be taken on any COMMUNICATIONSwhich may be contained herein, regardless ofvantages to be gained, unless such action is first approved by theujfector of Central Intelligence.

INCREASED SUPPLIES SHIPPED TO THE SOUTHERN PART OF NORTH VIETNAM DURING THE FOURTH OF

Summa

Supplies shipped into the three southernmostf North Vietnam during October and November and planned forncreasedrogressive rate each month during the period and appear to be far in excess of the needs of the construction units and troops estimated to be stationed in the area. The excess supplies presumably are beingused to maintain much larger units than are believed to be located in the southern provinces of North Vietnam, or infiltrated into Laos and South Vietnamuch higher rate than has been estimated in the past. Most of the shipments consisted of rice, followed by gasoline, military items, and machinery and tools. This expanding movement of supplies during the fourth quarter clearly demonstrates that the North Vietnamese are maintaining an effective makeshift transport system in the southern provinces in spite of US/GVN air attacks.

* The estimates and conclusions in this brief represent the best judgment of this Office as of

Nghe An. Ha Tinh. and Quang Binh Provincesan area also known as Military Region IV (see the map). Data available for the first half of December indicate that the North Vietnamese probably will achieve the planned goals for movement of supplies shown in Table 1.

TOPRINE

L,

of Supplies Shipped

October and November the North Vietnamese0espectively, ol supplies to the threeprovinces of North Vietnam known as Military Region IV- umping-off area for movement of men and materialsVietnam and Laos.planned to ship0 tons of supplies into Military Region IV

duMn^Dgcomhertseclthoughdata may include some double counting, it appears

that there has been an absolute increase in the amount of supplies shipped into the area in each succeeding month during the fourth quarter.he supplies have been shipped into an area that is for the most part rural, thinly populated, and agriculturally self-sufficient, it is assumed that the supplies are almost certainly destined for military or government use and not for the civilians.

A total of aboutons of rice was shipped into Military Region IV during the two-month period October-November, and0 tons were planned for shipment in December. It is believed that0 troops and construction workers are stationed in this region. These units probablyons of riceounds per person per day) during the three-month period ending in December. At this rate of consumption,0 tons of rice would have accumulated by the end of December, an amount sufficient to support anorth Vietnamese for three months.

A total ofons of gasoline were shipped into Vinh and points south during the two-month period October-November, andons were scheduled to be delivered in December. The North Vietnamese maintain anrucks in the area south of Vinh, plus an unknown number being used in Laos. iles per gallon,ons of gasoline could supportrucks, each runningiles per day for three Thus, ifrucks are being used at this rate,ons of gasoline are being moved into the area in excess of the requirements during this period, less the relatively small amounts needed for mechanized construction equipment.

MMiMIYrs IS!

amounts of military goods moving into Military Region JV inthree months are significant in terms of both the area into whichhave been moved and the increase in amounts shipped. Allof militaryterminated in the

Choan Ap area of Military Region IV. This area is located onhe major logistics route into Laos via Mu Gia Pass. The increase in the amounts of military goods apparently being shipped into thf area is marked. Some b? tons pjJJj^pjJJj^pBJBJJJctober,ons in November, andons were planned for December.

IS!

ons ofinto Military

Region IV during the two-monthperTo^OcTooer^November. aboutons were sent to Cho Cuions were sent to Quang Binh Province (see Table Quang Binh Province includes not only the Choan Ap area and routeut also the route used by infiltrators moving around the end of the Demilitarized Zone.

2. Transport Movement on Damaged Routes*

Air attacks have interdicted numerous highway, railroad, and combi-nation railroad/highway bridges on the major land routes leading south from Hanoi. These routes include the Hanoi-Vinh railroad; highway routes 1A. 8. ; and the Duean Ap railroad in the area south of Vinh. Although the destruction on these routes hascreated problems for traffic movement, the amount of traffic moving south from Hanoi appears to have increased substantially during October-December. This suggests that the North Vietnamese arean effective makeshift transportation system in the southern provinces, and probably that the most important effect of the air strikes is that the North Vietnamese have been forced to move traffic at night and to shift from land to water transport.

In most cases, destroyed bridges have been bypassed by hastily con-strutted fords or by the rerouting of trucks to highways and bypass roads ihai have not been as heavily bombed. For example, truck traffic has been shifted from routeot points north of Vinh. Where destroyed bridges spanned rivers that could not be forded, pontoon bridges andhave been used to keep the traffic moving. To aid in maintaining the flow of traffic, the North Vietnamese have sent mechanized roadbuilding equipment (scrapers, tractors, dump trucks, and bulldozers)roops and construction workers into the southern provinces.

iscussion of the routes used, see the Appendix.

TfcVle 1

North Vietnam: Estimated Gross Tonnage of Supplies Shipped into the Southern Provinces by Mode of Transport and CoinnOdity e/ October-December

Tons

r.(i

(north and acute of Vinh)

b/

water c/

d/

e/

(aoutfl of Vinh)

A.

water

r/

.

to be I

in

ft/

333

goods

it 18

t

and

inerchondl nc

5 s

oi transport or far any one node, particularly In October and ICovenibcr; however, it le that data Included acne double countingor example, supplies that moved on thef Vinh probably vere already counted as having moved to Vinh. li- Xorth Vietnamese plan Tor performance during Eeccwoer.

o. Including rail transport south to Roang Mai and all inland water transport.

derived by assuming that the daily performance during the firstays was the saneOctober and that during theays the rate Increased to the dally level given forof november.

by assuming that the daily level given for the end of November continued

r. north Vietnamese estimate Of cargo-handling capacity at Pen Thuy that could be allocated to coastal traffic.

g. Vne comnoalty composition of supplies shipped by rail/inland water and coastal water is not known.

Tabic ?

North Vietnam: fcstlmntcd Gross Tonnage of Supplies Shipped into the Duean Ap Area by Mode of Transport and Commodity5

Hade of Transport

appendix

routes used to transport supplies Into military region iv

Freight is being moved south from Hanoiombination of rail and inland water, by coastal water, and by truck transport. Rail and inland water transport account for aboutercent of the recorded traffic moving in Military Region IV during October. November, and December; trucks and coastal water account forercent. Generally, trucks arc used in rural areas when there are no alternate modes of modern transport. Wherever waterways or railroads are available, they arc used for the mosl pan in place of trucks.

l

Depending on the type of cargo, rail freight from Hanoi and points north appears to be Iransloaded at either the Ninh Binh area or at Hoang Mai. which is located south of Thanh Hoa. Petroleumgallon drums seems lo be transloaded from rail cars to trucks and watercraft in the Ninh Binh area The petroleum is then shipped to Vinh and points south via the inland and coastal waterways and by trucks along routes IA The transshipment point at Hoang Mai

generally handles supplies other^bb

MIlNIMtvn

night at thestation. This quantity of rail traffic

is well within the estimateons moving south to Vinh soon after the line was opened to traffic in

Goods transloaded at Hoang Mai move south to Vinh via the inland canals, by truck, and by coastal waterways. In an effort to improve the inland water capability during the dry season, the North Vietnamese are dredging ihe canals around Thanh Hoa and above

Inorkers

SMUtlMlTrs were engaged in the dredging project. The USSR sent aboutmall suction dredges, suitable for use on the inland waterways, to Haiphong during October and November Truck transport between Hanoi and Vinh appears to operate in two ways either the trucks go directly to Vinh from Hanoihultle iruck system transports the goods between Hanoi and Thanh Hoa and between Thanh Hoa and Vinh.

Cargo that is destined for movement into southern Laos via Mu Gia Pass arrives in the Duean Ap area by rail, truck, and water. Maintenance of the transpori routes to Mu Gia Pass has

beenigh priority. Recently both transport andthe area south of Vinh appear to have been placed underakeshift railroad operating between Due Thoai Due Thon area delivered approximatelyonsinto the Tan Ap area during October and November. Further-

MIJHIMSYn moreNorth Vietnamese planned toto the Tan Ap area by rail in

December. Sampans and barges from Ben Thuy, the port for Vinh, and points north sailed up the Ngan Sau River and delivered aboutons of cargo at Tan Ap and other villages along the river during October. It appeared that approximatelyons of supplies would be delivered in Tan Ap by inland water transport in December. moving through the port of Ha Tinh are carried by truck overnd down routeo Tan Ap. Trucksons to the Tan Ap area in October and were scheduled to deliverons in December. It appears that supplies moving southwest from Tan Ap toward Mu Gia Pass and southern Laos are carried by truck along

Most of the supplies destined for the coastal areas south of Vinh are transported by truck and watercraft. Trucks usually follow route IA, although in recent months it appears that the Northhaveow priority on maintaining the lower sections of route IA for truck traffic. Watercraft moving south from Vinh probably sail close to the shore and make stops along the coast. Most of the supplies sent southeast from Vinh and Ben Thuy are probably used to support construction units along route IA and troops stationed in the coastal area of Ouang Binh Province. At present it appears that the transportation net along the coast south of Vinh is not usedajor logistics supply line. However, recentindicates that the North Vietnamese may be using the rivers below Dong Hoi in conjunction withomall flow of supplies into southern Laos. In addition, route IA probably serves as the major route for movement of troops to the infiltration trails into Laos and into South Vietnam.

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