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PLAN Z

Following the signing of the Geneva Accords dividing Vietnam at the 17th parallel into two provisional states, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam received secret military aid from China and the Soviet Union. This plan had to be enacted secretly in light of restrictions in the Geneva declaration prohibiting such foreign military assistance. The General Military Party Committee and the Ministry of Defense organized this secret transfer under the code name of Plan Z (ke hoach Z). In July and August 1954, the headquarters agencies of the High Command, and principally the General Supply Department and the Military Personnel Department, received the remainder of the assistance allocated by Beijing and Moscow for the rest of 1954 (no one knew, when budgeting aid for the DRV, that the Indochina War would end in July 1954). This remaining military assistance was secretly shipped to the DRV via Thuy Khau in Cao Bang and Dong Dang in Lang Son. By early September 1954, Plan Z was completed. Between July and September, the DRV received via Plan Z 11,546 tons of weapons and equipment and 1,116 motor vehicles of all types. Almost all of this military assistance arrived undetected in the DRV before the International Commission for Supervision and Control arrived in northern Vietnam. As one of the officials directly involved in this mission later wrote: “The weapons and equipment that we received via ‘Plan Z’ provided the foundation that enabled our army to undertake a program of replacing our weapons and equipment during the first years of peace. Our old weapons were issued to local force troops and self-defense militia units”. See also AID, CHINESE; AID, SOVIET.