Principles of the Conduct of the War in Indochina

  • To retake the initiative immediately through the carrying out, beginning this summer, of local offensives and by pushing to the utmost commando and guerrilla actions.
  • To take the offensive in the north beginning Sept 15, in order to forestall enemy attack. To conduct the battle which will take place during the fall and winter of 1953-54 in an offensive manner by attacking the flanks and the rears of the enemy.
  • To recover from areas not directly involved in the battle a maximum number of units. To pacify these regions progressively.
  • To build up progressively a battle corps by grouping battalions into regiments and regiments into divisions and by giving to the units thus created the necessary support (artillery, engineers, armor, communications) taking into account the very special character of the war in Indochina (the terrain, the enemy). To bring about a max of cooperation with the Air Force and the Navy.
  • To have a reserve of special type units (armored commandos light battalions etc.) designed to adapt the character of the groups and divisions to the nature of the terrain and of the mission assigned.
  • To continue the effort of instructing and organizing the army of the Associated States so as to give them a more and more extensive place- as well as more and more autonomy in the conduct of operations.

Upon receiving the above plan from General Henri Navarre, Lt. General John W. O’Daniel sent it to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC) on 30th June 1953

Source: United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. Indochina (in two parts) Volume XIII, Part 1 (1952-1954) p624.