Nguyen Huu Hanh:
On the afternoon of April 28th, 1975
, Mr. Duong Van Minh assumed power. The ceremony for the transfer of power began at around 1700 hours. At that very moment, Nguyen Thanh Trung led a formation of airplanes to bomb Tan Son Nhut
. In the evening of April 28th, 1975
, the 25th Division in Cu Chi was routed. This was a very dangerous situation. I thought that Mr. Duong Van Minh assumed power at a very critical moment and yet he did not have any plan worked out at all. On the 29th of April, 1975
, while I was having a discussion with Mr. Minh and Mr. Huyen at a private residence, Mr.
Merillon, the French ambassador, came to see Mr. Minh and informed the latter that the French Foreign Minister had tried his best to contact Hanoi
and that Hanoi
had replied that it was already too late. Therefore, I thought that the situation was hopeless.
For this reason, at around 12:00 noon and after the Vu Van Mau
administration declared the release of political prisoners and requested that the Americans withdraw from Vietnam within twenty-four hours, almost all the high army officers followed the Americans abroad. For example, Lt. General Dong Van Khuyen, acting Commander in Chief, Lt. General Nguyen Van Minh
, Commander of the Capitol City Special Military Section, Lt. Nguyen Van Toan, Commander of the III Corps, and other generals and colonels. I was appointed, along with Lt. General Vinh Loc, to be Deputy Commander in Chief and Commander in Chief respectively by Mr. Duong Van Minh.
We arrived at the High Command Headquarters around 1300 hours. Before we left, Mr. Minh told us to try to keep the troops stationary and not to deploy them. We should wait for Mr. Minh to send delegations to seek negotiation. I thought that this dispatch of delegations to so many places like that was a very unwise thing to do. This was because after Mr. Merrillon had informed us that Hanoi
had said that it was too late, then all the efforts by the Duong Van Minh administration to try to get a negotiation to come about would only end in final failure. The Tran Ngoc Lieng delegation was retained at the Camp David until after liberation.