The Khmer Rouge National Army: Order of Battle, January 1976
This set of tables from the archives of the Santebal, the Khmer Rouge national-level security forces, reveals the order of battle of the national Khmer Rouge army, the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea. The first table reveals that the total number of Khmer Rouge regular forces was 72,248 troops, in nine divisions [kong pul] and four regiments [kong voreachsena thom]. The commanders of each division and regiment are named along with commanders of other units. (For a summary of the Democratic Kampuchea military chain of command, see Ben Kiernan, Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia, p. 15, Table 2.) The second table shows the amount of rice estimated to be harvested in 1976 by the soldiers of each of a number of the army’s divisions. Note that the “Chinese comrades” are estimated to harvest 5000 thang of rice, approximately 125 tons.
It is important to remember that these forces are only the regular troops [thoap sruoch] under the direct command of the Khmer Rouge national general staff. Each of the seven Zones of Democratic Kampuchea also had its own general staff. The Zone military commands, their thirty or more component Regions, and over one hundred districts, commanded additional, regional forces [thoap damban]. There were also militia units [chhlop] in each of the country’s sub-districts and also in each village.
The final tables describe the January 1976 order of battle and internal structure of the 170th Division, which was to be decimated by Santebal purges in the months that followed. The 170th was the former 1st Eastern Zone Division, commanded by Chan Chakrey (alias Mean) until 1975. It came under direct Center control in July of that year. On 9 October 1975, Pol Pot had remarked to a secret meeting of the Standing committee of the ruling Communist Party of Kampuchea that Chakrey’s 170th Division was “the strongest of all” but that Chakrey owed his rank to Vietnam: “We must pay attention to what he says, to see [whether] he is a traitor who will deprive himself of any future.” With Chakrey’s deputy, Phan, too, “we must be totally silent… . We must watch their activities.” Pol Pot removed Chakrey from his division command and brought him under close Center supervision as deputy chief of the general staff. (For sources on the purge of Chakrey, see Ben Kiernan, The Pol Pot Regime, pp. 101, 321-5.) The January 1976 report to the Santebal on the Division’s order of battle was part of its process of planning a purge. Chakrey was demoted in April and arrested on May 19th, 1976, his wife on September 19th. By November, 241 serving and former members of the 170th had been sent to Tuol Sleng prison.
The author of these documents, Ke San alias Sok, who replaced Chakrey as the 170th Division’s political comissar, was himself arrested by the Santebal on March 4th 1978.
TRANSLATION Rice Consumption Plan, 1976 ——
|Number||Unit Nº||Chief of the Unit||Exact numbers||Reserves||Total||15 thangper person||1976 needs, inthang|
|1||164th||Comrade Mut||6,026||500||9,526 (sic) [6,526]||x 15||142,890|
|2||170th||–”– Mean||6,613||200||6,813||x 15||102,195|
|3||290th||–”– Tat||5,298||500||5,598||x 15||86,970|
|4||310th||–”– Oeun||6,869||200||7,069||x 15||106,035|
|5||450th||–”– Suong||6,100||200||6,300||x 15||94,500|
|6||502nd||–”– Met||5,887||500||6,387||x 15||95,805|
|7||703rd||–”– Pin||6,168||200||6,368||x 15||95,520|
|8||801st||–”– Roeun||5,423||500||5,923||x 15||88,845|
|9||920th||–”– Chhin||4,169||1,500||5,669||x 15||85,035|
|10||75th||–”– Vin||1,123||500||1,623||x 15||24,345|
|11||m. 21||–”– Sem||2,048||1,000||3,048||x 15||45,720|
|12||152nd||–”– Sim||2,194||500||2,694||x 15||40,410|
|13||Military logistics||1,296||500||1,796||x 15||26,940|
|14||Tank unit(s)||588||500||188||x 15||16,320|
|15||Artillery unit(s)||448||500||948||x 15||14,220|
|16||Staff Office||57||200||257||x 15||3,854|
|17||920th||People from Comrade Chhins [unit]||941||941||x 15||14,115|
64,248 + 8,000 = 72,248 x 15 = 1,083,720 thangs.
1. 10 to 15 thang of each 100 thang of rice just harvested will be lost if we keep it for a long time. So out of 1,083,720 thang of rice [we] will lose: (1083,720 x 15)/100 = 162,588thang
2. Rice consumption (needs) in 1976: 1,083,720 + 162,550 = 1,246,278 thang.
3. Measurement in tons: 1,246,278/40 = 31,157 tons
Amount of rice harvest, 1976 ——
|Number||Unit number||Estimate of rice harvest||Other|
|7||Chinese comrades||5,000 –|
1. Measurement in tons: 81,240/40 = 2,31 tons
2. Consumption : 6.60% 3. This is just an estimate because [we] havent finished harvesting.
To the staff committee with respect,
[Id] like to report the weapons and forces and bases, as noted in the table below:
1. Table of weapons trequired [for combat readiness], from sections up to divisions. 2. Weapons that [we] have for combat readiness, shortages, and spares. 3. Table of plans to establish bases and to work.
- Total: 6,627 people. - Able to work: 5,556 people. - Cannot work: 1,071 people.
- Do easy work: study, cham ba lo (dredge ponds), absent, in training = 379 people. - Cannot work: sick, injured, in hospital = 732 people.
Best wishes for successWritten on 6-1-76(Signature)Comrade Sok
Table of weapons [we] have that were distributed as arms
|Nº||Type of weapon||Weapons we have||Weapons required [for combat readiness]||Weapons [we] lack||Spare weapons||Other|
|4||B-40 or 41||95||189||94|
|10||60 mm. Mortar||37||27||10|
|11||81 mm. Mortar||14||30||16|
|22||20 mm. Mortar||2||2|
|15||105 mm. Cannon||2||3||1|
|17||120 mm. Cannon||1||5||5|
Table of establishing the bases of Division 170 and the work.
|Regiment 71||Regiment 72||Regiment 73||Battalion 174||Battalion 175||Battalion 176||Battalion 177||Office 170|
|1,656 people in total.
-Established the base from Wat Kdei Takoy to Wat Nirot Raingsei
-Split away one Battalion, # 712 which has 401 members, to harvest rice in Preah Sdech District. The rest stay and work at Beng Snao and Beng Prolit.
*Able to work: 1368 people.
*Cannot work: 288 people.
-Established the base from Prek Eng to Kdei Takoy Temple. -Split one Battalion, # 723 which has 420 members, to harvest rice in Preach Sdech District, Region 24. The rest stay and work in the rice fields in Beng Snao and Beng Prolit.
*Able to work: 1471 people.
*Cannot work: 131 people.
-Established bases in 2 places. 1: in the City, 550 members. 2: established [the base] from Prek Bra to Prek Ta Peou. Grows rice at Beng Snao and Beng Prolit Farm.
*Able to work: 1338 people.
*Cannot work: 402 people.
-Establish bases from Nirot Raingsei Temple to the north at Mekong River. Works at Beng Snao and Beng Prolit.
*Able to work: 146 people.
*Cannot work: 16 people.
-Established the base From Prek Ta Peou to Munivong Bridge. Works at Beng Snao and Beng Prolit Farm.
*Able to work: 392 people.
*Cannot work: 25 people.
Established the base at Nirot Raingsei Temple. Grows rice at Beng Snao and Beng Prolit.
Able to work: 289 people.
Cannot work: 52 people.
Established the base in Chbar Ampeou. - 42 repairmen. -295 people transport things. The rest guard the warehouses work at the rice mill hall. The rest grow rice.
*Able to work: 445 people.
*Cannot work: 45 people.
-Established the base in Chbar Ampeou. Telephones telegrams, repair radios, messengers. 15 people work and stay at the base. The rest grow rice.
*Able to work: 107 people.
*Cannot work: 12 people.
Total members: 6,627 people Able to work: 5,556 people Cannot work: 1,071 people:
-Do easy work, study, chambalo(dredge ponds), absent, in training: 329 people.
Cannot work, sick, injured, in hospital: 742 people.
Table of weapons required for combat readiness, from section to Division level.
|Nº||Type of weapon||1 Platoon||3 Platoons||3 Companies||Battalion Couriers||Battalion Support||Cadre Company||Battalion [Total]|
|60 mm cannon||=||1|
|81 mm cannon|
|120 mm cannon|
|105 mm cannnon|
|107 mm cannon|
|Nº||Type of weapon||3 Battalions||Regiment Support||Regiment Intelligence||Regiment Couriers||Regiment [Total]|
|60 mm cannon||x3||=||3|
|81 mm cannon||1||=||1|
|120 mm cannon|
|105 mm cannnon|
|107 mm cannon|
|Nº||Type of weapon||3 Regiments||Brigade Support||Brigade Intelligence||Brigade Couriers||Brigade [Total]|
|60 mm cannon||x3||=||9|
|81 mm cannon||x3||+3||=||6|
|120 mm cannon||1||=||1|
|105 mm cannnon|
|107 mm cannon|
|Nº||Type of weapon||3 Brigades||Special Forces Regiment (174th Regiment)||Support Regiment (175th Regiment)||176th Regiment (Medical)||177th Regiment (Logistics)||170th [Division] Office||Division [Total]||Other|
|60 mm cannon||x3||=||27|
|81 mm cannon||x3||+12||=||30|
|120 mm cannon||x3||+2||=||5|
|105 mm cannnon||3||=||3|
|107 mm cannon||1||=||1|
[Translator’s note: The above tables were in the original one large spread across two pages. We have reformatted them here to make them easier to view. They are of considerable interest in that they reveal the structure of a particular Division, the 170th. We’ve expanded abbreviations from the Khmer original as follows:]