War in Vietnam (1945–46)

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War in Vietnam
Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War
A Japanese naval officer surrenders his sword to a British naval Lieutenant in Saigon on 13 September 1945.
DateSeptember 13, 1945 – March 30, 1946
(6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days)

Allied operational success


Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom

Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg France

Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg Japan
Flag of North Vietnam 1945-1955.svg Việt Minh

CaodaismSymbolWhite.PNG Cao Đài militia

Hoa Hao flag.svg Hòa Hảo militia
Flag of Binh Xuyen Army.svg Bình Xuyên militia
Flag of VNQDD.svg Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Douglas Gracey
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg Philippe Leclerc
Flag of North Vietnam 1945-1955.svg Hồ Chí Minh
Flag of North Vietnam 1945-1955.svg Võ Nguyên Giáp
Flag of North Vietnam 1945-1955.svg Lê Duẩn
Casualties and losses

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 40 British/Indian soldiers killed

Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg Unknown

The War in Vietnam, codenamed Operation Masterdom [1] by the British, and also known as Nam Bộ kháng chiến (English: Southern Resistance War) [2] by the Vietnamese, was a post–World War II armed conflict involving a largely British-Indian and French task force and Japanese troops from the Southern Expeditionary Army Group, versus the Vietnamese communist movement, the Viet Minh, for control of the country, after the unconditional Japanese surrender.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

British Raj British rule on the Indian subcontinent, 1858–1947

The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also more formally called the Indian Empire. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.

A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology. Many non-military organizations now create "task forces" or task groups for temporary activities that might have once been performed by ad hoc committees.

The Indochina Wars are generally numbered as three: the first being France's unsuccessful eight-year conflict with the Vietminh nationalist forces (1946–1954); the second being the war for control of South Vietnam, featuring an unsuccessful U.S. intervention, ending in 1975; finally, the conflict in Cambodia, sparked by the Vietnamese invasion in 1978. This numbering overlooks the brief but significant initial conflict — from 1945 to 1946 — that grew out of the British occupation force landing at Saigon to receive the surrender of Japanese forces.

The Indochina Wars were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia from 1946 until 1989, between communist Indochinese forces against mainly French, South Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese forces. The term "Indochina" originally referred to French Indochina, which included the current states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In current usage, it applies largely to a geographic region, rather than to a political area. The wars included:

First Indochina War 1946-1954 war between France and Hồ Chí Minhs forces

The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on December 19, 1946, and lasted until July 20, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Việt Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh and the People's Army of Vietnam led by Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnam War 1955–1975 conflict in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war, considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some, lasted 19 years, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist in 1975.

Decision to restore French sovereignty

In July 1945 at Potsdam, Germany, the Allied leaders made the decision to divide Indochina in half—at the 16th parallel—to allow Chiang Kai-shek to receive the Japanese surrender in the North, while Lord Louis Mountbatten would receive the surrender in the South. The Allies agreed that France was the rightful owner of French Indochina, but because France was critically weakened as a result of the German occupation, a British-Indian force was installed in order to help the French in re-establishing control over their former colonial possession. [3]

Potsdam Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, Berlin, and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel some 25 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

16th parallel north circle of latitude

The 16th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 16 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.

To carry out his part of the task, Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander Southeast Asia Command, was to form an Allied Commission to go to Saigon and a military force consisting of an infantry division that was to be designated as the Allied Land Forces French Indochina (ALFFIC). It was tasked to ensure civil order in the area surrounding Saigon, to enforce the Japanese surrender, and to render humanitarian assistance to Allied prisoners of war and internees. [3]

Following the termination of hostilities in World War II, the Allies were in control of the defeated Axis countries. Anticipating the defeat of Germany and Japan, they had already set up the European Advisory Commission and a proposed Far Eastern Advisory Commission to make recommendations for the post war period. Accordingly, they managed their control of the defeated countries through Allied Commissions, often referred to as Allied Control Commissions (ACC), consisting of representatives of the major Allies.

Prisoner of war Person who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict

A prisoner of war (POW) is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, who is held captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660.

The concern of the Allies' Far Eastern Commission was primarily with winding down the Supreme Headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army Southeast Asia and rendering humanitarian assistance to prisoners of war. Thus Major-General Douglas Gracey was appointed to head the Commission and the 80th Brigade, commanded by Brigadier D.E. Taunton, of his crack 20th Indian Division was the ALFFIC which followed him to Vietnam.

It was agreed at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, and made public in communique issued at the end of the conference on December 27, 1945 that the Far Eastern Advisory Commission (FEAC) would become the Far Eastern Commission (FEC), it would be based in Washington, and would oversee the Allied Council for Japan. As agreed in the communique the FEC and the Council were dismantled following the Japanese Peace Treaty of September 8, 1951.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

Douglas Gracey British Indian Army general

General Sir Douglas David Gracey & Bar was a British Indian Army officer who fought in both the First and Second World Wars. He also fought in French Indochina and was the second Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army. Gracey held this latter office from 11 February 1948 until his retirement on 16 January 1951. Born to English parents living in India, he was educated in English schools before returning to India to serve in the military there.

In late August 1945, British occupying forces were ready to depart for various Southeast Asian destinations, and some were already on their way, when General Douglas MacArthur caused an uproar at the Southeast Asia Command by forbidding reoccupation until he had personally received the Japanese surrender in Tokyo, which was actually set for 28 August, but a typhoon caused the ceremony to be postponed until 2 September.

Southeast Asia Subregion of Asia

Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, and north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean. The region is the only part of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions:

  1. Mainland Southeast Asia, also known historically as Indochina, comprising parts of Northeast India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and West Malaysia.
  2. Maritime Southeast Asia, also known historically as Nusantara, the East Indies and Malay Archipelago, comprises the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, Indonesia, East Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor, Brunei, Christmas Island, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Douglas MacArthur U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army.

MacArthur's order had enormous consequences because the delay in the arrival of Allied troops enabled revolutionary groups to fill the power vacuums that had existed in Southeast Asia since the announcement of the Japanese capitulation on 15 August. The chief beneficiaries in Indochina were the Communists, who exercised complete control over the Viet Minh, the nationalist alliance founded by Ho Chi Minh in 1941. In Hanoi and Saigon, they rushed to seize the seats of government, by killing or intimidating their rivals. [4]

While the Allies stated that the French had sovereignty over Indochina, America opposed the return of Indochina to the French; [5] but there was no such official American animosity towards the Communist-led Viet Minh. [6]

MacArthur finally had his ceremony on board the battleship USS Missouri on 2 September, and three days later the first Allied medical rescue teams parachuted into the prisoner of war camps. During the following days a small advance party of support personnel and infantry escort from Gracey's force arrived in Saigon to check on conditions and report back; on the 11th a brigade was flown in from Hmawbi Field, Burma via Bangkok. When these advance Allied units landed in Saigon they found themselves in a bizarre position of being welcomed and guarded by fully armed Japanese and Viet Minh soldiers. The reason these soldiers were armed was because six months earlier (March 9) they disarmed and interned the French, for the Japanese feared an American landing in Indochina after the fall of Manila and did not trust the French.

The British in Vietnam

Upon Gracey's arrival on September 13 to receive the surrender of Japanese forces, he immediately realized the seriousness of the situation in the country. Anarchy, rioting, and murder were widespread, Saigon's administrative services had collapsed, and a loosely controlled Communist-led revolutionary group had seized power. In addition, since the Japanese were still fully armed, the Allies feared that they would be capable of undermining the Allied position. Furthermore, Gracey had poor communications with his higher headquarters in Burma because his American signal detachment was abruptly withdrawn by the U.S. government for political reasons; it was a loss that could not be rectified for several weeks.

Gracey wrote that unless something were done quickly, the state of anarchy would worsen. This situation was worsened by the Viet Minh's lack of strong control over some of their allied groups. [7] Because of this, the French were able to persuade Gracey (in a move which exceeded the authority of his orders from Mountbatten) to rearm local colonial infantry regiments who were being held as prisoners of war.

Gracey also allowed about 1,000 former French prisoners of war to be rearmed. They, with the arrival of the newly formed 5th Colonial Infantry Regiment (RIC) commandos, would then be capable of evicting the Viet Minh from what hold they had on the Saigon administration. Gracey saw this as the quickest way to allow the French to reassert their authority in Indochina while allowing him to proceed in disarming and repatriating the Japanese.

Gracey faced another problem in his relations with Mountbatten. One example of this occurred on Gracey's arrival in September. He drew up a proclamation that declared martial law and stated that he was responsible for law and order throughout Indochina south of the 16th parallel. Mountbatten, in turn, made an issue of this, claiming that Gracey was responsible for public security in key areas only. The proclamation was published on September 21 and, although Lord Mountbatten disagreed with its wording, the Chiefs of Staff and the Foreign Office supported Gracey.

During the following days, Gracey gradually eased the Viet Minh grip on Saigon, replacing their guards in vital points with his own troops. These vital points were then turned over to French troops. [8] This procedure was adopted because the Viet Minh would not have relinquished their positions directly to the French. [9]

French reassert control in Saigon

Free French 6th Commando C.L.I. in Saigon are saluted by surrendered Japanese in November 1945. Gcma commando french indochina japanese.jpg
Free French 6th Commando C.L.I. in Saigon are saluted by surrendered Japanese in November 1945.

By September 23, most of Saigon was back in French hands, with less than half a dozen vital positions in Viet Minh control. The French subsequently regained total control of Saigon. On that day, former French prisoners of war who had been reinstated into the army together with troops from the 5th RIC ejected the Viet Minh in a coup in which two French soldiers were killed. [9]

On the night of the 24/25 a Vietnamese mob (not under Viet Minh control) abducted and butchered a large number of French and French-Vietnamese men, women, and children. On the 25th, the Viet Minh attacked and set fire to the city's central market area, while another group attacked Tan Son Nhut Airfield. The airfield attack was repelled by the Gurkhas, where one British soldier was killed along with half a dozen Viet Minh. The British now had a war on their hands, something which Mountbatten had sought to avoid.

For the next few days, parties of armed Viet Minh clashed with British patrols, the Viet Minh suffering mounting losses with each encounter. [10] :70 The British soldiers were highly professional and experienced troops who had just recently finished battling the Japanese; many officers and soldiers had also experienced internal security and guerrilla warfare in India and the North West Frontier. In contrast, even though the Viet Minh were courageous, they were still learning how to fight a war.

In early October, Gracey held talks with the Viet Minh and a truce was agreed upon. On the 5th, General Philippe Leclerc, the senior French commander, arrived in Saigon where he and his troops were placed under Gracey's command. However, on October 10, a state of semi-peace with the Viet Minh was broken by an unprovoked attack on a small British engineering party which was inspecting the water lines near Tan Son Nhut Airfield. Most of the engineering party were killed or wounded. Gracey accepted the fact that the level of insurrection was such that he would first have to pacify key areas before he could repatriate the Japanese. It was at this time that his small force had been strengthened by the arrival of his second infantry brigade, the 32nd, under Brigadier E.C.V. Woodford. Gracey deployed the 32nd Brigade into Saigon's troublesome northern suburbs of Gò Vấp and Gia Định. Once in this area the Viet Minh fell back before this force, which included armoured car support from the Indian 16th Light Cavalry. [11] :206

Aerial reconnaissance by Spitfires revealed that the roads approaching Saigon were blocked: the Viet Minh were attempting to strangle the city. On October 13, Tan Son Nhut came under attack again by the Viet Minh; their commandos and sappers were able this time to come within 275m of the control tower. They were also at the doors of the radio station before the attack was blunted by Indian and Japanese soldiers. As the Viet Minh fell back from the airfield, the Japanese were ordered to pursue them until nightfall, when contact was broken. [11] :284

By mid-October, 307 Viet Minh had been killed by British/Indian troops and 225 were killed by Japanese troops, including the new body count of 80 more Viet Minh at Da Lat. On one occasion, the Japanese repulsed an attack on their headquarters at Phú Lâm, killing 100 Viet Minh. British, French, and Japanese casualties were small by comparison. On the 17th, the third brigade, the 100th, commanded by Brigadier C.H.B. Rodham, arrived in Indochina.

Viet Minh attacks on Saigon's infrastructure

The Viet Minh next assaulted Saigon's vital points—the power plant, docks, airfield, and for the third time, even the city's artesian wells. Periodically, Saigon was blacked out at night and the sound of small arms, grenades, mines, mortars, and artillery became familiar throughout the city. Unable to overwhelm Saigon's defences, the Viet Minh intensified their siege tactics. During this time, newly arrived French troops were given the task of helping to break the siege while aggressive British patrolling kept the Viet Minh off-balance. [10] :75

On October 25, the only known evidence of direct Soviet involvement in the area came about, when a Japanese patrol captured a Russian adviser near Thủ Dầu Một. He was handed over to Lieutenant-Colonel Cyril Jarvis, commander of the 1/1 Gurkha Rifles at Thủ Dầu Một. Jarvis tried several attempts at interrogation, but it was fruitless, so the intruder was handed over to the Sûreté, the French criminal investigation department (equivalent to the CID). From there he disappeared from the annals of history.

On October 29, the British formed a strong task force with the objective of pushing the Viet Minh further away from Saigon. This force was called 'Gateforce' after its commander, Lt.-Col. Gates of 14/13th Frontier Force Rifles. Gateforce consisted of Indian infantry, artillery, and armoured cars, and a Japanese infantry battalion. During their operations they killed around 190 Viet Minh; during one operation around Xuân Lộc, east of Saigon, the Japanese killed 50 Viet Minh when they surprised a Viet Minh group in training.

Japanese POWs under British supervision repairing the taxiing strip at Saigon airfield, with behind them RAF de Havilland Mosquito aircraft, December 1945 Saigonairfield1945.jpg
Japanese POWs under British supervision repairing the taxiing strip at Saigon airfield, with behind them RAF de Havilland Mosquito aircraft, December 1945

On November 18, a Gurkha unit set out for Long Kiến, south of Saigon, to rescue French hostages held there. While en route, the force was forced to turn back as it was not strong enough to overcome the Viet Minh they encountered. A few days later a stronger force was dispatched. According to the Gurkhas, they had seen Japanese deserters leading some Viet Minh war parties. During this operation the only kukri (Nepalese knife) charge in the whole campaign occurred. According to a Gurkha platoon leader, at one point during the operation they were held up by determined Viet Minh defenders occupying an old French fort. The Gurkhas brought up a bazooka, blew in the doors, then without hesitation drew out their kukris and charged into the fort, putting the defenders to the knife. Long Kien was finally reached on that same day, but no hostages were recovered; however, about 80 Viet Minh had been killed during this operation. [12]

By early December, Gracey was able to turn over Saigon's northern suburbs to the French, when 32 Brigade relinquished responsibility to General Valluy's 9th Colonial Infantry Division. On Christmas Day, the 32nd set out for Borneo. Many of the newly arrived French soldiers were ex-Maquis (French Resistance), not accustomed to military discipline.

During the battles of the South Central Highlands, the Viet Minh forced French troops to leave many villages and newly captured positions in the Central Highlands. The town of Buôn Ma Thuột was regained by the Vietnamese in mid-December. It was during this operation that Spitfires of 273 Squadron RAF executed the only acknowledged offensive action against the Viet Minh on 11 December.

On 3 January 1946 the last big battle occurred between the British and the Viet Minh. About 900 Viet Minh attacked the 14/13 Frontier Force Rifles camp at Biên Hòa. The fighting lasted throughout the night, and when it was over about 100 attackers had been killed without the loss of a single British or Indian soldier. Most Viet Minh casualties were the result of British machine-gun crossfire.

In mid-January, the Viet Minh began to avoid large-scale attacks on the British, French, and Japanese forces. They began to take on fighting characteristics which later became common: ambushes, hit-and-run raids, and assassinations, while the British, French, and Japanese constantly patrolled and conducted security sweeps. This was the first modern unconventional war, and although the Viet Minh had sufficient manpower to sustain a long campaign, they were beaten back by well-led professional troops who were familiar with an Asian jungle and countryside. [13]

By the end of the month, 80 Brigade handed over its theater of operations to the French, and the 100 Brigade was withdrawn into Saigon. Gracey flew out on the 28th. Before his departure, he signed control over French forces to Gen. Leclerc. The last British forces left on March 26, so ending the seven-month intervention in Vietnam; and on March 30, the SS Islami took aboard the last two British/Indian battalions in Vietnam. Only a single company of the 2/8 Punjab remained to guard the Allied Control Mission in Saigon, and on May 15 it left, the mission having been disbanded a day earlier as the French became responsible for getting the remaining Japanese home. The last British troops to die in Vietnam were six soldiers killed in an ambush in June 1946. [14]


For Britain's involvement in the First Vietnam War, the officially stated casualty list was 40 British and Indian soldiers killed and French and Japanese casualties a little higher. An estimated 2,700 Viet Minh were killed. The unofficial total may be higher, but given the methods with which the Viet Minh recovered their dead and wounded, the exact number may never be known. About 600 of the dead Viet Minh were killed by British soldiers, the rest by the French and Japanese.


Three more bloody decades of fighting lay ahead which would end in defeat for two major world players. From March to July, 1946, the Viet Minh systematically set about, as Ho's lieutenant Lê Duẩn said, "(to) wipe out the reactionaries." Known as the "Great Purge", the goal was to eliminate everyone thought dangerous to the Communist Party of Vietnam, and tens of thousands of nationalists, Catholics and others were massacred from 1946 to 1948. [15]

Between May and December, Ho Chi Minh spent four months in France attempting to negotiate full independence and unity for Vietnam, but failed to obtain any guarantee from the French. After a series of violent clashes with Viet Minh, French forces bombarded Haiphong harbor, captured Haiphong and attempted to expel the Viet Minh from Hanoi, a task that took two months.

December 19, 1946 is often cited as the date for the beginning of the First Indochina War, as on that day 30,000 Viet Minh under Giap initiated their first large-scale attack on the French in the Battle of Hanoi. [15] The War in Vietnam of 1946–54, had begun.

See also


  1. George Rosie and Bradley Borum, Operation Masterdom: Britain's Secret War in Vietnam
  2. Concert to mark 66th anniversary of the Southern Resistance War Archived 2011-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 Joseph Buttinger, Vietnam: A Dragon Embattled (New York: Praeger, 1967, ISBN   978-9999238014), p. 244.
  4. Marvin E. Gettleman, ed., Vietnam (Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett, 1065), pp. 65–66.
  5. Note: under the terms of the 1941 Atlantic Charter signed by both Churchill and Roosevelt, the successful ending of the war with the Allies victorious required the previous legitimate pre-war governments of occupied territories to be re-instated, thus restoring the pre-war status quo, the principle being that no-one should benefit from the acts of aggression by the Axis powers.
  6. Lloyd Gardner, Approaching Vietnam (New York. Korton, 1988), p. 25.
  7. Gerald Prenderghast (August 20, 2015). Britain and the Wars in Vietnam: The Supply of Troops, Arms and Intelligence, 1945-1975 (illustrated ed.). McFarland. p. 25. ISBN   9780786499243 . Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  8. Dennis J. Duncanson, "General Gracey and the Vietminh", Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society Vol. 55, No. 3 (October 1968), p. 296.
  9. 1 2 Philip Ziegler, Mountbatten (New York: Knopf, 1985), p. 331.
  10. 1 2 George Rosie, The British in Vietnam (London: Panther Books, 1970).
  11. 1 2 Dunn, First Vietnam War, p. 206.
  12. G. R. Stevens, History of the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles 1921–1948. (Aldershot, 1952), pp. 278–279.
  13. Rajendra Singh, Official History of the Indian armed Forces in the Second World War: Post-War occupation Forces (1958), p. 199.
  14. Peter Dennis, Troubled Days of Peace (New York: St. Martin's, 1987), p. 173.
  15. 1 2 Vietnam, past and present, p.59

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The 20th Indian Infantry Division was an infantry division of the Indian Army during World War II, formed in India, and took part in the Burma Campaign during World War II. In the immediate aftermath of the War, the bulk of the division was deployed to French Indochina to oversee the handover from Japanese to French rule. For nearly all is operational life the division was commanded by Major General Douglas Gracey

Vietnamese National Army

On March 8, 1949, after the Élysée Accords, the State of Vietnam was recognized by France as an independent country ruled by Vietnamese Emperor Bảo Đại. The Vietnamese National Army or Vietnam National Army was the State of Vietnam's military force created shortly after that. It was commanded by Vietnamese General Hinh and was loyal to Bảo Đại. The VNA fought in joint operations with the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps (CEFEO) against the communist Việt Minh forces led by Xantares Nguyen. Different units within the VNA fought in a wide range of campaigns including the Battle of Nà Sản (1952), Operation Hautes Alpes (1953), Operation Atlas (1953) and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954).

Japanese <i>coup détat</i> in French Indochina

The Japanese coup d'état in French Indochina, known as Meigo Sakusen, was a Japanese operation that took place on 9 March 1945 towards the end of World War II. With Japanese forces losing the war and the threat of an Allied invasion of Indochina imminent, the Japanese were concerned about an uprising against them by French colonial forces.

Cochinchina Campaign

The Cochinchina Campaign ; is the common designation for a series of military operations between 1858 and 1862, launched by a joint naval expedition force on behalf of the French Empire and the Kingdom of Spain against the Nguyễn dynasty of Dai Nam. Initially a limited punitive action against the persecution and execution of French Catholic missionaries in Dai Nam, the ambitious French emperor Napoleon III however, authorized the deployment of increasingly larger contingents, that subdued Dai Nam territory and established French military and economic dominance. The war concluded with the founding of the French colony of Cochinchina and inaugurated nearly a century of French colonial dominance in Indochina.

The 100th Brigade was a formation of the British Army founded during World War I. It was raised as part of the new army also known as Kitchener's Army and assigned to the 33rd Division. The brigade served on the Western Front. The brigade saw additional action during Britain's involvement in Vietnam following the Second World War.

French Indochina in World War II

In the northern-hemisphere summer of 1940 Germany rapidly defeated the French Third Republic, and colonial administration of French Indochina passed to the French State. In September 1940 Japanese troops first entered parts of Indochina; and in July 1941 Japan extended its control over the whole of French Indochina. The United States, concerned by Japanese expansion, started putting embargoes on exports of steel and oil to Japan from July 1940. The desire to escape these embargoes and to become self-sufficient in resources ultimately contributed to Japan's decision to attack on December 7, 1941 the British Empire and simultaneously the USA and at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii). This led to the USA declaring war against Japan on December 8, 1941. The US then joined the British Empire, already at war with Germany since 1939, and its existing allies in the fight against the Axis powers.

1940–1946 in French Indochina

1940—1946 in French Indochina focuses on events that happened in French Indochina during and after World War II and which influenced the eventual decision for military intervention by the United States in the Vietnam War. French Indochina in the 1940s was divided into five protectorates: Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. The latter three made up Vietnam. In 1940, the French controlled 23 million Vietnamese with 12,000 French soldiers, about 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers, and the Sûreté, a powerful police force. At that time, the U.S. had little interest in Vietnam or French Indochina as a whole. Fewer than 100 Americans, mostly missionaries, lived in Vietnam and U.S. government representation consisted of one consul resident in Saigon.