Britain in Vietnam: Prelude to Disaster, 1945-46 (Military by Peter Neville

By Peter Neville

This e-book is a learn of the situations resulting in British intervention in Vietnam in 1945, and the direction and effects of this intervention. the 1st a part of the paintings hyperlinks French colonialism with the local communist insurgency, whereas interpreting British and overseas place of work attitudes in the direction of French Indochina. The research then seems to be on the key Anglo-American wartime courting referring to Indochina and its effect. the second one half the publication specializes in the neighborhood difficulties confronted by way of the British in Southern Indochina, and no matter if commanding basic Douglas Gracey was once in charge (as critics have recommended) of collusion with French colonialism. It additionally examines the broader difficulties associated with on hand army assets, and the arguable problems with the position of the OSS and using eastern troops to maintain legislations and order. eventually, the booklet makes a groundbreaking hyperlink among British intervention and the outbreak of the French-Vietminh conflict in 1946. Britain in Vietnam might be of curiosity to scholars of British overseas coverage, army heritage and South-East Asian historical past normally.

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Meanwhile, the French had told the British government of their suspicions that Quoc acted as a liaison officer for all the communist parties in South-East Asia (including those in Crown colonies). He was further accused of trying to overthrow the government of Annam, and being behind discontent in the Central Highlands. In an effort to speed Quoc’s return to Indochina, the French gave an undertaking that he would not be executed if the British agreed to extradite him. N. Pritt, while the Hong Kong government was represented by the equally radical figure of Sir Stafford Cripps, a man whose ultra-leftism caused him to be expelled from the Labour Party in 1939 (although he subsequently became the most austere of post-war Labour Chancellors of the Exchequer).

He allowed British consular officials to establish contact with the Japanese authorities in those parts of China under their control. 24 What of Britain’s ally France in this scenario? It, like Britain, had finite military resources, although 100,000 troops, mostly Vietnamese, Laotian or Cambodian, were stationed in Indochina by 1939. The French were acutely aware from the early 1930s of the paramount nature of the German threat, but they could not ignore the Japanese threat either. In October 1937, the Secretary General of the Quai d’Orsay, Alexis Le´ger, Vansittart’s opposite number in Paris, told the American Ambassador, William Bullitt, that as long as the present tension existed in Europe it would be impossible for France .

39 Pibul was also an open admirer of German and Italian fascism and spent heavily on Italian and Japanese armaments. A Thai-style Hitler Youth organization was even established. All this suggests either that Sir Josiah Crosby misunderstood Pibul’s real inclinations, and he was also a Thai patriot who wanted to regain the lost territories by whatever means possible, or that Crosby himself may have been complicit in condoning Pibul’s aggression against French Indochina. British Military Intelligence did not share Crosby’s view of the Thai government, or his assessment of his own influence with Field Marshal Pibul.

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