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Indochina, World War II and liberation in

Daniel Hémery


World War II rang the death knell of the European colonial empire. However, decolonization was deferred for French Indochina. The beginning of the end of the French colonial empire in Indochina was signaled by the cataclysmic collapse of France in June 1940, followed by a brief Franco-Thai war arbitrated by Tokyo to benefit Bangkok in May 1941. On September 23, 1940 the Phuc Quoc (National Restoration) nationalists with the assistance of the Japanese army launched a short but intense attack on Lang Son in Northern Vietnam on September 23. The Phuc Quoc entered Tonkin with the Japanese army confident that they were commencing the liberation of their country. However, the Lang Son uprising was immediately quashed, as was the Bac Son communist uprising in Tonkin in late September, as was a subsequent intense communist insurrection on November 22, 1940 in 11 of the 20 provinces of Cochinchina. They were crushed by relentless military and police repression, decimating the Communist Party of Indochina. But this was only a brief respite for the government installed by Maréchal Pétain's regime in Vichy after the Franco-German armistice and entrusted to Admiral Decoux. The Indochinese administration and army, faithful to Vichy until 1945 despite the formation of clandestine networks of General de Gaulle's Free France, was forced to comply with the Japanese ultimatum as of August 30, 1940 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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