Japanese troops fighting alongside the British in Viet Nam

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by raumatibeach, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Stumbled across this today War in Vietnam (1945
    Anyone know anything more about this?I'd love to know more, or if the Japanese were re armed and fought elsewhere for the allies.
    I love that scene in Ban of Brothers where the german and american soldiers are manning the roadblock and talking about their experiences, can't quite imagine it happening with the Japanese and British troops however.
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    WWII Japan was anti communist. So it wouldn't surprise me if they made common cause with British forces vs the Viet Minh.
     
  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Japan might have been anti-communist, but even so many of those Japanese troops chose to stay in Vietnam after the war and fight with the Viet Minh, and later the NVA.
     
  4. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting topic which I did not know.
    What I knew about the IJA personnels in Vietnam after WW2 was 600 of them joined the Viet Minh to train them.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    This is a VERY complicated area of history and is certainly not one that I consider myself qualified to comment in detail upon. However this is a simplified account of the series of events that happened at the end of the war in Vietnam.

    Vietnam (actually all of French Indo-China) was divided at the 16th paralell at the Potsdam conference The Chinese would take the Japanese surrender in the North and the British in the South.

    Although hostilities officially ended on 15 Aug 1945 Major General Douglas Gracey and his Anglo-Indian Force didn't arrive until 5 Sept. Saigon was occupied by armed Vietnamese. Gracey's initial reaction was to increase his available manpower by arming French PoWs and handing control of Saigon back to them. French Indo-China had fallen into Vichy French administration,it wasn't until after Germany's surrender that Japan declared it an independent nation.

    It was the Anglo-Indian Forces that drove the Viet-Minh from Saigon but the city was effectively surrounded. Gracey realise that Japanese repatriation would have to wait until the Vietnamese country side was under control and did not disarm Japanese Forces in the country. Instead he allowed them to operate against the Viet-Minh. Throughout October 1945 the Viet-Minh launched attacks against Saigon all of which were repulsed by Indian and Japanese Forces.
    It was not until January 1946 that the French were present in sufficient numbers to allow Gracey to hand over Vietnam to its former colonial rulers. The last British forces, the 2/8 Punjab, left in May of 1946.

    So,yes,the Japanese did indeed operate with "British" Forces in Vietnam in 1945/6.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting!
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yes very interesting. I was not aware of this until now. I wonder if there is more detailed info on this?
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #8 Shinpachi, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
    At least, those 600 Japanese who joined the Viet Minh had no political ideologies but simply refused to be repatriated to their occupied homeland. Period is said from early September to December of 1945.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they did.

    1933 Germany wasted no time shipping communists off to concentration camps for reeducation. Most were released after a few months. That doesn't mean they no longer had communist sympathies but they knew better then to admit it. When the Red Army occupied most of Europe these communists came out of the closet and historical accounts suggest there were quite a few. Japanese communists probably acted in a similiar manner. They kept their ideas to themselves until an opportunity presented itself to join a communist military organization.
     
  10. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I believe also that when the French took back control of Indo China some of the French Foreign Legion troops stationed there were former members of the Wehrmacht, some of them SS.
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #11 tyrodtom, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
    I doubt that many joined the Viet Minh out of communist sympathy, they could see no reason to surrender. The IJA in Indochina was undefeated.

    They probably didn't want to return to a bombed out, defeated, and occupied Japan. They had a marketable skill, and the Viet Minh welcomed them.

    Not all that stayed behind joined the Viet Minh, some became farmers, shop owners, stayed as doctors, engineers, etc.

    There were something like 50,000 IJA troops and Japanese civil service personnel in Indochina at the surrender date, but only something like 35,000 were repatriated within the year ahead. The rest stayed for several years, some well past Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
     
  12. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Not much detail here about the Japanese but it gives you an idea of the politics of British involvement and the situation on the ground
    The First Vietnam War - Peter M. Dunn - Google Books

    Looks like it also happened in Indonesia British and Japanese Troops Cooperate in SE Asia, 1945 » Armchair General
    I wonder who was paying the Japanese troops and if they ended up wearing British uniforms?
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That welcome would be short lived unless Japanese troops go along with communist indoctrination that was routine in the Viet Minh and most other communist armies.
     
  14. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    The 600 Japanese contribution in the Viet Minh continued to 1954 when French evacuated from Vietnam.
    Most of them returned to Japan after that.
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    They had something the Vietminh absolutly had to have, technical knowledge of heavy weapons, engineering knowledge, medical etc.. The communist doctrine was for the locals, the Viets could be pretty pragmatic about comminist doctrine, when somebody had something they needed. Witness how during the later Vietnam war they were getting aid from China and Russia at the same time that China and Russia almost went to war against each other.
     
  16. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Interesting to think that former IJA soldiers ended up fighting against former Waffen SS in Viet Nam .Got to love histories twists and turns, almost as good as the Koreans captured in German uniform in Normandy.

    http://www.warbirdforum.com/japviet.htm

     
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