Van Doos to FIC, Feb 1940

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Admiral Beez

Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
In Sept 1939 the BEF began moving into France. Meanwhile, noticing that FIC now had an aggressive Japan right on its borders, the British war cabinet suggests that a francophone regiment be sent to FIC to bolster the French forces there, and to show unity. Chamberlain calls up PM Mackenzie King and asks that a division from Quebec be dispatched. France meanwhile agrees, but on condition that the regiment be under overall French command. Feb 1940, one thousand Canadians of the Royal 22e Régiment arrive at Saigon, with the regiment soon moving to the border, deploying to Haiphong by March 1940.


June 1940, France surrenders, July 1940, the Royal Navy attacks the French fleet. Aug 1940, Japan begins to make noise of invading FIC. Does having "British" forces in FIC deter the Japanese whatsoever or impact the Vichy vs. Free French control of FIC? And then there's the Franco-Thai War (October 1940 – January 28, 1941). What do our plucky Canadians do?
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The Canadian brigade sent tp Hong Kong fought bravely, but they were run over and defeated and captured by the Japanese. Would 1000 Van Doos have done any better?
No. That's not why they're there. It's a bolster to the then Free French governor of FIC and a deterrent to Japan's plans to invade FIC in Sept 1940. If Japan does in fact invade, our Canadians will need to flee.
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