First Indochina War
The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on December 19, 1946, 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 Ho Chi 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 extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Combined Chiefs of Staff decided that Indochina south of latitude 16° north was to be included in the Southeast Asia Command under British Admiral Mountbatten. Japanese forces located south of that line surrendered to him and those to the north surrendered to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. In September 1945, Chinese forces entered Tonkin, a small British task force landed at Saigon.
The Chinese accepted the Vietnamese government under Ho Chi Minh in power in Hanoi. The British refused to do in Saigon, deferred to the French there from the outset, against the ostensible support of the Việt Minh authorities by American OSS representatives. On V-J Day, September 2, Ho Chi Minh had proclaimed in Hanoi the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; the DRV ruled as the only civil government in all of Vietnam for a period of about 20 days, after the abdication of Emperor Bảo Đại, who had governed under Japanese rule. On 23 September 1945, with the knowledge of the British commander in Saigon, French forces overthrew the local DRV government, declared French authority restored in Cochinchina. Guerrilla warfare began around Saigon but the French retook control of the South and North of Indochina. Hô Chi Minh agreed to negotiate the future status of Vietnam, but the talks, held in France, failed to produce a solution. After over one year of latent conflict, all-out war broke out in December 1946 between French and Việt Minh forces as Hô and his government went underground.
The French tried to stabilize Indochina by reorganizing it as a Federation of Associated States. In 1949, they put former Emperor Bảo Đại back in power, as the ruler of a newly established State of Vietnam; the first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against the French. In 1949 the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States and the Soviet Union. French Union forces included colonial troops from the whole former empire, French professional troops and units of the French Foreign Legion; the use of metropolitan recruits was forbidden by the government to prevent the war from becoming more unpopular at home. It was called the "dirty war" by leftists in France; the strategy of pushing the Việt Minh into attacking well-defended bases in remote parts of the country at the end of their logistical trails was validated at the Battle of Nà Sản. However, this base was weak because of a lack of concrete and steel.
French efforts were made more difficult due to the limited usefulness of armored tanks in a jungle environment, lack of strong air forces for air cover and carpet bombing, use of foreign recruits from other French colonies. Võ Nguyên Giáp, used efficient and novel tactics of direct fire artillery, convoy ambushes and massed anti-aircraft guns to impede land and air supply deliveries together with a strategy based on recruiting a sizable regular army facilitated by wide popular support, a guerrilla warfare doctrine and instruction developed in China, the use of simple and reliable war material provided by the Soviet Union; this combination proved fatal for the bases' defenses, culminating in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. At the International Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, the new socialist French government and the Việt Minh made an agreement which gave the Việt Minh control of North Vietnam above the 17th parallel; the south continued under Bảo Đại. The agreement was denounced by the United States.
A year Bảo Đại would be deposed by his prime minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, creating the Republic of Vietnam. Soon an insurgency, backed by the north, developed against Diệm's government; the conflict escalated into the Vietnam War. Vietnam was absorbed into French Indochina in stages between 1858 and 1887. Nationalism grew. Early Vietnamese resistance centered on the intellectual Phan Bội Châu. Châu looked to Japan, which had modernized and was one of the few Asian nations to resist European colonization. With Prince Cường Để, Châu started two organizations in Japan, the Duy Tân hội and Vietnam Cong Hien Hoi. Due to French pressure, Japan deported Phan Bội Châu to China. Witnessing Sun Yat-sen's Xinhai Revolution, Châu was inspired to commence the Viet Nam Quang Phục Hội movement in Guangzhou. From 1914 to 1917, he was imprisoned by Yuan Shikai's counterrevolutionary government. In 1925, he was captured by French agents in spirited to Vietnam. Due to his popularity, Châu was spared from execution and placed under house arrest until his death in 1940.
In September 1940, shortly after Phan Bội Châu's death, Japan launched its invasion of French Indochina, mirroring its ally Germany's co
Vietnamese personal names consist of three parts: one patrilineal family name, one or more middle name, one given name, used in that order. The "family name first" order follows the system of Chinese names and is common throughout the Chinese cultural sphere. However, it is different from Chinese and Japanese names in the usage of "middle names", as they are less common in China and Korea and do not exist in Japan. Persons can be referred to by the whole name, the given name or a hierarchic pronoun, which connotes a degree of family relationship or kinship, in normal usage. Due to the frequency of the major family names such as Nguyễn, Trần, Lê, persons are referred to by their middle name along with their given name in Vietnamese media and youth culture; the Vietnamese language is tonal, so are Vietnamese names. Names with the same spelling but with different tones are different names, which can confuse non-Vietnamese people when the diacritics are dropped, as is done outside Vietnam. Anyone applying for Vietnamese nationality must adopt a Vietnamese name.
The family name is passed on by the father to his children. It is estimated that there are around 100 family names in common use, but some are far more common than others; the name Nguyễn is estimated to be used by 40% of the Vietnamese population. The top three names are so popular because people tended to take family names of emperors to show their loyalty. Over many generations, family names became permanent; the most common family names among the Vietnamese are the following. Altogether, the 14 names account for 90% of the people. Nguyễn 阮 Trần 陳 Lê 黎 Phạm 范 Huỳnh/Hoàng 黃 Phan 潘 Vũ/Võ 武 Đặng 鄧 Bùi 裴 Đỗ 杜 Hồ 胡 Ngô 吳 Dương 楊 Lý 李 The following include other less-common surnames in alphabetical order: In Vietnamese cultural practice, women always keep their family names once they marry, just as in other East Asian cultures, including Chinese culture to the north and the northeast. In formal contexts, people are referred to by their full name. In more casual contexts, people are always on a "first name basis", which involves their given names, accompanying with proper kinship terms.
There is no such thing as family name basis, in Vietnam. Most Vietnamese have one middle name, but it is quite possible to have either two or more of them or to have no middle name at all. In the past, the middle name was selected by parents from a narrow range of options. All women had Thị as their middle name, many men had Văn. More a broader range of names have been used, people named Thị sometimes omit their middle name. Thị is by far the most common female middle name; that word expresses possession. For example, "Trần Thị Mai Loan" is a person who has the given name of "Mai Loan" and the surname "Trần", the combination "Trần Thị" means "a female person belonging to the Trần family." The combination is similar to Western surname formation like "Van" in "Van Helsing", "Mac" in "MacCartney", etc. Male middle names include Văn, Hữu, Đức, Thành, Công, Quang; the middle name can have three uses: To indicate a person's generation. Brothers and sisters share the same middle name, which distinguish them from the generation before them and the generation after them.
To separate branches of a large family: "Nguyễn Hữu", "Nguyễn Sinh", "Trần Lâm". However, this usage is still controversial; some people consider them to be dual family names, not family name + middle name. Some families may, set up arbitrary rules about giving a different middle name to each generation. To indicate a person's position in the family; this usage is less common than others. However, most middle names now do not have those uses, they can have a meaning or only make the full name sound better. In most cases, the middle name is formally part of the given name. For example, the name "Đinh Quang Dũng" is separated into the surname "Đinh" and the given name "Quang Dũng". In a normal name list, those two parts of the full name are put in two different columns. However, in daily conversation, the last word in a given name with a title before it is used to address a person: "Ông Dũng", "Anh Dũng", etc. with "Ông" and "Anh" being words to address the person and depend on age, social position, etc.
The given name is the primary form of address for Vietnamese. It is chosen by parents and has a literal meaning in the Vietnamese language. Names represent beauty, such as bird or flower names, or attributes and characteristics that the parents want in their child, such as modesty. Vietnamese will be addressed with their given name in formal situations, although an honorific equivalent to "Mr.", "Mrs.", etc. will be added when necessary. That contrasts with the situation in many other cultures in which the family name is used in formal situations, but it is a practice similar to usage in Icelandic usage and, to some degree, Polish, it is similar to the Latin-American and southern European custom of referring to women as "Doña" and men as "Don", along with their first name. Addressing someone by the family name is rare. In the past, married women in the north were called with Thị as a suffix. In recent years, doctors are more than any other social group to be addressed by their family name, but that form of reference is more common in the north than in the south.
Some famous people are sometimes ref
The Cochinchina Campaign. 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 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. By the mid 19th century international trade and the world-economy was European-dominated and competitive. France, further driven by its rivalry with Britain established and consolidated a large sphere of influence. Indochina became imperial aspiration in Asia. Certain elements of the French establishment argued that the Vietnamese emperor Gia Long owed the French greater goodwill for the help French troops had given him in his struggle against his Tây Sơn enemies. However, Gia Long felt neither bound to France nor to China, which had provided help.
Gia Long contended that the French government had failed to honor the Treaty of Versailles and assist him in the civil war, as those who had helped him were volunteers and adventurers, not officials. Nonetheless, he and his successor Minh Mạng wished to continue the fruitful agreement of cooperation, promoted and introduced by Pierre Pigneau de Behaine as it provided French military and technical assistance and permitted the purchase of military equipment and rifles. Advanced fortification methods and technologies had been adopted and implemented as trained Vietnamese planners had reproduced the elaborate 18th century Vaubanesque fortress at Saigon built by French engineers. French missionaries had been active in Vietnam since the 17th century. Although the ultimate goal of a catholic Vietnamese emperor had yet to be achieved, by the middle of the 19th century a community of 600,000 Roman Catholic converts existed in Annam and Tonkin according to Bishop Pellerin. However, most of the bishops and priests were either French or Spanish and many Vietnamese disliked and suspected this sizable Christian congregation and its foreign leaders.
The French clerics felt responsible for the communal safety as tension built up gradually. During the 1840s, persecution or harassment of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam by the Vietnamese emperors Minh Mạng and Thiệu Trị evoked only sporadic and unofficial French response and decisive steps towards military incursions and an eventual establishment of a French colonial empire in Indochina was not taken until 1858. In 1857, the Vietnamese emperor Tự Đức approved the execution of two Spanish Catholic missionaries; this was neither the first nor the last such incident and on previous occasions the French government had overlooked such provocations. But this event coincided with the Second Opium War and France and Britain had just dispatched a joint military expedition force to the Far East in order to attack China. France used these forces to subsequently intervene in Indochina. In November 1857, Napoleon III of France. Emphasizing the rationale of Mission Civilisatrice authorised Admiral Charles Rigault de Genouilly to lead a punitive expedition against Vietnam.
In September 1858, a joint French and Spanish naval expedition force landed at Tourane and captured the town. The Europeans anticipated an easy victory; the Vietnamese Christian community did not rise in support of France, as Bishop Pellerin had confidently predicted they would, a well organized Vietnamese military resistance was more formidable than expected. The French and Spanish, who had captured the city in a marine assault found themselves in no position to progress further inland and were pinned down in a long siege by a Vietnamese army under the command of Nguyễn Tri Phương. Allied reinforcements only replaced losses leaving a small force, that attacked sections of the Vietnamese positions, but were unable to break the siege; the Siege of Tourane lasted for nearly three years and despite relative little combat, casualties among the allied troops were high, as diseases took a heavy toll. Realising that the French garrison at Tourane was not to achieve a strategic success shortly, Rigault de Genouilly pondered options of operations in either Tonkin or Cochinchina in October 1858.
As an expedition to Tonkin would require a rather unlikely large-scale uprising by the Vietnamese Christians to have any chance of success, in January 1859 he proposed to the Ministère de la Marine an expedition against Saigon in Cochinchina. This city was of considerable strategic significance as a source of food for the Vietnamese army; the expedition was approved, in early February Rigault de Genouilly sailed south for Saigon, leaving command of Tourane to capitaine de vaisseau Thoyon with a small French garrison and two gunboats. On 17 February 1859, after breaking the river defences and destroying a series of forts and stockades along the Saigon river, the French and Spanish captured Saigon. French marine infantry stormed the enormous Citadel of Saigon, while Filipino troops under Spanish command repelled a Vietnamese counterattack; the allies lacked the man power to hold the citadel and on 8 March 1859 demolished it and set fire to the rice granaries. In Apr
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung known as Nguyễn Tất Thành, Nguyễn Ái Quốc, Bác Hồ or Bác, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader, Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. He was Prime Minister and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, he was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi as well as the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Hồ Chí Minh led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ, he stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems. After the war, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. Any description of Hồ Chí Minh's life before he came to power in Vietnam is fraught with ambiguity, he is known to have used at least 50 and as many as 200 pseudonyms.
Both his place and date of birth are subjects of academic debate since neither is known with certainty. At least four existing official biographies vary on names, dates and other hard facts while unofficial biographies vary more widely. Hồ Chí Minh was born and given the name of Nguyễn Sinh Cung in 1890 in the village of Hoàng Trù, his mother's village. Although this is his accepted birth year, at various times he used five different birth years: 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894 and 1895. From 1895, he grew up in his father Nguyễn Sinh Sắc's village of Làng Sen, Kim Liên, Nam Đàn, Nghệ An Province, he had three siblings: a clerk in the French Army. As a young child, Cung studied with his father before more formal classes with a scholar named Vuong Thuc Do. Cung mastered Chinese writing, a prerequisite for any serious study of Confucianism, while honing his colloquial Vietnamese writing. In addition to his studious endeavors, he was fond of adventure and loved to fly kites and go fishing. Following Confucian tradition, his father gave him a new name at the age of 10: Nguyễn Tất Thành.
Thành's father was a Confucian scholar and teacher and an imperial magistrate in the small remote district of Binh Khe. He was demoted for abuse of power after an influential local figure died several days after having received 102 strokes of the cane as punishment for an infraction. Thành's father was eligible to serve in the imperial bureaucracy, but he refused because it meant serving the French; this exposed Thành to rebellion at a young age and seemed to be the norm for the province where Thành came of age. In deference to his father, Thành received a French education, attended lycée in Huế, the alma mater of his disciples, Phạm Văn Đồng and Võ Nguyên Giáp and his enemy, Ngô Đình Diệm, it was believed that Thành was involved in an anti-slavery demonstration of poor peasants in Huế in May 1908, which endangered his student status at Collège Quốc học. However, a document from the Centre des archives d'Outre-mer in France shows that he was admitted to Collège Quốc học on 8 August 1908, several months after the anti-corvée demonstration.
The exaggeration of revolutionary credentials was common among Vietnamese Communist leaders, as shown in North Vietnamese President Tôn Đức Thắng's falsified participation in the 1919 Black Sea revolt. In life, he would claim the 1908 revolt had been the moment when his revolutionary outlook emerged, but his application to the French Colonial Administrative School in 1911 undermines this version of events, he chose to leave school. Because his father had been dismissed, he no longer had any hope for a governmental scholarship and went southward, taking a position at Dục Thanh school in Phan Thiết for about six months traveled to Saigon. Thành worked as a kitchen helper on a French steamer, the Amirale de Latouche-Tréville while using the alias Văn Ba; the steamer departed on 5 June 1911 and arrived in Marseille, France on 5 July 1911. The ship left for Le Havre and Dunkirk, returning to Marseille in mid-September. There, he applied for the French Colonial Administrative School, but his application was rejected and he instead decided to begin traveling the world by working on ships and visited many countries from 1911 to 1917.
While working as the cook's helper on a ship in 1912, Thành traveled to the United States. From 1912–1913, he may have lived in New York City and Boston, where he claimed to have worked as a baker at the Parker House Hotel; the only evidence that Thành was in the United States is a letter to French colonial administrators dated 15 December 1912 and postmarked New York City and a postcard to Phan Chu Trinh in Paris where he mentioned working at the Parker House Hotel. Inquiries to the Parker House management revealed no records of his having worked there. Among a series of menial jobs, he claimed to have worked for a wealthy family in Brooklyn between 1917–1918 and for General Motors as a line manager, it is believed that while in the United States he made contact with Korean nationalists, an experience that developed his polit
Tam Kỳ is the capital city of Quảng Nam Province, in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. The town was established in 1906 under the Nguyễn Dynasty as an administrative and tax post. During the Republic of Vietnam, the city was the main base of US military in Quảng Nam province for the war in Vietnam; the North Vietnamese captured the city on March 24 1975. In 1997, the local government under the Socialist Republic of Vietnam made it the capital of Quảng Nam province. Since there has been substantial development within the city. Tam Kỳ city is famous for Tam Kỳ chicken rice, recognized nationally, many pristine beaches; the city is served by Tam Kỳ Railway Station, connected to all major cities across Vietnam. Da Nang International Airport is 70 km away from the city, which takes about one and a half hour's drive; the closer Chu Lai International Airport is 30 km away. There is a free daily shuttle bus between the Quảng Ngãi city center. Other means of transportation include regular car and bus services
The Nguyễn dynasty or House of Nguyễn was the final imperial family of Vietnam. Their ancestral line can be traced back to the beginning of the Common Era. However, only by the mid-sixteenth century the most ambitious family branch, the Nguyễn Lords had risen to conquer and establish feudal rule over large territory. Imperial rule lasted for 143 years, when Gia Long ascended the throne in 1802, after putting an end to the rise of the Tây Sơn and uniting the country, Emperor Bảo Đại, the dynasty's last representant abdicated the throne and transferred sovereign power to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945. Nguyễn dynastic rule was obtained by the support of the French, who compromised its authority from the beginning. Sovereignty was lost to French colonialism as the nation was divided into three administrative entities of French Indochina: Cochinchina became a French colony, Annam and Tonkin became nominally-independent protectorates. First mentioned in the first century CE, the Nguyễn family clan, that originated in the Thanh Hóa Province exerted substantial political influence and military power, in particular throughout early modern Vietnamese history.
Affiliations with the ruling elite date back to the tenth century when Nguyễn Bặc was appointed the first Grand Chancellor of the short-lived Đinh dynasty under Đinh Bộ Lĩnh and its successor Emperor Lê Lợi of the Early Lê dynasty. Nguyễn Thị Anh, a queen consort of emperor Lê Thái Tông served as official regent of Annam for her son emperor Lê Nhân Tông between 1442 and 1453. In 1527 Mạc Đăng Dung, after defeating and executing the Lê vassal Nguyễn Hoang Du in a civil war emerged as the intermediate victor and established the Mạc dynasty by deposing emperor Lê Cung Hoàng of the once prosperous but declining Lê dynasty. Nguyễn Hoang Du's son Nguyễn Kim and his Trịnh lord allies remained loyal to the Lê and attempted to restore the Lê dynasty to power, thereby reigniting the civil war. Nguyễn Kim, who had served as leader of the alliance during the six-year conquest of the Southern Dynasty against Mạc Đăng Dung, was assassinated in 1545 by a captured Mạc general. Kim's son-in-law, Trịnh Kiểm, took command of the alliance.
In 1558, Lê Anh Tông, emperor of the re-established Lê dynasty entrusted Nguyễn Hoàng with the lordship of the southern part of central Vietnam, conquered during the 15th century from the Champa principalities. Nguyễn Hoàng chose the city of Huế as his residence and established the dominion of the Nguyễn Chúa in the southern part of the country. Although the Nguyễn and Trịnh lords ruled as de facto kings in their respective lands, they paid official tribute to the Lê emperors in a ceremonial gesture, as imperial power was confined to representation. Nguyễn Hoàng and his successors continued their rivalry with the Trịnh lords, expanded their territory by making parts of Cambodia a protectorate, invaded Laos, captured the last vestiges of Champa in 1693 and ruled in an unbroken line until 1776; the 17th century war between the Trịnh and the Nguyễn ended in an uneasy peace, as neither side was capable to unite the country under its rule. After 100 years of domestic peace the Nguyễn lords were confronted with the Tây Sơn rebellion in 1774.
Its military had had considerable losses in man power after a series of campaigns in Cambodia and proved unable to contain the revolt. By the end of the year the Trịnh lords had formed an alliance with the Tây Sơn rebels and captured Huế in 1775. Nguyễn lord Nguyễn Phúc Thuần fled south to the Quảng Nam province, where he left a garrison under co-ruler Nguyễn Phúc Dương, he fled further south to the Gia Định Province by sea before the arrival of Tây Sơn leader Nguyễn Nhạc, whose forces defeated the Nguyễn garrison and seized Quảng Nam. In early 1777 a large Tây Sơn force under Nguyễn Huệ and Nguyễn Lữ attacked and captured Gia Định from the sea and defeated the Nguyễn Lord forces; the Tây Sơn received widespread popular support as they presented themselves as champions of the Vietnamese people, who rejected any foreign influence and fought for the full reinstitution of the Lê dynasty. Hence, the elimination of the Nguyễn and Trinh lordships was considered a priority and all but one member of the Nguyễn family captured at Saigon were executed.
The 13-year-old Nguyễn Ánh escaped and with the help of the Vietnamese Catholic priest Paul Hồ Văn Nghị soon arrived at the Paris Foreign Missions Society in Hà Tiên. With Tây Son search parties closing in, he kept on moving and met the French missionary Pigneau de Behaine. By retreating to the Thổ Chu Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, both escaped Tây Sơn capture. Pigneau de Behaine resolved to support Ánh. A month the Tây Sơn army under Nguyễn Huệ had returned to Quy Nhơn. Ánh seized the opportunity and deployed an army at his new base in Long Xuyên, marched to Gia Định in December 1777, raided the palace of Long Hồ and occupied the city. The Tây Sơn recaptured the province; when Ánh approached with his army, the Tây Sơn retreated. By the summer of 1781, Ánh's forces had grown to 30,000 soldiers, 80 battleships, three large ships and two Portuguese ships procured with the help of de Behaine. Ánh organized an unsuccessful ambush of the Tây Sơn base camps in the Phú Yên province. In March 1782 Tây Sơn emperor Thái Đức and his brother Nguyễn Huệ sent a naval force to attack Ánh.
Ánh's army was defeated and he fled via Ba Giồng to Svay Rieng in Cambodia. Ánh met with the Cambodian King Ang Eng, who granted him exile and offered support in his struggle with the Tây Sơn. In April 1782 a Tây Sơn army invaded Cambodia
Japanese coup d'état 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. Despite the French having anticipated an attack, the Japanese struck in a military campaign attacking garrisons all over the colony; the French were caught off guard and all of the garrisons were overrun with some having to escape to Nationalist China where they were harshly interned. The Japanese replaced French officials, dismantled their control of Indochina; the Japanese were able to install and create a new Empire of Vietnam, Kingdom of Kampuchea and Kingdom of Laos which under their direction would acquiesce with their military presence and forestall a potential invasion by the Allies. French Indochina comprised the colony of Cochinchina and the protectorates of Annam and Tonkin, the mixed region of Laos.
After the fall of France in June 1940 the French Indochinese government had remained loyal to the Vichy regime. The following month governor Admiral Jean Decoux signed an agreement under which Japanese forces were permitted to occupy bases across Indochina. In September the same year Japanese troops invaded and took control of Northern Indochina, in July 1941 they occupied the Southern half as well; the Japanese allowed the administration to continue on albeit as puppets. By 1944 with the war going against the Japanese after defeats in Burma and the Philippines they feared an Allied offensive in French Indochina; the Japanese were suspicious of the French. The Vichy regime by this time had ceased to exist, but its colonial administration was still in place in Indochina, though Decoux had recognized and contacted the Provisional Government of the French Republic led by Charles de Gaulle Decoux got a cold response from de Gaulle and was stripped of his powers as governor general but was ordered to maintain his post with orders to deceive the Japanese.
Instead Decoux's army commander General Eugène Mordant, secretly became the Provisional Government's delegate and the head of all resistance and underground activities in Indochina. Mordant however was careless - he was too talkative and had an incapacity to keep his preparations secret, so much so that the Japanese Kempeitai swiftly uncovered the plot against them and discussed the next move against the French. British intelligence, mission Force 136 air-dropped several Free French operatives into Indochina in late 1944, they provided detailed information on targets related to ship movements along the coast to British headquarters in India and China, who in turn transmitted them to the Americans, During the South China Sea raid in January 1945 American carrier aircraft sank twenty-four vessels and damaged another thirteen. Six U. S. navy pilots were shot down but were picked up by French military authorities and housed in the central prison of Saigon for safe keeping. The French refused to give the Americans up and when the Japanese prepared to storm the prison the men were smuggled out.
The Japanese demanded their surrender but Decoux refused and General Yuitsu Tsuchihashi, the Japanese commander, decided to act. Tsuchihashi could no longer trust Decoux to control his subordinates and asked for orders from Tokyo; the Japanese High Command were reluctant for another front to be opened up in an poor situation. They ordered Tsuchihashi to offer Decoux an ultimatum and if this was rejected at his discretion a coup would be authorised. With this coup the Japanese planned to overthrow the colonial administration and intern or destroy the French army in Indochina. Several friendly puppet governments would be established and win the support of the indigenous populations. In early 1945 the French Indochina army still outnumbered the Japanese and comprised about 65,000 men, of whom 48,500 were locally recruited Tirailleurs indochinois under French officers; the remainder were three battalions of the Foreign Legion. A separate force of indigenous gardes indochinois numbered 27,000. Since the fall of France in June 1940 no replacements or supplies had been received from outside Indochina.
By March 1945 only about 30,000 French troops could be described as combat ready, the remainder serving in garrison or support units. At the beginning of 1945 the understrength Japanese Thirty-Eighth Army was composed of 30,000 troops a force, increased by 25,000 reinforcements brought in from China and Burma in the following months. In early March 1945 Japanese forces were redeployed around the main French garrison towns throughout Indochina, linked by radio to the Southern area headquarters. French officers and civilian officials were however forewarned of an attack through troop movements, some garrisons were put on alert; the Japanese envoy in Saigon Ambassador Shunichi Matsumoto declared to Decoux that since an Allied landing in Indochina was inevitable, Tokyo command wished to put into place a "common defence" of Indochina. Decoux however resisted stating that this would be a catalyst for an Allied invasion but suggested that Japanese control would be accepted if they invaded; this was not enough and the Tsuchihashi accused Decoux of playing for time.
On 9 March, after more stalling by Decoux, Tsuchihashi delivered an ultimatum for French troops to disarm. Decoux sent a messenger to Matsumoto urging further negotiations but the message arrive