Britain in Vietnam
Prelude to Disaster, 1945–46
Routledge – 2008 – 250 pages
Series: Military History and Policy
This book is a study of the circumstances leading to British intervention in Vietnam in 1945, and the course and consequences of this intervention.
The first part of the work links French colonialism with the native communist insurgency, while examining British and Foreign Office attitudes towards French Indochina. The study then looks at the key Anglo-American wartime relationship concerning Indochina and its impact. The second half of the book focuses on the local problems faced by the British in Southern Indochina, and whether commanding general Douglas Gracey was guilty (as critics have suggested) of collusion with French colonialism. It also examines the wider problems linked to available military resources, and the controversial issues of the role of the OSS and the use of Japanese troops to preserve law and order. Finally, the book makes a groundbreaking link between British intervention and the outbreak of the French-Vietminh war in 1946.
Britain in Vietnam will be of interest to students of British foreign policy, military history and South-East Asian history in general.
Introduction. Prologue 1. A Jewel in France’s Crown 2. Japan, Britain and French Indochina 3. The Anglo–American Alliance and Indochina 4. The Japanese Coup of March 9 1945 and its Consequences 5. The August Revolution 6. The Coming of the British 7. The Death of an OSS Man 8. War with the Vietminh 9. The Last Phase 10. Gracey’s Farewell 11. The Slide to Disaster 12. A Rubicon Crossed 13. Conclusion