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Indochina 1945-1954

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  • What does STCAN/FOM stand for?

    Services Techniques des Construction et Armes Navales / France Outre Mer
    French river patrol boat used in Vietnam (VNW)

    I won't have any boat blueprints in the books I have. Looking for tactical stuff on the CEFEO in English is maddening.
    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    • OPERATION CASTOR

      I figure Vietnam is twelve hours ahead of me, next day and all.

      So, sixty years ago right now, the show started.

      Such an opportunity to refight, relearn and rehash the event,
      day by bloody day.
      Last edited by avel; 20 Nov 13, 10:21.

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      • Tuy Hoa, October 1945



        Quy Nhon rail-station, 1945

        Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

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        • My dad was a WWII veteran, he joined the navy in April of 1941, during the Korean War he was on the USS Windham Bay (CVE-92).
          The ship was a escort carrier during WWII, recommissioned just before full blown war started in Korea.
          The small carrier along with other ships that were pulled out of mothballs and manned mostly by Naval Reservist like my dad, their mission was to transport new equipment, mainly new jets aircraft from the US to Korea and Japan, then to load up Bear Cats and Coarsairs and transport them to Vietnam.
          The Windham Bay was the first US Naval ship to sail into Saigon.
          On Feb. 1 1951 CVE-92 was fired on by Communist forces using mortars, grenades and sniper fire.
          Dad was on board.

          http://www.usmm.org/msts/ootw.html
          Early Involvement in Vietnam

          When MSTS met its initial baptism of fire off the shores of Korea in 1950, the service chartered a large number of Liberty ships to carry tanks, trucks, guns, ammunition, food, and other equipment across the Pacific. However their destination was not Pusan, but two ports on the Red and Soirap Rivers -- Haiphong and Saigon. The ships were delivering Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP) material for the French in their struggle against the Viet Minh.

          Not all the ships were met with a warm reception. In 1951, the aircraft transport USS Windham Bay (T-CVE 92), one of five Navy-manned escort carriers operated under the direction of MSTS, arrived at Saigon to offload a cargo of ex-Navy F8F Bearcat fighters. Following a five-and-a-half hour transit up the river, the ship arrived pierside and discharged its aircraft. However that first evening, the ship was attacked and targeted with about 17 hand grenades from pro-Viet Minh personnel on the pier. Although no damage or casualties were recorded, it was a fateful omen for America's involvement in Vietnam.

          In the fall of 1954, MSTS ships responded to another mission in Vietnam, when ships from the nucleus fleet sailed to Haiphong to help relocate thousands of displaced refugees to the south following the signing of the Geneva Accords that separated the nation at the 17th parallel. Operation Passage to Freedom involved Navy amphibious vessels, MSTS transports, and wide array of commercially chartered vessels.
          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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          • Operations Other Than Warfare (OOTW),
            In the late 1940s the US faced a new challenge, the post war peace was short lived, communist uprisings supported by the Soviet Union were breaking out across South East Asia, Africa and in Korea, the U.S. needed a way to transport weapons and advisors to nations friendly to her, and to support France in its effort to re-establish control of its colonies.
            Much of the transports that had been built during WWII had been decommissioned, sold off for scrape or sold other nations after the war. We needed a small fleet, and we needed to man that fleet with men who already knew how to operate them, it would have taken years to draft, train and equip enough ships to carry out such a mission.
            The answer was OOTW, take small carriers known as Escort Carriers or "Jeep" carriers out of moth ball fleets and reactivate Naval Reservist with specific skills needed to operate them.
            Machinist Mates, electricians, cooks, radio operators who had served during WWII suddenly became a valuable asset, soon, a fleet was established without much fanfare or press coverage.
            These small ships operated for years supplying weapons, food, and medical supplies to struggling nations fighting against well supplied communist forces also being secretly supplied by the Soviets.
            Here is the story
            http://www.usmm.org/msts/ootw.html
            Last edited by Urban hermit; 19 Nov 14, 23:33.
            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

            Comment


            • Thanks for those two post UH. Very interesting.
              "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
              - Col. David Hackworth

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              • 1954, Mobile Military Brothel at Dien Bien Phu

                Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

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                • Hermit, yes, good posts. Some points, though. First, the MDAP for Indochina wasn't signed until 23 Dec 50, so the ships would have arrived in 1951 at the earliest. Second, the Agreement was not solely between France and the U.S., but rather between the U.S. and the governments of Cambodia, France, Laos and Vietnam.

                  http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vi...r/law-appi.htm

                  Bratwurst: That photo cannot be Dien Bien Phu in 1954. First, the troops are in what we call Class A and B uniforms, i.e., for towns and cities in rear areas. Second, there are French or Vietnamese sailors in the photo. The only Navy present at DBP were those Naval Aviation personnel shot down around DBP.
                  Last edited by lirelou; 22 Nov 14, 21:55.
                  dit: Lirelou

                  Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

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                  • @ lirelou: THX for the correction. I just took the original caption.

                    December 1946, near Hanoi



                    ex-IJA officer (wearing glasses) instructs his Vietminh-platoon in the use of the captured mortar during the Battle of Hanoi.

                    1946, Yen Bai province



                    ex-IJA soldiers, now part of the Vietminh

                    They belonged the small number of Imperial Japanese soldiers & officers, who joined the Vietminh after Japan's surrender.

                    13th January 1947, Hanoi



                    Representatives of the USA, UK and ROC at a meeting with Vietminh officials.

                    22th February 1947, Hanoi



                    General Giap and other high-ranking Vietminh leaders.
                    January 1947, outside Hai Phong



                    Soldiers of the Vietminh
                    Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

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                    • Ho Chi Minh and General Leclerc in Hanoi in late 1945.


                      December 1953 / Yunnan Province, China
                      PRC-supplied trucks with ammunition for the Vietminh heading towards Dien Bien Phu.


                      Ammunition is transfered to the Vietminh in the Dien Bien Province.


                      Vietminh-soldiers are carrying disassembled artillerry-cannons up the hills surrounding the French positions.
                      Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

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                      • Passage to Freedom 1954











                        Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

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                        • Lang Son, 1950

                          Morroccan soldiers saluting their CO






                          unknown date

                          A French officer trains the usage of mortar to enlisted Hmong tribesmen in the French Far East Expeditionary Corps near Vientaine




                          near Hai Phong, unknown date

                          Two German soldiers of the French Foreign Legion return with their unit after a patrol.




                          Central Highlands, 1952

                          Magadascan soldiers of the FFEC






                          Gia Lam airport in Hanoi, 1951

                          Muslim soldiers praying after their arrival in Indochina




                          unknown date & location

                          Gabonese soldiers preparing a meal for their unit




                          1913 - Indochinese soldiers in service for the French


                          Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying culture. Aristotle

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                            Hermit, yes, good posts. Some points, though. First, the MDAP for Indochina wasn't signed until 23 Dec 50, so the ships would have arrived in 1951 at the earliest. Second, the Agreement was not solely between France and the U.S., but rather between the U.S. and the governments of Cambodia, France, Laos and Vietnam.

                            http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vi...r/law-appi.htm

                            Bratwurst: That photo cannot be Dien Bien Phu in 1954. First, the troops are in what we call Class A and B uniforms, i.e., for towns and cities in rear areas. Second, there are French or Vietnamese sailors in the photo. The only Navy present at DBP were those Naval Aviation personnel shot down around DBP.
                            His ship was there on Feb 1 1951
                            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                            Comment


                            • Hmm, those "two German soldiers in the French Foreign Legion" look suspiciously like Army photographers. Must have been some patrol. Interesting collection of weapons, mostly French. Also, interesting to note a Muslim 1st LT praying in that Gia Lam airport shot. The two rows of ribbons suggest a WWII veteran, as many of the North Africans were. The average age of a Moroccan Tirailleur in then LT Jacques Jaubert's platoon (of the 8th Moroccans) was 36 years in 1950. Most were WWII vets, and all his men were expert marksman with their British .303 Enfields. The Moroccans provided two types if units. Regular Moroccan Arab units (the Moroccan Tirailleurs) and Berber units (tribal levies termed "Tambors" at the Battalion level and "Goums" at the company level.)

                              Great photos, thanks.
                              dit: Lirelou

                              Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                                Hmm, those "two German soldiers in the French Foreign Legion" look suspiciously like Army photographers. Must have been some patrol. Interesting collection of weapons, mostly French. Also, interesting to note a Muslim 1st LT praying in that Gia Lam airport shot. The two rows of ribbons suggest a WWII veteran, as many of the North Africans were. The average age of a Moroccan Tirailleur in then LT Jacques Jaubert's platoon (of the 8th Moroccans) was 36 years in 1950. Most were WWII vets, and all his men were expert marksman with their British .303 Enfields. The Moroccans provided two types if units. Regular Moroccan Arab units (the Moroccan Tirailleurs) and Berber units (tribal levies termed "Tambors" at the Battalion level and "Goums" at the company level.)

                                Great photos, thanks.
                                Many Greman soldiers expatriated and joined other army's to fight communism. There were some in the U.S. Army to.
                                Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                                Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                                Comment

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