The French, quick to realize the efficacy of armor to preserve their sovereignty over Indo-China following the Great War, sent over their Renault FT17 tanks in 1919. Together with a variety of armored cars, these were the principal AFVs in Indo-China until World War II when the Japanese occupied the region. After the war, French troops were equipped with a motley collection of American and cast off British equipment until the outbreak of war in Korea saw an increase in military aid. This included large numbers of the M24 Chaffee Light Tank, along with amphibious vehicles such as the M29C Weasel and LVT4 Buffalo, to conduct operations in coastal and inland areas that the Viet Minh had previously thought immune to attack.
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Table of Contents
The Empire Strikes Back 4
The Role Of French Armour 6
The battlefield and the enemy
Viet Minh anti-armour tactics
Evolution of Armour Organization 14
Amphibious units: 1 er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie
Armoured train 'La Rafale TB'
Representative Unit History: 1er Régiment De Chasseurs à Cheval 22
Cochinchina and Tonkin, 1946
1951: The Year of de Lattre'
Diversification, and Operation Lotus
1952: Operation Lorraine
1953: reorganization, and Operation Mouette
1954: The 'Bisons' of Dien Bien Phu
The Final Battles 45
French Armour Units In Indochina 1945-54 46