By Ronald H. Spector
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Additional resources for Advice and Support - The Early Years [US Army in Vietnam]
JOra ft memo, C hi ef, Sou thwest Pacific Oiv, State Dept, for President, 8 Scp 44, RG 59. OOI9 - 0944, RG 59. "" O n 2 February 1945 the French military attach e in Chungking app roached General Wedemeyer to express his anxiety. If the japa nese assu med control of th e government the French forces in Indochina, the attach e believed, would retreat to the mountains to carryon g uerrilla warfare. The attache asked w hether, under those circumstances, the United States would be prepared to provide assistance .
That " I still do not want to get A b d H I rnixed u p in any Indoc hina decision . ", nssn or IIr ey. lt is a matter for post-wa r. " He believed that "a n a rrangement had been made" between the two w ithou t the cogn izance of his predecessor, Lt. Ge n . Joseph W. Stil well 26 Despite the concern occaSionall y voiced by Ambassador Hurley and others, American cla n destine contacts and activities in Indochi na before the spring of 1945 had little or no effect on th e in tern al situation in Indochina or on Allied policy.
The last scattered antiFrench revolts led by scholar-burea ucrats in the name of the old monarchy had been easily snuffed out by the end of the 1890s. 25 During World War I the French had kept Vietnam peaceful and quiet with less than 10,000 troops and about 15,000 Vietnamese auxiliaries, w hile sending more than 43,000 Vietnamese to Europe to serve on the Western Front. 26 The indifferent showing of these Vietnamese troops on European battlefields on ly reinforced the idea that the Vietnamese could never seriously challenge a Western power.