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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War > Indochina 1945-1954

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Indochina 1945-1954 The Battle for Indochina, 1945-1954.

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  #61  
Old 07 Dec 08, 18:39
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Mr Lirelou,

Thank you for your response. I'd like to make sure if I got what you said right. Please tell if the following are true.

* The FTEO was a part proper of the CEFEO.
* The FAEO was in charge of administrative/logistical/organizational matters only. Units organizationally subordinated to the FAEO were operationally commanded by the FTEO.
* Indigenous soldiers under FAEO were considered French personnel, as opposed to their compatriots who happened to enlist, and became subordinated of the ARVN (I think the name was National Army of Viet Nam then) homologue.

A few more questions, if you don't mind.
* Who was the Commander of the FAEO?
* To whom did he report to/take order from?
* Who handled the administrative/logistical matters of the units that were organic part of the CEFEO (thus not subordinated to the FAEO)?
* What about the TFEO?

And I had thought that only the PAVN maintained a messy organization structure.
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  #62  
Old 08 Dec 08, 22:20
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clarification #1

FTEO, yes the Forces terrestres Extreme Orient were a subordinate echelon of CEFEO, and below that commander, either the Deputy of Adjoint Operations of the CEFEO, were the FTNV, FTCA, and FTSV. These were operational level and tactical commanders who fought the campaigns and battles. The Navy and Air Force also had similar commands subordinate to CEFEO. Cannot find a link to any description of FTEO or his subordinates commands, but here is a link to their Air Force counterpart FAEO, whose mission statement would read very much like the Commander of FTEO's.

http://www.servicehistorique.sga.def...ons.htm#attrib

Just think "Army" or "Land Forces" when you read the mission statement, and you should be able to extrapolate the FTEO mission.

Indigenous soldiers under FAEO were NOT considered French Personnel UNLESS their service data reflected "a titre Francais" after their rank. Vang Pao, in Laos, was one of those. Rather, they were paramilitary personnel under direct French command. Legally, they were "suppletifs". The French were totally responsible for organizing, equipping, training, supplying, paying, and leading the "suppletifs". But, as the war progressed, many "suppletif" units were transferred to the ARVN, though many resisted this incorporation, preferring to remain with the French.

Everyone in Indochina came under the command and control of CINC CEFEO, through the subordinate commanders we have discussed. Some units were directly controlled by the CEFEO (as was the case with the GCMA units, to include the 8th Choc when it was incorporated as the 8me GPC, before being transferred back to the Airborne Troupes.

Think: Operational Command versus Territorial and Specialty Commands. Or, in the second war, USARV versus MACV.
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  #63  
Old 09 Dec 08, 18:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
FTEO, yes the Forces terrestres Extreme Orient
What I asked in the last point of the last question was the TFEO (Troupes Francaises d'Extrme Orient), not the FTEO, which is far more known.

What was the relation between TFEO and CEFEO and FA(F)FO?
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  #64  
Old 15 Dec 08, 21:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altus View Post
What I asked in the last point of the last question was the TFEO (Troupes Francaises d'Extrme Orient), not the FTEO, which is far more known.

What was the relation between TFEO and CEFEO and FA(F)FO?
Here is my understanding:
- The "Troupes Francaises d'Extreme Orient" is a component of the CEFEO that covered french units from France mainland and its colonies,the other component of CEFEO was the "suppletifs" locally recruited.
Of course, the 2 are parts of the CEFEO, unlike the "Armees des Etats Associes" (State of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia).

One of the reason of the distinction, and probably the main, is for credit's purpose, as only local units can receive direct american aids. The TFEO is under direct french government charges at 100%, with the money came mostly from the Marshall's Plan...
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  #65  
Old 16 Dec 08, 17:16
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There is a excellent book written on French Foreign Legion in Indochina
it's called "par le sang vers" written by Paul Bonnecarerre, I don't know if it has been translated in English. may be Lirelou or Boonierat know about it.


http://www.amazon.fr/Par-sang-vers-.../dp/2262026092
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  #66  
Old 16 Dec 08, 23:45
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It has not been translated into English. I gave it a try, but other projects kept getting in the way. The problem would be finding a publisher for what is obviously a niche market. I believe it would be worth it, in the Legion books have their following. Of course, the Legion was only a respectable slice of the war effort in Indochina. The pity is that Bonnecarerre didn't follow up "Par le Sang Verse" with a similar narrative history of the Colonial Infantry, Paratroops, and Commandos. Vanderberghe's number two, Sergeant Chef Tran Dinh Vy, retired as a Colonel in the Foreign Legion.
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  #67  
Old 17 Dec 08, 02:50
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Dear Altus

Nothing more was forthcoming from Pprune.

Ive gone through Francillon. While he gives a comprehensive account of US air losses, sadly there is no information on French losses.

What I can tell you is:

The first French Aircraft to arrive in 1945 were six,C-47s of EMEO (Escadrille de Marche dExtreme-Orient) When more C-47s arrived in November 1945 the squadron was re-organized as the Groupe de Marche dExtreme-Orient (GMTEO)

The French were fearful that the US would embargo aircraft spares so were reluctant to use US aircraft in Indochina. Another reorganisation in June 1946 saw the unit become Groupe de Transport Aerien II/15. Some of the aircraft were locally modified to carry 100kg HE bombs or bundles of incendiaries.

A similar role was performed by GT I/34 which was established February 1946 equipped with AAC.1 Toucans. These were French license built Junkers ju 52/3m trimotors. The Toucans were also used as bombers.





The first genuine combat aircraft were the Spitfire Mk.IXs which equipped two Groupes de Chasse from December 1945. (Spitfire Mk XVI and VIIIs were also used)Additionally the French with assistance from Japanese POWs tried to start operations with 12 of the 17 Nakajima Ki-43-II and Ki-43-II fighters (Oscars) which were handed over to the French by the British.



The De Havilland Mosquitoes I mentioned in a previous post were not a success and only operated from January to July 1947.


Also available from 1941 and used post war were Morane-Saulnier M.S. 500 Criquets. These were license built version of the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch.



The Aeronautique Navale operated four Consolidated PBY 5a Catalinas of Flotille 8F from October 1945.



Ex-Japanese aircraft operated by Escadrille 8S in the time period in question included:

Aichi E13A1 'Jake' single engined floatplanes and two pre-war French Loire 130 aircraft.


An attempt was made to put back into service a Nakajima A6M-2N Rufe but this crashed almost immediately after being overhauled.

It is only conjecture on my part but could this Rufe be the aircraft in question?

Another link that covers much the same territory from Chandelle is here.

Cheers

Mick
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  #68  
Old 17 Dec 08, 05:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippymick View Post
Dear Altus

Nothing more was forthcoming from Pprune.

Ive gone through Francillon. While he gives a comprehensive account of US air losses, sadly there is no information on French losses.

What I can tell you is:

The first French Aircraft to arrive in 1945 were six,C-47s of EMEO (Escadrille de Marche dExtreme-Orient) When more C-47s arrived in November 1945 the squadron was re-organized as the Groupe de Marche dExtreme-Orient (GMTEO)

The French were fearful that the US would embargo aircraft spares so were reluctant to use US aircraft in Indochina. Another reorganisation in June 1946 saw the unit become Groupe de Transport Aerien II/15. Some of the aircraft were locally modified to carry 100kg HE bombs or bundles of incendiaries.

A similar role was performed by GT I/34 which was established February 1946 equipped with AAC.1 Toucans. These were French license built Junkers ju 52/3m trimotors. The Toucans were also used as bombers.





The first genuine combat aircraft were the Spitfire Mk.IXs which equipped two Groupes de Chasse from December 1945. (Spitfire Mk XVI and VIIIs were also used)Additionally the French with assistance from Japanese POWs tried to start operations with 12 of the 17 Nakajima Ki-43-II and Ki-43-II fighters (Oscars) which were handed over to the French by the British.



The De Havilland Mosquitoes I mentioned in a previous post were not a success and only operated from January to July 1947.


Also available from 1941 and used post war were Morane-Saulnier M.S. 500 Criquets. These were license built version of the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch.



The Aeronautique Navale operated four Consolidated PBY 5a Catalinas of Flotille 8F from October 1945.



Ex-Japanese aircraft operated by Escadrille 8S in the time period in question included:

Aichi E13A1 'Jake' single engined floatplanes and two pre-war French Loire 130 aircraft.


An attempt was made to put back into service a Nakajima A6M-2N Rufe but this crashed almost immediately after being overhauled.

It is only conjecture on my part but could this Rufe be the aircraft in question?

Another link that covers much the same territory from Chandelle is here.

Cheers

Mick

Thanks for this info, is that true that the main problem for the french airforce was the lack of helicopters, which were massively used durind the Vietnam war?
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  #69  
Old 17 Dec 08, 06:04
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Hi, Mick,

Sincerely thanks for posting those information. While not definitive in answering my question, they are greatly interesting themselves.

I'll try to get "L'Aviation Militaire Francaise en Indochine 1946-1954" by Jean-Claude Soumille, which is said to be very good. If I find anything there I'll post here.

Thanks again,

Altus
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Old 17 Dec 08, 06:23
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Beauregard.

The important thing to note is that between 45 and 49 the French expected an embargo from the US on any spares and equipment used in Indochina. As far as helicopters were concerned, they were tremendously expensive and in the time period that this thread relates to, the only ones that worked reliably and carried a decent payload (barely) were a US only commodity.

Regards

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Old 17 Dec 08, 06:25
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Altus.

I'm interested in how you get on. Keep me/us all posted. Sorry I couldn't be of more use.

Cheers

Mick
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Old 17 Dec 08, 07:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippymick View Post
Beauregard.

The important thing to note is that between 45 and 49 the French expected an embargo from the US on any spares and equipment used in Indochina. As far as helicopters were concerned, they were tremendously expensive and in the time period that this thread relates to, the only ones that worked reliably and carried a decent payload (barely) were a US only commodity.

Regards

Mick.
thanks my dear, French started to use Helicopter in Algeria with "troupes
heliportes".
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Last edited by PGT Beauregard; 17 Dec 08 at 07:59..
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  #73  
Old 12 Jan 09, 06:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGT Beauregard View Post
thanks my dear, French started to use Helicopter in Algeria with "troupes
heliportes".
Bigeard was one of the first to use the helicopter as a way to move quickly troops around a difficult ground. He started training with them not long after being posted in Algeria, once recovered from his stint as POW following the fall of DBP. That is what i remember at least, i think from E. Bergot's "Bataillon Bigeard"

Lirelou, is your nickname for the hero of Larteguy's book?
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Old 12 Jan 09, 07:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solosito View Post

Lirelou, is your nickname for the hero of Larteguy's book?
Who knows? Lirelou is like "The Stig"

Some call him the bastard son of Doctor Spock - "that is not logical captain'. Others call him, the man who can't use paragraphs. All we know is that he is a septic with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Australian.

Don't push it soloisto. It will destroy the mystery.

Cheers

Mick.
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Old 12 Jan 09, 12:55
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Mais vous etes formidable

Solosito,

Bien sur que mon personnage fictif c'est "vole" du protgagoniste du "Les mercenaires" par Larteguy! J'etais en sejour en Coree, apres avoir battu en Indo, et je me trouve fascine par les recits sur le capitaine Pierre Lirelou, tous basses en des vraies histoires (v.g. Bigeard au 3me Bn Thais, et l'affaire des piastres). Mais le surnom c'est prix du Chef de Bataillon Jean-Marie du Jean Pouget ("Bataillon R.A.S."), qui avait une vrai histoire de para en Indo et Algerie.

There were limited incidents of sanevac in Indo using the helicopter, but their ranges were extremely limited. Sometime in the later stages of the Korean War, the USMC used helicopters to insert troops (sorry, Marines) for an operation. I believe that was the first use of helos for combat insertion.
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