French Armour in Vietnam 1945-1954...

... from Osprey Publishing

Title: French Armour in Vietnam 1945-1954

Author: Simon Dunstan

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3182-8

New Vanguard number 267, thus 48-page book from Simon Dunstan looks at the French Armour involved in their war in Indochina. After a helpful introduction which gives some background to the French involvement in Indochina (Vietnam). The country had been ruled by the French prior to WW2 but were pushed out by the Japanese. During the war, local guerrillas, the Viet Minh, helped in fighting the Japanese, with weapons provided to them by the USA. After the war, they expected some recognition of their contribution and wanted an independent Vietnam, That wasn't to be though and the French returned. One significant difference between this period and the later American involvement in Vietnam was that they had ground forces in both North & South Vietnam, so controlled Hanoi and the Red River Delta.

So the story goes on, with the way the French chose to fight their war against the Viet Minh. They did use old landing craft of various types for riverine operations while their armoured equipment consisted of WW2 era vehicles which had been left behind, not only by the British but also by the Japanese. They later were provided with amphibious vehicles in the form of LVT-4 Alligators and M29 Weasels which were so well suited to the many rivers and flooded paddy fields found throughout the country. They also had the M24 Chaffeee, which proved very capable in the watery paddy fields, while 10 were dismantled and flown into the defenders of Dien Bien Phu. Amidst all this there is an  example unit history, that of 1er Regiment de Chasseurs a Cheval.

With some nice clear archive photos and super colour artwork from Henry Morshead, this will attract anyone with an interest in the wider story of the Vietnam war and especially so for the modellers, as it suggests some interesting model ideas.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.