Invasion of French Indochina

Invasion Of French Indochina

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Invasion of French Indochina

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The , also known as the Vietnam Expedition, was a move by the Empire of Japan in September 1940, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, to prevent China from importing arms and fuel through French Indochina, via the Sino-Vietnamese Railway from the port of Haiphong through Hanoi to Kunming in Yunnan. Japan occupied northern Indochina, which tightened the blockade of China, and made continuation of the drawn out Battle of South Guangxi unnecessary.


In early 1940, troops of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) moved to seize Longzhou in south Guangxi, where the eastern branch of the railroad from Hanoi reaches the border, and also tried to move west to cut the rail line to Kunming. Chinese resistance, supplied from Indochina, was tough.

Then on 22 June 1940, France signed an armistice with Germany, Japan's Axis ally. This established the neutral but pro-Axis Vichy France government in the unoccupied part of France. Vichy France also controlled most French overseas possessions, including Indochina.

The IJA captured Longzhou, closing one route, but the rail line to Yunnan was still open. Japanese aerial bombing did not close it.

Japan pressured the Vichy government to close the railway, but the French did not agree.

On 5 September the South China Front Army of the IJA organized the amphibious Indochina Expeditionary Army to move into Indochina. Led by Major-General Takuma Nishimura, it was supported by a flotilla of ships, and...
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