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French-Indochina War (1945-1954)

Starting immediately after the surrender of the Japanese in August 1945; Indochina erupted into war between the Communist Viet Mihn and the French Colonial Authority. During the French attempt to restore its colony of Indochina, thousands of conscripts from all around the French Colonies were sent. Their eventual defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 ended their involvement in Indochina and paved the way for US Involvement that would start almost immediately thereafter.

During the war, thousands of conscripts poured into Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. A complete smorgasbord of weaponry was used throughout their war. These are just some of the weapons used in the French Indochina War from 1945-1954.

238792


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Berthier M16 - Used by the French early on as MAS-36's weren't in large scale production until after WW2.
MAS-36 (WW2 Model) - Standard French Bolt Action chambered in 7.5 French
MAS-49 - Favorite autoloader of the French Foreign Legion; also chambered in 7.5 French
M1 Carbine - Over 250,000 M1 Carbines were sent by the United States as aid to the French during their war in an effort to contain Communism.
Also pictured: French Bush Hat; Confidential Pacification Documents; and Modelle 51 Helmet (The US also supplied thousands of WW2 M1 Helmets as aid. By the end of 1954, the US was paying almost 75% of the bill for the French War).

Beginning in 1945; the United States had started sending military advisers to train and aid the French/Vietnamese forces in Indochina. This process escalated after the French capitulation in 1954. They were tasked with training and aiding US military assets and training the newly formed ARVN forces.

A variety of rifles were sent by the United States to train and arm the ARVN and local paramilitary forces of South Vietnam which was divided by the French treaty in 1954.



238793


1903 Springfield - This particular one was made in 1918 and is barrel dated in 1918.
M1917 - Surplus from WW1 and sent as aid to various countries during WW2; they saw service in Vietnam with local militia groups to protect and arm strategic hamlet forces.

Rifles of the ARVN (American Aid)

During the beginning of the buildup of the ARVN, a great variety of surplus weaponry filled their ranks. M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, Thompson Submachine Guns; M3 Grease Guns, MAS 36/51, MAS36; and MAT 49 Submachine Guns were very common.

238794


M1 Garand - Bulky and cumbersome to the average ARVN soldier but able to effectively penetrate jungle foliage when needed.
M1 Carbine - Liked by their ARVN counterparts for its light weight and smaller profile.

Some ARVN forces were well trained but were prone to poor leadership due to officer corruption. Others were poorly trained and hesitant to fight the then named Viet Cong. By 1965 it became apparent that the South Vietnamese Government was teetering on the edge of collapse. In March 8th of 1965, US Marines landed at Da Nang to protect its airbase, which began the US military buildup in Vietnam.

Marines at that time were armed with the M14; which began its service in 1957 with production starting in 1959. However, its service life was short lived with the arrival of the XM16E1 in 1964. The Army Corps of Ordnance fought tooth and nail to prevent its adoption and in the process had not fully vetted the weapon because of its strict belief in tradition. The Colt 601 series of rifles began its service in Vietnam primarily with US Advisors and was loved for its lightweight ammunition and deadly 223 Remington cartridge.

238795


Bottom to Top:

1911 - Primary sidearm for US Forces from 1911 to 1985.
XM16E1 - Started Service Life in 1964 and sent to Vietnam in great numbers during 1965 with the Air Mobile Division. It performed poorly for many reasons. The use of surplus ball powder in the ammunition, non-chrome lined barrel and chamber; and improperly heat treated internal mechanisms plagued the XM16E1 until its final evolution as the M16A1 in 1968. These problems were solved with the addition of a chrome lined bore and chamber and addition of a weighted buffer in the stock--which was previously a spring guide.
M14 - Major problems with production at Springfield Armory led to its production at Harrington and Richardson, Winchester, and TRW. Eventually phased out by the XM16E1 in 1965--although it was highly favored by some Marine Units for its power and reliability. Variations of this rifle would serve until the early 2000s.
XM177E2 - Colt's iteration of a Carbine that saw service with various special forces groups like MAC-V and the Navy Frogmen...but were issued elsewhere within the Army itself as a Officer's weapon.
Other items pictured - M6 Bayonet, USMC M1 Helmet, and USMC APC Driver's Helmet, and Flashlight

These are just a handful of the weapons used during the Wars in Indochina, which started in 1945 and ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon in April.

The History of these weapons are much more complex and lengthy than this write up is...but I hope it was informative in some ways.

For more info:

The Black Rifle by Blake Stevens and Edward Ezell
Misfire by Bob Orkand and Lyman Duryea
Hell in a Very Small Place by Bernard Fall
The Last Valley by Martin Windrow
War Baby by Larry Ruth
The Model 1903 by William Brophy
Chassepot to Famas by Ian McCollum
 

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French-Indochina War (1945-1954)

Starting immediately after the surrender of the Japanese in August 1945; Indochina erupted into war between the Communist Viet Mihn and the French Colonial Authority. During the French attempt to restore its colony of Indochina, thousands of conscripts from all around the French Colonies were sent. Their eventual defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 ended their involvement in Indochina and paved the way for US Involvement that would start almost immediately thereafter.

During the war, thousands of conscripts poured into Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. A complete smorgasbord of weaponry was used throughout their war. These are just some of the weapons used in the French Indochina War from 1945-1954.

View attachment 238792

Bottom to Top

Berthier M16 - Used by the French early on as MAS-36's weren't in large scale production until after WW2.
MAS-36 (WW2 Model) - Standard French Bolt Action chambered in 7.5 French
MAS-49 - Favorite autoloader of the French Foreign Legion; also chambered in 7.5 French
M1 Carbine - Over 250,000 M1 Carbines were sent by the United States as aid to the French during their war in an effort to contain Communism.
Also pictured: French Bush Hat; Confidential Pacification Documents; and Modelle 51 Helmet (The US also supplied thousands of WW2 M1 Helmets as aid. By the end of 1954, the US was paying almost 75% of the bill for the French War).

Beginning in 1945; the United States had started sending military advisers to train and aid the French/Vietnamese forces in Indochina. This process escalated after the French capitulation in 1954. They were tasked with training and aiding US military assets and training the newly formed ARVN forces.

A variety of rifles were sent by the United States to train and arm the ARVN and local paramilitary forces of South Vietnam which was divided by the French treaty in 1954.



View attachment 238793

1903 Springfield - This particular one was made in 1918 and is barrel dated in 1918.
M1917 - Surplus from WW1 and sent as aid to various countries during WW2; they saw service in Vietnam with local militia groups to protect and arm strategic hamlet forces.

Rifles of the ARVN (American Aid)

During the beginning of the buildup of the ARVN, a great variety of surplus weaponry filled their ranks. M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, Thompson Submachine Guns; M3 Grease Guns, MAS 36/51, MAS36; and MAT 49 Submachine Guns were very common.

View attachment 238794

M1 Garand - Bulky and cumbersome to the average ARVN soldier but able to effectively penetrate jungle foliage when needed.
M1 Carbine - Liked by their ARVN counterparts for its light weight and smaller profile.

ARVN forces were prone to corruption and poor management due to the avid corruption throughout the South Vietnamese Government including its military. In 1965 it became apparent that the South Vietnamese Government was teetering on the edge of collapse. In March 8th of 1965, US Marines landed at Da Nang to protect its airbase, which began the US military buildup in Vietnam.

Marines at that time were armed with the M14; which began its service in 1957 with production starting in 1959. However, its service life was short lived with the arrival of the XM16E1 in 1964. The Army Corps of Ordnance fought tooth and nail to prevent its adoption and in the process had not fully vetted the weapon because of its strict belief in tradition. The Colt 601 series of rifles began its service in Vietnam primarily with US Advisors and was loved for its lightweight ammunition and deadly 223 Remington cartridge.

View attachment 238795

Bottom to Top:

1911 - Primary sidearm for US Forces from 1911 to 1985.
XM16E1 - Started Service Life in 1964 and sent to Vietnam in great numbers during 1965 with the Air Mobile Division. It performed poorly for many reasons. The use of surplus ball powder in the ammunition, non-chrome lined barrel and chamber; and improperly heat treated internal mechanisms plagued the XM16E1 until its final evolution as the M16A1 in 1968. These problems were solved with the addition of a chrome lined bore and chamber and addition of a weighted buffer in the stock--which was previously a spring guide.
M14 - Major problems with production at Springfield Armory led to its production at Harrington and Richardson, Winchester, and TRW. Eventually phased out by the XM16E1 in 1965--although it was highly favored by some Marine Units for its power and reliability. Variations of this rifle would serve until the early 2000s.
XM177E2 - Colt's iteration of a Carbine that saw service with various special forces groups like MAC-V and the Navy Frogmen...but were issued elsewhere within the Army itself as a Officer's weapon.
Other items pictured - M6 Bayonet, USMC M1 Helmet, and USMC APC Driver's Helmet, and Flashlight

These are just a handful of the weapons used during the Wars in Indochina, which started in 1945 and ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon in April.

The History of these weapons are much more complex and lengthy than this write up is...but I hope it was informative in some ways.

For more info:

The Black Rifle by Blake Stevens and Edward Ezell
Misfire by Bob Orkand and Lyman Duryea
Hell in a Very Small Place by Bernard Fall
The Last Valley by Martin Windrow
War Baby by Larry Ruth
The Model 1903 by William Brophy
Chassepot to Famas by Ian McCollum
Thanks for the pics and write up. I enjoyed it.
 
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