Did any British Forces Serve In Vietnam?

WhiteCrane

Old-Salt
Interesting note, the bloke who wrote The Odd Angry Shot wrote 2 other films, The Siege Of Firebase Gloria, starring Gunny from Full Metal Jacket, and Death Of A Soldier, about this guy .
That film had 2 links to The Howling series of films about Werewolves. The bloke who Directed it had done the 2nd & 3rd films, Also the murderer was played by the star of the 2nd film.
 
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The re-arming of Japanese troops happened elsewhere as well. In late 45, my father (a British Indian Army officer) was sent north from Singapore with a Havildar (Sergeant) and 6 sepoys to take the surrender of a Japanese infantry battalion at Grik (now Gerik) in northern Malaya. He always said he was very glad they surrendered without any trouble!
Shortly afterwards he was ordered to rearm the Japanese and use them on counter-insurgency operations against the Chinese Communist guerrillas. As a result, he thought he might be one of a very few people who had been in command of both a battalion of British Indian soldiers and a battalion of Japanese ones on active service.
The British reoccupied Malaya and Singapore in early September 1945 (3rd to 12 September) using the template for Operation Zipper, their plan for the reconquest of Malaya in 1945. The Chinese Communits in the Malayan Peoples Anti Japanese Army were supplied by Force 136 of SOE who sent agents in by Submarine to make contact with them and the British SOE stay behind parties such as Freddie Spencer Chapman (who described his exploits in The Jungle is Neutral).

The Chinese Guerillas came out of the jungle but cached most of their modern weapons. Chin Peng their leader was awarded the OBE and led a contingent of them on the Victory parade in London in June 1946. They went back into the jungle in 1948, retrieved their cached weapons and started the campaign known as the Malayan Emergency and changed their name to the Malayan Peoples Anti British Army.

In between the Japanese surrender on the 15th August and the British reoccupation on the 9th Sepember the Chinese Communists did take reprisals against Malay collaborators, while Japanese troops stood by, even though under the terms of the Japanese surrender they had an obligation to maintain law and order until the arrival of British and Indian troops.

The British did not rearm any Japanese troops in Malaya, Singapore, or any other occupied British colony as there was no resistance to them returning, most of the locals being glad to see us back. It would have been a huge losss of face for the British have used the Japanese in an internal security role in this way after our defeat in 1942 and the fact that the Japanese were hated by the locals after the occupation. Most Japanese troops were repatriated back to Japan as soon as shipping was available.

However as soon as the occupation of Malaya and Singapore was achieved, many of the troops and formations involved were sent to take the surrender of Japanese troops in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), free POW's and civilian internee's (think Tenko) and await the arrival of Dutch Troops. The Japanese however had armed most of the local nationalists, who kicked off and tried to seize power before the Dutch returned.

The British were in the same situation as they were in, in Indo China and were forced to rearm Japanese troops for internal security duties. There were some pitched battles where both sides fought together during late 1945, September1946 when Dutch troops arrived and took over.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
I have always thought it strange that the ex-SAS soldier, Ken Connor, never squashed the rumours that SAS were in Vietnam! He says in his book that there were rumours, and there is the photo of SAS in Oman, with a Green Beret Master Sergeant holding a GPMG. But he never dispels it. He had a higher security clearance than his CO. So if it did happen, which it didn't, then why not say so?
Is/was "Oman" a Vietnamese province ?
 

QRK2

LE
The British reoccupied Malaya and Singapore in early September 1945 (3rd to 12 September) using the template for Operation Zipper, their plan for the reconquest of Malaya in 1945. The Chinese Communits in the Malayan Peoples Anti Japanese Army were supplied by Force 136 of SOE who sent agents in by Submarine to make contact with them and the British SOE stay behind parties such as Freddie Spencer Chapman (who described his exploits in The Jungle is Neutral).

The Chinese Guerillas came out of the jungle but cached most of their modern weapons. Chin Peng their leader was awarded the OBE and led a contingent of them on the Victory parade in London in June 1946. They went back into the jungle in 1948, retrieved their cached weapons and started the campaign known as the Malayan Emergency and changed their name to the Malayan Peoples Anti British Army.

In between the Japanese surrender on the 15th August and the British reoccupation on the 9th Sepember the Chinese Communists did take reprisals against Malay collaborators, while Japanese troops stood by, even though under the terms of the Japanese surrender they had an obligation to maintain law and order until the arrival of British and Indian troops.

The British did not rearm any Japanese troops in Malaya, Singapore, or any other occupied British colony as there was no resistance to them returning, most of the locals being glad to see us back. It would have been a huge losss of face for the British have used the Japanese in an internal security role in this way after our defeat in 1942 and the fact that the Japanese were hated by the locals after the occupation. Most Japanese troops were repatriated back to Japan as soon as shipping was available.

However as soon as the occupation of Malaya and Singapore was achieved, many of the troops and formations involved were sent to take the surrender of Japanese troops in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), free POW's and civilian internee's (think Tenko) and await the arrival of Dutch Troops. The Japanese however had armed most of the local nationalists, who kicked off and tried to seize power before the Dutch returned.

The British were in the same situation as they were in, in Indo China and were forced to rearm Japanese troops for internal security duties. There were some pitched battles where both sides fought together during late 1945, September1946 when Dutch troops arrived and took over.

Raises a very good point that I must admit hadn't really occurred to me before. Why did the British colonies, initially at least, mostly welcome (or at least not violently object) to the colonial powers re-appearing. Whilst the French and the Dutch colonies kicked off almost instantly? It's not as if the MPAJA/MNLA were appreciably less well equipped than their Viet and Indo equivalents.
 
Raises a very good point that I must admit hadn't really occurred to me before. Why did the British colonies, initially at least, mostly welcome (or at least not violently object) to the colonial powers re-appearing. Whilst the French and the Dutch colonies kicked off almost instantly? It's not as if the MPAJA/MNLA were appreciably less well equipped than their Viet and Indo equivalents.
We were a lot nicer colonists than they were. At least in Malaya and Singapore. Malaya was more of a protectorate with the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang and Malacca) directly ruled as colonies with a British governor. Federated States with a British advisor telling the Sultan what to do, and Unfederated States with the Sultan ruling without a British advisor. All ruled by a British governor from Singapore.

The French and Dutch were a lot harsher colonists and were constantly putting down rebellions in their territories. Especially the French in Indo China.
 
There some British soldiers serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, but they were not on combat operational service. I refer to the Royal Military Police who, for some time, were tasked with guarding the British Embassy in Saigon during the war. (Source: RMP History of the Royal Military Police and its Antecedents)

We know.

It was first mentioned in 2005 and posts passim

I believe that a small number of RMP served in Vietnam to a very limited extent in and around the British embassy.
 

QRK2

LE
We were a lot nicer colonists than they were. At least in Malaya and Singapore. Malaya was more of a protectorate with the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang and Malacca) directly ruled as colonies with a British governor. Federated States with a British advisor telling the Sultan what to do, and Unfederated States with the Sultan ruling without a British advisor. All ruled by a British governor from Singapore.

The French and Dutch were a lot harsher colonists and were constantly putting down rebellions in their territories. Especially the French in Indo China.

That's certainly what I'd like to think.
 

WhiteCrane

Old-Salt
Is/was "Oman" a Vietnamese province ?
Fair 1, I was just saying that he knows there were no Brits in Vietnam, so if it did, he would have known about it since he had a higher clearance than his Colonel. Why not squash instead of fuel the rumors! I know in Exocet by Jack Higgins, the main character is a SAS officer who mentions being in Vietnam!
 

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