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Japanese Aggression: French Indochina vs Dutch Indonesia

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by MarcPh, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. MarcPh

    MarcPh New Member

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    In September 1940, the Japanese military took advantage of the German occupation of France to occupy French Indochina without a military conflict.

    Why didn't the Japanese take advantage of the German occupation of the Netherlands in order to occupy Dutch Indonesia so that they could grab the oil reserves there?
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Apples to Oranges...The political setup of French Indochina was different than that of the DEI. Vichy France still treated Indochina as a colony. Whereas the DEI became the de facto seat of government and acted independent of the collaborationist government in the Netherlands. Germany, unable to exert any political or military influence in the Pacific, was powerless to force the DEI to do anything it did not want to do. That's not to say that Germany did not harbor a desire to take over the DEI after an eventual German victory. It was well into late 1941 or early 1942, before Germany finally relinquished this dream and faced the fact that the DEI was in Japan's sphere of influence.

    As an aside, Japan did try and negotiate W/o the the DEI, but there demands were more than the DEI was willing to accept - basically turning the DEI into a Japanese controlled political outpost - and they turned down Japan's diplomatic overtures.
     
  3. MarcPh

    MarcPh New Member

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    Thank you for your response. To rephrase my question, how were the Dutch able to rebuff the Japanese overtures whereas the French were not able to?
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Takao's answer is spot on, but if I may amplify. Vichy France could see the remainder of their country occupied by a Axis partner as well as some of their best colonies by another (Italy) if they did not co-operate.
    It matters what you think might happen as much as what does and France was truly humbled by 1940. The Dutch had fewer illusions about a possible German invasion.

    A secondary factor was in the relative value of each colony. Indochina was primarily valuable for its location, but the DEI had oil, a essential commodity for war and a huge source of income for the free Dutch. Oil was also important to both Britain and the US who were lobbying for the Dutch not to give in and in theory at least offered some possibility of direct support, support not offered for Indochina.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...did they not think that the US would be ''more upset'' with the DEI being invaded than FIndochina at that particular time?...
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Those in governmental power in French Indochina remained loyal to Vichy France. Whereas some other French colonies sided with the Free French government under DeGaulle. Had Indochina switched its alligence, they probably would have fought the Japanese in 1940.

    With the Dutch, there was no question of divided loyalties. The DEI governor general was give permission to act independently to rule as he saw fit. The DEI had it's own military force, the KNIL, and the oil economy to provide income for the DEI to purchase military equipment. Most Dutch banks & major businesses transferred their HQs to Batavia to continue to operate under the Dutch flag.
     

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