Academic journal article Military Review

THE OSS AND HO CHI MINH: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan

Academic journal article Military Review

THE OSS AND HO CHI MINH: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan

Article excerpt

THE OSS AND HO CHI MINH: Unexpected Allies in the War Against Japan, Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 2006, 425 pages, $34.95.

Dixee R. Bartholomew-Feis takes the reader into the heart of World War II special operations with her thorough examination of the working relationship between the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Ho Chi Minh. The story she paints is anything but simple. Brigadier General William Donovan's OSS worked under the basic assumption that the only thing necessary for a working relationship with nonstate actors such as the Viet Minh was agreement on the common enemy. Donovan's people could never be accused of worrying too much about the world that would follow the defeat of the Axis powers.

To stop the flow of supplies to Chiang Kai-shek's forces in China, Japanese forces worked an agreement with Vichy France that permitted Japan de facto control over the area, but permitted French forces to administer the colony. Officially, the Japanese recognized the colony as a French possession. In reality, Japanese documents referred to the areas as their new acquisition. The relationship between France and Japan was tenuous throughout with the latter finally moving to seize full control of the area in 1945, shattering badly outnumbered French forces in the process.

Ho Chi Minh quickly shifted his focus to helping the Americans rid Vietnam of the Japanese. …

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