Vietnamese Contingents to the Western Front, 1915–1919

  • Kimloan Vu-Hill


The 100,000 troops that were raised in French Indochina included 19 battalions of Vietnamese, four of which were combat units that fought successfully, while others served either in direct support, often under fire or farther back in industry. Personal accounts and other records indicate the vast majority of the Vietnamese, despite claims to the contrary by anti-colonialist writers, were to varying degrees volunteers. The combat and frontline labor troops saw action on the Western front (in battles such as Verdun and Chemin-des-Dames) or in Macedonia. Some were convinced to stay beyond the armistice and make up for the French loss of manpower. When most returned home with transformed expectations, they faced poor compensation and frequent disappointment, generating a reservoir of seasoned recruits for the anti-colonial struggle.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimloan Vu-Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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