A British Interlude: Allied Peace Enforcement, 1945–1947
This chapter examines Britain’s brief but controversial post-World War Two management of Cambodia. Britain initially attempted to work alongside Cambodian nationalism. France, however, saw the re-establishment of French control as the rebirth of the French Empire rather than its denouement. Thus Britain was forced into assisting the French in the removal of the nationalist prime minister and the re-establishment of French colonial control. At the same time as internal tensions in Cambodia between the nationalists and the French colonial regime, Britain also had to keep the peace between France and Thailand. Hence Britain had to manage a continuing border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand that was complicated by the bullish presence of the French and historical bitterness between the Thai and the Khmer.