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By Ronald H. Spector

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Additional resources for Advice and Support - The Early Years [US Army in Vietnam]

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Joh nson) to Am Consul , Sa igon (Harris M. OO16, RG 59. 9 Advice and Support: The Early Years, 1941 - 1960 Virginia Thom pson, who visited Ind ochina a nd published a highl y regarded study in 1937, echoed these reports. She emphasized the a pathy, insensiti vity, and placid ity of the Vie tnamese, which she attributed to their inad equate die t and the intense tropica l heat. " So convincing was Tho mpson's picture of the backwardness of the Vietnamese that her work was cited by the British Foreign Office du ri ng World War II to buttress its argu me nt that Indochina should be return ed to France.

Wedemeye r, commander of United States Forces in th e C hina Theater and chief of staff to Ge nera lissimo Ch ia ng Kai-shek, in late 1944. "He was not p leased by my action, althoug h I mentioned the intelligence contribu2{)lnterv, autho r with Professo r Weston La Barre (former member of Devereux group), 9 Jan 73, Historians files, CMH. Professor La Barre expressed the opinion that the ope ration "might ve ry well have succeeded" had it been pu t into dfect. 21Wedemeyer's Data Book, sec. 20, RG 332; quote from Organiz:ational Report, 5329 th Air G round Forces Resources Technical Staff, Aug - Se p 44, pp.

Stil well 26 Despite the concern occaSionall y voiced by Ambassador Hurley and others, American cla n destine contacts and activities in Indochi na before the spring of 1945 had little or no effect on th e in tern al situation in Indochina or on Allied policy. Their importance lay in the fact that th rough them American commande rs in the Ch ina theater came to depend upon intell igence gathered from In dochi na. This dependence wo uld lead some commanders to cooperate in 1945 with forces hostile to French colonialism after the Japanese forCibly repressed the French colon ia l reg im e in Viet nam.

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