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"French SdKfz in Indochina" Topic

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Kaoschallenged11 Jun 2013 7:18 p.m. PST

Here is something I hadn't seen before. Thought I would pass it on. A German SdKfz being used by the French in Indochina. Robert


rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2013 7:22 p.m. PST

That is cool, and a carrier to boot. I knew that the French used quite a lot of American vehicles, but I did not realize any German or British transport made it to Indo-China.

Dennis030211 Jun 2013 7:24 p.m. PST

I knew they used a lot of German small arms and the Storch but this is a new one. Wow !

Streitax11 Jun 2013 7:40 p.m. PST

Well, a large number of the Foreign Legion troops in Indochina were former German soldiers, including a lot of SS who were given the 'opportunity' to get out of French prison camps alive if they served in the Legion, so why not?

Kaoschallenged11 Jun 2013 8:08 p.m. PST

From what I understand its documented that ex-SS troopers did join the FFL and fought in the French Indochina War. But only until 1947 when the French authorities starting cracking down on them. Robert

Gaz004512 Jun 2013 4:29 a.m. PST

Cool photo…..makes me wanna reboot my Indo-China schemes…….

The Captain of the Gate12 Jun 2013 4:59 a.m. PST

I read somewhere that the French paras made their early jumps in Indochina out of Ju-52's….

Garand12 Jun 2013 5:28 a.m. PST

Allegedly there was a Panther tested out in Indochina.


Scroll down to the post from Steve Zaloga.


Legion 412 Jun 2013 5:30 a.m. PST

I believe the French Paras did make jumps out of Ju-52s … And there were a number of former German soldiers that did serve in the FFL in French Indochina …

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2013 6:30 a.m. PST

Due to their ages, most of the German FFL troops would have been Hitler Youth at best, contrary to lurid paperbacks.

My guess would be that these vehicles are either being used in the immediate post WWII era or are being used in Cambodia. And yes, French built JU-52s were used in Indochina but with the availability of C-47s the Toucans faded away.

Bertie12 Jun 2013 6:53 a.m. PST

Nothing to do with the SS… no nazi-porn here. They have a bren carrier as well.
The Hannomag use in the re-occupation is well attested… and note the extra cooling vents cut into the engine housing which unfortunately on this print are almost obscured by the overprinting.

Dennis030212 Jun 2013 7:39 a.m. PST

I've seen a few photos over the years of French paras with Ju 52's but apparently when American aid kicked in in1950 they were quickly replaced.

Prof Pate12 Jun 2013 8:43 a.m. PST

I am surprised that a 251 made it to Indochina but not the British stuff.

First French troops to arrive after WWII were largely British equipped both uniforms, weapons and loads of softskins.

Of course the post war French army in Europe was using the Panther as one of their MBTs.

As for aircraft yes Ju52s and re-engined Storchs.

At first US would not supply French as ex-colonial power and was swinging behind Viet minh, but they went communist and with Korean War more aid flowed their way. However the terms of Marshall plan specifically limited the movement of modern equipment from Europe to the Far East. So that theatre had to do with very limited resources. It wasn't until the very end that helicopters arrived and the very useful boxcar.

But never enough artillery or transport.

Anyway back to picture, loving the Hanomag anyone got photo of the Panther?

That would be a coup.

John FoA

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2013 9:12 a.m. PST


I was surprised by that also but the most referenced UK items seem to be the Spitfires and Mosquitos that eventually fell apart, reportedly due to the climate. On the non-U.S. equipment front I have seen old Panhard armored cars, some Universal Carriers as in the above and occasional old French artillery and trucks. I never saw any Morris, Bedford or other British trucks softskins. Though almost all my research was done in the pre-internet days using books I bought from a military bookstore in Skokie, Illinois in the early '80s.
I will have to start combing the web for more visuals on this period as I have broken out my old French Union Forces (15mm) collection and was going to run a game or two for our group in 2014.

Legion 412 Jun 2013 10:23 a.m. PST

That is true Patrick, many of those Germans in the FFL then were young in the last days of the Reich, some were probably Hitler Youth … unlike in Elford's "The Devil's Guard" … But there were also Germans who were young and did not serve in the German Army during WWII. However, with the destruction of the Reich, they joined the FFL after the war … As they probably had no where to go with many of their family dead, etc. … But on one website a poster from France posted – "Were there Legion recruiting statins in occupied Germany?
Yes there were. The Legion was openly recruiting in Germany in the 2 or 3 years following the end of WW2. Right after WW2 they were even directly ‘hiring' volunteers in the German POW camps. These activities turned increasingly ‘unpopular' among German opinion and the Legion became more ‘discrete' but still encouraging German recruitment. " Another poster stated –

"Re: Post WWII Germans in FFL
My guess is that by the late 50's and 60's the % of German origin Legionnaires was around the 60-70 % Probably 20% of those were veterans of WW2 and Indo China." Another interesting link – link So to say no German WWII Vets served in the FFL in Indochina would be inaccurate. And you did not say that … And mostly likely not in the numbers as in Elford's book … But none the less … some former WWII German soldiers served with the FFL in Indochina …

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