is one of those AHs that seemed extremely possible to those in the front line,
but less possible to the REMFs, who had political concerns to worry about.
It is known that Ho Cho Minh was (at least in 1944) an admirer of the US
and he asked for US assistance, offering in exchange to fight the Japanese and
perhaps their puppet Vichy forces.
The OSS agents were very keen on the deal, but Washington did not want to annoy
the French, as the deal had included the US preventing the French from trying to
regain their colony. This mistake
led to much bitterness directed against America, pushed Minh into communist arms
and led directly to the Vietnamese War.
us presume that the US has an injection of realpolik thinking, or possibly FDR
continues his aversion to the European Empires.
Deciding that the Japanese remments need to be defeated while the Burma
War is just beginning, FDR orders the US to supply Minh and accept his terms.
French under DeGaulle would have had an absolute fit.
However, it is hard to see what they could have done about it.
The Vichy troops had been practically interned and disarmed by the
Japanese by this point. Even were
they free, they were demoralised, they just wanted to go home.
France had almost no navy left, certainly not one capable of sending and
supporting troops at that distance without US assistance.
The French will probably refuse to recognise IndoChinese independence and
block their admission to the new UN.
They may also consider breaking their alliance, but that would be
economic and political suicide, particularly if they had none of their
undeserved trimmings of victory.
US arms and trains the IndoChinese as the war nears its end.
The IndoChinese clear out the Japanese earlier than OTL, making the
reconquest of Singapore and Burma easier.
Minh is encouraged to form a reasonably democratic government, in line
with the US model, in hopes of preventing the IndoChinese mishmash from
exploding or separating. Truman
would probably put Indochina into the Marshall Plan in exchange for Minh
refusing to accept assistance from the USSR or communist china.
this flow vast changes to the cold war.
Indochina is developed very quickly with US investment and advice, making
it one of the earliest tigers on the Asian scene.
Instead of a major war and much bitterness, Indochina’s population grows
rapidly, outracing Japan’s economy while the Japanese are held down.
Indochina sends a few regiments to the Korean War and help hold the line
Absent of the Vietnamese bases, the USSR would probably court India more than
OTL, exchanging weapons for bases.
This would probably push the US into developing Pakistan to the same level as
Indochina. This in turn would push
reforms into Afghanistan, providing a trigger for WW3.
Pakistani success would probably lead to similar investment across the
Muslim world, perhaps averting the Iranian revolution.
US remains confident longer.
National Service (conscription, the draft) stays longer.
Without the Vietnamese war, the leftists have less influence on US
politics, keeping the US intervening.
in the pacific, Indochina becomes one of the most powerful nations in the
region, deploying naval fleets and nuclear weapons.
Its example is spreading the ideal of democratic states into Communist
China. Basically, at the price of
pissing off the French, the whole pacific basin is far more stable.