Japan declares war on France over Indochina in 1940

OTL, the French were angry about the Japanese ultimatum, but after seeing the Japanese task force to invade Indochina, they had no choice but let Japanese soldiers in the colony. What if Vichy France refused to allow Japanese soldiers to base in Indochina and Japan declares war in 1940? Will Indochina side with Free France? Will British and Chinese forces reinforce the French? Will the colony fall?
 
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The colony REALLY isn't in a position to resist, and Vichy isn't in a position to reinforce.

Can the Free French convince the British to intervene? Certainly not during the invasion scare.
 
An actual declaration of war means the Japanese are suddenly cut back to 'cash and carry', which is going to do nothing good for their finances.
 
Possibly. The Japanese had failed to cut the rail line between Kunming and Indochina, so troops could theoretically be sent south fairly quickly.
In that case, I can see the French hold Indochina, especially the British may send reinforcements from India. Without Indochina, Japan can’t do the same blitzkrieg in Asia they did OTL.
 
In that case, I can see the French hold Indochina, especially the British may send reinforcements from India. Without Indochina, Japan can’t do the same blitzkrieg in Asia they did OTL.
Maybe, but unlikely. This still the same colonial garrison that lost to Thailand, and the same NRA that has lost almost every engagement it has had against the IJA. I'm not confident of their ability to win (and Chinese involvement will force Tokyo to line up behind Ando).
 
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Maybe, but unlikely. This still the same colonial garrison that lost to Thailand, and the same NRA that has lost almost every engagement it has had against the IJA. I'm not confident of their ability to win (and Chinese involvement will force Tokyo to line up behind Ando).
We could see OTL’s Burma Campaign but in Indochina. Which is good for the Allies, as the Burma railway is safe.
 
The only way I see Japan invading Indochina is if the colony declared for the Free French in the first place.
Otherwise, as a Vichy colony, it's just going to bow meekly to the Japanese.
 
In that case, I can see the French hold Indochina, especially the British may send reinforcements from India. Without Indochina, Japan can’t do the same blitzkrieg in Asia they did OTL.
The invasion of the Philippines was launched from Taiwan and Palau.

The invasion of the Dutch East Indies was launched from the Philippines and Taiwan.

Wake, Gilbert, Solomon and New Guinea were all from Palau and Truk.

The Japanese invasion of Malaya was launched from Hainan. There were some additional troops (24,000 apparently) from Saigon.

How many troops and ships are you talking about here? Everyone loves to use words like "can't" in AH very liberally. I'm sure the British said that the Japanese couldn't do what they did too
 
The invasion of the Philippines was launched from Taiwan and Palau.

The invasion of the Dutch East Indies was launched from the Philippines and Taiwan.

Wake, Gilbert, Solomon and New Guinea were all from Palau and Truk.

The Japanese invasion of Malaya was launched from Hainan. There were some additional troops (24,000 apparently) from Saigon.

How many troops and ships are you talking about here? Everyone loves to use words like "can't" in AH very liberally. I'm sure the British said that the Japanese couldn't do what they did too
The planes that sunk Force Z was from Indochina
 
The planes that sunk Force Z was from Indochina
Transferred from Hainan in November.

While the Japanese were pretty bad at setting up airfields compared to other nations I'm sure even they could handle 90 planes. They managed to move planes during the OTL offensive.

Considering this is before Barbarossa they will have even more local support as the British are going to be alone at war with most of the world
 
An actual declaration of war means the Japanese are suddenly cut back to 'cash and carry', which is going to do nothing good for their finances.
So lets look at this another way, Vichy doesn't want to give up Indochina but can't effectively resist for long so in order to punish Japan declares war on them triggering the US Neutrality Laws damaging Japans finances.
 
Vichy has no way of knowing that the US would impose sanctions on Japan though and given the circumstances a DOW costs them nothing they're not already going to lose but still harms Japan.
 
So lets look at this another way, Vichy doesn't want to give up Indochina but can't effectively resist for long so in order to punish Japan declares war on them triggering the US Neutrality Laws damaging Japans finances.
Pretty much. They lose regardless, but at least a DOW hurts Japan too.
 
The invasion of the Philippines was launched from Taiwan and Palau.

The invasion of the Dutch East Indies was launched from the Philippines and Taiwan.

Wake, Gilbert, Solomon and New Guinea were all from Palau and Truk.

The Japanese invasion of Malaya was launched from Hainan. There were some additional troops (24,000 apparently) from Saigon.

How many troops and ships are you talking about here? Everyone loves to use words like "can't" in AH very liberally. I'm sure the British said that the Japanese couldn't do what they did too
Launching an invasion is one thing, maintaining it is another, and the Japanese in 1941 maintained their operation from Indochina.

(...) In 1941, with French Indochina at their disposal, the Japanese planners could count on dumps in Haiphong, Cam Rahn Bay, and Saigon for continuous supply operation, where ammunition and fuel were pooled for months at the expense of the Chinese theater, which caused grievances and protests from the China Expeditionary Army to the high command. Indeed, the main invasion force was assembled and received the initial supplies from South China, but further supports were provided from the logistics base in French Indochina. The Senshi Sosho vol.1 dedicates a whole subchapter to explain this logistics chain, and notes how the 26th Army's operation in the British Malaya was depended on maintaining rail link between Saigon and the British Malaya, which passed through Siam. The botched British attempt to destroy this rail link at the Perak river crossing is mentioned, apparently it took only ten days to restore the bridge to service.

This picture, however, changes as whole for the 1940 war plan. Obviously, the Japanese force can't use French Indochina to pool their supplies, or use its airfields, unless they capture one. This meant, first, the Malaya operation had to wait before the Japanese invasion force could establish a bridgehead in French Indochina to enable supporting the invasion of Malaya, and indeed the plan called for the capture of the Da Nang Airfield, Cam Rahn Bay, Saigon, and Hanoi at the first phase of the war. That and the Borneo operation accomplished, only then the British Malaya operation could proceed, according to the 1940 war plan. However even if port and railroad facilities are captured intact, they wouldn't be able to supply the invasion as much they did during the historical invasion of Malaya, with the operations in French Indochina consuming supplies and requiring aviation supports as much as the British Malaya operation does. Second, it was under such circumstance that the Japanese Army planners pointed Mersing as the main landing site, as Mersing was nearest to Singapore than any other potential land sites, despite of anticipated difficulties in landing on the site. The Army had to capture Singapore as soon as possible before the operation turn into a potential disaster, so they had look at Singapore and only Singapore. Third, the plan was submitted before the French surrender, and Siam's position wasn't clear as yet. The Army planners valued Singora and its airfield in Siamese Malaya as a potential support base for the British Malaya operation, and the 1940 plan called for occupying the site but because of the Siamese neutrality they had to insert a conditional clause that Singora would be occupied only if the circumstances allows such. Which is unlikely to come for this scenario, because its very premise is European war not happening at all, and without common Indochinese border with Japan Siam is more likely to sit down and watch before weighting into one side. For the case where Japan violates the Siamese neutrality anyway, I can't speak, but it is significant that the 1941 plan does not mention any 'circumstances' at all in occupying Singora. (EDIT:... while the 1940 one does.)

Considering such constraints it is no wonder that the 1940 war planners called for only two divisions to be deployed to British Malaya and French Indochina each.
 
who knows? Japan was a reluctant ally of Germany, they did not enter WWII against the GB and France for a year at the time of Indochina invasion in Sept. '40.

their move with Indochina could be viewed by Nazi regime as counterproductive, while they waved away any claim on Pacific colonies of the occupied powers, it was a fear of Japan.

of course Germany has no forces in the Pacific, it would have to be China, not sure how they would view the situation? maybe an area where they could battle Japan and be relatively well supplied by the French?
 
who knows? Japan was a reluctant ally of Germany, they did not enter WWII against the GB and France for a year at the time of Indochina invasion in Sept. '40.

their move with Indochina could be viewed by Nazi regime as counterproductive, while they waved away any claim on Pacific colonies of the occupied powers, it was a fear of Japan.

of course Germany has no forces in the Pacific, it would have to be China, not sure how they would view the situation? maybe an area where they could battle Japan and be relatively well supplied by the French?
Depending on how Germany reacts towards Vichy France, this could set off an interesting chain of events in Europe.
 
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