16

The region to east of Bengal is Myanmar. In between them, the Himalayan foothills taper off rather abruptly into the Bay of Bengal. They still form quite a formidable obstacle. Southeast Asia itself is an isolated place with rugged terrain. I'm not an expert, but it looks like pre-modern civilizations there were located along waterways, and depended heavily ...


9

There is something to BrotherJack's answer but just considering it an “irrational” urge for greatness and prestige is a little short-sighted. A few other factors: France had a huge colonial empire, not only Indochina. Defending its claim to Indochina was also a way to show it did not intend to give up all this. It's still debatable whether colonies in ...


9

A general trend I have noticed in French history, dating from the fall of France after the defeat at Waterloo and the subsequent losses in the Congress of Vienna, is that there is a strong urge to regain a sense of international prestige. Through out the nineteenth century France slowly degrades from being the world capital of liberal democracy and ...


9

This was not an isolated incident, but rather a part (see, e.g., Thổ Chu Islands) of a "creeping aggression". Consider Khemer Rouge were allies of China Vietnam was allied with USSR USSR & China were unfriendly Cambodia & Vietnam were neighbors and, as is common among neighbors, traditionally hostile to each other and had territorial issues. The ...


9

Japan did not conquer Vietnam, it had already been conquered by the French. For most of the war Japan left the existing French colonial government in place and negotiated the rights to station troops there and move them through the country. Initially, Japan was only interested in Northern Indochina to cut off supplies to China. To this end they signed an ...


6

It's mainly because of terrain. Between Bengal and Burma there are Himalayan foothills. Hundred of Kilometer long dense forest and high hills made it virtually impossible to mobilize troops in large group, especially in ancient and medieval time. British Raj is able to conqueror Burma because British Empire is a Maritime Empire, unlike the other Empire in ...


5

The Japanese conquered Singapore a much more visible, if smaller target with some 35,000 men (far fewer than the defenders). They also conquered the Philippines with a force of about 130,000 men, against mixed American-Filipino forces. That was because of two reasons. 1) the Japanese troops were better at jungle fighting than the French, British and ...


4

I don't think such a study has ever been conducted; in general, "what if" studies are not done for "low impact" scenarios, and "Khmer Rouge in power" is certainly a low impact event for those with spare resources to undertake abstract research (i.e., the "rich countries"). However, I agree with the commenters that a typical failed state (starvation, ...


3

Question: Why did Kennedy refuse any military action in Laos at first and then decided otherwise by sending combat troops? Short Answer: Kennedy was always adverse to committing United States combat troops to south east Asia. In Laos he opted for a negotiated peace. When that failed Kennedy pursued forming a clandestine asian force augmented by military ...


1

The terrain between India and Thailand was mostly rough hilly terrain and dense jungle, with population living in valleys along the rivers. The Burmese were though fighters, they had been fighting the Thais for centuries. So invading from the direction of India was not exactly a walk in the park. Invaders also had to bring all their supplies from India. ...


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