Item description for GENDARMES-PARACHUTISTES EN INDOCHINE (Histoire) by Jean-Christophe Brunet...
At the beginning of 1947, three "Legions de Gardes Re'publicaines de Marche", with a strength of some 3,095 gendarmes, arrived in French Indochina. Headquartered in Saigon, the 1st LRGM's principle mission was to organise the "Garde Re'publicaine Cochinchinoise".
Soon after arriving, the gendarmes were dispersed in groups of two or three all over the country and were based in lightly defended mini forts. These forts were often isolated and were subjected to repeated attack, especially after nightfall, by Vietminh forces - sometimes they were overwhelmed. This became the daily life of the gendarme serving in Indochina.
It was under these conditions that in 1947 Captain Richard organised the formation of the "Escadron Parachutiste de la Garde Re'publicaine Cochinchinoise". This new force comprised both native Cambodians and Vietnamese and sported a blue beret. They proved themselves quickly, and were often the only hope salvation when their comrades found themselves surrounded by Vietminh assaults
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