Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Cambodia, Laos and


Data current to 6 Feb 2020.


The Kingdom of Cambodia was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from 9 March 1945 to 15 April 1945.  The Japanese entered Cambodia in mid-1941, but allowed Vichy French officials to remain in administrative posts.  The Japanese calls for an “Asia for the Asiatics” won over many Cambodian nationalists.  This policy changed during the last months of the war.  The Japanese wanted to gain local support, so they dissolved French colonial rule and pressured Cambodia to declare its independence within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.  Four days later, King Sihanouk declared Kampuchea (the original Khmer pronunciation of Cambodia) independent.  Co-editor of the Nagaravatta, Son Ngoc Thanh, returned from Tokyo in May and was appointed foreign minister.

On the date of Japanese surrender, a new government was proclaimed with Son Ngoc Thah as prime minister.  When the Allies occupied Phnom Penh in October, Son Ngoc Thanh was arrested for collaborating with the Japanese and was exiled to France.  Some of his supporters went to northwestern Cambodia, which had been under Thai control since the French-Thai War of 1940, where they banded together as one faction in the Khmer Issarak movement, originally formed with Thai encouragement in the 1940s.  (Wikipedia

Aviation Museums in Cambodia

Siem Reap War Museum, Siem Reap.


Fears of Thai irredentism led to the formation of the first Lao nationalist organization, the Movement for National Renovation, in January 1941.  The group was led by Prince Phetxar?t and supported by local French officials, though not by the Vichy authorities in Hanoi.  This group wrote the current Lao national anthem and designed the current Lao flag, while paradoxically pledging support for France.  The country declared its independence in 1945.

The liberation of France in 1944, bringing Charles de Gaulle to power, meant the end of the alliance between Japan and the Vichy French administration in Indochina.  The Japanese had no intention of allowing the Gaullists to take over, and in late 1944 they staged a military coup in Hanoi.  Some French units fled over the mountains to Laos, pursued by the Japanese, who occupied Viang Chan in March 1945 and Luang Phrab?ng in April.

 King S?sav?ngvong was detained by the Japanese, but his son Crown Prince Sav?ngvatthan? called on all Lao to assist the French, and many Lao died fighting against the Japanese occupiers.  Prince Phetxar?t opposed this position.  He thought that Lao independence could be gained by siding with the Japanese, who made him Prime Minister of Luang Phrab?ng, though not of Laos as a whole.  The country was in chaos, and Phetxar?t’s government had no real authority.  Another Lao group, the Lao S?ri (Free Lao), received unofficial support from the Free Thai movement in the Isan region.  (Wikipedia)

Aviation Museums of Laos

Lao People`s Army History Museum, Vientiane.

Vietnam (Empire of Vietnam)

The Empire of Vietnam was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from March 11 to 23 August 1945.  When the Japanese seized control of French Indochina, they allowed Vichy French administrators to remain in nominal control.  This ruling ended on 9 March 1945, when the Japanese officially took control of the government.  Soon after, Emperor B?o ??i voided the 1884 treaty with France and Tr?n Tr?ng Kim, a historian, became prime minister.  The state suffered through the Vietnamese Famine of 1945 and replaced French-speaking schools with Vietnamese language schools, taught by Vietnamese scholars.  (Wikipedia)

Aviation Museums of Vietnam

Bao Tang Phong Khon – Khong Quan, Vietnam Air Force Museum, Truong Chinh Street, Hanoi.

Viet Nam Military History Museum, 28A Dien Bien Phu Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

Tan Son Nhut Air Force Museum, Thang Long, Ho Chi Minh City.

War Remnants Museum, Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh, 28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.