Accordin to the Japanese - Vichy accord the Japanese were to be allowed a garrison force of 6000men and allowed a transit and garrison strength of 25,000men.
The garrison force was the West Indochina Expedionary force commanded by Lieutenant-General Takuma Nishimura according to my Babblefish tranlation of this source :
IJA in China orbat, 1937 to 1945 1937 to 1945
http://www.china-defense.com/forum/show ... php?t=1168
it was composed of these units:
West Indo-China Expeditionary Force commanders major general ??, colonel ??, formed on September 5, 1940, abolished on July 5, 1941.
Indo-China dispatch Infantry Regiment commander Major General ????:
2nd Imperial Guard Infantry Regiment Regimental commander Colonel ???? ,
Indo-China expeditionary force tank unit,
Indo-China expeditionary force anti-aircraft gun team.
Note Babblefish doesnt translate Japanese names very well! :^(
The accord mentioned above was signed on the 22nd of September with the
Expeditionary force was aboard a task force offshore ready to land but permission was not forthcomming because something went wrong.
Within hours of its signing three columns of IJA's 5th Division from the bordering province of Kwangzi came over the border heading for the railhead at Lang Son.
Soon there was fighting with a brigade of French Colonial forces and Foreign Legionaries. The fighting lasted to the 25th when the capture of Lang Son opened the way to Hanoi. Still Vichy defenders in the north, south, and fresh battalions barring the route from Lang Son to Hanoi were in position.
Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War says on pg. 317 that the 5th Division moved into Vietnam.
I dont know the strengths of these columns but the Japanese were still holding on to western Kwangzi against the Chinese so I am doubtful these columns were the full 5th Divison because it is mentioned in IJA in China orbat, 1937 to 1945
as moving from Nanning to Shanghai in Oct. 1940. However a large number of 5th Divison troops, if not all, were evacuated from China thru Indochina.
It would be nice to get some clarifiation on all this.
General Nishihara, and joined the task force. In the morning of Sept. 24th Japanese aircraft began flights for reconnaissance and intimidation.
Vichy envoy came to negotiate, but meantime shore defenses remained under orders to open fire against any attempt to force a landing.
On September 26th Japanese forces came ashore at Dong Tac, south of Haiphong, and began moving on the port. A second landing put tanks ashore and Haiphong was bombed. By early afternoon the Japanese force of some 4500 troops and tanks was outside Haiphong.
Meanwhile on September 23rd Vichy had approached the government in Tokyo to protest breach of the agreements by the South China Front Army forces.
On September 25th Emperor Hirohito ordered an end to hostilities, and by the evening of September 26th fighting had died down.
Apparently General Nishihara, was relived and replaced by a General Sumida. Japan took possession of airfields at Gia Lam, Lao Kay, and Phu Lang Thuong and stationed 900 troops in the port of Haiphong and a further 600 in Hanoi.
More detail on all this at: