After the Japanese surrender, the British 20th Indian Division under Major General Douglas D. Gracey was sent to French Indo-China to disarm the Japanese troops occupying the country, and establish control until the French could send forces to re-establish the French colonial administration. However the Viet Minh, under the command of Ho Chi Minh, had fought an guerilla war against the Japanese and had no intention of allowing the French to take over, and had seized control of Saigon and Hanoi.
Throughout September, the British, aided by rearmed French POWs, eased the Viet Minh grip on Saigon. However the Viet Minh continued the fight in the jungle. Lacking troops, Gracey re-armed the Japanese and persuaded their commander, Field Marshall Terauchi, to fight on under British control.
On 18 November a Gurkha patrol set out to Long Kien to rescue French hostages being held there. However they were unable to overcome the Viet Minh on the route and on the 22nd a stronger force was despatched. This force also encounter resistance, at one point being attacked by a Viet Minh force occupying an old French fort. The Gurkhas brought up a bazooka and blew the fort's doors apart, then drew their kukris and charged the startled defenders, finishing them off.
Long Kien were reached later that day, and although no hostages were found, some 80 Viet Minh had been killed by both sorties.
Attacker: British (Gurkha Patrol, 20th Indian Division)