I posted an entry here recently on the visit to Hanoi in December 1945 by British military officer, Lieutenant Colonel P. J. F. Chapman-Walker. In particular, I wrote about what Chapman-Walker had written about his two meetings with Hồ Chí Minh.
In the report of his visit to Hanoi, Chapman-Walker also talked about how he had come across some Indian nationalists who were living in that city.
While Chapman-Walker was in Hanoi, he received word that A. J. Chatterjee and seven fellow officers from the Indian National Army (I.N.A.) were living in that city.
The I.N.A. was an army that was formed by Indian nationalists in Southeast Asia during World War II. During the war the I.N.A. collaborated with the Japanese, and that obviously left them in a difficult position when the war ended.
I am not sure how Chatterjee and his colleagues ended up in Hanoi, but it sounds like their life there was not too bad (see below).
Chapman-Walker was assisted in making his arrest of the Indian nationalists by a platoon of Chinese military police who were provided on orders from Lu Han, the Chinese officer who was responsible for the Chinese forces that had arrived in northern Vietnam to disarm the Japanese.
Early in the morning on December 23, 1945, these men surrounded the house where the Indian nationalists were living, and at 7 a.m. they made their move.
Chapman-Walker describes what happened next:
“. . . the arrest of the eight Indians was effected without any difficulty. They handed over arms, gold and Annamite lady friends with equal apathy, the latter however vociferously resented their enforced continence and showed a clinging affection to their erstwhile protectors, which persuaded me that the objects of their devotion must have sometime previously showed a greater gusto for life than they displayed for my benefit.”
They had lost the war, but they still had weapons, wealth and women. . .