Why was France more determined to hold onto its colonial empire after WWII than Britain was?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#1
Why was France more determined to hold onto its colonial empire after WWII than Britain was? AFAIK, Britain simply let its colonies go after the end of World War II while France actually put up an (unsuccessful) fight to keep its colonies. I understand France wanting to keep Algeria since it was officially a part of France, but why exactly was France so determined to hold onto (or perhaps "regain" would be a better term here) French Indochina after the end of World War II?

Also, were there any British colonies where Britain put up a fight after the end of WWII?
 
Feb 2016
4,225
Japan
#2
Britain successfully fought a counter communist insurgency in Malaya.

It also had some violent skirmishes with Cypriot terrorists.

But generally no. History had tought her the price in blood and coin required to resist such movements... and after WW2 she couldn’t or wouldn’t pay it.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#3
Britain successfully fought a counter communist insurgency in Malaya.
What was the ultimate outcome of this and when did this occur?

It also had some violent skirmishes with Cypriot terrorists.
Did the Cypriots desire independence? Is that why these skirmishes occurred?

But generally no. History had tought her the price in blood and coin required to resist such movements... and after WW2 she couldn’t or wouldn’t pay it.
Why was France different, though?
 
Sep 2013
406
France
#5
By 1945-46, De Gaulle let Mal Leclerc negociate to build an Indochina federation, with a Viet-Nam "free" with his own parliament.
It failed due to communist guerillas.
Then France fought to obtain a favourable peace.
It also failed with Dien Bien Phu.

Algeria was, indeed, something different, since it was a french "departement" (an administrative area of France, as Corsica, Guyana, or any metropolitan french territory).

There was not that much problem with other french colonies in Africa, from Marocco to Madagascar. Most of our islands were kept, though, and also Guyana.
 
Feb 2016
4,225
Japan
#6
The First Malaya emergancy was from 1948-1960 ... the Chinese communists were defeated. Though post independence they tried and failed again.

The Cypriot Emergancy was from 1950-1960. EOKA were Greek terrorists who wanted the dissolution of the British colony and reunification with Greece.
TMT were Turkish terrorists wanted to resist reunification... afaik they did not work with or against British forces but I don’t know.
Cyprus eventually joined Greece, but Britain retain an army and air force base on the island.

Why was France different?
Maybe they felt WW2 had damaged her prestige.
Maybe they couldn’t see the old age of empire was finished.
Maybe they could afford it and were willing to pay the price. I’m not knowing enough on why ...
 
Likes: Futurist

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,875
Portugal
#8
Why was France more determined to hold onto its colonial empire after WWII than Britain was? AFAIK, Britain simply let its colonies go after the end of World War II while France actually put up an (unsuccessful) fight to keep its colonies. I understand France wanting to keep Algeria since it was officially a part of France, but why exactly was France so determined to hold onto (or perhaps "regain" would be a better term here) French Indochina after the end of World War II?

Also, were there any British colonies where Britain put up a fight after the end of WWII?
This is out of my usual area, but I consider that the premise quite doubtful and that can be erroneous to the all reasoning and to many answers.

Well, you begin to consider that France was more France more determined to hold onto its colonial empire after WWII than Britain. Is that true? How did you get to that conclusion?

I think that a more neutral question to this case would be: who was more determined to hold their colonial empire after WWII, Britain or France? And then another one: Why?

I really don’t know who was more determined. The Algerian case and the Indochina case are well known to you, seeing by the threads you made about those themes. But reading your posts in this thread you seem less informed about the British ones in Malaysia, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden, Northern Ireland, and maybe we can even include the Rhodesian affair, and the Suez crisis under former British control. To the French case we could add the Madagascar case, Morocco and Tunis. And those are the ones that come to my mind. Not that more cases mean that there was more determination, the British Empire was bigger, but can raise some questions.

In any case the main reasons need to be seen under the historical circumstances, the types of colonization of both countries were quite different, I think we could say that the French tried much more to see their colonies as an extension of the homeland, while the British in many cases had a much more indirect administration. Making a comparison to a case that I know better, I think the French colonization was much more similar to the Portuguese one (or maybe would we could say otherwise, the Portuguese was much more similar to the French one). Anyway we know that Portugal was the last European country to leave their colonies after a long and bloody colonial conflict.

Just some toughts!
 
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GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
4,940
Wirral
#9
Amateur psychology on my part - Britain came out of WW2 with rather more glory than France did. I’m about to read Paris After the Liberation and I don’t think it’s going to be a happy story. Perhaps the French thought they had more of a point to make.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,421
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#10
Amateur psychology on my part - Britain came out of WW2 with rather more glory than France did. I’m about to read Paris After the Liberation and I don’t think it’s going to be a happy story. Perhaps the French thought they had more of a point to make.
In the eyes of the world perhaps, but I doubt the French themselves would see it that way. De Gaule worked very hard to create the myth of France liberating itself with the Allies only helping them and seeing the end of the war not only on the victorious side but as one of the key players. That's why he insisted so much on French troops coming to Paris first and that's ehy you have a bazillion natiol heroes of the resistance noone has ever heard about and their statues in villages. Or is that just 'Allo 'Allo! ?