Episode 18: Kaminari sen
Prior to the Fall of France Japan had been trying to cut off the Kunming-Haiphong Railway by seizing southern Guangxi province in order to strangle Chinese forces operating there. The going was slow however. After Germany invaded France the Japanese saw that the writing was on the wall and presented the Governor-General of Indochina, Georges Catroux, with an ultimatum. They told him that he must close the railway into China and submit to a Japanese inspection regime. With German armies closing on Paris and Japanese military units gathering nearby, Catroux had little choice but to acquiesce. On June 20th 1940, two days before French capitulation, the first Japanese demands were met. For his cowardice the governor general was sacked and replaced with Admiral Jean Decoux.