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[Photos] Views of a Saigon in Transit in 1945 by John Florea

1945 was yet another time of drastic change in Saigon overseen by foreign powers. 

After a brutal four-year occupation of Vietnam, the Japanese relinquished control of Saigon following their surrender to Allied powers in World War II. They handed over arms and administrative powers to British troops in anticipation of the return of the French. The Việt Minh and national leaders were not included in the handover, and fighting promptly broke out between the different factions that fall.

John Florea, a photographer for Life Magazine, had been covering the war through Asia and Europe and found himself in Saigon in October 1945. He snapped photos of the city's transitional period, with locals attempting to go about their daily affairs while soldiers from various nations patrolled the streets.

Take a peek at this oft-overlooked time period in the photos below:

A sign on Đồng Khởi Street banning trucks and heavy vehicles.

The headquarters of the Saigon railway company.

Saigon civilians rush to pick up Allied leaflets warning of nationalists to be arrested (left). Modern-day Lê Thị Hồng Gấm (right).

The former Japanese commander in Saigon, General Numata, leaving the British headquarters (left). Customers outside a food shop at the Tự Do-Nguyễn Thiệp junction (right).

Views down Đồng Khởi, formerly rue Catinat. 

The Continental Palace hotel beside the Saigon Opera House.

Views of a quiet Bạch Đằng.

Aerial views of the Saigon River and Thị Nghè Canal (left) and downtown Chợ Lớn (right). 

Bến Nghé Canal and the Saigon River (left) and downtown Saigon, with the train station visible in the middle of the photo (right). 

Photographer John Florea (image taken outside of Vietnam) via Life

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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