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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
As for the early "Y-shaped" single-buckle strap boots, there is some contradictory information. Among the researchers of the French military uniforms of the period, it was widely believed that these boots were made also for the Vietnamese Armed Forces, controlled by the French command, and these were the specific boots for Indochinese allies. In other words, some of the BMJA Mle 52 boots of the first models were delivered to the Vietnamese allies of France, i.e. to the Armed Forces of the State of Vietnam, proclaimed in March 1949, and these boots have been used by the Vietnamese up to the end of the 1950s. According to this theory, further on the Vietnamese allegedly began to make the copies of these boots for their own Armed Forces.
On the other hand, the really compelling evidences of that has not been found yet, and this idea is disclaimed by the researchers of the Vietnamese military uniforms. There have not been presented the public concerned any samples of these "Vietnamese" boots. There are also plenty of such boots in the private collections of French veterans of the colonial wars, and many of these boots are really large (French sizes 45, 46 and even 47), quite peculiar for Europeans and generally not suitable to the Vietnamese.
In the French units in Indochina themselves, the boots model Mle. 52 have not been wide spread, because the standardization of the final model was going on at that time. On May 7, 1954 a the peace conference for all the parties involved in the Indochina conflict (1946-1954) was held in Geneva to discuss the conditions of ending the military conflict. On the same day the French military base in Dien Bien Phu surrendered.
Since January 1954 the French Armed Forces refused from using the boots for paratroopers Mle 50 (botte de saut modele 1950) due to the critical user feedbacks, as well as the relatively high cost of production of this model. Finally, it was confirmed by the decision of the Committee of Defense of France, of May 31, 1955.
Around the same time began the transition of the armed forces of France to a new universal model of high boots - BMJA Mle 52 (Brodequins de Marches a Jambières Attenantes modèle 1952).
The ongoing armed conflict in Indochina allowed to test the first prototypes of a new boot in actual combat conditions, which revealed both the advantages and disadvantages of BMJA Mle 52, the feedbecks were collected by interviewing the soldiers, who used such boots. After the "field tests" these new boots were provided (more or less "en masse" around 1955) primarily to the elite paratrooper units.
Like most of the contemporary French army boots, the inner side of the boots were lined with thin, soft and durable genuine leather (usually sheep leather) of light beige shades, with minor color differences depending on manufacturers.
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