With the defeat of the French forces by the Germans, Winston Churchill was determined that the French fleet would not fall into German hands, and to that end he ordered that every French ship from Alexandria to Martinique, Portsmouth to Dakar either surrender or be seized. Only those in Algeria committed to the Vichy government refused. In a tragic and ironic battle the British sank the French fleet at Oran, the author explores in detail the events surrounding this event. With an Introduction by Sir John Colville, one of Churchill’s wartime secretaries.
Historian Warren Tute describes one of the Second World War’s most tragic episodes: the Royal Navy’s attack on the French fleet at Oran in Algeria in 1940 ordered by Churchill to stop it falling into German hands. More than a thousand French sailors died and the one-sided battle left lasting bitterness.
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