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On 3 July 1940, soon after the collapse of the French front and France's request for an armistice, a reluctant Royal Navy commander opened fire on the French Navy squadron at Mers-el-Kebir. Some 1,300 French sailors lost their lives. The late David Brown's detailed account finally conveys an objective understanding of the course of events that led up to this tragedy. This new book makes extensive use of primary sources such as correspondence, reports and signals traffic, from the British Cabinet to the admirals, the commanders-in-chief and the liaison officers. It shows how the driving force behind this extraordinary event was the British government's determination that the French Fleet would never fall into the hands of the Axis powers. A combination of mistrust, dissembling, poor communications and outright enmity over the preceding month had catastrophic results, both for the individuals concerned and for the future of Franco-British naval relations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780714654614
ISBN-10: 0714654612
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Frank Cass Publishers
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - David Brown

The late David Brown was head of the Naval Historical Branch at the Ministry of Defence, London, for over 25 years. He is author of many books on naval history.

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