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The Road to Oran: Anglo-French Naval…
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The Road to Oran: Anglo-French Naval Relations, September 1939-July 1940…

by David Brown

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In this monograph on the "victory...of perceived political necessity over military reality," the author traces the road to British assault on the French navy on an almost communique by communique basis, as political and naval partnership is braided together and then rapidly flies apart, leading to disaster. Brown is very hard on Churchill, and probably deservedly so, but one still has to admit that Winnie had more reason than most leaders to embrace the preemptive option under the circumstances in question. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jun 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0714654612, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:07 -0400)

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