About | Volunteer | Support
History Project Facebook
History Project Youtube
History Project on Instagram
sponsors
sponsors

On This Day… Churchill Ordered An Attack On The French Fleet

Written by: George Chittenden : 20 May 2019

It was on this day, 3rd July back in 1940 when the Royal Navy, under the orders of Winston Churchill attacked French Navy ships following France’s surrender to Germany. France had pressed for peace with Germany on June 17th in 1940, and Britain’s Prime Minister considered the French fleet too powerful to risk in the hands of Germany. The problem wasn’t the French using their fleet to assist their new conqueror, but the reality that Germany would train their own sailors to command those ships. Winston Churchill wanted to attack the fleet even before France could officially surrender, but when he tried to convince his War Cabinet, they refused. On June 24th, France and Germany signed an armistice, and agreed the French could keep their ships but this did little to pacify Churchill.

On this day, the British surrounded the French Fleet at the port of Mers-el-Kebir right outside Oran in Algeria. Winston Churchill’s terms were clear: sail to Britain, sail to the USA, or scuttle your ships in the next six hours. The French refused and sent a message ordering reinforcements to move urgently to Oran. Winston Churchill had seen enough and ordered an attack. The attack was short and swift, and in less than ten minutes 1,297 French soldiers were dead, and 3 capital ships along with 1 destroyer were damaged or destroyed. The British lost five aircraft and two crewmen. It was a controversial move, and the French considered it a betrayal by their ally. However in 1942 Germany attempted to capture the remains of the French fleet, forcing Britain to attack it once more.

Search

By Era

To 5000 BCE 5000 - 2000 BCE 2000 BCE - 0 0 - 400 CE 400 - 800 CE 800 - 1100 CE 1100 - 1500 CE 1500 - 1700 CE 18th Century 19th Century 1900's 1910's 1920's 1930's 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's

By Topic

Royal British Roman North American Egyptian Nautical European Social WW1 Military Viking Asian African Australian South American Political Celebrity WW2 Religion

We promote history by...

offering free articles and videos, providing free history experiences for children in schools and on weekends. Next year we will be visiting hospitals and providing unforgettable experiences to children who really need it and give them a chance to forget their condition, their treatment and their reality. Please join others who support our free projects by giving a small donation. We can only continue our great work with your help.

appealimage

Support The History Project


Visiting Deal? Take a Pitt Stop at The Seagull  Got some waste you have been meaning to get rid of? Give Benn a call, heComing to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereCleaning and Support Services, Kents premier eco-friendly, green office cleaning and Facilities Management companySpecialist brokers whoLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Transportation, storage and removal serviceDeal Cars has many years experience in the taxi industry, we provide a professional and reliable service to clients throughout Deal and the surrounding area. We cover all types of journeys from shopping runs to airport transfers, providing professional, courteous and qualified drivers.Aspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Coming to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereto Duke Street in Deal for some Fine Wines, Real Ales and delicious Stone Baked PizzaNeed to lose weight or just get a bit fitter but find gyms tedious and boring? Well go and see Ex Army PT Jay Ingram and he will build you up into the powerhouse you were meant to be on his excellent Local Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Specialist brokers whoWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealHave a spare room or property you would like to make some money from? Contact Ally now  Aspen Waite helps ambitious companies achieve their goals with quality advice and support, whatever the challenge.Deal Cars has many years experience in the taxi industry, we provide a professional and reliable service to clients throughout Deal and the surrounding area. We cover all types of journeys from shopping runs to airport transfers, providing professional, courteous and qualified drivers.Advertise in this spaceVisiting Deal? Take a Pitt Stop at The Seagull  Clock in the old fashioned way and roam DealACAS The Decorating Company - 07759075930to Duke Street in Deal for some Fine Wines, Real Ales and delicious Stone Baked PizzaLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number could be good under construction - 07791101946Coming to Deal, Receive a Warm welcome and some of the best organic coffee in town, also great Gluten free and Vegan options hereWe are a family owned and operated Removal and International Overseas Shipping company based in DealLocal Lads that cover the Kent area, boasting a 9.9/ 10 on checkatrade.com these lads really give their very best for a very very fair price. ( image attached) phone number cwould be good under construction - 07791101946542359442062184564702249302453402950866476921413428