French Sink Own Fleet
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the scuttling of the French fleet based at Toulon under orders from French Admiral Jean de Laborde. These measures were taken in order to prohibit the use of the ships by Axis powers following the unraveling of French-German relations after French cooperation with the Allies in Operation Torch–the invasion of North Africa–and the subsequent entry of German forces into the previously unoccupied Vichy -controlled region of France. Several German divisions were sent to Toulon with the sole purpose of preventing the scuttling of the French fleet there, but failed miserably–the French ultimately rendered more than 70 of their own ships useless.
Images are a Gift of the USS Slater: Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, 2010.555
Post by Curator Meg Roussel