Daily Event for May 7, 2010

Operation Ironclad was the code name for the invasion of Madagascar, it began on May 5, 1942. Vichy French controlled Madagascar was of particular strategic importance to both the Allies and the Axis, both Japan and Germany had plans to use the island to keep the British penned in, but Churchill had other ideas.

During the operation on May 7, 1942 the Vichy French submarine Le Héros made an attempt to attack the British Fleet, however aircraft from 829 Squadron, HMS Illustrious and the corvette HMS Genista K-200 located the boat and depth charged it, the boat was forced to the surface and abandoned, she sank soon after with the loss of 22 men.

As in July of 1940 at Mers-el-Kébir, British and French forces fought each other rather than the real enemy, Prime Minister Churchill said in the House of Commons about the attack;

"We grieve that bloodshed has occurred between the troops of our two countries whose peoples at heart are united. We trust that the French nation in time will come to regard this episode as a recognizable step in the liberation of their country, including Alsace-Lorraine, from the German yoke."

The Vichy French at Diego Suarez surrendered the same day, but fighting continued for several months. Of course France was ultimately liberated and Madagascar won independence from France following the war, but only a Frenchman can say if Churchill's statement has come to pass.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock

Hommage aux Disparus
A la mémoire de ceux qui ont perdu la vie à bord du sous-marin
Le Héros Q-170
May 7, 1942
"Memoriam eorum retinebimus"

Claquin, Yves François
Maître Mécanicien
  Couchouron, Pierre Marie Lucien Second-maître Electricien
  Dauphin, René Matelot Cusinier
  Dosne, Pierre Quartier-maître Mécanicien
  Dreno, André Émile Matelot
  Dubois, Maurice Gaspard Louis Quartier-maître Infirmier
  Durand, Raoul Jean Matelot Cusinier
Ferber, Roger Auguste
Quartier-maître Mécanicien
  Gourmelon, Pierre Marie Second-maître Radio
  Guellaen, Yves Marie Maître Torpilleur
  Helias, Marcel Noel Marie Matelot Timonier
  Kergreis, Louis Theodore Matelot Mechanicien
  Ladan, Joseph Léon François Marie Quartier-maître Fusilier
  Linel, Desire Marcel Quartier-maître Mécanicien
  Lostetter, Constant Matelot Mechanicien
  Mordeglo, Joseph Marie Quartier-maître Torpilleur
  Nicolas, François Marie Maître Electricien
  Paris, Robert Marcel Quartier-maître Electricien
Piedfer, Albert Francis
Matelot Canonnier
  Quillien, Pierre Marie Maître Principal Timonier
  Reginato, Jean Quartier-maître Torpilleur
  Tissier, Roger Georges Quartier-maître Mécanicien
  Vermeersch, René Julien Matelot Electricien

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2005 Daily Event
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