2022 Bill Whiteside “Mers-el-Kebir  "

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Most followers of Winston Churchill know of the Royal Navy’s deadly attack on the French naval squadron at Mers-el-Kebir on July 3, 1940. During the clash that occurred just two weeks after France signed its armistice with Germany, the Royal Navy killed more French seamen than the German Navy killed during all of World War II.

This event was all the more remarkable in light of Churchill’s deep veneration for France, and the bitter objections of senior naval officers to the mortal action they were compelled to take against their recent ally.

Bill Whiteside is writing a book about the lead-up, the battle, and the aftermath of the events at Mers-el-Kebir. His research includes an immersion in multiple archives, including the papers of Admiral James Somerville, General Edward Louis Spears, John Colville, and Winston Churchill at the University of Cambridge, as well as the papers of naval historian Arthur J. Marder at the University of California, Irvine.

© The Chartwell Group 2012