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from WW2DB

[Photo] Aerial view of Toulon, France, 28 Nov 1942; note smoke rising from burning ships

Aerial view of Toulon, France, 28 Nov 1942; note smoke rising from burning ships-When Allied forces arrived in North Africa to team up with the Free French Forces to beat back the Axis occupiers, and French naval crews, emboldened by the Allied initiative, scuttled the French fleet off Toulon, in southeastern France, to keep it from being used by those same Axis powers, Hitler retaliated.

17 Apr 42: French prisoner of war General Henri Giraud escapes from the Königstein Fortress prison and joins the Free French Forces. In World War I he had also been captured and taken POW and successfully escaped then. After planning his escape carefully over 2 years, he lowered himself down the cliff of the mountain fortress and, through various ruses, reached the Swiss border and eventually slipped into Vichy France.

French Battleship Dunkerque. Head ship of the Dunkerque class, 23333TW. Damaged at Mers-el-Kebir 1940, scuttled at Toulon 1942.

French Battleship Richelieu in New York in April 1943 after joining the allies following the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. She had a badly needed refit there; most of her subsequent war service was in the Indian Ocean / Pacific. She carried all her main 15 in guns forward of the bridge.

USS Fiske (DE-143). Broken in two and sinking in the Atlantic Ocean on 2 August 1944, after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-804. Note men abandoning ship by walking down the side of her capsizing bow section. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-270257.

On March 28th 1942, Bomber Command attacked the city of Lűbeck. A great deal of damage was done to the most historic part of the city known as the ‘Old Town’. In total, over 1,000 people were killed and the ‘Old Town’, which was primarily made up of old wooden buildings, was all-but destroyed by incendiary bombs. Hitler was incensed and ordered retaliatory raids against similar targets.

French 14 in battleship sisters Dunkerque and Strasbourg at Mers el Kebir in Algeria before the British operation on 3 July 1940 to neutralise the French fleet after France's surrender: Strasbourg made a famous fighting escape. Both were eventually scuttled in November 1942 when Germany invaded Vichy France.

from The Crazy Tourist

Breathtakingly Beautiful Pictures of France

French heavy cruiser Algerie, built as a counter to the Italian 'Zara' class: in June 1940 she bombarded Genoa when Italy declared war on a stricken France. She was scuttled at Toulon in November 1942 when the Germans invaded Vichy France.