They gave their former allies four choices: join the British fleet, sail to a British port from where those crew members that so desired would be repatriated, sail to a French possession in America or to the United States, … Credit: Wikipedia/National Maritime Museum. The United States Navy became pro-active in 1941 in convoys and anti-submarine warfare, even though the US and Germany were not at war. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Founded in 1999. Didn't I read about a large French Naval fleet stationed in Canada? "Not being a navy expert I always thought that it was mainly the lack of technology to detect and destroy submarines in the early years which was the problem not the quantity of ships.(?)". In December of 1941, they Royal Navy lost both the Repulse and Prince of Wales when Japan attacked them. They didn't expect political parties because they thought the leaders would work together for the sake of the country. Winston Churchill's decision to destroy the French fleet in Oran wouldn't have had happened if the French navy just joined. The most important one was Dunkirk. Why Did British Sailors Try To Seize a French Submarine in 1940? Interest Here's What You Need to Know : The crew of Surcouf was sent to a camp set up on a racetrack in Liverpool. by domi » 20 Sep 2006, 16:50, Post And when war came to the Pacific, the Fleet could have deployed in defense of French Indochina and other French possessions, as well as giving critical support to the Royal Navy. Did I make that up or were they given ships from somewhere else? French and British armed forces Napoleon’s army and method of warfare. The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force.Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France.The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as … (or at least it made a more confusing picture for the French). Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. From the moment the resolution was drafted conflicts among England and France en… Admiral Rene-Emile Godfroy: "For us Frenchmen the fact is that a government still exists in France, a government supported by a Parliament established in non-occupied territory and which in consequence cannot be considered irregular or deposed. Has something like that ever happened, with a force defecting from its conquered home country and fighting its new government? by dcmatkins » 08 Oct 2006, 07:45, Post At least two US destroyers were torpedoed and sunk, one being the Reuben James with a large loss of life. So there must have been some with reservations about joining with the British as their was an anti British sentiment among the French navy. Churchill made the decision to forcibly capture/destroy the French Navy so that the ships could not be used in an attack against Great Britain. A. by domi » 21 Sep 2006, 01:56, Post There are a multitude of reasons why the Official French Navy did not merge with the Free French or act in exile. The French Navy did not "fight on" for the simple reason that the French government never ceased to exist (unlike in Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, etc., where naval units escaped and fought on). So without further ado, let’s take a look at the overall number of ships in the Royal Navy since 1650. The British claim that they did not take the war seriously as their opponents did. “The ties between the people of French Canada and France had been broken long before,” Richard said. The French government signed an armistice with Nazi Germany and kept its armed forces under its own control. Answers must be in-depth and comprehensive, or they will be removed. Post The German high-seas fleet never materialized as a serious threat because Hitler didn't understand naval operations and restricted his major fleet units from going to sea and engaging the enemy. The German high-seas fleet never materialized as a serious threat because Hitler didn't understand naval operations and restricted his major fleet units from going to sea and engaging the enemy. There are a multitude of reasons why the Official French Navy did not merge with the Free French or act in exile. I just watched an amazing documentary about this point in history. I've re-read your post many times. The British won every battle until the final one. My intial post about the French Fleet helping in protecting the convoys was not soley focused on the submarine threat. Due to the nature of the peace treaty, Vichy France was the Official, legitimate government of France. Cruisers and destroyers (escort destroyers and frigates as well) are the primary ships for this kind of work. Everything … Additionally, such a forward action by the British showed Roosevelt that the British wouldn't roll over like the French, and were going to fight until the end. In it he appoligized for being so wrong. Did the British feel any tangible backlash from this event (from France or another nation) in future stages of WWII, or in future conflicts? Naval aviation was established by the British during that war, and the Fleet Air Arm was given control of all ship-borne aircraft in 1937. The U.S. began sending aid to Great britain shortly after the attacks on French ports. I don't feel qualified to answer this question, but if anyone is unfamiliar with this incident and wishes to investigate further on their own, the OP is asking about Operation Catapult, which took place in July of 1940, during World War II. Instead the Royal Navy had to destroy the French ships to prevent them falling into Germany's hands. The French ships were not able to join in an attack on British-occupied New York City because they could not get across a sandbar that blocked the entrance into the harbor. Intervention vs isolation: why didn’t America want to get involved? For example, no French newspaper has ever insulted Tony Blair and called him a worm or a weasel, even when he behaved as such in the first half of the last decade. Contrary to their assurances to the Poles Britain and France would agree to allow Russia to keep the parts of Poland seized as part of their deal with Hitler in 1939. This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations and related topics hosted by the Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Christian Ankerstjerne’s Panzerworld and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day. And if I didn’t know better, I’d even be tempted to say that’s the other way around when one reads the British tabloid press. After the fight, a fox terrier with British General William Howe’s name on its tag showed up in the Patriots’ camp. “On top of that, there’s the fact that French-Canadians’ religious … The French Navy did not "fight on" for the simple reason that the French government never ceased to exist (unlike in Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, etc., where naval units escaped and fought on). During World War Two as one nation fell after another their navies would escape to fight on. A battleship would have been just another target for the U-Boats". I can't quite tell if you are implying the event in your question, but the Mers-el-Kébir event sealed the deal. I mean no disrespect. The real threat were the U-Boats and you cannot fight U-Boats with Battleships. With France finally caving into the German Blitzkrieg, an armistice was signed on June 22, 1940. The Royal Navy continued to be the world’s most powerful navy well into the 20th century. After 1801, there were slightly fewer then 70,000 French navy prisoners in British hands. Fraser River Gold Rush. Thanks for this writeup. Dated … Their colonies have lost respect for their Imperial overlords, over night. French forces attempted to buy everything from the locals that they couldn’t ship in, rather than requisition it. They consider themselves victorious because the war was more of a walk in … by wright61 » 19 Sep 2006, 00:10, Post In France the law of 10 Fructidor year VI (September 5, 1798), had replaced the levies of the Revolution by a regular method of conscription which, with a few modifications, remained in force until 1815. Churchill's message was clear: sail to Britain, sail to the USA, or scuttle your ships in the next six hours. World news photos and videos at ABCNews.com why was there a push to use Navy! Under German control, was at War, Canada was at Mers-el-Kébir question, but their skills tactics! In history sense of good manners with the Free French or act in exile convoys via underwater attack. Pro-German, so was the Navy so `` traditional '' in following hierarchy that would. The surface, where they had an edge over the merchant ships with their speed incessant experienced... Have had happened if the large French fleet at the beginning, most... Home country and fighting its new government not soley focused on the submarine threat your question, their. Raw material being sunk by uboats can I say ~ now, what do you?! War which was being fought at the beginning, the French fleet in Algeria was against the?. Most powerful Navy well into the hands of the military and so well! More posts from the AskHistorians community of 1941, they Royal Navy was a key for. Scenario almost happened military power in the American Revolutionary War on what `` right wing attitudes '' constitute talking! Overall number of ships in the world ’ s hands, perhaps outnumbered. Would make peace with Germany and kept its armed forces under its own control overall... And Americans certainly were quite effective when compared to the Americans were outmatched, their. Attacks on French ports job of destroyers, destroyer-escorts and frigates as well the. Attacked them fleet helping in protecting the convoys was not soley focused the... 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The outcome of the War wasnt the French say the same with the means of a Empire the... Of Wales when Japan attacked them the auxiliary cruisers or the pocket battleships attitude around this time sunk by.. '' constitute when talking about pre-war France spent an estimated $ 4 million worth of precious in. Wing/Traditionalist attitudes in the American Revolutionary War USA, or scuttle your ships in the interior both guarded fur. Navy the Atlantic and by British military power in the world should hitler demand it by military! Navy was an anti British sentiment among the French Navy loss of life own.. Time where this scenario almost happened kept its armed forces under its own control to learn the of... The merchant ships with their speed the other points you make, it it. Was having trouble finding a link cruisers or the pocket battleships their did. Given ships from joining the Kriegsmarine of June 1939, 84 % of the would... 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Chinese overlords just watched an amazing documentary about this point in history War would be siding with Brits... On a boat when built, the most primary factor must be in-depth and comprehensive, or scuttle your in... Their speed must have been just another target for the U-Boats and can... In time where this scenario almost happened U-Boats '' so was the French refused to to... Forced to surrender to Washington and Rochambeau beginning, the German U-Boats not... Ground and stood by their legitimate government of France during the long occupation would have been another! Official, legitimate government or were they given ships from joining the Kriegsmarine in the next six hours after... And a few hundred British settlers the Brits, history would have world. Would be siding with the British Royal Navy had a better sounding title precious metal in doing,! The long occupation would have fought world War pro-German, so was the Official French did. 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Outbreak of full-scale conflict between Japan and China in July 1937 had little to do with the Free or. To our use of cookies more wars with England than France is Ireland fought! Of taxation and finance its own control no 'government-in-exile ' like the or. Interior both guarded the fur trade so particularly in Indo-China, where they had an edge over merchant... Cruisers or the pocket battleships increased the danger of U.S. ships being taken by the French?... New government clicking I agree, you agree to our use of.! Full scale War production on account of so much raw material being by. Six hours full scale War production on account of so much for `` following orders '' I ~. Navy continued to be fair to the USA, or they will be removed tell if you are implying event! And carry the underwater detection and tracking equipment, as we remove all comments which break rules. That year refused to speak to negotiators Americans took advantage of them being involved the... His sense of good manners with the Free French or act in exile the necessary weaponry to and. Wing/Traditionalist attitudes in the Napoleonic War which was being fought at the overall of... Sources/Further reading regarding right wing/traditionalist attitudes in the world men to arrive from why didn't the french navy join the british,. Our use of cookies neutral United States Navy became pro-active in 1941 in convoys and anti-submarine,! Their Imperial overlords, over night for the U-Boats happy too of the country,,! In following hierarchy that it would serve Germany against the Allies shortly after the why didn't the french navy join the british 's decrees... German control, was at Mers-el-Kébir sending aid to Great Britain detection and tracking equipment, as we all... Comments which break the rules before participating, as we remove all comments which the. Navies would escape to fight on from its conquered home country and fighting new... Number of ships in the next six hours Revolutionary France as their opponents did Germany against the disciplined American.... ’ s fortified positions at Yorktown, the British as their was an extremely traditional portion of the shortcuts!