Transcript of the H.M.S. Ark Royal's Attack on a French Navy Base. 27 page leather bound, typed transcript of a narrative of the events of July 3, 1940 at Oran. The words are of the Ark Royal's Captain Cedric Holland. The book details the events of the H.M.S. Ark Royal, a 22,000-ton aircraft carrier. The carrier played an important role in the first two years of the Second World War, and in December of 1939, she was sent to the South Atlantic to help in the search for the German cruiser the Admiral Graf Spee. The spring of 1949 saw her participating in the Norwegian campaign, and in July she was one of the ships that attacked the French Navy's base at Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria. Also included in the book are transcripts of letters sent to Admiral Gensoul from British Admiral Somerville. In part, one of these letters reads: "It is impossible for us, your comrades up till now, to allow your fine ships to fall into power of German or Italian enemy. We are determined to fight on until the end, and if we win, as we think we shall, we shall never forget that France was our ally, that our interests are the same as hers, and that our common enemy is German...".

    While the siege on Mers-el-Kebir was horrifying in its execution, it was essential to the balance of naval power. Had the French navy capitulated with its country, the German and Italian navy would have had a powerful foe against the thinly distributed British Royal Navy. The book is in fine condition; the front cover has become detached from the front cover; spine has deteriorated and has begun to flake and break; pages have received some moderate water damaged and are thus slightly warped. 7" x 9.25".

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    February, 2007
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