NEWS FROM THE FRONT
No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.
31st August, 1940 : The ships composing ‘Force M’ sail from Scapa Flow, Britain’s principal naval base. The squadron is to support a landing at Dakar, French West Africa, be General de Gaulle and 2,700 Free French, with the object of finding new adherents to his movement and especially to detach the French colonies in equatorial Africa, and possibly also those in North Africa, from Vichy France. The plan submitted to the British government by General de Gaulle at the beginning of August, was enthusiastically supported by Churchill. De Gaulle managed to convince Churchill that a surprise landing at Dakar would probably meet with little resistance. Force M consists of the battleships Barham and Resolution, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, five cruisers, at least sixteen destroyers and two corvettes, plus three corvettes of the Free French navy.
39 aircraft are destroyed when the Luftwaffe attacks RAF operational headquarters at Debden, Biggin Hill and Hornchurch.