No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

23rd September, 1940 : King George VI broadcasts to the British people. The George Cross and George Medal are instituted as civilian awards.

The British ships of Force M are just off Dakar ready to launch de Gaulle’s operation, the landing of French Free troops in French West Africa. It is hoped that the Vichy forces will offer no resistance. At 7.00 a.m. General de Gaulle broadcasts an ineffectual radio appeal to the authorities of the French colony asking permission to land with his troops. The same urgent appeal is repeated at 8.00 a.m., after five emissaries, bearers of a message from General to the governor Boisson, have been given short shrift and almost taken prisoner. Yet a third appeal remains unheard, despite the threat to use of force. But at 10.50 a.m. it is the Dakar coastal batteries and the ships at anchor in the port that open fire on the British ships, which return fire. Attempts by the Free French to land are quickly checked. The barrage from Dakar proves effective.

About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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