Les marins français di Jour J

The French Sailors of D-Day

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4 June 1944, 18.30, in the south of England. Liai- son officers went aboard twenty-two French ships. Shut up with the commanding officers, they handed over a large sealed envelope. As soon as the English had left, the “bosses” discovered what their missions were to be during Operation Neptune (the codename given to the Allied troop landing in Normandy).

The crews were assembled. The men were told they were to be the first Frenchmen to take part in the landings. Many of these sailors, who had come from France and joined General de Gaulle in Great Britain, were to participate in the greatest amphibious operation ever mounted. Others, on the other hand, beginning with their CO, Admiral Jaujard, were more sceptical about the General.

It is the story of these ships and these men which form the heart of this book, among whom Querville who, with his submarine Junon, landed a commando in Norway with the task of destroying the heavy water plant; or Levasseur with the Aconit who sunk two U-boats in twelve hours.

The part played by the French sailors is rarely if ever, mentioned when the anniversaries of the Normandy landings are celebrated. It is now time to repair the injustice done to these men, their boats and the French navy.
A former officer of the
Fusilier-Commandos of the Marine Nationale, Thierry Terrier is today general secretary of the Fondation de la France libre


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21 x 29,7 cm
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