Friday, August 04, 2006

French Somaliland in 1940-1941

The last topic in Vol.II of the Official History tells about the situation in French Somaliland. By November 1940, Generals de Gaulle, with General Legentilhomme, had suggested that General Legentilhomme take a small Free French Force to Jibuti, and stage a coup. They were convinced that there were many with Free French sympathies there. Churchill and the Commanders in Britain had approved the plan, but it was opposed by General Wavell as a diversion that would just be a distraction from the primary theater. French Somaliland was first under strict contraband control and then under a blockade to prevent supplies from reaching the Italians, and the people there were suffering from that measure. After March 1941, when a stricter blockade went into effect and a propaganda program. Neither seemed to have any effect on the situation. At this point, General Wavell, "after consulting Genral Catroux", suggested negotiating with the governor, M. Louis Noualihotas. By the summer of 1941, there seemed to be no progress. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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