Monday, June 23, 2014
More about the Darlan Agreement about Syria in May 1941
Admiral Darlan, the Vichy Foreign Minister, had signed an agreement that would give aid to Germany and the efforts in Iraq to create trouble for the British. One particularly inflammatory move was to agree to sell three quarters of the military equipment in Syria at the armistice. The sale would be to Iraq to equip the rebel forces that were in opposition to British rule. We already mentioned that German and Italian aircraft would be able to use Syrian airfields and be refueled. The German aircraft would be allowed to operate out of the airfield at Aleppo and would be permitted to use Syrian ports and railroad facilities. France would be allowed to send artillery to Syria along with heavy anti-aircraft batteries. They would also be permitted to send more troops to Syria. Marshal Petain was informed that the Darlan agreement would cause trouble with America and the British. In early June, Marshal Petain ordered a reappraisal of Vichy relations with Germany. France, of course, did not know about the pending German invasion of Russia which would have a great impact on the military situation in North Africa. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.