1940 FRANCE – GB….WW2 NAVAL EXPEDITIONARY FORCE BRITISH COVERT OPERATION in FRANCE … [19722]

$300.00

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1940 (Apr 11) Plain stampless envelope to Mrs Borner, Faversham endorsed on reverse from Lieut. R. Borner, N.E.F. cancelled Poste Aux Armees cds & with alongside manuscript blue crayon framed Censored with initials RSB below ………………………..
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N.E.F was a covert operation first muted in September 1939 by Winston Churchill, 1st Lord of The Admiralty to launch floating mines into the River close to Strasburg from where they would float downstream sinking German Shipping & damaging or destroying pontoon bridges across the Rhine. N.E.F., codenamed operation Royal Marine, under Admiral Fitzgerald the Naval Attaché in Paris went to Western France early in 1940 with operations planned to commence in March 1940. Delays occurred due to French Prime Minister Eduard Daladier opposing the plan but his government fell on 19 March being replaced by Paul Reynaud & after both War Cabinet met in London it was agreed to commence operations on 4 April. Daladier now Minister of Defence & still hostile convinced the War Cabinet that the plan could take place if Germany attacked Belgium or France, that attack took place 10 May & nearly 1700 mines were dropped into the Rhine during the 1st week resulting in almost a total stop to water traffic between Karlsruhe & Mainz together with severe damage to a number of pontoon bridges. The N.E.F. now fought a guerrilla type of war retreating to Paris where they launched the remainder of the mines into the Seine to destroy bridges being constructed downstream, they later withdrew to Le Mans & then by truck to St. Malo where the Duke of Westminster’s private yacht was commandeered & sailed into Southampton …………….. Churchill made great use of this as a propaganda & morale boosting tool as this was the only small success against the mighty

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