Churchill attacks Mers el Kebir

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,401
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
No.

The french admiral (if i remember correctly) offered to fight for the allies under the french flag
He did not.

(and accompanying conditions). He also stated that if not, they would remain out of that war or something along those lines.
The French admiral at Mers EL kebir?
He did not.
He was offered the chance to have his fleet sit out the war, but he chose to fight the British instead.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,210
Welsh Marches
Add Tokyo, Coventry and Ningbo as well.
I was just joking about the threads that are constantly repeated here, always accusation or self-flagellation over Dresden and Hiroshima; it is of course true that more people were killed in the bombing of Tokyo, and that mass-bombing of civilian targets, which seems abhorrent to us now, was regarded by all sides as a legitimate tactic of war. Now I would be the last person in the world to say that we should not pass moral judgements about historical actions, but if historical understanding is to be achieved, it is necessary to start by viewing events in their historical context, and by considering the whole range of comparable events rather than picking out picking out a limited range of cases. It is precisely because that doesn't happen (or only to a limited extent) that these threads never seem to get anywhere.
 
Dec 2011
1,347
Belgium
I was just joking about the threads that are constantly repeated here, always accusation or self-flagellation over Dresden and Hiroshima; it is of course true that more people were killed in the bombing of Tokyo, and that mass-bombing of civilian targets, which seems abhorrent to us now, was regarded by all sides as a legitimate tactic of war. Now I would be the last person in the world to say that we should not pass moral judgements about historical actions, but if historical understanding is to be achieved, it is necessary to start by viewing events in their historical context, and by considering the whole range of comparable events rather than picking out picking out a limited range of cases. It is precisely because that doesn't happen (or only to a limited extent) that these threads never seem to get anywhere.

Linschoten,

if I recall it well, here or on another forum in a similar discussion I said that many analists consider Mers el Kebir as a warning of Churchill to Hitler that Britain would not surrender and fight on alone.

Kind regards, Paul.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,809
Stockport Cheshire UK
if I recall it well, here or on another forum in a similar discussion I said that many analists consider Mers el Kebir as a warning of Churchill to Hitler that Britain would not surrender and fight on alone.

Kind regards, Paul.
While that was the effect of the attack, both with Hitler and FDR, the discussion within the war cabinet beforehand was all about the dangers of the ships falling into German hands.

ps: while Churchill gets all the blame for this attack it was done with the full backing of the War Cabinet which included the leaders of the Labour and Liberal political parties.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,224
T'Republic of Yorkshire
it is of course true that more people were killed in the bombing of Tokyo
O/T - the bombing of Tokyo itself wasn't anything unusual, it was one of those things that happened in the war, just as Hitler had bombed London. What was, I think, abhorrent (although I don't know whether it was deliberate) was the way the Sensouji temple was left untouched, prompting many civilians to take refuge in its grounds, possibly in the belief of some kind of divine protection. The temple was then bombed towards the very end of the war, with many casualties.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,750
we should not pass moral judgements about historical actions, but if historical understanding is to be achieved, it is necessary to start by viewing events in their historical context, and by considering the whole range of comparable events rather than picking out picking out a limited range of cases.
I absolutely agree with this. But I think the rider needs to be added that a symmetrical treatment of contexts need apply. Often some contexts are allowed to matter more that others, often as a simple question of familiarity with one side, less so the other.

What contexts apply and how to deal with the fact that they don't line up is actually a very tricky question in history.
 
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