Ref NoDL1636
Alt Ref NoDL1636
Artist or CreatorDavid Low (1891-1963)
Title or CaptionThe missing French fleet
Extent1 item
Published byEvening Standard
Date05 Jul 1940
Size38.7 x 51cm
TechniqueBlack ink
Embedded text or transcript"Hear anything yet?"
"Only someone singing `the Marsaillaise' with a strong English accent, Duce."
Axis naval intelligence
Person DepictedMussolini; Benito (1883-1945)
Hitler; Adolf (1889-1945)
NotesRepublished in David Low, Low's War Cartoons, Cresset Press, 1941.

Keesing's Contemporary Archives: "British Action to prevent the French Fleet from falling into Enemy Hands: Mr Churchill's Statement. The Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, made the following statement in the House of Commons on July 4 on the action taken by the Royal Navy to prevent the French Fleet falling into the hands of the enemy, reaffirming at the same time Britain's determination to continue the war: "... Accordingly, early yesterday morning, July 3, after all preparations had been made, we took the greater part of the French Fleet under our control or else called upon them with adequate force to comply with our requirements, two battleships, two light cruisers, some submarines, including a very large one, the 'Surcouf' eight destroyers with approximately 200 smaller but extremely useful mine-sweeping and anti-submarinecraft, which lay for the most part at Portsmouth and Plymouth, though there were some at Sheerness, were boarded by superior forces after brief notice had been given wherever possible to their captains. ..." [p.4129]

Republished in David Low, Europe at War, (Penguin Books, 1941). Printed on opposite page: "The French Government, before surrendering, had asked Britain to release France from her undertaking not to make a separate peace. Britain agreed on condition that the French fleet was placed out of Nazi Germany's power. The armistice, however, left only Hitler's promise as surety that the fleet would not be used against Britain by Nazi Germany. A British squadron, after presenting an ultimatum to the French fleet at Oran, engaged it in battle and destroyed part of it. The Dictators were disgusted." p.92.
International relations
Armed forces
Third Reich 1933-45
foreign policy
military officers
Royal Navy
axis powers
World War 1939-1945
Copyright contact detailsNorthcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT
Location of artworkReturned to Beaverbrook Foundation, 1998
Relates to cartoonDL1636

Show related Persons records.

GB/BCA/58Mussolini; Benito (1883-1945)1883-1945   
GB/BCA/394Hitler; Adolf (1889-1945)1889-1945Born in Austria. Politician and leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party). He served as German chancellor from 1933-1945 and head of state (Fuhrer) from 1934-1945. He established a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism. He gained support for his views on German nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism and anti-communism through his impassioned speeches and propaganda. He wanted to establish a New Order of absolute rule in Europe and pursued a policy of seizing land by force for the Aryan people.  
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