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Swordfish on Ark Royal

On this day 23 September 1940

Published: 23 Sep 2014

On this day in 1940 23 September 1940 Swordfish drop leaflets on Vichy French forces in Dakar

Swordfish aircraft from HMS Ark Royal flew over Vichy controlled Dakar (in modern day Senegal), dropping propaganda leaflets urging the citizens to "Joignez-vous a nous pour delivrer la France!" - Join with us to deliver France.

Free French aircraft flying off Ark Royal also landed at Dakar aerodrome to try and persuade the air force to switch allegiance to General de Gaulle, but were taken prisoner and despite de Gaulle’s presence the Vichy French did not switch sides. Submarines and ships of both sides were damaged in the subsequent attack but Dakar stayed in Vichy French hands diminishing de Gaulle's influence amongst the Allies.


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