Operation Menace (Kindle)
The Dakar Expedition and the Dudley North Affair
Continuing on from his study of the Oran operation of July 1940, when the French warships were destroyed at Mers-el-Kébir, the author investigates the allied expedition of September that year, with De Gaulle present, which unsuccessfully attempted to break the French at Dakar away from the Vichy Government. In addition, there is the story of the Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, Flag Officer Commanding at Gibraltar at the time, who was relieved from his post after allowing a French naval squadron to pass out of the Mediterranean and so jeopardise the Dakar operation.
A pet operation of Prime Minister Churchill, it was undertaken against all advice, and it turned out to be a fiasco. In the author’s words, ‘”Menace” exemplified, in its genesis, planning, and execution, all that can go wrong in warfare; an operation fouled up by unforeseen contingencies, the accidents of war, and human error, and against a background of undue political interference, inadequate planning, and half-baked co-operation between Allies.’
Using Admiralty and Cabinet papers, as well as private sources of information, Marder weaves a skilled course through all the complex material to produce a masterly case-study of how an operation is mounted and how it can go disastrously wrong. It is a classic, tragi-comic illustration of the fog of war.
As featured on Army Rumour Service.ARRSE
All-in-all this is a fascinating and well-written account of a failed military operation deserves to be on the bookshelves of all those interested in naval history. Recommended.Marine News, November 2016
This is a well researched book. Using Admiralty and Cabinet papers, as well as private sources of information the author weaves a skilled course through all the complex material to produce a masterly case study of how an operation is mounted and how it can go disastrously wrong. Marder's analysis is neutral and objective; his research is exhaustive and its results instructive. The book also contains an introduction written by the noted Canadian naval historian Barry Gough. This is an example of naval history at its best and this volume is strongly recommended.Warship World, November-December 2016
'There are photographs and maps through the body of the book to strongly complement the incisive text. Understanding parts of WWII history that has received limited attention, is important both to developing a firm understanding of the great conflict, and understanding the history since 1945, including the motives behind the establishment of the European Union, the progress towards the type of single European power that has driven Germans since the mid 19th Century, and the explosive tensions within that political project.'Firetrench
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