Invasion of French Somalia file photo [18843]

Invasion of French Somaliland

1 Dec 1942 - 31 Jan 1943


ww2dbaseAfter the fall of France, French Somaliland (now Djibouti) declared allegiance to the Vichy-based French leadership and remained non-belligerent in the ongoing war. In 1941, British and other Allied forces succeeded in taking the neighboring Italian East Africa, thus surrounding French Somalia. A propaganda campaign to sway the French colonial administration toward the Free French followed, ultimately creating a situation in which Vichy began to suspect the loyalties of the colonial administrators. Seizing the political strife created by the recall of governor Pierre Nouailhetas and the subsequent defection of two colonial battalions, 15,000 British and French troops invaded French Somaliland (which was defended by about 5,000 French and colonial troops) in Dec 1942, taking the capital city of Djibouti by the end of the month, and securing the entire colony by the following month.

Last Major Update: Aug 2013


British troops parading in Djibouti, French Somaliland, Dec 1942

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British troops parading in Djibouti, French Somaliland, Dec 1942

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