The Second Great War No. 64

H .M.S .‘RODNEY ’AT MERS-EL-KEBIR More than 350 ships of the Royal Navy and the U.S. and Allied Navies escorted the armada— well over 500 ships strong —which brought the Allied troops to French North Africa. After the landings, units of the Royal Navy —among them H.M.S. ‘Rodney’ —layoff Mers-el-Kebir, the naval base and mili­tary port near Oran, scene (with Oran)of the ‘melan­choly action ’of July 3,1940, when ships of the French Navy were attacked and rendered useless by the Royal Navy to prevent their falling into the hands of ths Germans. ALLIES IN BONE RAH B O U RAt Bone, 50 miles from the Tunisia border and •120 miles from the naval base and port of Bizerta, British and U.S. forces of the British First Army were first landed on November 12,1942. Reinforcements in men and supplies continued to be brought in through Bone during the North African campaign. Naval ratings from the cruiser H.M.S. 1 Argonaut ’are here seen with soldiers of an anti-aircraft battery. ‘Argonaut ’was one of a British naval force which, without damage or casu­alties, sank four merchant vessels and three Italian destroyers in a vigorous action on the night of December 1-2,1942. Photos, British Official: Crown Copyright 2552
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