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Full Name 115 Colony of Madagascar and Dependencies
Alliance Neutral or Non-Belligerent
Possessing Power France
Entry into WW2 5 May 1942
Population in 1939 3,900,000


ww2dbaseThe Merina Kingdom, which had controlled all of Madagascar island since about 1540, was defeated by the French twice in the 1800s. The end of the First Franco-Hova War of 1883 saw the French gaining control of the port city Antsiranana (Diego-Suárez), and the end of the Second Franco-Hova War of 1894-1895 saw the entire island becoming the French colony Malagasy Protectorate. In 1897, the Merina Kingdom ended when French General Joseph Gallieni deposed Queen Ranavalona III after a failed local uprising. With the fall of the Merina Kingdom, the protectorate was elevated to the Colony of Madagascar and Dependencies (Colonie de Madagascar et dépendances). In 1908 and 1912, the Mayotte and Dependencies and the Protectorate of the Comoros, both in the Comoros archipelago to the north of Madagascar, were added to the colonial administration. Under French rule, the locals were given a small voice in government in the 1900s, and the status of Madagascar was further enhanced as many locals served in the French military during WW1. On 21 Nov 1924, Adélie Land of Antarctica and the islands of Amsterdam, Crozet, Kerguelen, and Saint-Paul were attached to Madagascar. During WW2, 13,000 British troops landed near Diego-Suárez on 5 May 1942, defeating the 3,000 French troops and 6,000 colonial (Malagasy and Senegalese) troops within four days. With the port facilities at Diego-Suárez under British control, additional troops and supplies were brought in by ship, which allowed the British to embark on another campaign starting in Sep 1942 to take control of the rest of the island. Amphibious landings were made at Majunga and Tamataue mid-month, and the capital of Tananarive fell with minimal resistance. Although the British declared victory in early Oct 1942, surviving French troops refused to surrender. French Governor General Armand Léon Annet launched his final offensive near Andriamanalina on 18 Oct 1942, giving up only after his forces had become ineffective after incurring heavy casualties. France regained control of Madagascar after the war, and very shortly after two Malagasy were elected to the French Parliament. On 27 Oct 1946, the Comoros islands were detached from Madagascar. The 1946 constitution of the French Fourth Republic made Madagascar an overseas territory within the French Union and gave full French citizenship to the Malagasy people, but despite of these advances the Malagasy were still victims of bias. Combined with food shortages and economic instability, a revolution broke out on 29 Mar 1947, which was put down by the French by force, causing tens of thousands of casualties among the locals. In the 1950s, two major political parties emerged, with the Democratic Social Party of Madagascar favoring remaining under French rule but with greater autonomy, and the Congress Party for the Independence of Madagascar advocated a complete break with France. In 1958, the Malagasy Republic was declared as an autonomous member of the French Community. On 26 Jun 1960, the Malagasy Republic was granted full independence. It was later replaced by the Democratic Republic of Madagascar in 1975 and then the Republic of Madagascar in 1992.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Aug 2014

Events Taken Place in Madagascar
Madagascar Campaign5 May 1942 - 5 Nov 1942


British troops landing on Madagascar, 1942British and South Africa officers at Diego-Suárez, Madagascar, mid-May 1942
See all 5 photographs of Madagascar in World War II

Madagascar in World War II Interactive Map

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Madagascar in World War II Photo Gallery
British troops landing on Madagascar, 1942British and South Africa officers at Diego-Suárez, Madagascar, mid-May 1942
See all 5 photographs of Madagascar in World War II

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