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René-Émile Godfroy file photo [21327]

René-Émile Godfroy

Given NameRené-Émile
Born10 Jan 1885
Died16 Jan 1981


ww2dbaseRené-Émile Godfroy was born in Paris, France in 1885 and entered the naval academy in Oct 1901. Between 1908 and 1910, he participated in the fourth French Antarctic expedition. He saw service in WW1. He was promoted to the rank of capitaine de corvette in 1921, and held the rank of contre-amiral by 1936. In Apr 1940, he was made the commanding officer of Force X in the Mediterranean Sea, which was based in Alexandria, Egypt. In Jun 1940, Britain demanded the French Navy to surrender its warships. While fighting broke out at various locations, Godfroy peacefully negotiated his force's internment in the following month; he pledged to empty the fuel tanks of his warships and to disarm the guns, in exchange his British counterpart Andrew Cunningham promised to repatriate the French sailors. In May 1943, he successfully lobbied for the rearmament of the warships under his command so that they could serve with the Free French naval forces, but his support for Henri Giraud rather than Charles de Gaulle led to his forced retirement in Dec 1943 (the order which forced him to retire would be revoked by the French Council of State in Apr 1955). He published the book L’Aventure de la force X à Alexandrie in 1953. Godfroy passed away in southern France in 1981.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jul 2014

René-Émile Godfroy Timeline

10 Jan 1885 René-Émile Godfroy was born in Paris, France.
7 Jul 1940 René-Émile Godfroy agreed to keep the French Navy Force X at Alexandra, Egypt, which included the battleship Lorraine and four cruisers, according to British demands. Godfroy secured Andrew Cunningham's pledge that the ships would remain under Godfroy's command and that the sailors would be repatriated.
17 May 1943 René-Émile Godfroy successfully lobbied for the rearmament of the interned French warships at Alexandria, Egypt.
10 Dec 1943 René-Émile Godfroy was forced into retirement.
16 Jan 1981 René-Émile Godfroy passed away in Fréjus, France.

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