Foreword by Peter Caddick-Adams.
Madagascar provided the stunning backdrop for one of the strangest conflicts of the Second World War — when Britain went head to head against one of its closest allies.
When British forces landed on the island in 1942, the enemy they faced wasn't German, Japanese or even Italian, this time the opposing forces were French.
Concerned that Japan might use Madagascar as a strategic base to disrupt the supply line to India, Britain was keen to take control of the island. However, the Vichy forces were keen to defend the French colony and prevent it becoming part of the British Empire.
A Strange Campaign: The Battle for Madagascar gives a detailed account of this fascinating but little-known period of military history. Even at the time, the conflict was a controversial one, pitting two colonial empires against each other.
However, it was also ground-breaking as it was the first time Allied forces had staged a major amphibious invasion. The lessons learned on the shores of Madagascar would prove to be invaluable two years later during the D-day landings in Normandy.
Military historian Russell Phillips examines the tactics used in the battle for Madagascar which included secret agents, dummy paratroopers and attempted bribery.
But just how did the British finally break down months of resistance by the French? And how did a tug-of-war over an island in the middle of the Indian ocean influence the rest of the Second World War?
Russell Phillips gives us a well-researched, enlightening, and skillfully detailed account of a little-known but clearly pivotal WWII operation that's suited for both curious laypersons and serious researchers.
— Steve Anderson, author of the Kaspar Brothers series and other WWII-era novels
Though it was a world war it is easy to overlook some corners of the conflict. Madagascar was strategically important and controlled by Vichy France. Phillips has done an excellent job drawing out the story of the British-led invasion of the island.
— Angus Wallace, host of the WW2 Podcast
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About the Author
Russell Phillips writes books and articles about military technology and history. Born and brought up in a mining village in South Yorkshire, they have lived and worked in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cumbria and Staffordshire. Russell has always had a deep interest in history and conflicts all over the world, and enjoys sharing their knowledge with others through clear, factual accounts which shine a light on events of the past.
Their articles have been published in Miniature Wargames, Wargames Illustrated, The Wargames Website, and the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers' Journal. They have been interviewed on BBC Radio Stoke, The WW2 Podcast, Cold War Conversations, and The Voice of Russia. They currently live in Stoke-on-Trent with their wife and two children.
Table of Contents
Concerns about Madagascar
Advance to Diego Suarez, 5th May
Attack on Diego Suarez, 5th May
Diego Suarez, 6th May
Joffre Line Forts and the Orangea Peninsula
"Live and Let Live"
Operation Streamline Jane
Advance on Fianarantsoa
Surrender and Occupation
ppendix I: Forces Involved in Operation Ironclad
Appendix II: Ultimatum to the Governor of Diego Suarez
Appendix III: Forces Involved in Operation Streamline Jane
Appendix IV: Principal Personalities
Appendix V: Place Names
About Russell Phillips
Also by Russell Phillips
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