Mers-el-Kébir 1940: Operation Catapult (Campaign #405) (Paperback)

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Mers-el-Kébir 1940: Operation Catapult (Campaign #405) By Ryan K. Noppen, Adam Tooby (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ryan K. Noppen, Adam Tooby (Illustrator)
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A fascinating analysis of the World War II battle between Great Britain and France to ensure French ships were kept out of German hands during World War II.

Following France's armistice with the Axis powers, Great Britain realized that if Germany or Italy insisted upon the transfer of battleships, cruisers, and destroyers from the French Navy to the control of their own navies, the balance in the Mediterranean would immediately swing in their favour. Churchill decided that the Marine Nationale's most powerful vessels would need to be secured through diplomacy, coercion, or force. The French Navy commander-in-chief was equally eager to keep their ships out of Axis hands, but he also did not want the British to have them. These increasingly hostile circumstances led to Operation Catapult, which began on 3 July 1940, and saw the two nations battle for the ships.

Expert naval historian Ryan Noppen analyses the Royal Navy Operation Catapult at Mers el-Kébir, the follow-up Operation Lever and the French retaliatory actions in the subsequent days. This book examines the rapid deterioration of Anglo-French relations and how the two former allies quickly fell into armed conflict. Fully illustrated with detailed maps, photographs and artwork that bring to life the British and French forces involved, it presents an engaging treatment of an often-forgotten episode early in World War II.

About the Author

Ryan K. Noppen is a military author and consultant originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan and holds a Master of Arts degree in European History from Purdue University. He has worked as a naval and aviation subject matter expert on projects for the US Navy, taught college courses in military history, and has served as the headmaster of a Classical grammar school. A scholar of Dutch, German, and Central European military history, he has published a major history of Dutch air power and has written several titles for Osprey. He lives in California, USA.

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital artist and illustrator. His work can be found in publications worldwide and as box art for model aircraft kits. He also runs a successful illustration studio and aviation prints business. He is based in Cheshire, UK. To buy artwork, or contact the artist, visit

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472859709
ISBN-10: 1472859707
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2024
Pages: 96
Language: English
Series: Campaign