Empire as diplomatic incident
St Pierre and Miquelon and the Madagascar invasion, 1942
in The French empire at war 1940–45
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The exclusion of the Free French left the way open for Britain's Middle East command to arrange a settlement in French Somaliland. In 1942 Djibouti was a minor unresolved problem for Charles de Gaulle. The major colonial prizes of French North and West Africa, both still firmly under Vichy control, were far more critical. Long after the dissolution of the first French empire in North America, St Pierre and Miquelon's fishing community remained faithful to France. The proposed occupation of Vichyite Madagascar also contributed to this inter-Allied friction, and actually took up more French National Committee time than discussion of French North Africa. Japan's relentless southward advance during the spring of 1942 transformed Madagascar's role within British strategic planning for the defence of the Indian Ocean. In the early months of 1942 the British government rejected further Free French proposals for a joint invasion of the island.


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