French Freedom Papers

De Gaulle to Sinclair: 6/17/1942

Historical Context

See: Operation Squabble
    Prior to the launch of “Operation Squabble” in June of 1942, Charles De Gaulle himself had been heavily advocating for a flyover of Paris by French pilots as evidenced by previous correspondences that were mentioned. De Gaulle has always been interested in raising the moral of French citizens in order to energize the war effort, and he believed that this gesture would be crucial in raising the spirits of Parisians in the German-occupied capital.  In his own letter to De Gaulle, Sir Archibald Sinclair acknowledges a “renewal” of the proposal to drop the Tricolore over the Champs-Élysées by “le Capitaine corvette Jubelin”. It is stated, however, that this proposal is shot down due to the limited nature of the French crafts involved, leaving “no margin at all to make it a practicable operation”. Despite this, Royal Air Force officials found that a Bristol Beaufighter, a British aircraft, would be perfect for a daytime flyover of Paris in an unrelated mission, and elects a British pilot to fly the mission, which would come to be known as “Operation Squabble”. Sinclair, being privy to De Gaulle’s wishes, requests that the Tricolore be thrown in Paris during this mission, and RAF officials find this agreeable, with the operation being a near-perfect success. Sinclair learns of the operation and writes to De Gaulle explaining what has taken place.


Letter Summary 

Charles de Gaulle responds with distaste to Sinclair's letter received on the 16th of June, 1942 which details the success of "Operation Squabble", lamenting on the fact that a French pilot had not been tasked with the mission. 


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