René-Émile Godfroy

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René-Émile Godfroy
Born January 10, 1885
Paris, France
Died January 16, 1981 (aged 96)
Fréjus, France
Allegiance  France
Service/branch  French Navy
Years of service 1901-1943
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Force X
Battles/wars World War II

René-Émile Godfroy (January 10, 1885 – January 16, 1981) was a French admiral, who was interned with his command at Alexandria during World War II.


Godfroy was born at Paris. In June 1940, he commanded French naval forces at Alexandria, where he negotiated, with British Admiral Andrew Cunningham, the peaceful internment of his ships.

The French squadron consisted of the battleship Lorraine, four cruisers (Duquesne, Tourville, Suffren and Duguay-Trouin), three destroyers (Basque, Forbin, Fortuné) and a submarine (Argo). The French emptied their fuel bunkers and removed the firing mechanisms from their guns. Cunningham promised to repatriate the ships' crews. Later, on 17 May 1943, after Northern Africa had been cleared of Axis forces by Allied forces that included the French, the British Commander-in-Chief, Levant, received a letter from Godfroy, expressing the desire "to join the French Navy in North Africa". Docking of the French warships was at once started at Alexandria.[1]

René-Emile Godfroy died at Fréjus, southern France, in January 1981, aged 96.


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