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Extra resources for 5th Gebirgsjager Division - Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists (Spearhead 17)
The operation was certainly not going to end in mutual backslapping and comradely toasts to La Belle France and Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. After landing with hands ostentatiously outstretched in friendship, the unarmed Free French airmen had been greeted by the airfield commander, but it soon became obvious that he was not interested in rallying to de Gaulle. The envoys managed to overpower him, following a scuffle, but eventually other officers appeared, backed by Senegalese troops with fixed bayonets.
The machinery of RAF bureaucracy sometimes failed to make allowances for the psychology of French pilots. Mouchotte was offended when he was Battle of Britain and 13 Apostles of de Gaulle 43 posted in September 1940 to an RAF base in northern Ireland, instead of to one of the front-line fighter stations in the south of England. 25 He also found cause to complain in early 1941, when the RAF began to go onto the offensive by conducting fighter sweeps over France and Belgium. Initially with the agreement of Free French headquarters, Mouchotte and the other French pilots were barred from operations over French soil out of fear that they might be shot down, caught and executed as deserters.
Are charming to us and we live on terms of close friendship with them . . I have only one French comrade with whom I can exchange melancholy memories . . ’ 21 In time, other French pilots were sent to join Mouchotte and Henri Bouquillard with 615 Squadron. ’ 22 French pilots in British squadrons naturally found some comfort from the presence of a few fellow countrymen. Bernard Dupérier was posted to 242 Squadron RAF, which was already home to François Fayolle, François de Labouchère and Philippe de Scitivaux.
5th Gebirgsjager Division - Hitler's Mountain Warfare Specialists (Spearhead 17) by Michael Sharpe, Visit Amazon's Mike Sharpe Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Mike Sharpe,