Vichy French POWs

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Chris C, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian


    I was wondering what happened to French POWs taken captive by the Allies in Syria and Madagascar. Were they interned in the UK? Was there any route whereby they could join the Free French or were their loyalties too suspect? Was there a change after August 1944?
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Regarding Syria Wiki states:
    Clearly some French troops remained in Lebanon-Syria till 1945, as Wiki refers. Quite possibly the Free French were able to recruit some Vicky troops, even if only those who were locally recruited - the majority of the Vicky forces were 25,000 Syrian and Lebanese infantry. Note Wiki records that 5,668 defected to the Allies.

    It is hard to imagine any of these locals were shipped back to Vichy France, whether the mainland or North Africa.

    Link: Syria–Lebanon campaign - Wikipedia and French prisoners of war in World War II - Wikipedia

    For Madagascar Churchill is cited (in the second linked Wiki):
    The Vichy French forces were:
    From: Madagascar in World War II - Wikipedia

    Alas looking at the Wiki information nothing is said about the 1,000 Vichy French POW who remained loyal to Vichy. It is hard to see them being transferred home, nor can I see South Africa being a willing host for them.

    Re Syria there is a footnote 56 which refers to: Playfair, 2004, pp. 214, 221 and that book is: Playfair, Major-General I. S. O.; et al. (2004) [1st. pub. HMSO 1956]. Butler, J. R. M. (ed.). The Mediterranean and Middle East: The Germans Come to the Help of their Ally (1941). History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. II. Naval & Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84574-066-5.

    The second Wiki entry cites in Footnote 35: Mollo, Andrew (1987). The Armed Forces of World War II: Uniforms, Insignia, and Organization. New York: Military Press. ISBN 0-517-54478-4.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
    Chris C likes this.

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