On November 19, 2013 Bruce Tucker gave a lecture to a crowd of 75 at the Millburn Library. Mr. Tucker's subject was the little known story of the British attack and destruction of the French Fleet anchored in North Africa on July 3, 1940. This event is consigned to a mere footnote in most history books and by many historians, but the event had profound consequences both for subsequent strategic military decisions and, perhaps more importantly, for the chilling effect it had on British and French relations, both during the rest of the war and thereafter. Charles de Gaulle, for one, the leader of the Free French never forgave Prime Minister Churchill, the one who ordered the attack. It poisoned their relationship for many years. Churchill's decision was driven by the fear that Hitler would commandeer the fleet, the third largest in the world at the time, and his decision is controversial to this day.
With dozens of pictures projected onto the screen and a vast knowledge of the subject, Mr. Tucker held the audience enthralled for the entire lecture. By the account of many it was one of the best lectures the World War II Book has sponsored. For those unable to attend the lecture, it will be available for viewing by clicking on to the name of the lecture on the web site in about two weeks. We thank our young videographers Ryan Sullivan and Jasen Aziz, both students at Millburn High School for their professional service in videotaping the proceedings. We also thank Sharon Austin, our photographer for taking and posting on our web site many pictures.
There will be no lecture in December. The World War II Book Club will host its annual Holiday Party on Tuesday December 17 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, NJ. Cocktails will be served at 6:30 and dinner at 7:30. The Cost is $50 per person. Complimentary wine will be provided. All other beverages will be cash bar. Attendance is limited to dues paid members. Send checks to Dr. John J. McLaughlin 10 Farmstead Road Short Hills, NJ 07078.
On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, Richard Osborne will journey from Cape Cod and present a lecture on Winston Churchill. Mr. Osborne is a historian with a vast knowledge of Churchill, said by many to have been the "Man of the Century." John McLaughlin has heard Mr. Osborne's presentation and has declared it to be outstanding. Please mark your calendar.