1940 - French Warships in Portsmouth Harbour
3rd July. There were many French warships in the harbour, including one battleship, which had come to Portsmouth to escape the Germans. With the fall of France it was feared that these ships would return to France and be of use to the enemy.
Using two battalion of infantry from the garrison, 1000 armed sailors and 500 Royal Marines, all the French vessels were boarded simultaneously in the early hours of the morning and their crews removed. Using the Isle of Wight steamers, 6000 French sailors were taken to Southampton for passage back to France