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Free French Naval Forces (1940-1944)

Forces Navales Françaises Libres (FNFL)

Last modified: 2002-10-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: free french naval forces | forces navales francaises libres | cross of lorraine (red) | de gaulle | letters: cg (red) | muselier | jack |
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[FNFL ensign]by Zejlko Heimer

See also:

Description of the flag

The flag of the FNFL was a Tricolore flag with a white lozenge in the middle, charged with a red cross of Lorraine.

Nowadays, ships that have a name previously belonging to a ship that joined the FNFL (Forces Navales Françaises Libres) use the FNFL ensign as honour jack.

Source: Album des Pavillons [pay00]

Ivan Sache, 14 February 1997

Jack of the escort destroyer "La Combattante"

[Jack of La Combattante]by Ivan Sache

The escort destroyer "La Combattante" left the shipyard of Clyde river at the end of 1942 and was transferred by the Brits to the FNFL. She patrolled the Channel from March 1943 onwards and joined the Normandy landing on 6 June 1944. She conveyed General de Gaulle for his first travel to liberated France on 14 June 1944. She blew up on a mine on 23 February 1945.
The flag has the same pattern as the ensign of the FNFL, but is nearly square (2.10 m x 2.25 m - so the above square image is slightly incorrect). Height of the cross is 1.65 m and its longer horizontal arm is 1.05 m. The flag is preserved at the Liberation Order Museum (a section of the Army Museum, Hôtel des Invalides, Paris).

Source: L. Philippe, Franciae Vexilla [frv] #14/60 (1999)

Ivan Sache, 4 June 1999

"La Combattante" was a British Hunt-class (Type 3) escort destroyer. Two additional units of this class were supposed to be handed over to the FNLF but their transfer was never carried out. According to Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, "La Combattante" was torpedoed off the South Falls Bank by a German Seehund midget submarine on 23 February 1945.

Tom Gregg, 5 June 1999

Flag of General de Gaulle

[De Gaulle's ensign]by Ivan Sache

The flag was hoisted by the submarine "Surcouf" when De Gaulle visited a British harbour in 1942. Short after, on 18 February 1942, the ship sunk near Panama shore after colliding with an American cargo boat. On 14 June 1944, "La Combattante" hoisted in main mast the ensign.
The flag is a tricolour with "optical proportions", and red letters CG in the white stripe.

Source: L. Philippe, Franciae Vexilla [frv] #14/60 (1999)

Ivan Sache, 4 June 1999

Flag of Admiral Muselier

[Muselier's ensign]by Ivan Sache

Admiral Muselier was one of the first high-rank officers to join De Gaulle. The flag was vertically hoisted in his office in London and could also be used on board. Its most probable size was 0.9 m x 0.9 m.
The flag has a dark blue field with a red cross of Lorraine and the worlds HONNEUR and PATRIE, in gold letters, flanking the cross.

Source: L. Philippe, Franciae Vexilla [frv] #14/60 (1999)

Ivan Sache, 4 June 1999

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