During the early summer of 1940, Britain faced the greatest threat to its independence since the Spanish Armada incursion of 1588
During the early summer of 1940, Britain faced the greatest threat to its independence since the Spanish Armada incursion of 1588. Only a few months before, Britain had enjoyed a degree of protection from the geographical buffer that France, Belgium and the Netherlands provided between itself and Germany and the presence of the powerful French army as an ally. Now with the onset of summer, this bulwark was gone and Britain stood alone against a vast German war machine that was located just a few dozen miles across the English Channel. As British authorities prepared to meet an anticipated German invasion, they were bolstered by the knowledge that the Royal Navy still maintained a sizable strength advantage over the German Kriegsmarine (navy). In considering the various factors that might degrade this naval superiority, British defense planners were immediately concerned by the prospect that the Germans might gain control over the powerful French fleet. Given the stakes involved, the British government resolved to neutralize this potential threat before it could materialize .
Accordingly, on 3 July the British launched Operation Catapult with synchronized actions in Britain, Alexandria and
Mers-el-Kebir to seize, neutralize or destroy accessible French warships. The former was a near complete success as British boarding parties successfully took control over 220 French warships, including the battleships Courbet and Paris, with a minimum of violence and bloodshed. The British achieved a similar satisfactory outcome in Alexandria, where the French commander, Admiral René-Émile Godfroy, agreed to demilitarize his squadron. Unfortunately, the situation at Mers-el-Kebir proved far more difficult, as the French refused to accede to British demands, and the British reluctantly opened fire on the French fleet. In a short engagement lasting only 15 minutes, the capital ships Hood, Valiant and Resolution rained down a heavy bombardment of 15-inch shells that destroyed the French battleship Bretagne and disabled Dunkerque and Provence. In follow-up actions over the next few days, the British inflicted further damage to Dunkerque thus rendering it truly immobile while attaining similar results against the battleship Richelieu at Dakar. Of the French capital ships, only the battleship Strasbourg made good its escape to return to Toulon.
By removing a sizable portion of the French navy from the potential clutches of the German enemy, the British signaled their determination to fight on and do whatever was necessary to act in their own defense. This message was not lost upon the United States or Spain thus helping to secure favorable strategic outcomes with a nominal ally (USA) and a potential adversary (Spain). However, the operation came at a heavy cost as the French lost 1,297 naval personnel killed and 351 wounded at Mers-el-Kébir thus causing Franco-British relations to deteriorate to a dangerous level following this event. Pictured here (prewar) is the battlecruiser Hood, which led the British assault against Mers-el-Kebir. Allan C. Green and Adam Cuerden [Public Domain]. For more information on this and other related topics, see The Longest Campaign, Britain’s Maritime Struggle in the Atlantic and Northwest Europe, 1939-1945.
Author Brian E Walter
By Mary Gynn - Diabetes Educator
Let me start with the reminder that Diabetes affects 25.8 million people. Those diagnosed are 18.8 million people and undiagnosed total 7.0 mil-lion people. Unfortunately, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are affecting the younger generation, as well, the numbers being a staggering 215,000. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlantic, GA. www,cdc.com). Prediabetes and diabetes are now officially listed as an epidemic in the US. And, the numbers are growing.
An epidemic? This is 2018. Ironically, diabetes was first described in an Egyptian manuscript from 1500 BC and the first cases were described by Indian physicians in 400-500 AD identified as Type 1 and Type 2. Then in 1776, a Dr. Matthew Dobson con-firmed an excess of a kind of sugar in the urine. (Dobson,M. 1776, Medical Observations and Inquiries 5:298-3Is it the 10). And in 1889, it was found that dogs whose pancreas was removed developed all the signs and symptoms of diabetes.
So, considering these very early discoveries, why are we dealing today with Diabetes now an epidemic? Shouldn't the disease have been either controlled or eliminated all these years later?
Does "It", the epidemic, have some-thing to do with the following questions? I ask:
• Is it lack of community health and diabetes education?
• Is it the abundance available and consumption of processed foods?
• Is it lack of Americans knowing the existence of a gene somewhere in their ancestry that they may have inherited predisposing them to diabetes? Do most Americans have any idea of what a genetic inheritance (aka genome sequence) is? And all the variety of genes we all have predisposing us to health issues?
• Is it because the majority of Americans are addicted to sugar and sugar is present in practically all our food? And, why is sugar in all of our food?
• Is it the growing numbers of people who don't want to adapt a healthy life-style either early on or when diagnosed with a blood test they have prediabetes?
• Is it because people aren't aware of their predisposition to the disease and have no knowledge of the metabolic syndrome?
• Is it because Americans who if they do have some pre-diabetes symptoms just want a quick-fix pill to avoid facing reality and say nothing to or deny any symptoms to their physician?
• Is it due to the insidious development of overweight and/or the obesity epidemic?
• Is it in anyway connected to the in-activity or a "sitting" population in to-day's America?
• Is it connected to stress in our lives in today's stressful world that we do nothing about?
• Is it the multitude of pills or insulin pre-diabetics and diabetics ingest and inject and think they are the "cure"?
• Is it the lack of diabetics not knowing how to self-manage their own dis-ease resulting in permanent sugar control?
• Is it pre-diabetics and diabetics have no desire to self-manage or fearful of taking control of their disease?
In my years of being a registered nurse and diabetes educator, I could go on and on identifying the multitude of questions. They help me arrange my diabetes self-management education programs and discuss your answers to the above questions. Your answers assist my effort to understanding why we now have a diabetes epidemic.
Mary Gynn, RN, MSN/MS, MPH, CDE