Churchill's French war telegram sells for $2,500



2015-06-26 13:30:25

Churchill's French war telegram sells for $2,500

The telegram shows Winston Churchill's fears of a French declaration of war

A telegram that reveals Prime Minister Winston Churchill's fears that France was about to declare war on Britain in 1940 has sold well at International Autograph Auctions in London.

Winston Churchill french invasion telegram The secret cipher telegram was sent from the War Office to the chief of imperial general staff

The message is dated July 4, 1940 and was sent the day after Britain had attacked the French fleet in Algeria. It sold for 1,600 ($2,500) at the November 3 auction, which is nearly 10 times its pre-sale estimate, according to the London auction house.

The telegram reads: "British naval forces morning 3rd July took up station outside Oran and asked the French naval authorities to take certain steps to prevent a number of important French naval units at this port from falling into German hands undamaged."

"The French declined to take these steps. Heavy action ensued between British and French naval forces, with great and much regretted loss to the French. We cannot tell what the consequences may be, but every precaution should be taken in case the French declare war against us."

The telegram, from the War Office, was addressed to John Dill, chief of the imperial general staff, and was reportedly sold by a surviving relative.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some magnificent Winston Churchill collectibles for sale, including a fantastic collection of photos of the triumphant wartime leader in 1946, one of which is signed.

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