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Today in World War II History—July 3, 1940 & 1945

French destroyer leader Mogador burning after bombardment at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, 3 July 1940 (public domain via Wikipedia)

French destroyer leader Mogador burning after bombardment at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, 3 July 1940 (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—July 3, 1940: British seize all French ships at port in Britain to prevent them from falling into Nazi hands.

At Mers-el-Kébir Algeria, when French warships refuse to fight for the Royal Navy or surrender, British warships sink French battleship Bretagne and French destroyer Mogador and damage two battleships—1297 French sailors are killed, seriously damaging Anglo-French relations.

Private Aubrey Carl Kotz and Private W. Spence of 7 Platoon, A Company, Australian 2/10 Battalion during Battle of Balikpapan, Borneo, 3 Jul 1945 (Australian War Memorial 111069)

Private Aubrey Carl Kotz and Private W. Spence of 7 Platoon, A Company, Australian 2/10 Battalion during Battle of Balikpapan, Borneo, 3 Jul 1945 (Australian War Memorial 111069)

75 Years Ago—July 3, 1945: Australians secure Balikpapan oil fields on Borneo.

James Byrnes is sworn in as US Secretary of State.