“Operation Ironclad”: the invasion of Madagascar 5-7th May 2022

By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

6th May 2022

On May 5th British forces began “Operation Ironclad”, the invasion of Madagascar to keep the Vichy French territory from falling to a possible Japanese invasion. A subsequent campaign to secure the entire island, Operation Stream Line Jane, was opened on 10th September.

Now this is probably one of the least well known operations. Hardly surprising perhaps, Madagascar is not on most people’s radar as it were although the animated films have no doubt raised its profile.

Anyway, I thought I ought to talk about it in a post. Nobody has come from Madagascar to my site yet, so this might elicit a response and then I would have my 100 countries up!

I will address it as usual in my hopefully amusing fashion and playing with the words and we can see what comes of it. Names may be quite incorrect but ‘Let him who has ears to hear let him hear’.

I use the following link for reference which you can check for a more accurate story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Madagascar

But this is shorter and very helpful.

https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/d-day-dress-rehearsal-the-battle-for-madagascar/

This map from Wikipedia.

1          Background

1.1      Geopolitical

The aim of the game as it were was to take the port of Die-Go-Sware-Is on the island of Mad-a-gas-car. The port is of course the left (facing the front of the boat or ship) when at sea, and as many of you will realise by now that the left is often a problem in politics, let alone in war.

Mad-a-gas-car did not have that many cars at that time run on gas or gasoline as our friends in the states would call it, let alone gas as in gaseous as sensible people like the Bright-ish call it.

Whether they are all mad in Mad-a-gas-car or merely mad about cars I don’t know.

Anyway, the French had control of it under the auspices of the Fishy Government who had capitulated to the Nasties (boo, hiss!). The Fishy Government were neutral in theory but there allegiance was dodgy so the Bright-ish government were keen the Ja’s pan knees would not get their feet, let alone their knees on the island.

I would point out that in calling it an island, it really is a whopper of an island, the second largest in the world I gather.

Mind you, I don’t understand why a continent could not still be an island, albeit enormous; after all everything is relative.

It seems the bay on which the port stood was well protected by Sure batteries. Or as someone from the States might say, ‘It sure was well protected’.

Sure batteries might be similar to Ever Ready batteries, but I am not aware if this is actually the case. However, it pays to double-check. Looks like they are.

1.2      Vichy

The problem to be solved was preventing the Ja’s pan knees getting a foothold as previously mentioned and reducing the potential threat from the their sub-marines.

These are a type of soldier, only they go under the water, not on it.

It seems the Vice Admirable Frick (famous for his exclamation when there was a loud bang outside his window, saying ‘Fricking heil, vat vass dat?!), met his counterpart Vice Admirable No-can-I Know-Murat.

It was important to the Axes powers that the allies’ lines of communication would be threatened.

1.3      Allies

It seems the Allies had heard the rumours of Japanese plans for the Indian Ocean. It might have been the Fleetwood Mac they heard, but this is just Rumours.

Fleetwood Mac should not be confused with Fleetwood Smack, a type of fishing vessel out of the port of Fleetwood on the Northwest coast of England.

Anyway, the Bright-ish Chefs of Stuff were urging the occupation of the island as a precaution. After all, the island might have seen as merely a drop in the Indian Ocean but it could serve as a base for attacks on South Africa etc.

The General Char Les de Goal was also keen that the three French should have an operation. This may relate to the three spirits like frogs of Revelation, but this is not yet clear (the French can be frogs to the Brits you see).

The leader of the Bright-ish was at this time a Wins-Ton Church-on-a-hill, a heavyweight in political terms, hence the Ton of course. He understood the risk, but initially did not think it was worth the rusk for some reason. Perhaps the Bright-ish were short on rusks, I don’t know.

He had been put off by the Battle of Da Car which had not gone well. I believe this was because the Car stalled at the critical moment. This had made the Allies go off the General Char Les de Goal a bit, so a joint operation between the three French and the Bright-ish was out of the question.

Of course it was understandable that the three French would not want to shed the blood of other Frenchmen, whether three or a hundred and three, so excluding the three French seemed sensible under the circumstances.

In March 1942 Wins-Ton realised taking the port was a Good Idea after all, and gave four guidelines for the operation.

  • Force H would move south. A sort of gale force I suppose, only H for something rather than a number. Hard-hitting perhaps.
  • The 4,000 men and ships proposed by Lord Mount Baton for the operation, should be retained as the nucleus around which the plan should be built. Lord Mount Baton allegedly invented the cake, Baton Berg, a mountain of a cake.
  • The operation should commence around 30 April 1942. It is good to have an operation in the spring as this gives the troops a spring in their step.
  • In the event of success, the come-and-dos recommended by Mount Baton should be replaced by garrison troops as soon as possible. Garrison troops are of course stationed as ‘gare’ in French means ‘station’, albeit railway station, or ‘depot’.

There are those who think that actually it is Gary’s son, but why Gary should have his son stationed all the time is anybody’s guess, so seems unlikely.

Whatever, a Force 1-2-1 was constituted as it is always better to have one-to-one contact with the enemy. This was under the control of a major General (bigger than a minor one of course) Bob Stirgees of the Real Marines (as opposed to the fake ones).

There was a rear Admirable Ted Si Fret who despite his name did not fret. Whether he brought up the rear however, I don’t know.

2          Allied preparations

Force 1-2-1 left the Bonnie banks of the Clyde (Bonnie and Clyde would be left to rob the banks) and went to three towns in the Mountains of Lions in West Africa. From thence the proceeded to the D’urban area on the east coast of Africa.

It seems the area being D’urban there were some Smuts from the cars that drove around. There was also a Field Marshmallow, a type of plant. What this has to do with anything is anybody’s guess.

The operation was the first British amphibious assault since the disastrous landings in the Garden-elles twenty-seven years before. There was some dispute about a turkey I gather.

Mr Church-on-a-hill told a general Arch Bald Wave Angel he would be responsible for Madagascar as soon as the objectives had been met.

3          Campaign

3.1      Landings (Operation Ironclad)

There were several waves of assault tropes (like Covid 19/the ‘flu, all assaults come in waves). They were taken ashore by courier I think, to the west of the port. Tropes or clichés if you are French are useful in a war of words if used correctly.

Hair cover was provided for those who were bald like me by some fairies. They might be small but they could give the Nasties something to think about. Just because one is small doesn’t mean one can’t be effective.

There were also some grim men as fighters. You need such men in the fight against Nasties.

The Fishy French had Grosvenor General Almond Lion Annette.

His tropes included the Malagasy (or bad gassy as mal is bad in French, The Malagasy talked bad as to gas is to speak).

There were also some Senior galleys. I assume these were used for cooking, like galley kitchens.

They probably spoke in clichés as in the case nowadays with those who roll out the old canards that Covid 19 is highly infectious and will kill us all if we don’t vaccinate.

The Fishy French also had:

8 batteries which was not a lot of power.

2 armed méchant (bad in French) brusiers (as opposed to one-armed bandits).

2 soups, 5 sub-marines

17 Moron-Saul ain’t ‘ere 406 fighters and 10 Potty 63 bummers – these numbers are confusing but don’t blame me, this is Wikipedia for you.  I mean 17 or 406 fighters for example, which is it??

On the Bright-ish side they took six Valentines which gave the romantic touch. Any good theatrical production or film needs a bit of romance.

There were also six Tetrarchs. This is a bit confusing as tetra means four or quarter, so six four arches. There were tetrarchs mentioned in the bible some may recall.

As regards the landings, the Bright-ish met virtually no resistance and got hold of batteries and the Baraks. Whether these were the Obamas it is not clear.

The landing by courier struggled with a man in a grove and a thick Bush (one of a number of thick Bushes which you can find in the USA for example. These have been found in the White House on occasion).

The force took the port of Die Go Sware Is.

The force that landed in Am-bara-rat-a Bay headed for the Fishy French naval base of Auntie Sarah Ney. They had the support of the tanks (tanks very useful in wars just as thanks are very useful in wars of words). They overcame light resistance with bayonet charges.

These of course were light bulbs with bayonet fittings.

Auntie Sarah Ney protected herself with stenches (from the stinking man in the groves or swamps nearby), two read outs (a type of manuscript), and pill boxes where she kept her poisonous big pharma drugs.

The Bright-ish attacked the Are-a-chart hairfield and destroyed 5 Morons, damaging two others (NB Morons and Macrons are related).

Two potties were also damaged. This gave the Fishy French a problem as it limited what they could ‘go’ on if you understand me. They were no doubt saying things like ‘Merde!’ afterwards.

It appears two more Morons appeared but two more hair craft were lost on the first day.

On the 6th May a frontal assault was launched but failed. However, two potties were destroyed and this was making life very difficult for the Fishy French.

Albert Caws bummed the French fences and a Sword fish had a dual with a sub-marine called a Hero. Losing a hero is always demoralising, like when Goliath was slain by David, for example.

The French fences were much stronger than expected (none of these flimsy panels) which had been made by a Jo Free. The Bright-ish were hugely surprised by these which explains why the Bright-ish are fairly bright rather than very bright perhaps.

However, some shy men from Lanka (not Sri Lanka) got round the fences and managed to cause chaos. If you are shy this does not mean you cannot be effective.

They took another Barak and a radio station (what channel is not known), but had to withdraw as their own radio packed up. I assume it needed a new battery and presumably the ones captured earlier didn’t fit.

In France the Fishy government began to learn of the landings. Admirable Darlan sent a message to Grosvenor Annette telling him “Firmly defend the honour of our flag” or in French “Défendre fermement l’honneur de notre drapeau”

The Bright-ish allegedly sent another message to Annette saying “Défendre fermement l’honneur de notre crapaud” meaning ” Firmly defend the honour of our toad”. Given the Fishy French were toadying to the Nasties this seems a reasonable thing to do.

Admirable Darlan  had also said “Fight to the limit of your possibilities … and make the British pay Dearly.” Who Dearly was is not recorded. It might be D’Early but this is merely a supposition.

There is however a Max Dearly so I suppose it could be him as he was around at the time. So the Bright-ish would have to pay him the Max as it were.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Dearly

As the French fences were so good the Bright-ish decided to break the lock on the door instead and sent an old Des Troyer called Anthony who despite his age, dashed past the fences of Auntie Sarah Ney and landed 50 Ma Rines from the bottleship Ramillies This goes to show that being old doesn’t mean you can’t have an important role to play.

They created a disturbance in the town out of all proportion to their numbers taking a Rench Fartillery command post, or something like that, another Barak and the Naval de Poe. The later may have been a distant relation of Edgar Alan.

At the same time, other tropes broke through and marched into town. Thus Auntie Sarah Ney was surrounded as her fences were down. In one sense you could say she was caught with her knickers in a twist by being attacked on all fronts (as well as her behind).

The following day some Bright-ish Tartlets encountered three moron French fighters. A Tartlet succumbed to being eaten but the morons were shot down (they probably got belly ache from eating the Tartlet).

This meant about half of the hair craft on the island had been destroyed.

Anyway, in the end it took about three days for the operation to be successfully concluded. Three days was the same for Jesus Christ as He rose from the dead after three days and which concluded the first phase of His assault on Satan’ stronghold.

The Ja’s pan knees had not been idle, but had sent three sub-marines. They launched two midgets between them and the Ram was seriously damaged and a loyal tanker called Bright-ish Ollytea, or something like that, was sunk but later re-floated.

I gather that one of the midgets got stuck on the beach at nosey Aunty Likely and tried to reach a point where he could pick up someone called cape Amber. Maybe this has to do with another Amber I have Heard about recently, but I may be floundering in the Depp end there.

3.2      Ground campaign (Operation Stream Line Jane)

This started on the 2nd July 1942 with the taking of the island of Mayotte which lies between Madagascar and Africa. Why Mayotte is called this is unclear as although the island is hot in May, this isn’t the hottest month of the year.

https://www.sunheron.com/africa/mayotte/mayotte-weather-climate/

Some Bright-ish forces arrived from Africa. By this time there were only four moron fighters and three potty bummers left for the Fishy French.

On the 10th September Bright-ish tropes landed at Ma Younger’s place on the west of the island, took control of the local post office (this was critical as it was the place where posts were made for the fences) and stormed the grosvenor’s residence. They raised the Onion Jack here which made the tropes cry.

Now, the rainy season was due to arrive and the Bright-ish wanted to arrive at the Capital Tan-and-arrive in time for tea (which is the capital letter of Tan of course).

The allies had slow going due to various obstacles; people in the way, bits of furniture strewn about, that sort of thing.

The Fishy Forces tried to blow a bridge across a river but didn’t blow hard enough obviously as they only made it sag a bit. They tried to attack with a potty bummer too, but that didn’t do anything.

Anyway, the capital was eventually taken and then the town of Amber-lav-hey-ho. Sadly the grosvenor Annette escaped.

Then a Bright-ish force set out to capture a town called Tama-Tavy. There were problems with heavy scurf which is not so much a problem when you are bald like me.

Nevertheless, the Bruiser Birming-ham sent its lunch (containing ham sandwiches of course) ahead for the planned picnic on the beach but got attacked by some Sure Batteries which was a shock.

Birming-ham then threw some buns at the enemy’s tropes and after three minuets whilst the Fishy French thought about it and danced around, they surrendered.

The Bright-ish tropes linked up with those at Tan-and-arrive and pressed on to More-a-man-ga. A bumming raid was undertaken by some Martin and Mary lands (they may be related to cousins of mine or near neighbours, I don’t know) on a French thought at Fiona-rant-sower. What Fiona was ranting about is not recorded.

Perhaps the last thing to note is the action at And-ram-an-Alina, a valley on the river Man-go-rah-hah-rah where a hambush was planned by the Fishy French, who were fed up with fish and fancied some ham instead.

But they were attacked in the rear and surrendered.

The allied tropes then took Fiona-rant-sower but it seems Antigone, whoever she was, was not there but gone.

However, the grosvenor Annette had also scarpered and gone to I-hosey where it is well-watered up in the hills. He was caught up and eventually surrendered.

4          Aftermath

It is noted that

Julian Jackson, in his biography of de Gaulle, observed that the French had held out longer against the Allies in Madagascar in 1942 than they had against the Germans in France in 1940.

Which makes you wonder whose side the French really were on. All this in tent cordial that Edward the VII brokered was only skin deep it seems.

Apparently the Governor General Armand Léon Annet

By continuing to fight for 6 months he had become entitled to a higher pension.

From

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Annet

You wonder what his priorities were. Was this the nature of Vichy France?

Historian John Grehan has claimed that the British capture of Madagascar before it could fall into Japanese hands was so crucial in the context of the war that it led to Japan’s eventual downfall and defeat.

This goes to show that small victories should not be underestimated and lead to greater victories. Such will be the case in the World War Three, the battle of words against Satan and his minions.

As Jesus says “Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”.

5          Order of battle

Some comments for interest. Possibly pointless, but may amuse. I struggle a bit at the end so maybe you shouldn’t bother reading this tripe.

5.1      Allied Forces

5.1.1  Naval forces

Bottleships

HMS Ramillies – always good to have a Ram in charge. A ram like the Ram of God perhaps?

Hair craft Carriers

HMS Illustrious – good strong name. My father served on her after the war as a midshipman.

HMS Indomitable – another good strong name.

Bruisers

HMS Birmingham – some ham to sustain the troops.

HMS Dauntless – another good strong name.

HMS Gambia – perhaps like a gammon and beer. More sustenance.

HMS Hermione – not the same as the Harry Potter one.

HMS Devonshire – rather shy of course, didn’t like to boast.

HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck – of the Royal Netherlands Navy, but no relation to Captain James ‘T’ Kirk. Wikipedia entry states

During the Second World War the crew felt that their ship was blessed and gave her the nickname Oude Jacob (Old Jacob). She received the reputation for proficiency, and not a single convoy ship would be lost when she was on duty.

Jacob is James in the New Testament.

https://www.gotquestions.org/James-vs-Jacob.html

Maybe I was wrong about the relationship to James Kirk.

Minelayer

HMS Manxman – Manx cats have no tails. However the Manxman has a tale to tell it seems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Manxman_(M70)

Monitor

HMS Erebus – here was a bus carrying two 15” guns, good for beating the Fishy Frenchs’ bottoms like a school monitor.

Seaplane Carrier

HMS Albatross – get your albatross ice cream on board.

Des Troyers

HMS Active – on active service of course.

HMS Anthony – without Cleopatra.

HMS Arrow – had to be included as Winston Churchill went to ‘arrow school.

HMS Blackmore – nicknamed ‘Ritchie’ for the heavy metal she carried.

HMS Duncan – if dun can, well she could.

HMS Fortune – fortune favours the brave. And useful to have several tunes to cheer the troops, whether four tunes or more.

HMS Foxhound – for giving chase to the soldiers in their foxholes.

HMS Inconstant – for a ship meaning faithless she was far better than her name deserves.

HMS Hotspur – ‘let the buoy (sic) win his spurs’.

HMS Javelin – something to throw at the enemy.

HMS Laforey – no doubt so-named because Laforey could see the wood for the trees (la forêt).

https://www.1805club.org/memorials/francis-laforey

HMS Lightning – greased lightning no doubt.

HMS Lookout – important to keep a watchful eye. This is what true prophets do.

HMAS Napier

HMAS Nepal

HMAS Nizam

HMAS Norman – suitable for a Norman conquest

HMS Pakenham – more ham for feeding the tropes

HMS Paladin – a child of Aladdin

HMS Panther – but not pink I gather

HNLMS Van Galen – a van that blows hard?

HNLMS Tjerk Hiddes – rather like a knee jerk reaction?

Cor vets – To look after the animals

HMS Freesia – freesia jolly good fellow

HMS Auricula – a type of plant to cheer up the garden

HMS Nigella – Lawson the cook

HMS Fritillary – more flowers for the garden

HMS Genista – more flowers for the garden HMS Cyclamen – carrying the bicycle troop

HMS Thyme – carrying the medics, after all thyme is a great healer.

HMS Jasmine – should have been a mine layer but wasn’t

Minesweepers

HMS Cromer

HMS Poole

HMS Romney

HMS Cromarty

Assault transports

HMS Winchester Castle

HMS Royal Ulsterman

HMS Keren – Keren’s (sic) may be annoying but they obviously have their uses.

HMS Karanja

MS Sobieski (Polish) – for the cleaning jobs where you need a bit of spit and Polish.

Special ships

Not to be confused with the special relation ships such as between the USA and the UK.

HMS Derwentdale (LCA)

HMS Bachaquero (LST)

Troop ships

SS Oronsay – but not Nazi-say

RMS Duchess of Atholl – also known as Atholler the hun.

RMS Franconia – a nod to the Francophiles

Stores and MT ships

NB these were not MT but full otherwise there would be no point in taking them, would there?

SS Empire Kingsley – nothing Amis I hope.

M/S Thalatta – suitable for the Greeks all at sea.

SS Mahout – as opposed to ma, or mother, in

SS City of Hong Kong

SS Mairnbank

SS Martand II

Naval Ground Forces

Royal Navy Commandos – the Real Naval Come-and-dos

Royal Marines – Real Marines

5.1.2  Ground forces

Organization of British ground forces for Operation Ironclad, during the invasion of Madagascar 5 May 1942

29th Infantry Brigade (independent) arrived via amphibious landing near Diego-Suarez on 5 May 1942

2nd South Lancashire Regiment

2nd East Lancashire Regiment

1st Royal Scots Fusiliers

2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers

455th Light Battery (Royal Artillery)

MG company

‘B’ Special Service Squadron with 6 Valentine

‘C’ Special Service Squadron with 6 Tetrarch tanks

Commandos arrived via amphibious landing near Diego-Suarez on 5 May 1942

No. 5 Commando

British 17th Infantry Brigade Group (of 5th Division) landed near Diego-Suarez as second wave on 5 May 1942

2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers

2nd Northamptonshire Regiment

6th Seaforth Highlanders – with inflation these are now the Sea-fifth Highlanders

9th Field Regiment (Royal Artillery)

British 13th Infantry Brigade (of 5th Division) landed near Diego-Suarez as third wave on 6 May 1942. Departed 19 May 1942 for India

2nd Cameronians

2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – to do the killing of course (why just in the inn I don’t know)

2nd Wiltshire Regiment

East African Brigade Group arrived 22 June to replace 13 and 17 Brigades

South African 7th Motorised Brigade

Rhodesian 27th Infantry Brigade arrived 8 August 1942; departed 29 June 1944

2nd Northern Rhodesia Regiment – a 2nd class road

3rd Northern Rhodesia Regiment – a 3rd class road

4th Northern Rhodesia Regiment – a 4th class road

55th (Tanganyika) Light Battery – a battery for the lights of course

57th (East African) Field Battery – a battery for the field of course, ploughed or otherwise.

5.1.3  Fleet Air Arm

Aboard HMS Illustrious

881 Squadron – 12 Grumman Martlet Mk.II

882 Squadron – 8 Grumman Martlet Mk.II, 1 Fairey Fulmar

810 Squadron – 10 Fairey Swordfish

829 Squadron – 10 Fairey Swordfish

Aboard HMS Indomitable

800 Squadron – 8 Fairey Fulmar

806 Squadron – 4 Fairey Fulmar

880 Squadron – 6 Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IA

827 Squadron – 12 Fairey Albacore

831 Squadron – 12 Fairey Albacore

5.2      Vichy France

I can’t be bothered to comment so if you wish to check please do so.

5.3      Japan

I can’t be bothered to comment so if you wish to check please do so.

P.S. If you are interested in more battles, try my NAFF CAFF establishment under World Menu. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page to find it.

Author: alphaandomega21

Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector'sson. When not posting pages or paging posties, trying to be a good husband, and getting over a long term health issue, I am putting the world to rights. I have nothing better to do, so why not? But of course that includes dancing, being funny (in more than one sense), poking fun at life, poking fun at myself, deflating the pompous, reflating the sad. Seeking to heal the whole of the soul (and body where possible). In short making life as good as it possibly can be for others as well as myself. You can't say fairer than that. But if you can, please say. People need to know.

3 thoughts on ““Operation Ironclad”: the invasion of Madagascar 5-7th May 2022”

  1. De Poe was a hoot. As were many others but I mostly forgot about them by the time I reached this section. I wonder why someone would want to conquer, or have anything to do with, an island. Would it not be better to aim for a continent, or at least a country?

    Liked by 1 person

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