Boisson, General Pierre, 1894-1948

Boisson was Governor General of Equatorial Africa at the time of Operation Menace in 1940. When France fell Boisson favored continuing the struggle against Germany in France’s colonies but when PETAIN declared that the armistice covered the colonies, Boisson decided to fall into line. His policy was to suppress Gaullist and pro-Allied Frenchmen in West Africa. CHURCHILL decided that the Allies should control the important port of Dakar and sent a task force to seize it. Although the expedition was accompanied by Free French forces Boisson refused to allow the task force to land, despite a broadcast from DE GAULLE, who never forgave him for this. In 1942 when the Allies arrived off North Africa, Boisson, who was then Governor of that province, received them with open arms because of Admiral DARLAN’s appeal to allow the landings. Boisson was then made a member of the Imperial Council to assist Darlan and after the latter’s assassination he was elected onto the council as a supporter of GIRAUD. However when de Gaulle became Head of the Provisional French National Committee. Boisson resigned from the governorship (June 1943). He was tried as a collaborator in December 1943 and imprisoned for the duration of the war.

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