'Pirate Seaplanes' bomb French base?

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Hama
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'Pirate Seaplanes' bomb French base?

Post by Hama » 31 Dec 2017 12:48

I found an interesting news snippet on an ebay listing, but unfortunately the print in the screenshot is too small to read the whole thing. The listing says the paper is dated 1937, and the headline reads "Pirate Seaplanes Bomb French Mediterranean Air Base, Two Ships".

Does anyone have a clue what this incident was? I have no knowledge of France being at war with any major power in 1937, and I have serious doubts about actual pirates with seaplanes operating in the Med, so I'm curious what this could have really been. Looking close at the screenshot I can see it mentions something about the "Franco-Spanish Frontier", so maybe this was a spillover incident from the Spanish Civil War?

Screenshot here: http://www.historicalnews.com/ebay/2016 ... ictory.jpg

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Loïc
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Re: 'Pirate Seaplanes' bomb French base?

Post by Loïc » 31 Dec 2017 20:05

No doubt, certainly one of the numerous naval incidents in the Mediterranean sea during the Spanish Civil War with both spanish naval/air recognized-legal/republican or rebel/nationalist forces, and mainly this last side concerning injuries against the French civilian merchant fleet and even military (67 attacks, sea boading etc... in 3 years : 55 caused by nationalists including one against a warship*, 7 by republicans including injuries due to their mines, 5 unknown)

*that is the point your San Francisco Chronicle seems to describe, the bombing of the 25th october 1937 against the Chasseur 91 based in Fornells, Minorque/Menorca, local Baleares historian attribute it to the Condor Legion
there was also a cargo boat Oued-Mellah the same day so maybe is the explanation for the subtitle «two ships»

the newpapers of that time evoking the return of the "piracy", a naval control was established dividing the area in 8 zones by the French (3) British (4) and Italian (1) Navies in september 1937

L'Echo d'Alger 26th october 1937 describing the attack against the Chasseur 91 and the cargo as «two french ships victims of the pirates of the Mediterranean» - «seaplanes with a black cross»
L'Echo_d'Alger___journal_républicain_[...]_bpt6k7585942t.jpeg
a list of incidents in october 1937 against French British Italians ships under the subtitle «the piracy continues»
naval.PNG
an other in 1938 listing all the incidents since the beginning of the Spanish civil war
Le_volontaire_de_la_liberté__bpt6k5715423w.jpeg
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Hama
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Re: 'Pirate Seaplanes' bomb French base?

Post by Hama » 01 Jan 2018 23:08

Thanks for that information.

Knouterer
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Re: 'Pirate Seaplanes' bomb French base?

Post by Knouterer » 02 Jan 2018 18:31

The "hydravions à croix noire" that the Echo d'Alger refers to were probably Heinkel 59 floatplanes of the Condor Legion, which could carry bombs or torpedoes and often had a 20 mm gun mounted in the nose, as in this picture (from Wikimedia). These aircraft, of the "Aufklärungsgruppe See 88" carried out many attacks against Republican shipping. And ships they mistakenly identified as Republican (or Russian).
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