Naval War College Review


In 2009, financial restrictions forced France to close its naval attaché office in London, the job being transferred to another sailor, the admiral who serves as France’s defense attaché in the United Kingdom. Paris’s first naval attaché across the Channel had been posted unofficially in 1856 and formally four years later. Back then, the two competing empires in Africa and in the East had many shared interests, be it to keep the Russians out of the Mediterranean and fight the Crimean War, suppress the slave trade in the Gulf of Guinea, open China to their trade, or to work together to protect their nationals and their investments overseas. During the American Civil War, Paris and London had closely coordinated their policies to assess and finally accept the Union blockade against the South.