Operation Minerva

This was the British recovery of Général d’Armée Henri Honoré Giraud from a beach near Toulon in southern France by the submarine Seraph (6 November 1942).

Captured by the Germans in 1940 and incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp, Giraud had escaped in April 1942 and, after rescue by Seraph, was transferred to a Consolidated Catalina flying boat for onward transmission to Gibraltar and thence south across the Mediterranean to become commander of the Free French forces in North Africa after 'Torch'.

The senior members of Giraud’s staff were collected on 7/8 November by a sister submarine, Sibyl, in 'Neptune' (i).