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I am curious as to what happened to the gold stored on the island of Martinique by the French during WW2, I know that the French controlling the island switched sides a few times, and that there were blockades on the island by the Americans and the British.

Also, that the British and Americans 'used' the gold stored on Martinique on credit to help support the war effort, as long as they controlled the blockade, the gold was as good as theirs. but when the war was over, or during the war - at any time, was it not necessary for them to eventually pay on their debts either using the gold or otherwise?

But what happened to the gold there? I can't find any mention of it.

reference: wiki link. but some of the information comes from reading this book

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Interesting question: Could you please add a link to French gold stored at Martinique to set up the context. –  Drux Jan 3 '13 at 11:39
    
Thx for adding the links. BTW, here is some relevant information (of uncertain provenance, though). –  Drux Jan 3 '13 at 11:57
    
I wrote a book about the French gold stored on matrinique during WWII. I researched the book at navy archives in D.C and on Martinique itself. I call it THE PARADISE WAR. I haven't submitted for publication yet. fascinating story. –  Jack Mattis Dec 16 at 20:31

2 Answers 2

Thanks to @Drux I think I have an answer from the page he posted in the comments.

From the page:

1943 July 14 Ambassador Henri Hoppenot arrives in Fort de France to assume control of the Antilles for the Committee of National Liberation. Admiral Robert leaves for Vichy by way of Puerto Rico. The Free French take control of the Bank of France gold reserves held in Martinique and the Caribbean fleet.

But I am still uncertain as to the final destination of this gold, so I am leaving the question open for the time being.

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If the Free French controlled it, then it would be reasonable to assume (in the absence of any information to the contrary) that it went back into French Government control when that government was re-established shortly after the Normandy invasion (August 1944) –  T.E.D. Jan 3 '13 at 18:57

I believe that the 286 tons Bank of France gold originally destined for safekeeping in Halifax but diverted to Vichy-controlled Martinique aboard French cruiser EMILE BERTIN after France surrendered in June, 1940, was stored in Fort Desaix. In 1943, when the Free French took over with the aid of the U.S., I understand it had shrunk to 182 tons. Some of it may have been shipped out on voyages of the BARFLEUR to be exchanged for food and fuel during the Vichy years and some may have left with the SURCOUF when she departed in May 1942 to be escorted back to France by U-69. Unfortunately, she was sunk shortly after departure by an American patrol plane from St. Lucia.

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wow, this information is awesome, do you have a source for this? or multiple sources? thanks! –  Inbar Rose Jan 23 '13 at 7:53
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+1 as soon as you'll add source. (If possible, include latitude/longitude of sunken SURCOUF bounty, please :) –  Drux Jan 23 '13 at 16:55

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