The armistice of 22 June 1940 provided that northern and western France would come under German occupation. Walter Rudin, a Jew from Vienna, and a fellow Austrian were together in France at the time. Rudin later wrote in his brief autobiography that because it took some days for the German occupiers to get into place, British military ships remained in French ports for several days after the armistice was signed, taking on volunteers to serve in the continuing war against Germany. That is how Rudin joined the British navy, in which he served until the war was over.

What is the more complete story of the British ships in France after the signing of the armistice?

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    To save time for anyone else thinking about Hansard records, I have seen nothing pertinent in the June sittings of the 20th, 25th, 26th or 27th of that month. I mostly scanned the Oral and Written Answers to Questions. It appears that the records of the WW2 Secret Sessions are not yet digitized. – Pieter Geerkens Dec 21 '18 at 23:00
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    I've done a brief search of the War Cabinet and Cabinet Minutes for the period immediately following the armistice. Although there is quite a lot of detail about how to deal with the French fleet (including some planning details for the attack on the French Fleet at Oran), there isn't much about British ships in French ports. – sempaiscuba Dec 22 '18 at 3:32
  • Is this Walter Rudin, the famous mathematician? – Alex Dec 22 '18 at 8:49
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    I'd imagine that the exact answer could be found by reference to the Admiralty Records held in the National Archives in Kew. – Steve Bird Dec 22 '18 at 20:17
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    @Alex :::: Yes. – Michael Hardy Dec 22 '18 at 23:58

From NAVAL EVENTS, June 1940 (Part 4 of 4) Saturday 22nd June - Sunday 30th, as compiled by Don Kindell, I have gleaned the following items in and around the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines of France from June 22 to 25 (my emphasis):

Saturday, 22 June

  • British liner ETTRICK (11,279grt) embarked 2000 troops and King Zog of Albania from St Jean De Luz

  • British Trinity House Light Vessel VESTAL evacuated light house personnel and civilians from Alderney

  • French light cruiser EMILE BERTIN departed Halifax with the 300 tons of gold brought there from Brest to proceed to Fort de France.

    • Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE shadowed the French light cruiser, but lost touch with her.

    • Light cruiser EMILE BERTIN arrived at Martinique on the 24th.

  • The Mediterranean Fleet began to sortie from Alexandria to bombard Augusta and raid in the Messina area in Operation BQ. A number of steamers were to departed Malta and proceed to Alexandria during this operation.

    • At 1700, aircraft carrier EAGLE and destroyers HYPERION, HOSTILE, HASTY, HEREWARD, HAVOCK, HERO, IMPERIAL, ILEX of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of Force C departed. At 2000, battleships ROYAL SOVEREIGN and RAMILLIES, also of Force C, departed Alexandria.

    • Force B with light cruisers ORION (VAD), LIVERPOOL, GLOUCESTER with destroyers JUNO and JANUS departed Alexandria at 2130.

    • At 2200, battleship WARSPITE, light cruisers NEPTUNE and SYDNEY, destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, DAINTY, DEFENDER, DECOY of Force A were to sail.

    • However, at 2153 the operation was cancelled due to the French Armistice.

    • French heavy cruisers TOURVILLE and DUQUESNE (VAX), light cruiser DUQUAY TROUIN, destroyers STUART and VAMPIRE of Force D did not cast off.

    • Force A returned to Alexandria immediately. Forces B and C returned to Alexandria the next day.

Sunday, 23 June

  • Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Freetown and joined Aircraft carrier HERMES off Dakar to watch French battleship RICHELIEU, escorted by destroyer FLEURET, which arrived at Dakar on the 23rd.

    • Armed merchant cruiser MALOJA was already patrolling off Dakar.
  • French Amiral Darlan ordered the French aircraft carrier BEARN, which had put to sea from Halifax on the 16th, to proceed to the West Indies.

    • French destroyers FORTUNE, BASQUE, FORBIN departed Haifa for Alexandria.

    • The next day, Amiral Godfroy at Alexandria was ordered to take his force to Beirut, but Admiral Cunningham informed Amiral Godfroy that he would not be allowed to comply.

  • British steamers ISLE OF SARK (2211grt), ALDERNEY QUEEN (633grt), SHERINGHAM (1088grt), three others escorted by destroyer SABRE evacuated Alderney.

  • Destroyer KEPPEL departed Port Vendres for Sete to organize the evacuation of Czech and Polish troops. Destroyer VELOX was sent to Port Vendres from Gibraltar.

    • Destroyer VELOX entered Vendres at 0600/23rd.

    • Destroyer KEPPEL arrived Sete at 0740/23rd and found French destroyers TARTU, CHEVALIER PAUL, CASSARD in harbour.

    • At 1345, the French destroyers departed Sete. At 1830, French destroyer PALME and tanker LA RANCE arrived.

    • During the afternoon of 24 June, British steamers OAKCREST (5407grt), BRITANNIC (26,943grt), LORD COCHRANE (4157grt) arrived at Sete.

    • Involved in the evacuation of Port Vendres and Sete were British steamers APAPA (9333grt), COULTARN (3759grt), GARTBRATTAN (1811grt), VICEROY OF INDIA (19,627grt), ASHCREST (5652grt), SALTERSGATE (3940grt), NORTHMOOR (4392grt), NEURALIA (9182grt) and Egyptian steamers MOHAMED ALI EL KEBIR (7290grt) and ROD EL FARAG (6369grt) . Thirty nine ships in all were employed.

    • 12,832 troops were evacuated from Sete, Vendres, Marseilles.

    • Destroyer KEPPEL departed Sete with Egyptian steamer MOHAMED ALIEL KEBIR and joined destroyer VELOX which departed Vendres at 0300/26th with British steamer APAPA. The ships travelled in company to Gibraltar. They arrived at Gibraltar later on the 26th.

  • Canadian destroyer FRASER evacuated personnel, including the British Ambassador to France, off Arachon at noon on the 23rd and these personnel were transferred to light cruiser GALATEA.

    • Late on the 23rd, light cruiser GALATEA evacuated British and Canadian diplomatic personnel from Bordeaux.

    • The warships arrived at Plymouth on the 24th.

  • French destroyer LANSQUENET, which was nearing completion and in drydock at Bordeaux for painting and outfitting, was floated out and towed to Pauillac where she was fuelled. She departed the Gironde early on the 23rd and arrived at Casablanca on the 27th.

  • French patrol boat LA CHERBOURGEOISE was scuttled at Le Verdon.

  • Destroyer BROKE assisted British troopship ORMONDE under air attack at Bayonne.

  • Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE and destroyer WATCHMAN departed Gibraltar for Dakar and Casablanca, respectively.

    • Destroyer WATCHMAN was to consult with British consul and impress upon the French the British intention of continuing the war.

Monday 24 June

  • Destroyer BOREAS on OD 2 (South Goodwins Patrol) was ordered to investigate a surface craft steering in circles.

  • (Note:OD 1 was North Goodwins Patrol. OD 3 was the Dungeness Patrol. )

  • Destroyer CODRINGTON was sent to support destroyer BOREAS.

  • Destroyer BOREAS proceeded within three and a half miles off Boulogne. She reported no ships underway. The destroyer experienced considerable artillery fire, but no damage was sustained.

  • Later, destroyer CODRINGTON brought British whale factory ship SVEND FOYN (14,795grt) to anchorage west of Dungeness.

    • British steamers GLENAFFARIC (7782grt), CYCLOPS (9076grt), CLAN ROSS (5897grt) were off St Jean de Luz to join British liner ETTRICK (11,279grt) embarking troops at St Jean de Luz.
  • British liner ARANDORA STAR (15,501grt) also joined for the evacuation.

  • British steamer CLAN ROSS (5897grt) was damaged by German bombing in 43‑54N, 1‑53W off St Jean de Luz.

    • Destroyer DOUGLAS of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla, with Sir Dudley North aboard, departed Gibraltar for Mer el Kebir to learn the terms of the French Armistice.
  • Destroyer DOUGLAS arrived back at Gibraltar later that same day.

    • British liaison officers departed Oran on French destroyer TYPHON for Gibraltar, arriving on the 25th. The destroyer returned to Oran that day.

Tuesday 25 June

  • Rear Admiral F. B. Burgess-Watson DSO Rtd in destroyer BROKE departed Plymouth with destroyers VANQUISHER and WINCHELSEA for Gironde.

    • Destroyer HIGHLANDER and another destroyer were to join Burgess-Watson's command.
  • Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA (Flag Rear Admiral Curteis, 2nd Cruiser Squadron) and Canadian destroyers FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE patrolled off Bordeaux covering the evacuation of St Jean De Luz where troopships ETTRICK (11,279grt), ARANDORA STAR (15,501grt), BATORY (14,287grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt) were lifting troops from 22 to 24 June. The convoy departed St Jean De Luz at 1300/24th escorted by destroyers MACKAY and WREN.

    • Searching for French steamer DE LASALLE (8400grt) in the area, CALCUTTA accidently ran down FRASER (Cdr W. B. Creery, RCN) at 2000 cutting her in half in 45‑44N, 1‑31W. CALCUTTA and RESTIGOUCHE picked up the survivors and a boarding party at 0001/26th scuttled the stern half which had not yet sunk.

    • Forty five Canadian ratings and fourteen British ratings were lost with FRASER. One rating from destroyer RESTIGOUCHE was lost in the rescue efforts. Eleven officers, including Lt E. P. Tisdall, Lt R. C. Pope, RCNVR, Lt C. A. Rutherford, Lt W. M. Landymore, Lt (E) A. C. K. Layman, RN, Temporary S/Lt A. E. McMurtry, RCNVR, Acting Temporary Surgeon Lt T. B. McLean, RCNVR,which was injured, Gunner (T) B. A. Lewis, one hundred and four ratings were rescued by destroyer RESTIGOUCHE. Destroyer RESTIGOUCHE also had Captain CC A. Allen and two other officers embarked in France and six ratings from CALCUTTA's whaler. Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA rescued three officers, Creery, Acting LCR F. C. Smith, RCNR, Lt H.V. W. Groos, thirty ratings (eight injured) . Destroyer RESTIGOUCHE arrived at Plymouth at 1715/26th.

    • Cruiser CALCUTTA and arrived at Plymouth for repairs at 0932/27th. Repairs were completed in late July.

    • Destroyers HARVESTER and HIGHLANDER, also in the area, continued on to search for the French ship.

  • French auxiliary patrol vessel SAINT MARGUERITE (48grt) was scuttled at Le Verdon.

  • British steamers [five in total] were seized by French forces at Casablanca. The steamers were renamed for French service.

  • French battleship RICHELIEU and destroyer FLEURET departed Dakar for Casablanca but returned when she found that Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE was shadowing her.

    • Seaplane tender ALBATROSS, carrying Admiral D'Oyly Lyon, had departed Freetown for Dakar, but did not arrive until after RICHELIEU had departed.

    • Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser HOOD, anddestroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, ESCAPADE departed Gibraltar to intercept towards the Canary Islands.

    • While at sea, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL embarked ten Swordfish from Rabat.

    • The British force was ordered back to Gibraltar at 1900/26th, arriving on the 27th.

    • Battleship RICHELIEU arrived back off Dakar at 0500/27th with French armed merchant cruisers EL D'JEZAIR, EL KANTARA, EL MANSOUR, VILLE D'ORAN and large destroyers MILAN and EPERVIER.

    • However, the battleship and destroyer did not enter port. They turned back north again. They finally arrived at Dakar at 0500/28th.

  • Light cruiser DUNEDIN arrived at Martinique to watch the French warships there.

    • Light cruiser FIJI departed Bermuda on the 24th and joined DUNEDIN.

    • Light cruiser DIOMEDE was also on this patrol.

    • The British ships were ordered to neutralize the French warships in CATAPULt operations, but negotiations averted an armed encounter.

    • Light cruiser FIJI departed Martinique on the 30th to refit at St Lucia. Light cruiser DUNEDIN remained off Fort de France.

    • After CATAPULt operations in Africa, the British warships were ordered to leave French waters and the patrol was terminated on 12 July.

There's more of the same for several more days, but this is a sufficient stretch of fair use. Operational details are given with indented bullets underneath the main (first) description of the operational timeline.

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    So, not only did British ships remain in French ports for a few days after the armistice, but some actually departed from Britain after the armistice, bound for French ports. – Michael Hardy Dec 30 '18 at 4:51

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