World Battlefronts: The Jollies Have Landed

On Madagascar the gentle, black-skinned Malagasy, who live close to nature and call their God "The Fragrant One," could find no interest beyond their flowers and their fields. The French, far from the desecrated altars and scattered ashes of their homeland, had no heart for battle. And when the British struck, they struck with nicely calculated force.

So Madagascar's naval base fell. In 48 hours of fierce, sharp fighting, the United Nations, far out of reach of the Axis, won an anomalous battle and reduced a glowering threat to their traffic on the...