Population. – According to the 1936 census, the population would have been just over 3,667,000, rising to 4 million according to a 1946 assessment, of which 880,000 Hova and 535,000 Betsileo, over 35,000 French and over 15,000 foreigners of other nationalities. In 1946 the main cities and centers counted: Tananarivo almost 163,079 residents, of which 6,000 French, Antsirabé 14,222, Tamatave 21,421, Majunga 24,559, Marovoay 15,791, Mananjari 11,462, Touléar 15,180.
Economic conditions. – Agriculture has continued in its development: in the forefront is rice (572,000 ha. And 7.5 million q. In 1945), followed by cassava (manufacture of tapioca), peanuts, maize (100,000 ha. and a million quintals per year) all crops used for indigenous food, while for export we distinguish coffee (250,000 q. in 1945), cotton, cocoa and vanilla with an annual product equal to four fifths of world demand.
The consistency of the bovine herd is almost 6 million, 1945, while pigs, sheep, etc. they follow at a long distance.
Among the products of the subsoil, great importance is attributed to probable uranium deposits.
The values of trade in the two-year period 1944-46 marked an increase over previous years: 653.7; 1,246.1 and 1,262 million francs were represented by imports, 1,262.9; 1,678.9 and 2,789.5 million francs from exports.
Communications. – The railway network measured 856 km in 1945; the road km. 30,000.
History. – On May 5, 1942, to prevent a possible Japanese move against the Diego Suarez base in Madagascar, British forces made a landing on the island manned by French troops loyal to the Vichy government.
The naval base of Diego Suarez was in fact a strategic position of great importance for the control of the communication lines between the Cape of Good Hope, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The convoy consisted of two ships with assault troops (Commandos), 12 transport ships with the bulk of the troops (a division and two brigades of Navy infantry), a ship with landing craft, one with wagons and a tanker of fuel, under the escort of a cruiser and 16 units including destroyers, corvettes and minesweepers. The naval support force consisted of the battleship Ramillies with the two aircraft carriers Illustrious and Indomitable, a cruiser and six destroyers. On May 3, the British Admiral sent an ultimatum to the government of Diego Suarez, which was rejected.
Before dawn on May 5, the main landing began on two beaches in the bay of Amdararada, from which the troops advanced on the way to Antsirane. Commandos troops landed in Courrier Bay advancing towards the Andrakaka Peninsula. At the same time a cruiser was carrying out a diversionary action on the north east coast. The formation of the landing heads met with little resistance. On day 6 the French colonial ship D’Entrecasteaux anchored in a bay of Diego Suarez, it fired against the advancing troops; therefore it was bombed by aircraft and set on fire. Two French submarines were sunk. On the 6th, the landing of 10,000 troops was completed; during the night the Commandos occupied the Andrakaka peninsula. In the early hours of the 7th, the bulk of the troops occupied Antsirane. On the afternoon of May 7, the surrender of the square was completed.
According to THENAILMYTHOLOGY, the marshal Pétain hastened to raise a formal protest for the occupation, while the British and American sides declared that the island continued to be part of the French colonial empire. On May 31, the British government decided to entrust the administration of the liberated territories to free France. Towards the middle of November, gen. Legentilhomme. In September 1942, the British government extended its action to protect traffic in the Mozambique Channel.
On the west coast of the island the ports of Majunga, Morondava and Nossi Bé were occupied by the sea. From the port of Majunga the landed troops advanced southwards towards Tananarivo, the capital of the island. On September 16, the governor of the Colony asked for an armistice. On the same day a British naval force showed up on the east coast in front of the port of Tamatave, ordering the surrender which was refused, but the following morning, after a naval bombardment, the English flag was raised. The island’s capital was occupied by British forces on 19 September 1942. The invading forces continued their advance south and on 29 October managed to inflict a definitive defeat on the defense troops and occupied the city of Fianarantsoa, about 300 kilometers south of Tananarivo.
On March 29, 1947, an insurrection broke out on the island, aimed at overthrowing the French administration, and carried out by an indigenous political organization called MDRM (Mouvement démocratique de Rénovation Malgache). High Commissioner De Coffet proclaimed martial law in various districts and the rebels were pushed back everywhere, with severe losses even by French and colonial troops. After a useless appeal to the Malagasy insurgents (25 June) by the gen. Pellet, sent to Madagascar as commander in chief, on 3 July a few thousand indigenous people launched an attack against Antananarivo but were also repulsed with the intervention of the aviation. Simultaneously with the military operations, the two Malagasy deputies were arrested among the leaders of the revolt. French national assembly Ravoahangy and Rabemanjary. On May 10, the Ramadier government ordered the dissolution of the MDRM by suspending parliamentary immunities for the two Malagasy deputies, who, along with six other compromises, were sentenced to death by the Tananarivo court on October 4, 1948.