Military Review

Operation "Catapult". How the British drowned the French fleet

45
Operation "Catapult". How the British drowned the French fleet

English battleships “Hood” (left) and “Valiant” under return fire of the French battleship “Dunkirk” or “Provence” at Mers-el-Kebir


80 years ago, on July 3, 1940, Operation Catapult was performed. The British attacked the French fleet in English and colonial ports and bases. The attack was carried out under the pretext of preventing the French ships from falling under the control of the Third Reich.

Reasons for the operation


According to the Compiegne Armistice of June 22, 1940, the French fleet was subject to disarmament and demobilization of crews (Article No. 8). French ships were to arrive at ports designated by the German naval command, and placed under the supervision of German-Italian forces. For their part, the Germans promised that they would not use French ships fleet for military purposes. Then, during the negotiations, the Germans and Italians agreed that the French ships would be demilitarized in the unoccupied French ports (Toulon) and in the African colonies.

The head of Vichy France (with its capital in Vichy), Marshal Henri Pétain and one of the leaders of the Vichy regime, Commander-in-Chief of the French fleet, François Darlan, have repeatedly stated that not a single ship will be handed over to Germany. Darlan ordered the threat of seizure of ships to destroy their weapons and to flood or withdraw to the United States. However, the British government feared that the French fleet would strengthen the Reich. The fourth largest fleet in the world could significantly strengthen the naval capabilities of the German Empire. Germany and Italy could gain complete control over the Mediterranean basin, delivering a powerful blow to Britain’s strategic positions. Also, the German fleet was strengthened in Northern Europe. The Nazis at this time were preparing for the landing of an airborne army on the British Isles. With the help of French ships, Germany and Italy could expand their capabilities in Africa.

The British held a series of meetings with the French colonial civil and military administration, offering to break with the Vichy regime and go over to the side of England. In particular, the British encouraged the cooperation of the commander of the French Atlantic squadron, Jensoul. However, the British did not succeed. As a result, London decided to go on a decisive and risky operation to neutralize the French fleet. First of all, the British wanted to hijack or disable ships in ports and bases in Alexandria (Egypt), Mers el-Kebir (near the Algerian port of Oran), in the port of Pointe a Pitre on the island of Guadeloupe (French West Indies) and Dakar.


The death of the French battleship "Brittany" in the battle of Mers-el-Kebir. The battleship "Brittany" was covered with a third salvo with a hit in the base of the mast, after which a strong fire began. The commander tried to throw the ship aground, but the battleship was hit by another salvo of the English battleship Hood. Two minutes later, the old battleship began to capsize and suddenly exploded, killing 977 crew members

The tragedy of the French fleet


On the night of July 3, 1940, the British captured French ships, which were in the English ports of Portsmouth and Plymouth. Two old battleships “Paris” and Courbet (battleships of the 1910s class “Courbet”), two destroyers, several submarines and torpedo boats were captured. The French did not manage to provide resistance, since they did not expect attacks. Therefore, only a few people were injured. French sailors were interned. Some of the crew members were then expelled to France, others joined the ranks of "Free France" under the leadership of General de Gaulle.

In Egyptian Alexandria, the British managed to peacefully demilitarize French ships. Here stood the French battleship of the First World War Lorraine (ships of the 1910s series of the Brittany class), four cruisers and several destroyers. The French vice admiral Godfroix and the commander of the British Navy in the Mediterranean Sea Cunningham were able to agree. The French were able to maintain control of the ships, but, in fact, deprived them of the opportunity to leave and disarmed them. They handed the British fuel, gun locks and torpedo warheads. Some French crews went ashore. That is, the squadron lost its combat effectiveness and no longer posed a threat to the British. Later, these ships joined the forces of de Gaulle.

In Algeria, the French squadron was under the command of Vice Admiral Jensoul. French ships were in three ports: Mers al-Kebir, Oran and Algeria. At the unfinished naval base of Mers el-Kebir there were new battleships “Dunkirk”, “Strasbourg” (ships of the 1930s type “Dunkirk”), old battleships “Provence”, “Brittany” (ships of the type “Brittany”), six destroyer leaders (Volta, Mogador, Tiger, Links, Kersen, Terribl) and the Commandan Test hydro-aircraft carrier. Coast guard ships and auxiliary vessels were also based here. Ships could support coastal batteries and dozens of fighter jets. In Oran, a few miles to the east, there were 9 destroyers, several destroyers, watchdogs, minesweepers and 6 submarines. In Algeria were the 3rd and 4th divisions of cruisers (5-6 light cruisers), 4 leaders.

Britain put up a squadron (compound “H”) under Admiral Somerville. It included the powerful battle cruiser Hood, the old battleships of the 1910s Resolution and Valiant, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, the light cruisers Arethuse, Enterprise, and 11 destroyers. The advantage of the British was that they were ready for battle, but the French did not. In particular, the latest French battleships stood aft to the pier, that is, they could not fire with the main caliber towards the sea (both main towers were on the bow). Psychologically, the French were not to attack the former allies, with whom they had just fought together against Germany.

On July 3, 1940, the British presented an ultimatum to the French command. The French fleet was to join the British and continue the struggle with Germany or proceed to the ports of England and join the “Free France; either go under an English escort to the ports of the West Indies or the USA, where it was subject to disarmament; subject to flooding; otherwise the British threatened an attack. Even before the deadlines for the ultimatum expired, British planes installed mines at the base exit so that French ships could not go to sea. The French exterminated one plane shot down, two pilots died.

The French admiral rejected the humiliating British ultimatum. Jensul replied that he could surrender ships only by order of the high command, drown only if the Germans and Italians threatened to seize them. Therefore, the only way out is to fight. This news was transmitted to Churchill, and he ordered to solve the problem: the French had to accept the conditions of surrender, either to sink the ships, or the British should destroy them. Somerville's ships opened fire at 16 54 minutes, even before Churchill's instructions and the expiration of the ultimatum. The British literally shot the French ships standing at the mole. De Gaulle later noted:

“The ships in Oran were not able to fight. They anchored, having no possibility of maneuver or dispersal ... Our ships gave the English ships the opportunity to produce the first volleys, which, as you know, at sea are crucial at such a distance. French ships are not destroyed in a fair battle. "

The battleship "Brittany" flew into the air. The battleships "Provence" and "Dunkirk" were damaged and ran aground off the coast. The leader of the Mogador was severely damaged, and the ship landed ashore. The battleship "Strasbourg" with the rest of the leaders was able to break into the sea. They were joined by destroyers from Oran. The British tried to attack the French battleship with the help of torpedo bombers, but without success. Hood began to pursue Strasbourg, but could not catch up. Somerville decided not to leave the old battleships without protection. In addition, a night battle with a large number of destroyers was too risky. Compound “H” turned to Gibraltar, where it returned on July 4. The Strasbourg and destroyers arrived in Toulon.

After the French claimed that the damage to the Dunkirk was minor, Churchill ordered Somerville to "complete the job." On July 6, the British re-attacked Mers el-Kebir with aviation. "Dunkirk" received new severe injuries and was removed from standing for several months (in early 1942 the battleship was transferred to Toulon). Thus, the British killed about 1300 people, about 350 were injured. One French battleship was destroyed, 2 were badly damaged. The British during the operation lost 6 aircraft and 2 pilots.


The destroyer "Mogador" under the fire of the British squadron, leaving the harbor, got hit 381-mm shell in the stern. This led to detonation of the depth charges and the destroyer stern was torn off almost over the bulkhead of the engine room. In the future, “Mogador” was able to run aground and with the help of small vessels coming from Oran began to extinguish a fire

Hate france


The British also planned to attack the French aircraft carrier Bearn and two light cruisers in the French West Indies. But this attack was canceled due to US intervention. On July 8, 1940, the British attacked French ships in the port of Dakar (Senegal, West Africa). Using a torpedo, an English plane caused severe damage to the latest battleship Richelieu (the ship transported gold reserves of France and Poland to French colonies). In September, the British decided to land in Dakar. De Gaulle was with them. Britain wanted to seize the developed French colony under the base of "Free France". Also, Dakar was a convenient port, they brought here the gold reserve of France and Poland. However, the French in Dakar showed active resistance, and the Senegalese operation did not reach its goal.

As a result, Operation Catapult did not solve the main problem. The British could not capture or destroy the French fleet. However, they managed to capture, disarm and damage part of the ships, reducing the combat potential of the French fleet. The political effect was negative. The French did not understand the former allies and now cursed. In French society, already dissatisfied with the actions of the British during the Dunkirk operation and later, anti-English sentiment reigned. The credibility of the Vichy regime was temporarily strengthened. A strong blow was dealt to de Gaulle's reputation, the French considered him a traitor.


"Strasbourg" under the fire of British battleships leaves the harbor of Mers-el-Kebir
Author:
Photos used:
https://ru.wikipedia.org/, http://waralbum.ru/
45 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. polpot
    polpot 3 July 2020 05: 55
    +2
    Thanks, interesting article.
  2. svp67
    svp67 3 July 2020 06: 08
    +8
    Operation "Catapult". How the British drowned the French fleet
    The British acted in their own interests and proved once again that they have no allies ...
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 3 July 2020 08: 06
      +8
      So the ally has already died, on its basis the German puppet revolted. Which was already beaten in order to prevent the strengthening of the German fleet, which could lead to the fall of Britain
      1. lucul
        lucul 3 July 2020 10: 07
        +5
        So the ally has already died, on its basis the German puppet revolted. Which was already beaten in order to prevent the strengthening of the German fleet, which could lead to the fall of Britain

        Tales do not need to be told.
        The French could go to neutral ports, or even flood the ships in depth. This is their business.
        But the Anglo-Saxons acted as always, in their history - vile and nasty.
        1. Blackmokona
          Blackmokona 3 July 2020 11: 51
          10
          So, according to history, they took the ships under the control of the Germans, and then the Germans seized this port in violation of the agreements. The French sailors managed to flood, but the sunken ships in the bay easily return to service. Those Japanese bombed into the rubbish Varangian from the bottom of the sea lifted and repaired. And then generally recovery is easy.
      2. Kwas
        Kwas 4 July 2020 11: 42
        +3
        The ally died, but NEUTRAL France remained. Cooperating with Germany, dependent, but not hostile to Britain, despite its behavior.
  3. Olgovich
    Olgovich 3 July 2020 06: 45
    10
    French admiral rejected humiliating British ultimatum. Jensul replied that he could surrender ships only by order of the high command, drown only if the Germans and Italians threatened to seize them.

    Humiliation, and huge, already held when signing the surrender of France to the top leadership of Jensoul.

    He was offered an honest and dignified way out of this situation, and not one.

    If the Vichy surrendered to Hitler FRANCE, that they should have surrendered some .... fleet, how did they surrender all land weapons, by the way?

    The British acted forcefully, but surely, the world war was going to death: it’s scary to even imagine WHAT would be happening at sea if Germany received several more battleships, etc.

    Responsibility for the victims rests entirely with the French admiral

    However, the French in Dakar showed active resistance, and the Senegalese operation did not reach its goal

    They acted in armed form on the side of Hitler.
    De Gaulle's reputation was dealt a severe blow, the French considered him a traitor.

    What else can they say traitors dlch justification for his cowardice and betrayal?
    1. mmaxx
      mmaxx 3 July 2020 07: 39
      +8
      I support word for word. The collaborators had the audacity to take offense as well.
    2. pmkemcity
      pmkemcity 3 July 2020 10: 16
      -4
      Quote: Olgovich
      The British acted forcefully, but surely, the world war was going to death: it’s scary to even imagine WHAT would be happening at sea if Germany received several more battleships, etc.

      Aw! Aw! Aw! Shame on you! You are fencing off the treacherous Soviet Union, ugh, Great Britain, in the capture of Western Ukraine and Belarus, ugh again, North Africa!
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 3 July 2020 11: 04
        +2
        Quote: pmkemcity
        Aw! Aw! Aw! Shame on you! You are fencing off the treacherous Soviet Union, ugh, Great Britain, in the capture of Western Ukraine and Belarus, ugh again, North Africa!

        belay And now in Russian, please.
        1. pmkemcity
          pmkemcity 3 July 2020 11: 11
          -4
          Quote: Olgovich
          And now in Russian, please.

          Metaphor - a word or expression used in a figurative meaning, which is based on a comparison of an unnamed object or phenomenon with any other on the basis of their common attribute. The term belongs to Aristotle and is associated with his understanding of art as an imitation of life.
          1. Olgovich
            Olgovich 3 July 2020 11: 40
            +3
            Quote: pmkemcity
            Metaphor - a word or expression used in a figurative meaning, which is based on comparison nena

            ..
            The red-haired one was quite comfortable with the situation and quite sensibly, albeit monotonously, told the contents of the mass brochure "The mutiny on Ochakovo"
            lol
            And?
            1. pmkemcity
              pmkemcity 3 July 2020 12: 08
              -1
              Quote: Olgovich
              And?

              In order for a metaphor to appear, you need to find common ground between two objects or phenomena in something. So look for those same points. Metaphor is not used to chew later.
              1. Olgovich
                Olgovich 3 July 2020 12: 20
                -1
                Quote: pmkemcity
                In order for a metaphor to appear, you need to find common ground between two objects or phenomena in something. So look for those same points. Metaphor is not used to chew later.

                What for?! belay lol
    3. Rurikovich
      Rurikovich 3 July 2020 11: 30
      +6
      Quote: Olgovich
      it’s scary to even imagine WHAT would be happening at sea if Germany received several more battleships, etc.

      Come on belay Of the Toulon samotopes, only the Dunkirk with the Strasbourg, 4 Washington TKRs (of which the Algeria is of real combat value) and three light cruisers of the La Galisoniere class were of real combat value. "Provence" in the best case would be honored with the fate of which thread of the floating battery in which thread port.
      On paper, these ships had a curious look, but let's look at the logistics. How long does it take to prepare and test the crews? How to provide ships with fuel in conditions when their own did not bathe in oil. Providing ammunition and materials in the conditions of occupation of hostile territory. Will the custodians want to cooperate like the Czechs? There are a lot of questions for putting into combat readiness of several heavy ships.
      Intended use. The British had capital ships with 15 "artillery. It is doubtful that the" dunkers "with 240mm armor would rush into battle to guard a convoy where there is such a ship." Scharnhorsts "with 350mm protection had more chances to withstand a couple of hits. Use cruisers as raiders “Again, supply + a lucky break when there are no heavy ships on guard.
      So personally, it seems to me that even if the Tulon ships were in the hands of the Germans whole, they would have stood idle at bases for more time than would have been beneficial request
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 3 July 2020 11: 46
        +2
        Quote: Rurikovich
        So personally, it seems to me that even if the Tulon ships were in the hands of the Germans whole, they would have stood idle at bases for more time than would have been beneficial

        Yes, it could be.

        But it could have been otherwise.
        And a similar probability had to be excluded.

        By the way, in 1942 the Germans made an attempt to capture the fleet in Toulon. They didn’t realize that it was “useless”. yes
        1. volodimer
          volodimer 5 July 2020 15: 58
          +2
          By the way, in 1942 the Germans made an attempt to capture the fleet in Toulon. They didn’t realize that it was “useless”.

          They realized that the Anglo-Americans could benefit from them. That's why they tried.
          The meanness of the British is not that they tried to do exactly the same thing, that is, to prevent the enemy from controlling the remnants of the French fleet. And how they did it.
          Even before the deadlines for the ultimatum were over, British planes installed mines at the base exit. Somerville’s ships opened fire at 16 hours 54 minutes, even before Churchill’s instructions and the expiration of the ultimatum.
          Perhaps the negotiations would have dragged on, but many casualties and reputational losses could have been avoided. After all, in Alexandria The French vice admiral Godfroix and the commander of the British Navy in the Mediterranean Sea Cunningham were able to agree. that is, there was a variant of a different solution.
      2. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 3 July 2020 16: 23
        +1
        Quote: Rurikovich
        Intended use. The British had capital ships with 15 "artillery. It is doubtful that" dunkers "with 240mm armor would have rushed into battle to guard a convoy where there is such a ship.

        Why climb into trouble? The Germans could wait until the linear KOH cover group turned away without entering the Axis coastal aviation radius - and then they would arrange the Maltese KOH second battle in Sirte Bay in German fashion. smile
        If we take the Atlantic, then 15 "LK was not enough for all KOH. Especially considering that these old men were badly needed in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
    4. VIP
      VIP 3 July 2020 13: 27
      +3
      Olgovich, I agree with you: the British had no other option to neutralize the French fleet or they would soon strike England under the German flag.
      If Jensul chose the side of Petain, i.e. became an enemy of England, he had to turn on the battlefield: the British would try to seize the ships, and if so, it was necessary to prepare for battle. I did not see the admiral getting ready for battle.
  4. Comrade
    Comrade 3 July 2020 07: 04
    10
    English battleships “Hood” (left) and “Valiant” under return fire of the French battleship “Dunkirk” or “Provence” at Mers-el-Kebir

    With all due respect to the author, but this signature under a famous photograph is incorrect.
    In fact, the photograph taken from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal on July 9, 19040 shows the battle cruiser Hood and the battleship Valiant during the attack of twenty-six Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero bombers.
    The Italians bombed from a height of 3657,6 - 4267,2 meters (12 - 000 feet), hits in English ships were not reached.
  5. apro
    apro 3 July 2020 08: 56
    +3
    Immoral ... not immoral acts only among people. The state has only strategic interests. France made peace with Germany is a fact. Was it left behind the German-British conflict in the future? Not a fact. And there is a fleet. And this is a serious tool. And how turn it around and on whom to hit the question ...
  6. deddem
    deddem 3 July 2020 08: 57
    +2
    Quote: mmaxx
    I support word for word. The collaborators had the audacity to take offense as well.


    The whole trick is that Churchill had previously officially informed the French that he understood their situation and was not against concluding a truce.

    And the instructions to the fleet in Catapult were so vague that they were interpreted on the ground in their own way:
    Cunningham rubbed it with a colleague over a glass of tea and resolved the matter amicably, while Sommerville threw a horn.
    1. mmaxx
      mmaxx 4 July 2020 07: 46
      +1
      Just a colleague of Cunningham would not have disappeared from Alexandria. He didn’t even have to explain it.
  7. AllBiBek
    AllBiBek 3 July 2020 09: 32
    +1
    The logical result of the unnatural union of amphibians (Britain) and reptiles (France). Toad and viper, yes. And the toad seized the opportunity.

    I don’t understand how this geopolitical union could have arisen in the middle of the 19th century. They’ve been enemies since the time of the Centennial, and somewhere from the same time to the present day they hate each other at the level of mentality.
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 3 July 2020 09: 47
      0
      Two drunk hegemons against young predators
      1. Ingvar 72
        Ingvar 72 6 July 2020 11: 23
        +1
        Snickering. bully
  8. lucul
    lucul 3 July 2020 10: 12
    -2

    Yes, this shameful event needs to be covered as much as possible, and films and series should be shot, a la British propaganda Chernobyl from HBO.
    Our propaganda is underdeveloped, underdeveloped.
  9. iouris
    iouris 3 July 2020 11: 41
    -1
    This historical precedent has tremendous educational value for statesmen of any great power. In a similar situation, a "politician" starts talking about "moral values". Besides, the gold reserve ... In the end, imperialist wars are fought over gold.
  10. Kunich80
    Kunich80 3 July 2020 12: 15
    +8
    Written one-sidedly. A la "Englishwoman crap." The traitors are just the French, they initially put the British and the Belgians in a stalemate on land, and then surrendered altogether. The French navy had a choice. De Gaulle is still that populist and it is simply incorrect to refer to his words.
    The British acted rightly and quickly - as befits a war. After Dunkirk, they finally realized that it would be a protracted war of attrition and there was no longer any curtsy. There is no time to think about how the Germans can or cannot use the French fleet. Given the efficiency of the German military machine, French ships could fly under the German flag in a very short time. All the weapons of the ground forces of France were already at the disposal of the Germans, as were the factories with shipyards.
    There is absolutely nothing in the article about the raid on Toulon, and also about the personal attitude of the British admirals, sailors and pilots to what is happening - with what reluctance everything was done, about suspicions of special misses, about how some ships were allowed to leave and why one operation had to re-operation Somerville.
  11. VIP
    VIP 3 July 2020 13: 33
    -1
    Quote: Olgovich
    Quote: Rurikovich
    So personally, it seems to me that even if the Tulon ships were in the hands of the Germans whole, they would have stood idle at bases for more time than would have been beneficial

    Yes, it could be.

    But it could have been otherwise.
    And a similar probability had to be excluded.

    By the way, in 1942 the Germans made an attempt to capture the fleet in Toulon. They didn’t realize that it was “useless”. yes

    Probably not, but there was no one to tell
  12. NF68
    NF68 3 July 2020 16: 39
    -3
    Very clearly, the British showed how much they can be trusted as allies.
  13. borys
    borys 3 July 2020 20: 05
    +3
    For NF68.
    If an ally surrendered to a common enemy, then from that moment he
    ceased to be an ally. Moreover, he himself rather
    total became an enemy. In this situation, the British acted
    right. In war, excessive sentimentality is unacceptable.
    1. Kwas
      Kwas 4 July 2020 10: 03
      +3
      Firstly, he did not become an enemy, he became neutral, and with the consent of Churchill. And by the way, it could have become as a result of Operation Catapult, if Hitler behave more flexibly in relation to the French. So on the part of the British it was a mistake, which is worse than a crime. Global loss of reputation not caused by military necessity. The French still remember this, they left NATO, etc., despite the fact that they did not transfer a single large ship to the Germans.
    2. NF68
      NF68 4 July 2020 16: 25
      +2
      Quote: borys
      For NF68.
      If an ally surrendered to a common enemy, then from that moment he
      ceased to be an ally. Moreover, he himself rather
      total became an enemy. In this situation, the British acted
      right. In war, excessive sentimentality is unacceptable.


      Very valuable comment. It would not hurt to remember that without the help of the British, Germany could not have developed and created armed forces in the 30s. For what and, first of all, against whom did the British plan to use the revived Germany?
  14. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 4 July 2020 00: 17
    +6
    A curious nuance of the battle in the harbor of Mers al-Kebir. Both Dunkirk and Strassburg stood at the breakwater (and to the sea) backwards. Moreover, the pier itself did not have any external cover, the asses of all French battleships were visible directly from the horizon .. But they themselves could not shoot backwards if anyone had forgotten all of their HA in their nose!

    Not surprisingly, “The ships in Oran were not able to fight.” Who is the evil Pinocchio to them? Who, at the height of World War II, did not even think of deploying their battleships with their barrels to the sea? It remains as in a joke, just take off your trousers and relax ..

    And why then complain about the evil British? Defenseless young women directly and not a linear fleet ..
    1. mmaxx
      mmaxx 4 July 2020 07: 48
      +4
      So this is the main meanness of Great Britain. wink
    2. Comrade
      Comrade 5 July 2020 02: 08
      0
      Quote: Saxahorse
      Dunkirk and Strassburg stood at the breakwater (and to the sea) backwards. Moreover, the pier itself did not have any external cover, the asses of all French battleships were visible directly from the horizon .. But they themselves could not shoot backwards if anyone had forgotten all of their HA in their nose!

      Here is a diagram, the arrow indicates the direction where the British were. The turning angles of the main-caliber towers completely allowed the French battleships to fire at the British.
      .
      1. Saxahorse
        Saxahorse 6 July 2020 21: 26
        0
        Quote: Comrade
        The rotation angles of the main-caliber towers completely allowed the French battleships to fire at the British.

        Right through the fort of Mers al-Kebir? It is doubtful. Bad they stood:
  15. Kwas
    Kwas 4 July 2020 10: 25
    +2
    It should be noted still the naivete and unsuitability of Jensul. What the admiral had to do, having received an ultimatum on the morning of July 3, which ended with the following phrase: “And finally, if this is not done, I have the order of His Majesty’s government to use any force that may be necessary to prevent your ships from getting into hands of Germans or Italians ”?
    Do you believe or do not believe in the British attack, but you must bring the fleet into combat readiness, there was enough time. Afraid to provoke? Well, you can start by lifting up bulkheads, withdrawing vacationers from the coast, setting up teams according to the combat schedule, preparing smoke curtains on the jetty, pulling contact with spotters to the coast, taking bearings from English ships and monitoring them, pulling up the port tugs, choosing anchors . All this can be done quietly, and then deploy the ships to the British cannons, under a smoke curtain. And actually everything, in this situation, the British would most likely simply have cleaned up so as not to get it. People would have survived, but, as history has shown, French ships would still not have hit Hitler.
  16. Kwas
    Kwas 4 July 2020 10: 35
    +4
    Quote: Kunich80
    The traitors are just the French, they initially put the British and Belgians into a stalemate on land

    No, sir, if you start speaking in terms of "betrayal", the first were the fleeing British, who then abandoned their defenders at Dunkirk.
    What about the French? Yes, after that they merged, practically ceasing resistance. You can, of course, call the French collaborators, but let's estimate how many people could France give Germany as an ally? At least a dozen armies. And she gave one lousy division.
  17. Kwas
    Kwas 4 July 2020 10: 43
    +3
    Quote: Kunich80
    After Dunkirk, they finally realized that it would be a protracted war of attrition

    Again, not quite like that. They chose a war of attrition, which Hitler did not want to wage at all, but hoped to make peace. They chose it because they wanted war before the collapse of Germany, and not a compromise world in which Germany would have a worthy place. Not for that, they raised Germany, and provoked and started a world war. Historical fact: it was the British on September 3, 1939 who turned the German-Polish war into a pan-European, and then world war. And in June 1940, the German peace proposals were rejected.
    1. Kronos
      Kronos 4 July 2020 23: 58
      -3
      The allies had obligations to Poland to merge again without starting a war with Germany, the British and the French could not
  18. Kwas
    Kwas 4 July 2020 11: 46
    +3
    Quote: Olgovich
    Humiliation, and a huge one, had already taken place at the signing of the surrender of France by the top leadership of Jensoul.

    Khe, France did not sign the surrender of France. repeat
  19. alsoclean
    alsoclean 4 July 2020 18: 05
    +4
    Vice Admiral Zhansul got into a bad situation. It is also necessary to be able to negotiate. Be in the place of Sommerville Cunningham - everything could end in peace.
    And so ....
    The servant Zhansul thoroughly fulfills the murky instructions of the "murky" Admiral Darlan.
    The Campaigner Somerville fulfills Churchill's clever plans thoroughly and "flatly"
    Bottom line: the mass of the dead, the "black cat" between the British and the French in the broadest sense of the word, a lot of problems in the French colonies, Vichy's authority is growing - de Gaulle is falling, etc.
  20. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter 4 August 2020 21: 06
    0
    Severely however.
    And, for the first time I hear about such events (and even with a photo).
    Thank. You broadened my horizons. hi