Mini-Scenario #5, With Friends Like This…
After the fall of France, the British demanded French naval assets so the Nazis could not commandeer them. The Vichy government refused, desiring to maintain control of its own fleet and not ire Hitler. As negotiations dragged on, Force H steamed cautiously into the harbor of Mers-El-Kebir, covered by the Ark Royal’s aircraft.
The French watched the British enter the harbor and withheld fire, not wanting to precipitate action against their allies. Operation Catapult commenced with a dizzying blast of British guns. The French returned fire, but in minutes the Dunquerque was stopped, the Provence sunk, and the Bretagne beached.
Knowing what happened, would French with this hindsight be able to repeal the treacherous British attack? Let us see!