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A fully intact French navy for the Germans

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Hands, Apr 15, 2006.

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  1. Hands

    Hands Member

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    Quite a impressive navy the French had during 1940. what if the Germans had a fully intact fleet from the French, even if the surrender terms state that they wont use the French fleet for offensive purposes ?
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cannot say how and where they would be used but anyway that´s why the RN sank them because they were a threat already.

    Definitely would have altered the power balance in the Mediterranean area and might be used against the supply ships to Malta as well as would require the attention of some RN cruisers/carriers permanently.

    I do think the Germans could not let these ships stay in the French hands.
     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Exactly how much of the La Réale was sunk at Mers-el-Kábir, and how much was left at Toulon and elsewhere?
     
  4. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    3 BBs were damaged, and 1 sunk there. I could not find lists of any other types. Perhaps the others were either damaged or blocked in.
    Pre-War French fleet
    7 BBs, 1+ CVs, 7 armored ships (graf Spee types I presume)?, 7 CAs, 11 CLs, 81 DDs, 79 Subs, 50 PTs, 20 mine layer/sweepers, 8 escorts.
    I'll check Toulon, unknown how many were where.

    [ 17. April 2006, 05:34 PM: Message edited by: skunk works ]
     
  5. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    How did the French navy compare with the Royal navy in terms of numbers in the 1940s.?
     
  6. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    I got something new this time.
    French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
    4 BBs, 6 DDs, 1 seaplane CV, 10 PTs, 6 Subs, 13 misc were there.
    1 BB sunk, 3 BBs damaged, 1 DD damaged.

    [ 17. April 2006, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: skunk works ]
     
  7. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    The Royal Navy in 1939 (same # as for French)
    15 BBs + BCs, 7 CVs, 66 CAs + CLs, 184 DDs, 60 Subs, 45 escort/patrol.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Could you also please find out how many of the French Navy in the Colonies etc passed on to the Allies?

    In any case the German way at surface seawar was in the main stay at port, I don't see an eventual French addition doing much to change this. Surface sea war would develop as a carrier war (sez I with the benefit of hindsight), so if even the Vichy Navy did pass on to the Germans and came out they would provide more targets to the Royal Navy or to Bomber Command if they stayed at port.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    PQ17 is one good example what a big enemy "ship in the harbour" can cause,right?
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    If you mean the Tirpitz, that was only indirectly as the convoy losses were inflicted by the Luftwaffe and the U-Booten.

    As far as I'm aware, the Tirpitz only sailed three times in his entire career, however it scared the Royal Navy to death just by sitting in harbour and glaring menacingly.
     
  11. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    it was almost like a NO TRESPASSING sign for the Royal Navy, but the Germans did not have the biggest, and best led navy during the war, as hitler did not seem to care too much about the navy, therefore, most of his time and energy was directed towards his military.
     
  12. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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  13. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    Za, from what I could Google & Wik & book

    In British ports of Portsmoth & Plymoth.

    BBs Paris, and Coubert, CA Tourville, CLs Jeanne D' Arc, and Marseillais, 12 DDs and sub Surcouf.
    Boarded and pretty much gave up after small fight. Joined Free French.

    Alexandria Egypt.
    BB Loraine, and 4 cruisers, stayed put.
    Joined Free French in 43.

    Casablanca (Moracco?)
    BB Jean Bart got a spanking from BB Massachusetts (8 16" hits) for being a bad boy. (out of action until 52)
    10 warships, 11 subs
    Stayed in port, put out of action by shelling.

    Toulon
    BBs Dunkirk, Strasbourg, and Province, cruisers Algerie, Colbert, Foch, Dupleix, Jean de Vienne, La Galissonnaire, and La Marseillaise.
    Scuttled.

    Dunkirk, Strasbourg, Richelieu were all sent to the US for re-fits.

    Their anti-aircraft was pathetic, the other BBs were ww 1 vintage. Floating shore batteries if you will.

    Oran
    The French attacked, but were either sunk or grounded by Somerville.

    Both Bretagne & Provence were at Mers-el-Kebir. Bretagne blew up, and Provence sunk, but was re floated and moved to Toulon where she was scuttled.
    Both Dunkirk and Strasbourg were there too. Dunkirk was hit by 4 15" shells and lost power. A patrol craft parked next to her was hit by one of Ark Royals torpedoes. When it sunk its depth charges went off damaging Dunkirk. She was made semi sea worthy and moved to Toulon, where she and Strasbourg were scuttled.

    Richelieu escaped to Dakar and was sunk in shallow water by HMS Hermes. It got sassy where it was at, so HMS Resolution pounded it some more.
    Went to Free French. Later served with British Eastern fleet, in French Indo-China till 46.

    for what it's worth, enjoy!

    Remember, if you enjoyed it even half as much as I did, that means I enjoyed it twice as much as you did.
     
  14. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    thanks for those stats, quite intresting
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Churchill took the decision to sink the French fleet he had no choice but to act. He could not chance having those ships fall in to German hands. It dose make you wonder what the Germans may have done with those ships.
     
  16. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Thanks for your trouble, Skunkworks. It seems there was not much left for Hitler to play with after all, as the most part had either joined the Free French or been sunk at Mers-el-Kebir.

    I've read this sentence four times, plus two times backwards and still couldn't figure it out :D
     
  17. john1761

    john1761 Member

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    The addition of the French naval assits in the med. would have allowed the RM to actively counter the RN and increased supplies to the DAK.
     
  18. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    Richard is correct.
    Churchill and company was correct in making up the minds of the uncommited/oppertunistic? French.
    Their delays were more than insecurity of resolve, bordering on colaboration with the enemy.
    A decision had to be made, since they (the French) had no intention of making one, (until the situation had become aparent).
    Shameless, and sad, that the decision had to be made for them.
    The right thing was done, be whatever circumstances there may have been.
     
  19. Nikita Kruschev

    Nikita Kruschev Member

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    I imagine without the sinking of the French ships the Germans would have been able to use them, though I am no expert on the French Navy. Had the Germans had the additional French ships in the Med. it could have slowed the invasion of Italy, which may have bought Hitler more time, but who knows.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On the German ships threat mentioned here earlier:

    From the book by Baron von Müllenheim-Rechberg: Bismarck

    Churchill to Roosevelt: "We should have had to keep King George V, Prince of Wales, and the two Nelsons practically tied to Scapa Flow to guard against a sortie of Bismarck and Tirpitz."
     
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