We now can say with complete certainty that the Axis would not have gotten the French fleet. After all, they didn't. Hitler was concerned that the French fleet might end up joining the British. The fleet was the most important bargaining chip the French had. The British knew or should have known that. The British attack weakened the French position and assured Hitler that he needn't have any worries. Cunningham was brilliant. He disregarded his instructions and made peaceable arrangements with the French, despite extreme tensions. I have heard from a former RN battleship sailor who said the atmosphere among his friends was quite hostile toward the French, and they would gladly have opened fire. Somerville did not have the luxury of having Gensoul's ships in a British harbor. Of all cruisers under 10,000 tons, the Italian Abruzzi-class CLs may have been the best-armored. The first few Condottieris were scantily protected, but the later classes saw improvement. We wouldn't judge all American cruisers by the Pensacola class or all British cruisers by the Kents.