Stunning despite my recalls of dates, places an ships handling to see that one does not integrate or assimilate imperative terms of armistice and wants of Germans to use Frenchs ships AFTER 22 June 1940 day of war break for France (Armistice which IS NOT surrender as far that as it wouldn't be violated by one or the other). And this was never happened until 5 Nov 42.
Mers El Kébir Brit first attack started on 3 July 40 and was total fiasco for Brits since only BRETAGNE old battleship was lost and couldn't be used other than like coastal battery too slow to fight in squadron train. Sister PROVENCE got light not significant damages considered intact got Toulon and fast repaired. STRASBOURG escaped without any damage, intact. COMMANDANT TESTE, seaplane tenter few damage considered indemn. One VOLTA class light cruiser was damaged but not lost and sister MOGADOR few damaged were back Toulon and repaired. All rest of destroyers indemn got back Toulon. The DUNKERQUE got more damages due to ashore it on beach harbor in second attack of 6 July 40. Had to be repaired in Kébir and was back in Toulon dry dock. Prove that French didn't want to use her in war action as they couldn't because of armistice terms since they repaired her very slowly and in fact she wasn't totally repaired at scuttling Nov 42!
Where are the "3" lost warships ?!!! Only one and it of few importance !!!
In Toulon for 2 years and half till the scuttling 42,11,27 the numerous ships big, medium, small and subs were assigned only for Med French defense and not anywhat in other seas! Germans were not intrested to lead surface combats in Med and in respect of agreements used only coastal small French boats and auxilliaries harbor service. Almost none were flagged German all were French crewed and they sent in Germany 4 mines sweppers, 4 unachieved sub tenders and such "dusts" of naval boats.
Where did you seen "major French ships" usable in Atlantic harbors potentially even if armistice violation ? No one ! They were ALL in French hands respecting armistice ...
In the meantime Hitler resigned at all surface combat soon no later that after Narvik in 40 and at loss of the BISMARCK early date on 27 May 1941.
Why to envisage "usable" major surface French ships to do what he didn't want anymore and moreover them in French hands ? This has no sense!
Elsewhere , Alexandria (Egypt) interned French ships in 40 were under Admiral Godfroy submitted to Vichy and English. Ships not accessible to Germans.
In French West Indies numerous French ships were too far, under Vichy and declared "Zone of no belligerency" both French, Germans, Allies.
How to conceive any use of them by Germans ?
In Diego Suarez (Madagascar), black Africa below equator ..., west Africa (Dakar, Casablanca), Lebanon, south Asia (Indochina), Polynesia, Caledonia, other minor and ship places, under Vichy and unaccessible to Germans.
Again speaking of 1940 to 1942, Gibraltar couldn't have been an impact for French ships German "employment" since Rommel Africa Corps didn't took place before spring 1941 and never got near French harbors. In eventuallity it is foreesable they would crossed Gibraltar in emergency if Rommel won to go in west Africa as much as to dont' give the ships to Germans than to Britishes.
In summary ,no policy, no date, no place, no term of armistice, no possible handling of French ships else that by themselves in all hypothesis and fiction were possible.
After Dec 42 Toulon scuttling because of German violation of armistice , all was changed, colonies join De Gaulle and surviving French ships comeback to Allies beginning 43 to go back in war. No else way out was possible.
Instead of fictions it is to say that the decisive turn of the war was even not the hudge Russian resistance in 41 but the hit on Pearl Harbor Dec 41, another monstruous error to "Thank" the Japaneses ...
: The most useful ships would have been
: Dunkerque, Strasbourg, and the cruisers and
: destroyers. At the time the Germans had lost
: 10 DDs, 2 CLs, one CA in Norway, and both
: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were out of
: service with Norway battle damage, 2 other
: CLs and one CA were repairing action damage.
: Not nearly enough naval support for Seelowe.
: But I doubt the Germans could have manned
: these ships and I doubt the French would
: have actively fought *for* Germany.
: Dunkerque *was* crippled at Mers-El-Kebir,
: but little other consequential damage was
: done to the flotilla craft most useful to
: the Germans.
: Anyway, how would these ships have made it
: to Gemany or Atlantic French bases, through
: the Straits of Gibraltar?
: But this is all 20/20 hindsight, and I'm
: glad I didn't have to make the call.
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