Close Encounters of Another Kind in 1940

By Peter C. Smith, published May 1979


In September 1940 a Vichy French fleet, Force ‘Y’ was dispatched to Dakar which some believe encouraged the French at Dakar to resist. A British Fleet under Admiral Somerville was operating in the area during the French passage and this paper investigates if it could have prevented Force ‘Y’ from reaching Dakar. Evidence shows that the British sighted elements of the French fleet twice but did not fully engage them, begging the question why not, and why the two incidents had, on publication, not been present in British histories of Dakar and this affair.

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Filed under: WW2 | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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