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Action in the Golf de Lyon

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#1 W. Clark

W. Clark


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Posted 03 March 2023 - 12:18 AM

I've played this in daylight and the Italian advantage in protection ruled the day. This is at night with dawn approaching and that might just make a difference. I've rolled out everything for set up except each players' night acquisition rolls. I've also left your sailing formations to the players. The Italians are definitely expecting contact to the west and the French would not be surprised by contact to the east. You can of course reroll the set up as you like. This is a what if based on the historical French bombardment of Genoa and the surrounding area on 14 June 1940 in response to Italy's declaration of war on France. We (IMHO) just don't get enough scenarios with Marine Francaise that do not involve the RN following Churchill's wish to kill French. So, without further to do here is the Action in the Golf de Lyon.


Action in the Golf du Lyon

14 June 1940

Italy had declared war on France on 10 June 1940. The French navy (Marine National) decided to repay what they saw as Italian treachery with a bombardment of Genoa by the 3rd Squadron from Toulon on 14 June. It was originally intended that the bombardment would occur in mid-morning as the industrial area would be more fully occupied at that time. Loose lips sink ships, and the original plan became known to the Italians. What they did not know was that Vice Admiral Duplat commanding the 3rd Squadron thought the original plan exposed his ships to the Regia Aeronautical too much and moved the timetable up to dawn.


The Regia Marina planned to intercept the French sortie shortly after dawn to protect the industries at Genoa. The 2nd Squadra under Admiral Paladini got into position in the darkness of the early morning hours of June 14; having steamed north from the fleet concentration at Taranto. Paladini had refueled at Messina and had tried to economize his fuel after that. But the need to be in place trumped his efforts and none of his destroyers had more than two thirds of their fuel left. That meant that he would be restricted to fight in the immediate area as a pursuit to Toulon was now beyond the legs of his destroyers.


Meanwhile Vice Admiral Duplat was steaming east with all of the 3rd Squadron that was capable of sortieing. He had decided that he would bombard the Genoa area for an hour and no more. Besides the exposure to Italian air there was the trip back Toulon to consider. His destroyers at high speed were not known for their fuel conservation and he had to give consideration to an Italian naval response. He had left port well ahead of schedule after having it noised about that his force was escort a troop convoy from Algiers to Toulon. He had steamed due south at 20 knots until well out of sight of land and then turned east and reduced speed to 15 knots to conserve fuel.

Marine Francaise 3rd Squadron: VAdm Duplat

1st Cruiser Division: Vadm Duplat                 5th Contre-Torpilleur Division

CA Algerie SF (Algerie class)                           DD Chevalier Paul (Vauquelin class)

CA Foch (Suffern class)                                   DD Tartu (Vauquelin class)

CA Colbert (Suffren class)                              7th Contre-Torpilleur Division

CA Dupleix (Suffren class)                              DD Albatros (Aigle class)

3rd Legere Squadron: Radm Derrien             DD Gerfaut (Aigle class)

1st Contre-Torpilleur Division                        DD Vautour (Aigle class)

DD Aigle (Aigle class)                                     9th Contre-Torpilleur Division

DD Lion (Guepard class)                                 DD Cassard (Vauquelin class)

DD Vauban (Guepard class)                           1st Destroyer Division

3rd Contre-Toprilleur Division                        DD Le Mars (L’Adroit class)

DD Guepard (Guepard class)                         DD Le Palme (L’Adroit class)

DD Valmy (Guepard class)                             DD Tempete (Bourrasque class)

DD Verdun (Guepard class)

The French had a lot of destroyers under repair or refitting and were thus short 3 destroyers.

Regia Marina Squadra 2: Admiral Paladini

CA Pola FF                                                       DesRon 11

2nd Division: RAdm Casardi                            DD Artigliere

CL Giovanni delle Bande Nere                       DD Aviere

CL Bartolomeo Colleoni                                 DD Geniere

3rd Division: VAdm Cattaneo                          DD Camicia Nera

CA Trento                                                        DesRon 12

CA Bolzano                                                     DD Lanciere

CA Trieste                                                        DD Ascari

7th Division: RAdm Sansonetti                       DD Carabinere

CL Eugenio di Savoia                                      DD Corazziere

CL Emanuele Filiberto Duca d’ Aosta            DesRon 13

CL Muzio Attendolo                                       DD Granatiere

CL Raimondo Montecuccoli                          DD Alpino

DesRon 10                                                       DD Bersagliere

DD Maestrale                                                 DD Fuciliere

DD Grecale

DD Libeccio

DD Scirocco


The French were steaming east at 15 knots while the Italians were steaming north at 15 knots. Relative bearing has the Italians directly to the east of the French. It’s the morning watch at 0400 hours and there are 12 turns of night remaining. The wind is Force 3 from the west and smoke lasts 1 turn. There are no squalls or sea haze. Daylight visibility will be 30,000 yards. Max night visibility is 20,000 yards. Dawn visibility reduction to the west is 6,000 yards. There is quarter moon, but the sky is cloudy making it a new moon in effect.


I am leaving sailing formations to the players. The Italians are expecting contact to the west while the French expect if contact is made it will probably be to the east. I've attached the ship logs as MS word docs



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#2 W. Clark

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 12:25 AM

OK, I didn't see the attachments, so I'll try again. Just for info I'm using the deluxe ship logs because the French and Italians have culture (just ask them) and deserve the best. OK it appears that I have to start a new post to attach.

#3 simanton



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Posted 03 March 2023 - 11:30 PM

Sounds like fun!  Looking forward to seeing how this develops!

#4 W. Clark

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Posted 04 March 2023 - 07:14 AM

I'm hoping that the French torpedoes and better performance by the Contre-Torpilleurs (given the lessor visibility) will level out the scenario. I simp0ly did not realize how poorly protected the French cruisers are and these are head and shoulders above the Force X cruisers.

#5 Grim



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Posted 27 March 2023 - 01:37 PM

Im looking forward to what will unfold.

#6 W. Clark

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Posted 27 March 2023 - 05:31 PM

So am I, but I don't have enough players at the moment. IMHO it needs at least 4 and 4 with a Ref would be better. So. I'm three short at the moment still 2 short when the weather improves. I'm hoping some else will put it on in the interim.

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