Operation Nasty

This was the British naval bombardment of Vichy French warships in the port of Dakar in French West Africa within ‘Menace’ (24/25 August 1940).

On 24 August the battleships Barham and Resolution, and the heavy cruisers Devonshire and Australian Australia shelled the coast-defence batteries and the warships in Dakar harbour, the coast-defence guns firing back and scoring four hits on Resolution. On the following day the British battleships renewed their bombardment of the harbour, inflicting some damage but themselves also suffering additional damage: Resolution was torpedoed by the submarine Bévéziers, and Barham was hit by two shells from the coast-defence batteries which had been manned by crew from one of the Vichy French battleship Richelieu’s main turrets. The light cruisers Delhi and Dragon were also damaged. Richelieu was hit by two 15-in (381-mm) shells from Barham.