Operation Kingdom (i)

'Kingdom' (i) was a British unrealised operation to seize all French warships and merchant vessels in the harbour of Alexandria, on the Egyptian north coast of Africa, in the immediate aftermath of the French armistice with Germany (25 June/5 July 1940).

The French squadron at Alexandria was commanded by Contre-Amiral René Emile Godfroy, and had undertaken several operations with the Mediterranean Fleet since the start of the war. The French squadron comprised the elderly battleship Lorraine, three heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, three destroyers and one submarine; other French naval assets in the eastern Mediterranean included six submarines based at Beirut in French Lebanon.

Godfroy’s options were to join the French French forces, order the scuttling of his ships, or agree to the disarmament of his ships.

On 4 July Cunningham and Godfroy were able to reach an agreement for the last, whereby the French emptied their fuel bunkers and removed the firing mechanisms from their guns, and Cunningham promised to repatriate the ships' crews. The discharge of the ships' fuel and the removal of the firing mechanisms had been completed by the following day.