This gave rise to Operation Catapult on July 3, 1940. A British naval force based in Gibraltar went to Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, to assist the remaining French navy that had fled. The French crews were offered a choice to sail to Britain at once, to join them in the battle against Germany, where the British would offer them the necessary supplies.2 This way, it would give them (the French) a chance to move their ships somewhere secure or scamper their fleet. All the choices were turned down by the French, hence the British had no alternative but to fire and destroy the French, thus killing over 1,200 of them. Thus, Sun Tzu advocated for creation of an illusion of choices while indirectly directing your opponent to your most preferred option where you lay in ambush.3
Another crucial battle faced by the British was the channel battle. During this operation, Sea lion was the German code name for its strategy in taking over the United Kingdom. This begun with a series of bomb attacks against British ships in the English Channel, in early July 1940, and the first attack was on July 10. This was despite Hitler making a speech on July 19 advocating for peace with Britain, which was a tactic to buy time. British ships in the Channel incurred heavy damage, but they were able to conserve pilots and planes since there was an oncoming battle. This strategy can be seen in Sun Tzu as art of deception which involves concealing your intentions while calculating your surprise attack. A good general never commits his whole arsenal in battle.
Then, Hitler began large bombing raids on air bases and military command posts in southern England early in August 1940. This strategy was aimed at breaking Britain’s will. On August 13, nicknamed “Eagle Day” by the Germans, Germany deployed over 1,400 bombers and fighters across the English Channel. This whole effort only yielded a damage of thirteen British fighters while losing more than three times the number of theirs.