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fighting ships of the world

FRENCH NAVY (FRANCE)

CRUISERS

DUQUESNE heavy cruisers (1927-1928)

Duquesne 1939

Tourville 1945

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Duquesne   Arsenal de Brest 30/10/1924 17/12/1925 6/12/1927 FNFL 6/1943, depot ship late 1948
Tourville   Arsenal de Lorient 4/3/1925 24/8/1926 1/12/1928 FNFL 6/1943, accommodation ship late 1948

 

Displacement standard, t

10000

Displacement full, t

12200

Length, m

185.0 pp 191.0 oa

Breadth, m

19.0

Draught, m

6.32 full load

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Rateau-Bretagne geared steam turbines, 9 Guyot du Temple boilers

Power, h. p.

120000

Max speed, kts

33.7

Fuel, t

oil 1820

Endurance, nm(kts) 5500(13)

Armour, mm

deck: 24 - 22, turrets: 30, CT: 30, citadel (magazines and steering gear): 30

Armament

Duquesne: 4 x 2 - 203/50 M1924, 8 x 1 - 75/50 M1924, 8 x 1 - 37/50 M1925, 2 x 3 - 550 TT, 1 catapult, 1 seaplane (F.B.A.17)

Tourville: 4 x 2 - 203/50 M1924, 8 x 1 - 75/50 M1924, 8 x 1 - 37/50 M1925, 2 x 3 - 550 TT, 1 catapult, 1 seaplane (F.B.A.17, CAMS.37)

Complement

605

Ship project history: Built under the 1924 program. First French "Washington" cruisers. In certain degree they presented the increased variant of Duguay Trouin class with improved hull form. Intended for long-distance reconnaissance and operations on trade communications, first of all colonial. According to the task cruisers should exceed on speed all possible opponents (British and US light cruisers), and their armament should ensure the superiority over light and auxiliary merchant cruisers. Proceeding from tasks weakness of their armour protection (weight of armour was only 430t) was not a significant lack. Practically they had no underwater protection only thickened longitudinal bulkheads abreast machinery.

Both ships during trials reached designed speed. Duquesne on 4hour trials developed overall speed 34.12kts at 131770hp (maximum speed was 35.3kts), and Tourville during 6hour trials signed 33.22kts overall at 126900hp (maximum speed was 34.13kts).

As a whole these ships were characterised as well seaworthy and handy ships: 30kts speed they easily made at half power of main machinery.

In 1930s variants of conversion to light aircraft carriers were studied. It was supposed, that in new quality they can carry 12-14 aircrafts. Three variants of project from four provided preservation of fwd or aft turret pairs. Detailed study of projects have refused in favour of project of real aircraft carrier of Joffre class.

Ship protection: Magazines and steering gear had box-shaped 30-mm protection. Outer transverse bulkheads of engine spaces had 20-mm thickness. Machinery was additionally protected by 14 - 12-mm torpedo bulkhead.

Modernizations: 1936, both: + 4 x 2 - 13.2/76

late 1930s, both: + 2 x 2 - 13.2/76

11/1945, Duquesne: - 8 x 1 - 37/50, 6 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 3 - 550 TT, catapult with seaplane; + 8 x 1 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 20 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, SA-2, SF-1 radars

11/1945, Tourville: - 8 x 1 - 37/50, 6 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 3 - 550 TT, catapult with seaplane; + 8 x 1 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 16 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, SA-2, SF-1 radars

Naval service: In July, 1940 as a part of Force "X" both cruisers were disarmed at Alexandria, but remained under the French control. In May, 1943 they came over to the side of Gaullist Algerian Government and joined FNFL 24/6/1943.

Tourville in 1944-1945 was used as personnel transport. Both ships joined FNFL 24/6/1943. Duquesne was used as amphibious forces depot ship from late 1948 and stricken 2/7/1955, Tourville served as accommodation vessel from late 1948 and was stricken 8/3/1962.

Duquesne 1937

Tourville 1945

 

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Ivan Gogin, 2008-14