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fighting ships of the world

FRENCH NAVY (FRANCE)

CRUISERS

LA GALISSONNIÈRE light cruisers (1936-1937)

Georges Leygues 1940

Montcalm 1940

Gloire 1943

Georges Leygues 1945

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
La Galissonnière     Arsenal de Lorient 15/12/1931 18/11/1933 1/4/1936 scuttled 27/11/1942
Jean de Vienne     Arsenal de Brest 20/12/1931 31/7/1935 10/2/1937 scuttled 27/11/1942
Marseillaise     A C de la Loire, St-Nazaire 23/10/1933 17/7/1935 10/10/1937 scuttled 27/11/1942
Gloire     F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 13/11/1933 28/9/1935 15/11/1937 FNFL 1/1943, stricken 1/1958
Montcalm     F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 15/11/1933 26/10/1935 15/11/1937 FNFL 1/1943, accommodation ship 1959, stricken 12/1969
Georges Leygues   Y7 A C de la Loire et Penhoët, St-Nazaire 21/9/1933 24/3/1936 15/11/1937 FNFL 1/1943, stricken 11/1959

 

Displacement standard, t

7600

Displacement full, t

9100

Length, m

172.0 pp 179.5 oa

Breadth, m

17.5

Draught, m

5.35 full load

No of shafts

2

Machinery

La Galissonnière, Montcalm, Georges Leygues: Parsons geared steam turbines, 4 Indret boilers

Jean de Vienne, Marseillaise, Gloire: Rateau-Bretagne geared steam turbines, 4 Indret boilers

Power, h. p.

84000

Max speed, kts

31

Fuel, t

oil 1569

Endurance, nm(kts) 5500(18)

Armour, mm

belt: 105, torpedo bulkhead: 20, bulkheads: 60 - 20, deck: 38, turrets: 100 - 50, barbettes: 95 - 70, CT: 95 - 50

Armament

La Galissonnière: 3 x 3 - 152/55 M1930, 4 x 2 - 90/50 M1930, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 2 - 550 TT, 1 catapult, 4 seaplanes (CAMS.37, GL.810, GL.812, GL.813, GL.832, PL.15, Potez 452)

others: 3 x 3 - 152/55 M1930, 4 x 2 - 90/50 M1930, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 2 - 550 TT, 1 catapult, 3 seaplanes (CAMS.37, GL.810, GL.812, GL.813, GL.832, PL.15, Potez 452, Loire 130)

Complement

540

Ship project history: Built under 1931 (first two) and 1932 (others) programs. Became the answer to occurrence of Italian light cruisers of Raimondo Montecuccoli and Duca d`Aosta classes with armoured belts.

As a whole they presented development of Émile Bertin and distinguished by much stronger protection at some decrease in contract speed. However, Italy did similarly. Accepted armour ensured practically absolute ballistic protection to 152mm shells on expected battle distances. At the expense of decrease in machinery power it was possible to make them more compact and designers could place in the hull 20mm longitudinal anti-torpedo bulkhead, notably having raised hardening of the ships.

Despite the "stated" 31kts speed, on trials all cruisers exceeded it, having shown from 34.98 to 35.42kts. Endurance still remained rather small.

It is necessary to mark strong (at the moment of project drawing up) antiaircraft artillery of large calibre. The torpedo armament consisted of only 4 tubes look a little deadened. It is necessary to mark, that TT have been installed so, that the starboard mount "looked" ahead, and port mount was directed astern. For simplification of arresting seaplanes ships received a landing awning. For the given project the hangar on 2 aircrafts with double doors, entered in an aft superstructure was characteristic. 2 more aircrafts were stored openly. Besides, release of a stern for operations with seaplanes became feature of external appearance of these cruisers. A catapult arrangement on main turret for late 1930th was unusually enough.

On set of characteristics ships of this class presented almost ideal pre-war light cruiser.

Ship protection: Torpedo bulkhead protected the hull between end barbettes. Main 105mm belt protected machinery and command center under main deck, it was about 2m narrower abreast magazines. Transverse bulkheads had 60mm thickness between main deck and upper platform and 20mm between upper platform and double bottom. They were placed forward from barbette No1, between command center and barbette No2, between machinery spaces and barbette No3 and aft from barbette No3. Belt was closed by 38mm main deck. Steering gear compartment had 38mm crown, 26mm sides and 20mm transverse bulkheads. Turrets had 100mm faces, 50mm sides and crowns and 40mm rears. Barbettes had 95mm protection over upper deck and 70mm between main and upper decks. CT had 95mm sides and 50mm roof and had communication tube with 45mm armour.

Modernizations: early 1941, La Galissonière, Jean de Vienne, Gloire, Georges Leygues: + 1 x 2 - 25/60 M1938, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76

8/1941, La Galissonière, Jean de Vienne, Marseillaise: + 1 x 2 - 37/50 M1933

11/1943, Gloire, Georges Leygues: - 1 x 2 - 25/60, 6 x 2 - 13.2/76, catapult with seaplanes; + 6 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 16 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, SA and SF radars

7/1943, Montcalm: - 6 x 2 - 13.2/76, catapult with seaplanes; + 6 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 16 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, SA and SF radars, full displacement increased to 10850 t, maximal speed was up to 32 kts

late 1945, Georges Leygues, Montcalm; 1947, Gloire: - SA radar; + type 281, 284, 285, 293 radars

Naval service: La Galissonnière and Jean de Vienne were scuttled at Toulon 27/11/1942. Both have been salvaged by Italians 9/3/1943 and 18/2/1943 respectively and received names FR12 and FR11. Incomplete ships in September, 1943 again were captured by Germans. They were sunk by American aircraft 18/8/1944 and 24/11/1943 respectively. Marseillaise was set fire by crew at Toulon 27/11/1942. After a long-term fire cruiser was not subject to restoration.

In May, 1943 Gloire, Montcalm and Georges Leygues have come over to the side of Allies.

La Galissonnière 1940

Gloire 1944

Montcalm 1953

Ivan Gogin, 2008-15