Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fast Battleship, French Style

Battleship Strasbourg
Laid down: 1934 Commissioned: 1939
8 x 330mm main guns in quadruple turrets
283mm armour belt

Faster than full battleships, but not as heavily armed or armoured as them, Strasbourg and Dunkerque were designed to counter the threat of the German "pocket battleships".
During the Phoney War she was used, along with her sister-ship Dunkerque, to escort convoys. After the fall of France, she was docked in Mers-El-Kebir, along with Dunkerque. The ships became one of the main objectives of the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir on 3 July 1940. While the Dunkerque was heavily damaged, the Strasbourg managed to escape to Toulon. She became the flagship of the Navy of Vichy France.
She was scuttled in Toulon on 27 November 1942, refloated 17 July 1943 by the Italian Navy, but the Italian capitulation in September halted these activities and the ship was taken over by the Germans. On 1 April 1944 they handed her back to the Vichy Navy, but she was sunk by US bombers on 18 Aug 1944. After the liberation of Toulon she was raised for the second time on 1 October 1944, and used as a testbed for underwater explosions until condemned and renamed Q45 on 22 March 1955, to be sold for scrapping on 27 May that year.

No comments: