Ironically, France took the opposite of the ideas of the young school, betting on a homogoneous battlefleet rather than a lot of small economic ships. Still massive on paper, she has fallen to a lower rank due to a lack of manpower and complete freeze in naval construction but a handful of patrol boats and sub-chasers. With their breakneck speed and powerful armament, the Fantasque and Mogador easily outclassed any other destroyers in the Mediterranean and were a match for Italian light cruisers. This however never matched the scale of the Italian rebuild. ASW was limited, relying on ww1-era light ships. Morze, nr.6/1936 Public Domain (cc). French Line - CGT - Page 7 (Post-WW2 ships) This is Page 7 in a series of postcard galleries that cover the CGT fleet (Compagnie Generale Transatlantique - know as la Transat in France), and marketed as the French Line in the UK and USA. At strategic level, in addition to the rupture of diplomatic relations by France, the whole operation will result in a tightening of Vichy’s positions (as will be shown by Operation Menace in Dakar and the precautions taken in Operation Torch) and prevented effectively the French Navy to join the allies until late 1942 when Darlan swapped sides. The main artillery remained the same with eight 15-in/380mm (2×4), twelve of 6-in/152mm (3×3), sixteen 4 in/100mm (8×2) six twin 37mm, six quadruple 13.2 mm AA. Despite having just one operational turret she duelled with battleship USS Massachussets.
Indeed since 1914 the tacit agreement between France and Great Britain was still active, meaning that the French navy in case of conflict, would ensure the bulk of the naval effort in the Mediterranean so the British don’t have to. Disarmament was decided. The Jean Bart, for her part, managed to leave the drydocks of Saint-Nazaire and to reach Casablanca, far from being Completed, thanks to Lieutenant Ronarc’h skills and a handful of crewmen, avoiding capture by the Wehrmacht. Completely rebuilt and modernized the Italian way in the late 1930s.
Churchill was found in a delicate situation: Having recovered most of the men engaged in the expeditionary force, the small, professional British Army had lost all its material on the beaches, roads and city of Dunkirk. Under supervision of the controversial young school, “Plongeur” had been conceived as early as 1865. This ship was indeed equipped with two heavy cruiser cannons, 12 torpedo tubes With a comfortable supply, two 37mm AA guns and two 13.2mm double machine guns for close AA defence (impressive by 1925 standards), and featured a hangar and catapult for a reconnaissance floatplane.
If the Allied strategists are confident, reality quickly takes precedence over the many false assumptions of the French command: First, the ardennes breakthrough, the heel of the French defense, and Belgian neutrality, which delays the tactical movements of the French and British northern units. Churchill flet the French betrayed their agreement by signing an armistice, and was soon dubious Hitler was going to respect his word about the French Navy. They invaded Belgium on May 10, continued their march through Belgium, crossed the Somme River, and on May 12 struck at Sedan at the northern end of the Maginot Line. This 1910 design became the basis of future submersibles for many nations.
In fact, only four units of the Elan class were operational in June 1940, and they had various fortunes during the conflict. Unfortunately, construction never started and stayed at paper level.
Larger weapons such as 105mm and 155mm guns were kept at corps level. The Germans no longer felt bound by the conditions of armistice after the American landing in North Africa, and seized the French ships based at Bizerte, and tried to recuperate some units scuttled in Toulon. North Africa, which can take in a giant pincer the beaten remnants of the Afrika Korps ater El Alamein, was to be the proving ground for the then green 1st division and armoured divisions.
WW2 - 28mm. These were the destroyers Tigre (FR23), Panthere (FR22), Valmy, Lion (FR24, FR21), several units of the class Le Hardi, FR32 to 37, torpedo boats (class La Melpomène) FR41, 42 and 43, submersibles Such as the former Requin class (FR111-114), the FR117 (ex-Circe), FR112 and 116 (ex-Saphir and Turquoise) were thus expected to reinforce the naval forces of the Kriegsmarine in the Mediterranean or the Regia Marina. Six ships considered particularly successful, derived from Emile Bertin. Instead, there were a handful of 1930s torpedo boats (with more on order), again, an obsolete proposition. Scuttlings occured, to avoid capture: The Beautemps Beauprés (Brest), CH9, submarines Narval, Morse, Doris, Pasteur, Poncelet, Achille, Ajax, Perseus, Agosta, Sfax, Ouessant (Five by scuttling, the other lost in operations). Technically, they were true sister-ships, the only significant difference being their second quadruple turret relocated aft, to enable retreat fire, while the secondary artillery was relocated forward. It was even thought each was capable to deal with two Italian destroyers, making for a clear-cut numerical superiority in this class of ships. Battleship Jean Bart at Casablanca, 1942. They also carrid a generous allocation of varied seaplanes, four, two Loire 130 observation and artillery spotters and two ASW/torpedo bombers of the Laté 298 type.
On the other hand, in Toulon, on 27 November 1942, the Dunkerque and Strasbourg battleships, the battleship Provence, Cdt Teste, heavy cruisers Colbert, Foch, Algeria and Dupleix, light cruisers La Galissonnière, Jean de Vienne, La Marseillaise, destroyers Lynx, Chepard, Valmy, Verdun, Lion, Vauban, Eagle, Gerfaud, Vautour, Vauquelin, Cassard, Kersaint, Tartu, L’indomptable, le Volta, Mogador, La Palme, L’Adroit, casque, Lansquenet, Mamelouk, Sirocco, un torpilleur, submersibles Thetis, Vengeur, Espoir, Fresnel, Poincaré, Pascal, Achéron, Redoutable, Diamant, Venus, Mermaid, Naiade, Galatee, Pallas, Ceres, and D’Iberville sloop scuttled, and became dry losses.
They were part of the wave of so-called “super-destroyers”, more than leaders, light cruisers in reduction. More crucially, still in 1940 the French navy completely lacked any radar. The camouflage is experimental. The Jean Bart, completed at 77% when she fled Saint Nazaire, will be completed well after the war. She carried the standard AA artillery of American battleships, exception of the dual-purpose turrets, French multiple 135 mm and 100 mm. Unfortunately, the line covered the French–German frontier, but not the French–Belgian. This was quite the opposite for Italy and even Great Britain. French super-destroyer Mogador circa 1939 – ONI Booklet November 1942. Indeed the German reacted to the allied landings by launching Operation Lila on 27 November. In fact if they had been rebuilt as the four Italian battleships of the class Duilio and Caesare were, they would have been very hard to match in any naval battle. Aircraft Carrier Bearn – Src naweaps.com (cc). The battleship program really was started like other nations at the expiration of the Washington treaty ban and soon several classes of battleships were planned, of which only the first class, Richelieu, barly made it in operational stage. There were recreation areas, living quarters, supply storehouses, and underground rail lines connecting various portions of the line. The standard field piece was the 75mm mle 1897 which was still … Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Instead she suffered a cruel fate, most of its officers remaining faithful to Vichy France. Dunkirk and Strasbourg were started in 1932-34, entering service in 1937-38, and were responded by the Italians with their Littorio. The uncomfortable position of France would continue thereafter, aggravated by the congenital suspicion of President Roosevelt against De Gaulle, and the difficult, intransigent personality of the latter. At Mers-el-Kebir, the stubbornness of French Admiral Gensoul, associated with the impatience of Churchill meant the ultimatum conditions were to be rejected and Admiral James Somerville of Force H, based in Gibraltar, forced to open fire after a 6-hour delay.
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