Support the project with paypal

DUPLEIX armoured cruisers (1903 - 1904)


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Desaix     F C de la Loire, St-Nazaire 11/1897 21.3.1901 1904 stricken 6.1921
Dupleix     Arsenal de Rochefort 2/1898 28.4.1900 1903 stricken 1919
Kléber     F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 4/1898 20.9.1902 1904 sunk 27.6.1917

Technical data

Displacement normal, t

Desaix: 7547

Dupleix: 7432

Kléber: 7602

Displacement full, t 
Length, m

130.0 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m

7.42 max

No of shafts



Desaix, Dupleix: 3 VTE, 24 Belleville boilers

Kléber: 3 VTE, 20 Niclausse boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts

20.7 - 21

Fuel, t

coal 1180

Endurance, nm(kts)6400(10)
Armour, mmHarvey nickel steel; belt: 100 - 40, turrets: 160 - 120, turret bases: 120 - 40, deck: 70 - 50, CT: 80

4 x 2 - 165/45 M1893-96, 4 x 1 - 100/45 M1893, 10 x 1 - 47/40 M1885, 4 x 1 - 37/20 M1885, 2 - 450 TT (sub, beam)


Project history

A class of smaller, weakly armed ships with the forecastle deck taken beyond the after turret, four funnels in groups of two and pole masts. There was a small ram at the waterline.

Ship protection

The belt ran from the bows to 19m from the stern and from 1.2m below to 2.1m above water rising to 2.4m at the bows; it was 100mm reduced to 80mm forward and to 40mm at the lower edge with a 90mm after bulkhead. The armour deck had high slopes with a total thickness of 70mm amidships and the crown at the level of the belt upper edge was 40mm. Forward and aft the deck totalled 50mm. The cellular layer was mostly unprotected by the side armour. The 165mm turrets were fore and aft on the forecastle deck with one on each beam at upper deck level. The 160mm armour was at the rear of the turrets, presumably for balancing purposes, and the 100mm guns were in unprotected ports on the upper deck.


1917, Desaix: - 4 x 1 - 100/45; + 2 x 1 - 47/50 M1902 AA

Naval service

Kléber was stranded and refloated under Turkish gunfire off Gallipoli 29-31.5.1915, later she collided with British cargo vessel 7.7.1915 off Mudros and was under repair till October.  She was sunk by a mine, laid by German submarine UC61, at the entrance to Brest 27.6.1917.