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FRENCH NAVY (FRANCE)

TORPEDO SHIPS

LE HARDI destroyers (1940)

Le Hardi 1941

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Le Hardi   A C de la Loire, Nantes 5/1936 4/5/1938 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Fleuret, 4/1941- Le Foudroyant   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 8/1936 28/7/1938 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Epée, 4/1941- L`Adroit   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 10/1936 26/10/1938 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Casque   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 11/1936 2/11/1938 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Lansquenet   F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 12/1936 20/5/1939 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Mameluk   A C de la Loire, Nantes 1/1937 18/2/1939 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Le Corsaire, 4/1941- Siroco   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 3/1938 14/11/1939 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
Le Filibustier, 4/1941- Bison   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 3/1938 14/12/1939 6/1940 scuttled 27/11/1942
L`Intrépide   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 1939 26/4/1941 --- abandoned 4/1941
Le Téméraire   F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 1939 7/11/1941 --- abandoned 11/1941
L`Aventurier 208 F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 1939 20/4/1947 --- BU incomplete 5/1960
L`Opiniâtre 207 F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 1940 --- --- abandoned 7/1943

   

Displacement standard, t

completed ships: 1772

incomplete ships: 2215

Displacement full, t

completed ships: 2577

incomplete ships: 2929

Length, m

completed ships: 111.6 pp 117.2 oa

incomplete ships: 118.6 pp

Breadth, m

completed ships: 11.1

incomplete ships: 11.9

Draught, m

4.20

No of shafts

2

Machinery

Rateau-Bretagne geared steam turbines, 4 Sural-Norguet boilers

Casque, Le Corsaire, Mameluck, Le Téméraire: Parsons geared steam turbines, 4 Sural-Norguet boilers

Power, h. p.

completed ships: 58000

incomplete ships: 62000

Max speed, kts

completed ships: 37

incomplete ships: 35

Fuel, t

oil 470

Endurance, nm(kts) 1900(25)

Armament

completed ships: 3 x 2 - 130/45 M1935, 2 x 1 - 37/50 M1925, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76, 1 x 3 - 550 TT, 2 x 2 - 550 TT, 1 DCR (8), 1 Ginocchio towed AS torpedo

incomplete ships: 3 x 2 - 130/45 M1935, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 3 - 550 TT

Complement

187

Ship project history: Built under 1932 (1 ship), 1935 (2 ships), 1936 (4 ships) and 1937 (2 ships) programs. Destroyers of this class were created as escorts for new fast battleships of Dunkerque class. Ships of previous classes could not solve this task, as did not possess necessary speed. Besides, it was required to strengthen their antiaircraft armament considerably. At the same time, their ASW and AA possibilities remained obviously insufficient. Semi-automatic main guns were similar to secondary guns of Dunkerque and were mounted in turrets. Insufficient elevation angle (no more than 30) excluded their usage in air defence.

Le Foudroyant, L`Adroit, Cyclone, Sirocco and Bison before 1/4/1941 were named Fleuret, L`Epée, Lansquenet, Le Corsaire and Le Flibustier. Four of them were renamed into memory of destroyers lost in a beginning of war.

Last four ships of 1938 and 1939 programs (L`Intrépide, L`Opiniâtre, Le Téméraire of 1938 program and L`Aventurier of 1939 program), remained on slipways, should be built under modified project and in certain degree represented analogue of British AA cruisers with heavy antiaircraft guns. It was supposed to equip destroyers of this subgroup with DP main guns of new model. Thus the light AA armament should be limited by MGs, and torpedo armament should be decreased to 6 tubes. ASW armament should be absent. Changes in the project have led to appreciable growth of displacement (to 2180/2882t and dimensions (118.2ppx11x8x4.2m) and despite increase in machinery power to 62000hp fall of speed from 37 to 35kts was expected. Works on them have begun in August, 1939, but no one was completed to descent, and L`Opiniâtre was never officially laid down.

As the ships were commissioned in wartime (also after an armistice), a number of their characteristics it was not possible to check up in practice. Though it is known, that Le Hardi on trials has shown 39.09kts speed. At commission the antiaircraft artillery has been strengthened.

Modernizations: 1940, most ships: - 2 x 1 - 37/50; + 1 x 2 - 37/50 M1933, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76, 5 x 1 - 8/80

Naval service: Fleuret and L`Epée participated in attack to Gibraltar 24-25.9.1940. However, because of technical defects they have appeared disabled.

All eight completed ships were scuttled at Toulon 27/11/1942. Soon they were salvaged by Italians, but Mameluck and Casque recognised as not subjects to restoration. Remaining ships received names FR37 (Le Hardi), FR36 (Le Foudroyant), FR33 (L`Adroit), FR34 (Le Cyclone), FR32 (Sirocco) and FR35 (Bison). In September 1943 after capitulation of Italy Germans captured these ships, but no one of them were commissioned. All destroyers have been scuttled by Germans: FR37 and FR34 24/4/1945 and FR32 28/10/1944 at Genoa; FR35 and FR36 in August, 1944 at Toulon.

Only FR33 was returned to France, but ship was not a subject to restoration.

Mameluk 1942

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14