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France's Duguay-Trouin class Cruisers

Photos

Duguay Trouin next to submarine Protee with destroyer Basque and cruiser Suffren in the distance:
Duguay Trouin next to submarine Protee with destroyer Basque and cruiser Suffren in the distance
Imperial War Museum, A-9940
Lamotte-Picquet in June 1939 off Shanghai, China:
Lamotte-Picquet in June 1939 off Shanghai, China
US Navy, H-81987

Design

France saw Italy as a potential threat after World War I and drew up a programme in June 1919 to build 5,000 ton light cruisers.1 By late 1919 an initial design was agreed upon but it was felt it was outdated.1 By the end of 1920 the United States shared the design plans of the Omaha class and these provided the basis for the Duguay-Trouin class.1

Armament

  Shell Weight Rate of Fire Range Elevation
15.5 cm / 6.1" M19201
6.1" L/55 M212
6.1" L/50 M19203
56.5 kg1,2 42 28,000 yards3
21,600 m2, 26,100 m1
35°2,3, 40°1
7.5 cm M19221
3" L/60 M222
12 kg1      

Aircraft

There was a single catapult to launch aircraft.1 These were initially the Gourdou-Leseurre GL-812 but these were replaced by the GL-832.1 By the mid 1930s a single Loire-Nieuport 130 was carried.1

Ships

Duguay-Trouin

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1,3
  • August 4, 1922: Laid down.1,2,3
  • August 14, 1923: Launched.1,2,3
  • September 10, 19262,3, November 2, 1926: Completed.1,2
  • November 2, 1926: Joined 2nd Squadron, 3rd Light Division.1
  • 1929: Joined 1st Squadron of the 3rd Light Division as flagship.1
  • 1931: Sailed to Indo-China.1
  • 1932 - 1935: Based in Brest, flagship of 2nd Squadron.1
  • 1936 - June 1939: Became gunnery training ship.1
  • June 1939: Became member of 6th Cruiser Division.1
  • September 1939 - May 1940: Hunted for Axis raiders and merchants.1
  • October 16, 1939: Sank the 5,889 ton Halle.1
  • May 1940: Moved to Levant.1
  • 19402, July 1940: Joined Force X in Alexandria with Admiral Godfroy and was demilitarized.1,2
  • 1943: Torpedo tubes removed.1,2 Fifteen 20 mm and three 13.2 mm twin mounts were added.1,2 Catapult and aircraft removed.1
  • May 30, 19432, July 1943: Rejoined Allies.1,2
  • 1944: Three 40 mm twin mounts and twenty 20 mm guns added.1
  • January - June 1944: Used as fast troop transport.1
  • August 1944: Participated in Allied landings in southern France.1

Lamotte-Picquet, La Motte-Picquet

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Lorient2, Lorient Navy Yard1
  • January 17, 1923: Laid down.1,2
  • March 21, 1924: Launched.1,2
  • October 1, 19262, March 5, 1927: Completed.1
  • March 5, 1927 - 1933: Flagship of 3rd Light Division based in Brest.1
  • 1935: Moved to Far East.1
  • 1939 - 1940: Patrolled Indo-China coast.1
  • January 17, 1941: Battle of Koh Chang.1,2
  • September 1941: Docked in Osaka, Japan.1
  • End of 1942: Put into reserve in Saigon.1 Made into training hulk.1
  • January 12, 1945: Sunk by bombs from carrier aircraft of TF38.1,2

Primaguet, Primauguet

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1
  • August 16, 1923: Laid down.1,2
  • May 21, 1924: Launched.1,2
  • September 1, 19262, April 1, 1927: Completed.1
  • April 20 - December 20, 1927: Went on world cruise.1
  • April 15, 1932: Sailed to Far East.1
  • January 10, 1936 - September 1937, 19372: Refit in France / Lorient2.1 Added two 25 mm and four 13.2 mm quad mounts.2
  • November 21, 1937: Arrived in Saigon.1
  • September 1939 - February 1940: Conducted patrols and convoy escort in Atlantic.1
  • March 1940: Moved to Oran.1
  • April 1, 1940: Sailed to West Indies.1
  • May 1940: Landed forces at Aruba after Dutch surrender to secure oil fields.1
  • June 12, 1940: Arrived in Dakar.1
  • July 7 - 8, 1940: Attacked in Dakar by British Fleet.1
  • 1942: Two 25 mm and twenty 13.2 mm machine guns added.1
  • November 8, 1942: In Casablanca when Allied forces attacked.1,2 Heavily damaged by United States ships in TF38.1 45 killed and 200 wounded.1 Fire destroyed ship.1,2,2

 

Usage

Battle of Koh Chang

The Lamotte-Picquet with sloops Amiral Charnier, Dumont d'Urville, Marne, and Tahure fired on anchored Siamese ships off Koh Chang Archipelago and sunk the coastal ship Dhonburi and two torpedo boats.1,2

Specifications

  Duguay-Trouin class
Crew 5781,2, 6473
Displacement 7,249 tons1,2,3
Displacement - Loaded 9,350 tons1,2, 10,100 tons3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 595' 9"1,2,3
181.6 m2
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars 575'1,3, 575' 1"2
175.3 m1,2
Beam 56' 5"2, 56' 6"1, 57' 6"3
17.2 m1,2
Draft / Height 17'1,2, 17' 9"3
5.2 m1,2
Draft / Height - Maximum 20' 8"3
Performance  
Speed 33 knots1,2,3
Range at 14 knots 4,300 nautical miles3
Range at 15 knots 3,000 nautical miles1, 4,500 nautical miles2
Range at 20 knots 3,000 nautical miles2
Range at 25 knots 1,900 nautical miles3
Range at 33 knots 900 nautical miles2
Armament 15.5 cm, 6.1" M1920 twin turrets: 41
6.1" L/55 M21 twin turrets: 42
6.1" L/50 M1920: 83
Anti-Aircraft 7.5 cm M1922: 41
3" L/60 M22: 42
3": 43
40 mm: 63
20 mm: 203
13.2 mm: 42
Torpedo Tubes 7": 4 each in 3 launchers2
Aircraft 21,2
Armor  
Control Tower 1"2
3 cm1
Deck 0.75"2
2 cm1
Magazine 0.75"2
2 cm1
Turrets 1"2
3 cm1
Engines  
Boilers Guyot: 81,2,3
Shafts 41,2,3
Turbines Parsons geared2,3
Parsons SR geared1
HP 100,0001,2, 102,0003
Oil 1,500 tons2,3

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site