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France's La Galissonnière class Cruisers

Photos

Gloire in Naples:
Gloire in Naples
Imperial War Museum, A-24997
Marseillaise after being scuttled on November 27, 1942, in Toulon, to prevent being captured by the Germans:
Marseillaise after being scuttled on November 27, 1942, in Toulon, to prevent being captured by the Germans
Imperial War Museum, A-82146

Design

Under the 1931 Program two more cruisers were to be built.1,2 In 1932 this was increased to a total of six.1,2

The La Galissonnière was ordered on October 27, 1931 and the Jean de Vienne on November 12, 1931.1 The rest were ordered on July 11, 1933.1

Aircraft

The design of the La Galissonnière class was influenced by the need to carry aircraft.1 There was a single hanger that had two doors and was located behind the aft funnel.1,2 There was a single catapult to launch aircraft located on top of turret #3.1,2

It was rare that all four aircraft were carried as the later models of aircraft carried were larger than the ones available when first designed.1

Ships

La Galissonnière

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1
  • October 27, 19312, December 15, 1931: Laid down.1,2
  • November 18, 1933, 19334: Launched.1,2,4
  • December 31, 19352, April 1, 1936: Completed.1,2 Member of 2nd Light Division in Mediterranean.1
  • October 1937: Member of 3rd Cruiser Division in Toulon.1
  • September 1 - November 1939: Patrolled of Tunisia.1
  • November 18, 1939 - March 1, 1940: Refit in Brest.1
  • 1941: One 37 mm, two 25 mm twin mounts, and two 13.2 mm twin mounts were added.1,2
  • January - April 15, 1941: Member of Vichy High Seas Fleet based in Toulon.1
  • April 15 - July 1, 1941: Disarmed.1
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,2,3
  • 19432, March 9, 1943: Refloated by Italians.1,2
  • November 24, 1943: Damaged by United States bomber raid.1
  • August 18, 1944: Sunk by B-25s of 321st Bombardment Group.1,2

Georges Leygues

  • Formerly called: Chateaurenault3
  • Manufacturer: A C de St-Nazaire2, At & Ch St. Nazaire1, C. A. St Nazaire3
  • 19332, September 21, 1933: Laid down.1,2
  • March 24, 1936, 19364: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • November 15, 1937, December 4, 19372: Completed.1,2
  • 1939: Member of Force de Raid.1
  • April 24, 1940: Moved to Oran.1
  • July 1940: Arrived in Toulon.1
  • September 23 - 25, 1940: In Dakar during British and Free French attack.1
  • 1941: One 37 mm, two 25 mm twin mounts, and two 13.2 mm twin mounts were added.1,2
  • August 1941: Transported gold to Casablanca.1
  • November 1941: Arrived in Dakar.1
  • April 13, 1942: Intercepted blockade runner Portland.1
  • June 24, 1943: Sailed from Dakar to Philadelphia.1
  • July - October 1943: Refit in Philadelphia.1 Aircraft equipment, French anti-aircraft guns, and mainmast removed.1,2 Sixteen 20 mm guns and six 40 mm quad mounts2 added.1,2 Machinery overhauled.1
  • November 23, 1943: Arrived in Oran.1
  • June 6 - 14, 1944: Supported Normandy landings.1
  • July 28, 1944: Arrived in Taranto.1
  • August 1944: Supported invasions in southern France.1

Gloire

  • Manufacturer: F C de la Gironde2, F. C. Gironde3, F & Ch Gironde1
  • 19332,3, November 13, 1933: Laid down.1,2,3
  • September 28, 1935, 19354: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • November 15, 1937, December 4, 19372,3: Completed.1,2,3
  • November 18, 1937: Arrived in Brest.1
  • December 1, 1937: Sailed for Indo-China.1
  • April 16, 1938: Arrived in Brest.1
  • January 1939: Member of 4th Cruiser Division.1
  • October - December 1939: Refit.1
  • 1940: Sailed with Dunkerque to Canada with gold and escorted Canadian troop convoy to Europe.1
  • 1940: Member of Admiral Gensoul's Force de Raid in Atlantic.1
  • June 1940: In Algiers.1
  • July 4, 1940: Arrived in Toulon.1
  • September 14, 1940: Arrived in Dakar as member of Force Y.1
  • 1941: One 37 mm, two 25 mm twin mounts, and two 13.2 mm twin mounts were added.1,2
  • April - July 1941: Refit in Casablanca.1
  • 1943: Refit in New York.1 Aircraft equipment, French anti-aircraft guns, and mainmast removed.1,2 Sixteen 20 mm guns and six 40 mm quad mounts2 added.1,2 Machinery overhauled.1
  • January 16, 1944: Based in Mediterranean.1
  • February 1944: Supported Anzio invasion.1 Fired 604 rounds.1
  • April 17 - June 17, 1944: Refit in Algiers.1
  • August 15 - 28, 1944: Supported Operation Dragoon, invasion of southern France.1 Fired around 2,000 rounds.1
  • December 1944: Sailed to United States.1

Jean de Vienne

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Lorient2, Lorient Navy Yard1
  • December 19312, December 20, 1931: Laid Down.1,2
  • July 31, 1935, 19354: Launched.1,2,4
  • February 10, 1937, April 15, 19372: Completed.1,2
  • October 1937: Member of 3rd Cruiser Division in Toulon.1
  • September 1939: Patrolled off North Africa.1
  • November 1939: Escorted gold shipment to Halifax, Nova Scotia.1
  • December 27, 1939: Arrived in Toulon.1
  • July 1940: Covered escape of Strasbourg from Mers-el-Kebir to Toulon.1
  • 1941: One 37 mm, two 25 mm twin mounts, and two 13.2 mm twin mounts were added.1,2
  • March 1941: Joined Vichy High Seas Fleet.1
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,2,3
  • February 18, 1943: Refloated by Italians.1
  • November 24, 1943: Hit by bombs and set afire.1,2

Marseillaise

  • Manufacturer: A C de la Loire2, At & Ch de Loire1
  • 19332, October 23, 1933: Laid down.1,2
  • July 17, 1935, 19354: Launched.1,2,4
  • October 10, 1937, October 24, 19372: Completed.1,2
  • October 1937: Member of 3rd Cruiser Division in Toulon.1
  • 1938: Flagship of Contr-Amiral Decoux.1
  • January 1939: Joined 3rd Cruiser Division in Casablanca.1
  • August 1939: Attached to 4th Naval Region.1
  • September 1939: In Toulon.1 Flagship of 4th Squadron, Force Z.1
  • April 1940: Escorted transport of gold to Halifax, Nova Scotia.1
  • July 4, 1940: Arrived in Toulon.1,2
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,3 Burned for twenty days.1

Montcalm

  • Manufacturer: F C de la Médittanée2, F. C. Med.3, F & Ch La Seyne1
  • 19332,3, November 15, 1933: Laid down.1,2,3
  • October 26, 1935, 19354: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • November 15, 1937, December 4, 19372,3: Completed.1,2,3 Member of 4th Cruiser Division in Brest.1
  • January 1938: Arrived in Saigon.1
  • July 1938: Review for the King of England in Calais.1
  • 1939: At International Fair in New York.1
  • September 1939: Member of Force de Raid.1
  • April 1940: Refit.1
  • April 1940: Became flagship of French Scandinavian Force.1
  • May 1940: Returned to Force de Raid.1
  • July 1940: In Mers-el-Kebir and moved to Toulon after British attack.1
  • September 23 - 25, 1940: In Dakar during British and Free French attack.1
  • January 30 - August 1943: Refit in Philadelphia.1 Aircraft equipment, French anti-aircraft guns, and mainmast removed.1,2 Sixteen 20 mm guns and six 40 mm quad mounts2 added.1,2 Machinery overhauled.1
  • September 1943 - March 1944: Based in Dakar.1 Blockade runner patrols.1
  • June 6, 1944: Off Omaha Beach as part of Force C.1,4
  • August 1944: Supported invasions of Southern France.1
  • August 1944 - March 1945: Bombarded German positions on French Riviera.1
  • May 22, 1945 - January 1946: Refit at Chantiers de la Seyne.1

 

Specifications

  La Galissonnière class, Gloire class
Crew 5401,2,4, 6743
Crew - War 7642,3
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 7,600 tons1,2,3,4
Displacement - Loaded 9,100 tons1,2, 9,120 tons4, 10,850 tons3
Length 580' 9"3, 586'4, 588' 11"2, 589'1
179 m4, 179.5 m1,2
Length - Between Perpendiculars 548'3, 564' 3"1,2
172 m1,2
Beam 17' 6"1, 57' 4"2,4, 57' 6"3
17.48 m1,2, 17.5 m4
Draft / Height 17' 5"4, 17' 6"1,3, 17' 7"2
5.3 m4, 5.35 m1,2
Performance  
Speed 31 knots1,2,3, 35.7 knots4
Range at 12 knots 7,000 nautical miles1,2
Range at 14 knots 6,800 nautical miles2
Range at 18 knots 5,500 nautical miles2,3
Range at 34 knots 1,650 nautical miles2
Armament 6"3: 93
6" / 152 mm triple turrets1,4, 6" L/50 M1930 triple turrets2 : 31,2,4
Anti-Aircraft 3.5"3, 3.5" DP4: 83,4
3.5", 90 mm M1926 twin mounts1, 3.5" L/50 twin mounts2: 41,2
40 mm: 243
20 mm: 163
13.2 mm2, 13.2 mm / 0.52"4: 122,4
13.2 mm triple mount machine guns: 41
Torpedo Tubes 21.7"1,2,3,4 / 55 cm4: 2 tubes on 2 mounts1,2, 43,4
Aircraft 24, 41,2
Armor  
Belt - Main 3" - 4.7"4, 3" - 4.75"3, 4"2
7.5 cm - 12 cm4, 10.5 cm1
Bulkheads 2.5"2
6 cm1
Control Tower 2" - 3.75"2, 3.75"3
9.5 cm1
Deck - Main 1.5"2, 2"4, 2.66"3
3.8 cm1, 5 cm4
Turrets 3" - 5.1"4, 10 cm1
7.5 cm - 13 cm4
Turrets - Front 4"2, 5.5"3
Turrets - Rear 2"2
Turrets - Sides 2"2,3
Turrets - Top 2"2
Engines  
Boilers Indret: 41,2,3
Shafts 22,3,4
Turbines Parsons geared2,3
Parsons SR geared1
Parsons or Rateau-Bretagne geared4
HP 84,0001,2,3,4
Oil 1,569 tons1,2, 1,870 tons3
  Gloire
Engines  
Turbines Rateau-Bretange1
Rateau-Bretagne geared2,3
  Jean de Vienne
Engines  
Turbines Rateau-Bretange1
Rateau-Bretagne geared2
  Marseillaise
Engines  
Turbines Rateau-Bretange1
Rateau-Bretagne geared2

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
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site