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France's flag

France's Suffren class Cruisers

Photos

Colbert from a US Navy publication:
Colbert from a US Navy publication
US Navy
Dupleix from a US Navy publication:
Dupleix from a US Navy publication
US Navy
Foch from a US Navy publication:
Foch from a US Navy publication
US Navy

Design

There was still one more heavy cruiser that could be built under the restrictions of the Washington Treaty and in the 1925 Program a new design was envisioned that would have better protection than the Duquesne class.1

An order for the Suffren was placed on November 1, 1925.1 Under the 1926 Program the Colbert was ordered on March 1, 1927.1 In 1927 the Foch was ordered to be built.1 On April 1, 1929 the Foch was ordered.1

Aircraft

To launch the aircraft there were two catapults.1 The initial aircraft carried were Loire-Nieuport 130s.1

On the Suffren the catapults were placed behind the funnels and only two aircraft could be carried.1

On the Colbert the catapults were placed between the funnels and three aircraft could be carried.1

Ships

Suffren

  • Cost: 144,000,000 francs3
  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest3, Brest Navy Yard1
  • April 17, 1926, May 19262,3: Laid down.1,2,3
  • May 3, 1927: Launched.1,2,3
  • 19302, January 1, 1930: Completed.1,2
  • 1930 - 1939: Member of 1st Light Division with the Mediterranean Squadron.1
  • June 21 - July 23, 1939: Sailed to Saigon.1 Became Flagship of Indo-China squadron.1
  • September 1939: Patrolled South China Sea for German ships.1
  • November 1939 - April 1940: Arrived in Singapore to escort Australian troopships across Indian Ocean.1
  • May 5 - 18, 1940: Sailed from Columbo to Alexandria.1 Joined Admiral Godfroy's squadron.1
  • June 11 - 13, 1940: Raid in Aegean.1
  • June 21, 1940: Bombarded Bardia.1
  • June 1940 - May 1943: Immobilized in Alexandria.1,2
  • May 1943, May 30, 19432: Rejoined Allies.1,2
  • 1943: Refit.1 Torpedo tubes and aircraft equipment removed.1,2 Two 40 mm Bofors quad mounts and twenty 20 mm single mounts added.1
  • September 3, 1943: Sailed to Dakar.1 Patrolled in South Atlantic for German blockade runners.1
  • 1944 - 1945: Refit at Casablanca.1

Colbert

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1
  • June 19272, June 12, 1927: Laid down.1,2
  • April 20, 1928: Launched.1,2
  • 19312, March 4, 1931: Completed.1,2 Joined 1st Light Division in Mediterranean.1
  • February 16, 1935 - January 1936: Refit at Lorient.1
  • 1936: Member of International Patrol off Spain during the Spanish Civil War.1
  • September 1939: Based in Oran.1
  • January 1940: Arrived in Toulon.1
  • January 24, 1940: Searched for KMS Admiral Hipper.1
  • April 1940: Returned to Toulon.1
  • June 13, 1940: Bombarded Italian shore positions in Gulf of Genoa.1
  • August 1 - December 1940: Refit in Toulon.1
  • 1941 - 1942: Six 37 mm single mounts, four 13.2 mm quad mounts, two 13.2 mm twin mounts, and four 8 mm machine guns added.1,2
  • January 1941: Joined 1st Cruiser Divison.1
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,2,3

Dupleix

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1
  • October 19292, November 14, 1929: Laid down.1,2
  • October 9, 1930: Launched.1,2
  • 19322, July 20, 1932: Completed.1,2 Joined 1st Light Division in Mediterranean.1
  • 1937: Refit.1
  • 1939: Moved to Dakar to search for German ships.1
  • October 25, 1939: Captured Sante Fe (4,627 tons).1
  • June 1940: Participated in raid on Genoa.1
  • 1941 - 1942: Seven 37 mm and three 8 mm guns added.1 Four 37 mm twin mounts, four 13.2 mm quad mounts, two 13.2 mm twin mounts, and seven 8 mm guns added.2
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,2,3
  • July 3, 1943: Refloated.1
  • 1944: Sunk in air raid.1,2

Foch

  • Manufacturer: Arsenal de Brest2, Brest Navy Yard1
  • June 19382, June 21, 1928: Laid down.1,2
  • April 24, 1929: Launched.1,2
  • 19312, September 15, 1931: Completed.1,2
  • March 1935: In Greece protecting French interests.1
  • September 1939: Based in Toulon.1
  • October 1939: Moved to Oran.1 Joined Allied forces searching for German raiders and escorted convoys.1
  • February 1940: Refit at Toulon.1
  • June 13 - 14, 1940: Bombarded Vado on Italian coast.1
  • 1941 - 1942: Eight 37 mm guns and twenty 13.2 mm guns added.1 Four 37 mm twin mounts, four 13.2 mm quad mounts, and two 13.2 mm twin mounts.2
  • October 4, 1941: Put into reserve.1
  • November 27, 1942: Scuttled in Toulon.1,2,3
  • April 16, 1943: Refloated by Italians.1,2 Scrapped.1,2

 

Specifications

  Suffren class
Crew 6052, 7521
Crew - war 7522
Displacement 9,938 tons2, 10,000 tons1
Displacement - Loaded 12,780 tons1,2
Physical Characteristics  
Length 636' 6"1, 637' 2"2
194 m1, 194.2 m2
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars 607'1,2
185 m1,2
Beam 63'1, 63' 4"2
19.1 m1, 19.3 m2
Draft / Height 20' 9"1, 24'2
6.35 m1, 7.34 m2
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 31 knots1,2
Range 5,300 nautical miles2
Range at 15 knots 4,000 nautical miles1
Armament 8" twin turrets: 41
8" L/50 M1924 twin turrets: 42
Anti-Aircraft 3.5", 9 cm M1926: 81
3.5" L/50 M1926: 82
37 mm twin mounts: 41,2
13.2 mm machine gun triple mounts: 41,2
Torpedo Tubes 21.7": 2 tubes each on 3 launchers1
Aircraft 31,2
Armor  
Belt - Main 2" - 2.25"2
5.4 cm - 6 cm1
Control Tower 11"2
3 cm1
Deck - Main 0.75" - 1"2
2.2 cm - 2.5 cm1
Magazine  
Turrets 12
3 cm1
Engines  
Boilers Guyot: 91
Guyot du Temple: 92
Shafts 32
Turbines Rateau-Bretagne geared2
Rateau-Bretagne SR geared1
HP 90,0001,2
Oil 1,800 tons1,2
  Colbert
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam 63' 7"2
19.4 m2
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 15 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Magazine  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
Coal 640 tons2
  Dupleix
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length 636' 6"2
194 m2
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam 23' 7"2
7.2 m2
Draft / Height  
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 15 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 3" L/50 M1926 twin mounts: 42
3.5", 9 cm M1930 twin mounts: 41
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower 3 cm1
Deck - Main 1"2
Magazine  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  Foch
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height 24' 7"2
7.5 m2
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 15 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Magazine  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  Suffren
Crew 6022, 6373, 7731
Crew - war 7732,3
Displacement 10,000 tons3
Displacement - Loaded 14,400 tons3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 643'2,3
196 m2
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars 607'3
Beam 65' 7"2, 65' 8"3
Draft / Height 24' 6"3
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Performance  
Speed 31.3 knots3
Range at 15 knots 4,600 nautical miles2,3
Range at 20 knots 3,700 nautical miles2
Range at 25 knots 3,000 nautical miles3
Armament 8": 83
Anti-Aircraft 3", 7.5 cm: 81,2,3
40 mm: 83
20 mm: 203
13 mm: 123
Anti-Aircraft - 1943 40 mm: 82
20 mm: 202
Torpedo Tubes 21.7": 4 tubes each on 3 launchers2, 63
Aircraft 21,2
Armor  
Belt - Main 2"2
5 cm1
Control Tower 3 cm1
Deck - Main 1"2
3 cm1
Magazine  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers Guyot: 93
Shafts 33
Turbines Rateau-Chantiers de Bretagne geared3
HP 90,0003
Oil 2,700 tons3
Coal 640 tons2

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