FAN St Louis (CA - 1940)


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The French Navies last heavy cruiser was the well liked Algerie. Since that ship the French had built the Dunkerque type and Richelieu class with two quad turrets forward. The French Naval Designers decided to put forward a heavy cruiser type with the same layout, two quad turrets of 8" forward. These were to be big ships, equivalent to the German Hipper class with good armament and much better armour than earlier ships.

As designed through to mid 1940. As escaped from Brest Navy Yard, July 1940.

The two ships of the class were to be fitted with all the latest marks of guns, 8"/1939, 3.9"/1940, 37mm/1940, with aircraft. The strange part was the lack of torpedoes on a French cruiser. A lot of the extra large hull was made available to the propulsion system with a 140,000shp output for 34 knots. Up to 3 aircraft could be carried.

Twin 37mm as fitted.

95% completed when the Germans were rolling through France, both ships were hastily got to sea from the Brest Navy Yards and sent to Belfast in Northern Ireland for completion. Only the electronic fittings were needed to be completed and British systems were fitted in place. Both ships then rejoined the Free French Navy and fought alongside other French units that had joined the fight with the Allies against the hated Boche.

Displacement 14,500 tons std 19,800 tons full load  
Length 663 ft
Breadth 72 ft
Draught 24.5 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 140,000shp
Speed 34 knots
Range 8000 miles at 15 knots (2,450 nm at 28 knots)
Armour 6.1" side, 3.9" deck, 6.1" turrets
Armament 8 x 8" (2x4)

10 x 3.9 (5x2)

14 x 37mm (7x2)

Aircraft 3 (Loire 130)
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1025

With additional electronic fittings placed aboard at Belfast July 1940.

FAN Charlemagne (1945)

As the Richelieu and Alsace are related, so to the St Louis and Charlemagne. With 12x8" in three quad turrets the ship needed to be longer than the Dunkerque class battlecruisers to fit everything in. The same propulsion system as the St Louis, the speed dropped from 34 knots to 32 knots. The longer and broader hull (733x76 feet) helped to keep stability even.

The armament of the ship at 1945:

12 x 8" (3x4)
14 x 100mm (7x2)
18 x 37mm (9x2)

6 x 21" torpedoes (2x3)

3 Aircraft

FAN St. Louis: 1940

FAN St. Henri: 1940

FAN Charlemagne: 1945


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