FAN Lyon (BC-1928 (1938-mod))


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Part of the reparations package France received from the Allied War Reparations commission was two uncompleted battlecruisers of the Mackensen class. One of these was completed as the aircraft carrier Guynemer the other was rechristened Lyon and completed as a battlecruiser. The armamament of the Lyon had to be changed from the original 13.8" as the ship was received without any armaments. The French did have 5 twin turrets originally ordered for the Bretagne class battleship being built for Greece and cancelled in 1916 incomplete. Four of these turrets and the guns for them could be mounted on the ex-German ship to provide the main armament for the new battlecruiser.

Other details of superstructure followed the Bretagne and Normandie class battleships as bits and pieces of these ships had been manufactured and lay unused at the Naval dockyards. Minor armament was provided with the new 5.1" guns (as fitted to the Bourasque class) being mounted at the main deck level  with the 'gun deck' being plated over as guns mounted at that level were continually washed out. The ship started being worked on in 1922 and was slowly completed through to 1928.

After 10 years service the ship was taken in hand for major modification. New superstructure and central citadel was built into the ship to mount new secondary dual purpose armament, aircraft handling facilities and new propulsion systems similar to those fittted to the new Dunkerque class ships.


Displacement 32,500 tons std 38,800 tons full load
Length 747.5 ft
Breadth 99.5 ft
Draught 30 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 130,500shp
Speed 31 knots
Range 8000 miles at 15 knots (2,450 nm at 28 knots)
Armour 11" side, 5.1" deck, 11" turrets
Armament 8 x 13.4" (4x2)

20 x 5.1 (5x4)

8 x 37mm (8x1)

16 x 20mm (3x2 10x1)

Aircraft 3 (Loire 130)
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1400



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