FAN Gloire (BC-1911 (1934-mod))

 

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With the Danton semi-Dreadnoughts being cancelled and replaced with full battleships, what do you do with the twelve twin 9.4" turrets that remain? The British tell the world that the Invincibles are going to be armed with 9.2". The Germans buy into that. So why not the French. Three armoured/battle cruisers could be built with the guns available. Following the Courbet class layout with superfiring turrets, the broadside turrets were not fitted as to give more space for propulsion to increase the ships speed over existing armoured cruisers.

With the new 5.5" secondary guns, that would arm French capital ships for the next 20 years, and 75mm anti-torpedo boat guns these sleek looking ships would have been first class if not for the lesser main armament. They would certainly have been a match for the Blucher.

With twenty years service in, the ships were due for retirement when the Japanese refused to ratify the 1930 Arms treaty and all of the ships that would have gone into the scrapyard were reprieved and rebuilt. The Gloire class were no different and the ships were taken in hand from 1931 for major refits. The main aim was to replace the old propulsion systems and deck armour to modern standards. The old coal fired boilers were replaced with new oil fired boilers and the turbines were also replaced with new units. The casemate and 75mm guns being removed and replaced with modern dual-purpose AA and light AA weapons. While the new bridge superstructure looked like that being built for the new Dunkerque class ships it was actually 3 decks lower. A full height bridge would have created stability problems.

 

Displacement 14,500 tons std, 18,800 full load 14,500 tons std, 19,300 full load
Length 522 ft 522 ft
Breadth 79 ft 79 ft
Draught 25 ft 25 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 50,000shp 4 shaft steam turbines 75,000shp
Speed 26 knots 28 knots
Range 5000 miles at 12 knots 6500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 7" side, 2" deck, 7" turrets 7" side, 3.9" deck, 7" turrets
Armament 8 x 9.4" (4x2)

12 x 5.5" (12x1)

12 x 75mm (12x1)

 

8 x 9.4" (4x2)

16 x 3.9" (8x2)

10 x 37mm (5x2)

18 x 25mm (18x1)

Aircraft nil nil
Torpedoes nil nil
Complement 850 920
Notes    

 

 

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