Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Dunkirk and Strasbourg
Today I am going to write about the French battleships Dunkirk and Strasbourg (sorry, no panzers). They were built in the early 1930s to counter the German Scheer class, being armed with eight 13 inch guns, as opposed to the German's six 11 inch. They had a strange design as battleships (or rather battlecruisers) go, with their guns being concentrated in the forward part of the vessel in two turrets, with four guns each. They served in the chase for the Graf Spee, where if they had managed to catch her their superior armament would have probably meant a French victory (as it was, the Spee sunk herself outside Montevideo). Interned by the Vichy government after the German conquest, both participated in the battle of Mers-el-Kebir, Strasbourg being the only ship to escape the British that day. After Dunkirk was repaired, the French sank both ships at Toulon to prevent the Germans from getting their hands on them. Both were scrapped after the war.