:: DUNKERQUE (1935) ::

Dunkerque battleship (1935) High resolution picture

The Dunkerque was a French fast battleship launched in 1935 and together with her twin Strasbourg she was intended to counter the threat posed by heavy cruisers armed with 203-millimeter cannons and the "pocket battleships" of the Deutschland class, armed with 280-millimeter cannons. Hence the armor was designed to withstand these calibers but in the practice it demonstrated to be capable to endure impacts from 381-millimeter projectiles. The allocation of the main armament in two quadruple turrets allowed to save a considerable amount of weight, but this distribution posed the risk of losing half of the main artillery with a single impact that managed to put out of action one of the turrets. To prevent the worst scenario possible, the destruction of both turrets by a single impact, these had to be installed leaving a certain distance between them.

The fall of France to Germany would seal the fate of the Dunkerque. Fearing that the Vichy government could grant the French Fleet to the Kriegsmarine, the British ordered to attack the French Fleet stationed at Mers-el-Kabir; in that raid the dunkerque resulted severely damaged, being later returned to Tolon, where she was scuttled along with the remainings of the French Fleet in 1942, to prevent the capture of the naval units by Germany. Partially scrapped by the Germans and the Italians, the wreck of which had been a valuable warship remained in Tolon until being totally scrapped in 1958. The drawing shows the Dunkerque as she was in 1937.

Class: Dunkerque (2 units - Dunkerque, Strasbourg)

Type: Fast battleship

Length: 214.5 meters

Beam: 31.2 meters

Draught: 8.8 meters

Displacement (standard): 26900 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 6 x boiler Indret, 114000 horsepower

Speed: 30.5 knots (56.4 kilometers/hour)

Range: 7850 nautical miles (14520 kilometers) at 15 knots

Fuel: 6600 tonnes of petrol

Complement: 1381

Armament: 8 x 330-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 16 x 130-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 37-millimeter cannon, 32 x 13.2-millimeter machine gun, 4 x aircraft

Armor: 145-254 millimeters in belt, 138 millimeters in upper deck, 51 millimeters in lower deck, 345 millimeters in main barbettes, 120 millimeters in secondary barbettes, 254-330 millimeters in main turrets, 80-90 millimeters in secondary turrets, 270 millimeters in conning tower

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