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Jean Bart file photo [1490]

Jean Bart

Ship ClassRichelieu-class Battleship
BuilderA.C. de la St. Nazaire, Penhoet, France
Laid Down1 Dec 1936
Launched6 Mar 1940
Commissioned1 May 1955
Decommissioned1 Jan 1961
Displacement35,560 tons standard; 48,950 tons full
Length813 feet
Beam108 feet
Draft31 feet
MachinerySix Indret boilers, four Parsons geared steam turbines
Bunkerageoil 6796 tons
Power Output150,000 shaft horsepower
Speed32 knots
Range8,500nm at 14 knots, 7,671nm at 20 knots, 3,181nm at 30 knots
Armament(During WW2) 2x4x380mm Modèle 1935 guns
Armor330mm belt, 150mm upper armored deck, 40mm lower armored deck
Crew Size During WW2911
Crew Size Upon Completion1,280


ww2dbaseJean Bart was not yet completed when she was moved to Casablanca in Jun 1940 due to the German invasion, at this time she only had one operational turret (out of the planned two turrets; both were to be to the bow, which was unlike her contemporaries), which contained four 380-millimeter guns with two separate shell loading systems. The first time her steam engines fired up was when she was forced to sail to Casablanca in French Morocco in Jun 1940 in order to escape German capture. Meanwhile, a cargo ship carried her second and still incomplete turret, intending to install at a later date; the cargo ship was sunk by a German submarine while en route. As stationary shore battery at Casablanca, she was used by the French to fight against the American invasion on 8 Nov 1942 during Operation Torch. In the naval engagement, she was hit by a total of five aerial bombs and battleship shells from USS Massachusetts; one of the Massachusetts shells, though failing to detonate, jammed her turret in the train, thus effectively putting the French ship out of action. French repairmen raced around the clock to bring the turrets back to operational status, surprising the Americans on 10 Nov when USS Augusta and other ships sailed too close during an attack on small French ships Commandant Delage, La Servannaise, and La Gracieuse. In response, carrier USS Ranger dispatched dive bombers against Jean Bart, hitting with two 500-pound bombs and sank Jean Bart in shallow water. As the French forces in North Africa surrendered to the Allies, Jean Bart also joined Allied efforts.

ww2dbaseAlthough there were discussions of towing Jean Bart to the United States to complete her construction, no action was ever taken. She sat in Casablanca harbor for the remainder of the war.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Jean Bart returned to France in 1945. French public opinion called for the Jean Bart to be completed, which was done in 1949. In 1956, she participated in the Suez Canal Crisis off Egypt in 1956 but saw no combat. She was put into reserve in 1957, followed by decommissioning in 1961. She was sold in 1969 and scrapped in the following year.

John Jordan, Warship 2011
Operational Experience of Fast Battleships

Last Major Revision: Nov 2005

Battleship Jean Bart Interactive Map


Jean Bart viewed from an aircraft of USS Ranger, Casablanca, French Morocco, 8 Nov 1942, photo 1 of 3Jean Bart viewed from an aircraft of USS Ranger, Casablanca, French Morocco, 8 Nov 1942, photo 2 of 3
See all 7 photographs of Battleship Jean Bart

Jean Bart Operational Timeline

1 Dec 1936 The keel of battleship Jean Bart was laid down.
6 Mar 1940 The French battleship Jean Bart was launched.
27 Jun 1940 The escaping French battleship Jean Bart, which had been fitting out at Saint-Nazaire when France fell, reached safety at Casablanca, French Morocco.
8 Jul 1940 At Casablanca, French Morocco, British motor torpedo boats attacked French battleship Jean Bart, causing damage.
10 Nov 1942 French submarine Le Tonnant attacked USS Ranger off French Morocco at 1000 hours; all four torpedoes missed, and the American counterattack was equally ineffective. On land, American troops captured the French fort of Kasbah, which led to the fall of Port Lyautey. At Casablanca, American ships sortied to respond to an attack by French sloops only to be surprised by an operational Jean Bart; aircraft from USS Ranger were launched to sink Jean Bart in shallow water by bombing.
1 May 1955 Jean Bart was commissioned into service.
1 Jan 1961 Jean Bart was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
12 Feb 2010 08:25:31 AM

In yor text you state she had 8 12 inch guns. In reality she had 8 15 inch guns. Note 380 mm / 25.4mm 14.96 inches

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More on Jean Bart
Event(s) Participated:
» British Attacks on the French Fleet
» Operation Torch

Related Books:
» Warship 2011

Battleship Jean Bart Photo Gallery
Jean Bart viewed from an aircraft of USS Ranger, Casablanca, French Morocco, 8 Nov 1942, photo 1 of 3Jean Bart viewed from an aircraft of USS Ranger, Casablanca, French Morocco, 8 Nov 1942, photo 2 of 3
See all 7 photographs of Battleship Jean Bart

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