|Ship Class||Dunkerque-class Battleship|
|Builder||Arsenal de Brest|
|Laid Down||24 Dec 1932|
|Launched||2 Oct 1935|
|Commissioned||1 May 1937|
|Sunk||27 Nov 1942|
|Displacement||26,500 tons standard; 35,500 tons full|
|Machinery||Four Parsons geared turbines, Six Indret small tube boilers, Four shafts|
|Power Output||112,500 shaft horsepower|
|Armament||2x4x13in guns, 3x4x5.1in dual purpose guns, 2x2x5.1in dual purpose guns, 8x37mm AA guns, 32x13.2mm AA machine guns|
|Armor||255mm side belt, 30mm bulkheads, 115-125mm deck, 310-330mm turrets|
|Aircraft||4 Liore 130 floatplanes|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseDunkerque was the lead ship of her class of fast battleships, the first French ship to be categorized as so. Although she was not as well-armed as contemporary battleships, they were purposefully so as they were built specifically to counter the German Deutschland-class pocket battleships, which were in effect extra-heavy cruisers. Dunkerque's design was innovative, having the entire main armament mounted forward in two quadruple turrets, which allowed unrestricted forward fire.
ww2dbaseDuring the Phoney War period of the European War, Dunkerque was used along with her sister ship Strasbourg to escort convoys. After the German conquest of France, she was docked in Mers-el-K├ębir alongside of Strasbourg. On 3 Jul 1940, British Force H executed Operation Catapult on 3 Jul 1940, attempting to wipe out the French fleet at Mers-el-K├ębir. Dunkerque was severely damaged by gunfire during the attack, settling on the bottom of the harbor. Two days later, she sustained further damage by torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. After being re-floated and temporary repairs completed, Dunkerque returned to Toulon in Southern France in Feb 1942. She was in armistice custody, disarmed and in drydock, when the Germans invaded the so-called "Free Zone" on 27 Nov 1942. Dunkerque and Strasbourg were scuttled by demolition charges at Toulon on the same day. Her commanding officer, Capitaine de vaisseau Amiel, initially refused to sink his ship without written orders, but was finally convinced to do so by the captain of the nearby light cruiser La Galissonni├Ęre.
ww2dbaseSpecifications provided by Alan Chanter, from following sources: The Complete Encyclopedia of Battleships and Battle Cruisers, Collins-Janes Warships of World War II, Janes Fighting Ships of World War II.
Last Major Revision: Sep 2007
Battleship Dunkerque Interactive Map
Dunkerque Operational Timeline
|1 May 1937||Dunkerque was commissioned into service.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945