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Duquesne file photo [23312]


Ship ClassDuquesne-class Heavy Cruiser
BuilderArsenal de Brest
Laid Down30 Oct 1924
Launched17 Dec 1925
Commissioned6 Dec 1928
Decommissioned2 Jul 1955
Displacement10,000 tons standard; 12,200 tons full
Length627 feet
Beam62 feet
Draft21 feet
MachineryRateau-Bretagne single-reduction geared turbines, 9 Guyot boilers, 4 shafts
Power Output120,000 shaft horsepower
Speed34 knots
Range4,500nm at 15 knots
Armament4x2x203mm/50 Modèle 1924 guns, 8x75mm AA guns, 4x2x37mm AA guns, 4x3x13.2mm AA guns, 4x3x550mm torpedo tubes
Armor30mm magazine boxes, 30mm deck, 30mm turrets, 30mm conning tower
AircraftTwo GL-812 or two GL-832 or two Loire-Nieuport 130 seaplanes


ww2dbaseDuquesne was commissioned into French Navy service in 1928. She first saw war time duty during the Spanish Civil War, evacuating French nationals from the war zone. In 1940, she participated in the hunt for the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee. In Jul 1940, Duquesne was among the fleet that Admiral René-Emile Godfroy surrendered to the British in Alexandria, Egypt; as such, she was disarmed. Because Godfroy refused to join forces with the British against German and Italian forces, Duquesne and other ships of Force X remained inactive in Alexandria for an extended amount of time. In Jun 1943, Godfroy agreed to join General Henri Giraud, thus Force X was reactivated. After receiving maintenance at Dakar, French West Africa, she sailed to the United States, where she would replace her torpedo tubes with 8 Bofors 40-millimeter guns and 16 Oerlikon 20-millimeter cannon for improved anti-aircraft defense. In 1945, she patrolled the Atlantic Ocean for German blockade runners and bombarded German positions along the French Atlantic coast. After refitting in late 1945, she served in French Indochina until Aug 1947. She was decommissioned in Jul 1955 and was sold for scrap.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Mar 2015


French heavy cruiser Duquesne, 1930s

Duquesne Operational Timeline

30 Oct 1924 The keel of Duquesne was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest, France.
17 Dec 1925 Duquesne was launched at the Arsenal de Brest, France.
6 Dec 1928 Duquesne was commissioned into service.
24 Apr 1940 Duquesne was assigned to Force X stationed in Alexandria, Egypt.
3 Jul 1943 Duquesne departed Alexandria, Egypt.
18 Aug 1943 Duquesne arrived at Dakar, French West Africa.
2 Jul 1955 Duquesne was decommissioned in Algeria.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. GrahamClayton says:
31 Dec 2023 07:27:07 PM

A few countries built 'tinclad' heavy cruisers to meet the requirements of the Washington Treaty, with the Duquesne class probably the worst of the lot. At least they never saw any action - their non-existent armour protection would have made them an easy target for better armoured enemy cruisers.

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Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War
» British Attacks on the French Fleet

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French heavy cruiser Duquesne, 1930s

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