The French Navies last heavy cruiser was the well liked Algerie. Since that ship the French had built the Dunkerque type and Richelieu class with two quad turrets forward. The French Naval Designers decided to put forward a heavy cruiser type with the same layout, two quad turrets of 8" forward. These were to be big ships, equivalent to the German Hipper class with good armament and much better armour than earlier ships. The two ships of the class were to be fitted with all the latest marks of guns, 8"/1939, 3.9"/1940, 37mm/1940, with aircraft. The strange part was the lack of torpedoes on a French cruiser. A lot of the extra large hull was made available to the propulsion system with a 140,000shp output for 34 knots. Up to 3 aircraft could be carried.
95% completed when the Germans were rolling through France, both ships were hastily got to sea from the Brest Navy Yards and sent to Belfast in Northern Ireland for completion. Only the electronic fittings were needed to be completed and British systems were fitted in place. Both ships then rejoined the Free French Navy and fought alongside other French units that had joined the fight with the Allies against the hated Boche.
Displacement: 14,500 tons standard, 19,800 tons full load
Length: 663 ft
Breadth: 72 ft
Draught: 24.5 ft
Machinery: 4 shaft, steam turbines, 140,000shp
Speed: 34 knots
Range: 8000 miles at 15 knots (2,450 nm at 28 knots)
Armour: 6.1" side, 3.9" deck, 6.1" turrets
8 x 8" (2x4)
10 x 3.9" (5x2)
14 x 37mm (7x2)
Aircraft: 3 (Loire 130)