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Battleships and cruisers - Marine nationale: books

A book on French battleships or cruisers? Here are books on the battleships and cruisers of the Marine nationale, including the Dunkerque and Richelieu.

French Battleships 1914-1945 (Osprey)

On September 1, 1910, France became the last great naval power to lay down a dreadnought battleship, the Courbet. The ensuing Courbet and Bretagne-class dreadnoughts had a relatively quiet World War I, spending most of it at anchor off the entrance to the Adriatic, keeping watch over the Austro-Hungarian fleet.

The constraints of the Washington Naval Treaty prevented new battleships being built until the 1930s, with the innovative Dunkerque-class and excellent Richelieu-class of battleships designed to counter new German designs.
After the fall of France in 1940, the dreadnoughts and fast battleships of the Marine Nationale had the unique experience of firing against German, Italian, British, and American targets during the war.

This authoritative study examines these fascinating ships, using detailed colour plates and historical photographs, taking them from their inception before World War I, through their service in World War II including the scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon in 1943, and the service of Richelieu in the war against Japan.

Author:Ryan K. Noppen, Paul Wright
Specs:48 pages, 25 x 18.5 x 0.5 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.2 in, paperback
Illustrations:80 b&w photographs, 32 drawings in colour
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2019)
Series:New Vanguard (266)
Book: French Battleships 1914-1945 (Osprey)

French Battleships 1914-1945

Language: English

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French Battleships of World War One

When war broke out in August 1914 France had only two dreadnoughts in service, with a second pair running trials. The main body of the elite Armée Navale was made up of the eleven battleships of the Patrie and Danton classes, both of which were intermediate designs with two main gun calibres.
Older ships included survivors of the notorious Flotte d'echantillons ('fleet of samples') of the 1890 programme and their successors designed during the 1890s.

This book traces the development of French battleships from 1890 to 1922, and also covers the extensive modifications made to the survivors during the interwar period. The structure follows that of previous books in this highly successful series, with Part I by John Jordan devoted to design, followed by historical chapters by Philippe Caresse covering 1900 to 1945.
It is liberally illustrated throughout with line drawings and labelled schematics, plus photographs from the extensive Caresse collection, many of which are previously unpublished.

This is the most comprehensive account of these ships published in English or in French, and is destined be the standard reference for many years to come.

Author:John Jordan, Philippe Caresse
Specs:328 pages, 30 x 25.5 x 2.7 cm / 11.8 x 10 x 1.06 in, hardback
Illustrations:220 b&w photographs, 130 drawings
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2017)
Book: French Battleships of World War One

French Battleships of World War One

Language: English

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French Battleships 1922-1956

The battleships of the Dunkerque and Richelieu classes were the most radical and influential designs of the interwar period, and were coveted by the British, the Germans and the Italians following the Armistice of June 1940.
After an extensive refit in the USA, Richelieu went on to serve alongside the Royal Navy during 1943-45.

Using a wealth of primary-source material, some of which has only recently been made available, John Jordan and Robert Dumas have embarked on a completely new study of these important and technically interesting ships. A full account of their development is followed by a detailed analysis of their design characteristics, profusely illustrated by inboard profiles and schematic drawings.
The technical chapters are interspersed with operational histories of the ships, with a particular focus on the operations in which they engaged other heavy units: Mers el-Kebir, Dakar and Casablanca. These accounts include a detailed analysis of their performance in action and the damage sustained, and are supported by specially-drawn maps and by the logs of Strasbourg and Richelieu.

Twenty-two colour profile and plan views illustrate the ships' appearance at the various stages of their careers.

Author:John Jordan, Robert Dumas
Specs:232 pages, 28.5 x 24 x 1.9 cm / 11.2 x 9 x 0.75 in, paperback
Illustrations:180 photographs and drawings
Publisher:Seaforth Publishing (GB, 2021)
Book: French Battleships 1922-1956

French Battleships 1922-1956

Language: English

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The Battleship Richelieu (Super Drawings in 3D)

The Richelieu was a French battleship, and the lead ship of her class. She was the first French 35,000-ton battleship, designed to counter the Italian Littorio class battleships, the first modern battleships built since the 1922 Treaty of Washington.

Ordered in 1935, she was a scaled-up version of the Dunkerque class battleships, featuring a main armament of eight 380 mm guns in two quadruple turrets in forward superfiring positions.

Her armour and underwater protection were equal to her contemporaries, except the Japanese Yamato class battleships. Her speed was surpassed only by the fastest U.S. Navy battleships.

Pages of the book The Battleship Richelieu (1)

A volume in the Super Drawings in 3D Series. With ground-breaking 3D imagery, each corner, angle, and dimension of the ship is viewable.
With various close-up views, and each 3D image based on actual technical scale drawings and photographs, this is an exceptional reference tool.
Information on the design, development and combat history of the vessel is also included, as well as numerous photographs and 1/350th scale drawings.

Pages of the book The Battleship Richelieu (2)

Author:Andrzej Sobucki, Miroslaw Skwiot
Specs:80 pages, 29.5 x 21 x 0.8 cm / 11.6 x 8.25 x 0.31 in, paperback
Illustrations:140 computer renders in 3D, scale drawings
Publisher:Kagero Oficyna Wydawnicza (PL, 2012)
Series:Super Drawings in 3D
Book: The Battleship Richelieu (Super Drawings in 3D)

The Battleship Richelieu

Language: English

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Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945 (Typenkompass)

Ce livre de référence présente les cuirassiers utilisés par les marines de la France, le Royaume Uni et l'URSS pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale.

Pages of the book [TK] Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - GB, F und USSR 39-45 (1)

Chaque type est présenté à l'aide d'une photo, d'une description historique et d'une fiche technique.

Author:Ingo Bauernfeind
Specs:128 pages, 20.5 x 14 cm / 8.1 x 5.5 in, paperback
Illustrations:115 b&w and 3 colour photographs
Publisher:Motorbuch Verlag (D, 2012)
Series:Typenkompass
Book: Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945 (Typenkompass)

Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945

Language: German

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European Ironclads 1860-75 : La Gloire sparks the great ironclad arms race (Osprey)

From Spain to Russia, and from Ottoman Turkey to Bismarck's Prussia, this book explores 15 years that transformed European naval warfare. When the Gloire slid down the Toulon slipway in 1859, it changed sea power forever. With this ship, the world's first oceangoing ironclad, France had a warship that could sink any other, and which was proof against the guns of any wooden ship afloat.

Instantly, an arms race began between the great navies of Europe - first to build their own ironclads, and then to surpass each other's technology and designs. As both armour and gun technology rapidly improved, naval architects found new ways to mount and protect guns. The ram briefly came back into fashion, and Italian and Austro-Hungarian fleets fought the ironclad era's great battle at Lissa.
By the end of this revolutionary period, the modern battleship was becoming recognizable, and new naval powers were emerging to dominate Europe's waters.

Author:Angus Konstam
Specs:48 pages, 24.5 x 17 x 0.5 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 x 0.2 in, paperback
Illustrations:b&w photographs, drawings in colour
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2019)
Series:New Vanguard (269)
Book: European Ironclads 1860-75 : La Gloire sparks the great ironclad arms race (Osprey)

European Ironclads 1860-75 : La Gloire sparks the great ironclad arms race

Language: English

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French Armoured Cruisers 1887 - 1932

Of all the threats faced by the Royal Navy during the first years of the twentieth century, the one which stood out was the risk to Britain's sea lines of communication posed by France's armoured cruisers. Fast, well-armed and well-protected, these ships could have evaded any attempted blockade of the French ports and, supported by a worldwide network of overseas bases, could potentially have caused havoc on the trade routes. Between 1898 and 1901 the French laid down thirteen ships, and completed nine in 1903-4 alone.

This book has as its subject the French armoured cruisers built from the late 1880s until shortly before the outbreak of the Great War, beginning with the revolutionary Dupuy-de-L me, the world's first modern armoured cruiser, and ending with the impressive six-funnelled Edgar Quinet and Waldeck-Rousseau.

The primary focus of the book is on the technical characteristics of the ships. Detailed and labelled drawings based on the official plans are provided by John Jordan, and each individual class of ship is illustrated by photographs from the extensive personal collection of Philippe Caresse.

The technical section is followed by a history in two parts, covering the Great War (1914-18) and the postwar years, during which the surviving ships saw extensive deployment as station' cruisers overseas and as training ships. This is the most comprehensive account published in English or in French, and is destined be the standard reference for many years to come.

Author:Jordan John , Caresse Philippe
Specs:288 pages, 29.5 x 25.5 x 2.4 cm / 11.6 x 10 x 0.94 in, hardback
Illustrations:240 b&w photographs and drawings
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2019)
Book: French Armoured Cruisers 1887 - 1932

French Armoured Cruisers 1887 - 1932

Language: English

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French Cruisers 1922-1956

The French produced some of the most striking and innovatory interwar cruiser designs. A large amount of new information about these ships has become available over the past twenty years in France, but this book is the first to make this accessible to an English-speaking readership.

Part I explains the design philosophy behind each of the classes built after 1922, and outlines the characteristics of each type, accompanied by detailed data tables and a comprehensive set of specially-drawn plans based on official documents, as well as carefully-selected photographs. Coverage includes the De Grasse, laid down in August 1939 and completed postwar as an AA cruiser, and also the heavy cruisers of the Saint Louis class intended to follow her, about which little has been published.

Part II deals with the historical side, covering not only the eventful careers of these ships, but also explaining the peacetime organisation of the Marine Nationale, the complex politics of this turbulent period and their impact on the navy.

Like its highly successful predecessor, "French Battleships", this beautifully presented book subtly blends technical and historical analysis to produce what must become the standard reference work.

Author:John Jordan, Jean Moulin
Specs:232 pages, 29.5 x 25 x 2 cm / 11.6 x 9.8 x 0.79 in, hardback
Illustrations:180 b&w and colour photographs and drawings
Publisher:Seaforth Publishing (GB, 2013)
Book: French Cruisers 1922-1956

French Cruisers 1922-1956

Language: English

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French Destroyers : Torpilleurs d'Escadre and Contre-Torpilleurs, 1922-1956

Between the wars the French produced some of the largest, and certainly the fastest, destroyers in the world. Known as Contre-Torpilleurs, these striking and innovatory super-destroyers form the core of this book, but the more conventional Torpilleurs d'Escadre are also covered.
This history combines the technical and service material published in French-language monographs over the past two decades with the authors' own research from primary sources.

The structure of the book follows that of the highly successful French Cruisers, with Part I devoted to the design of each of the classes built after 1922. The text is accompanied by detailed data tables and illustrated by a comprehensive set of specially-drawn plans and schemas based on official documents, as well as carefully-selected photographs from French naval sources and from private collections. Coverage runs down to the Le Hardi class, the last pre-war design.
Part II deals with the historical side, covering the eventful careers of these ships before, during and after the war. This section is illustrated by maps specially drawn for the book, and by contemporary photographs.

Like its highly successful predecessors, French Battleships and French Cruisers, this beautifully presented book blends technical and historical analysis to produce what must become the standard English-language reference work.

Author:John Jordan, Jean Moulin
Specs:240 pages, 29 x 24.5 cm / 11.4 x 9.7 in, hardback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Seaforth Publishing (GB, 2015)
Book: French Destroyers : Torpilleurs d'Escadre and Contre-Torpilleurs, 1922-1956

French Destroyers : Torpilleurs d'Escadre and Contre-Torpilleurs, 1922-1956

Language: English

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Last update:05-04-2024