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Line drawing of Gascogne--Like Richelieu but with turrets fore and aft.

Photo of Gascogne

Adaptation of Imperial War Museum photo
Displacement 37,000 tons
Armament 2 x 4 15"
3 x 3 6" + AA
Speed 30 knots
VTS Rating   4   6   6

This French battlecruiser, similar in tonnage to the Clemenceau-class battleships, had the more traditional gun arrangement of turrets fore and aft. Her armor was thinner and more spread out than Clemenceau's but she was three knots faster (VTS rating of "early" Gascogne = 4   4   7). She was being given increased armor and underwater protection bulges in Toulon when war broke out. She escaped to Gibraltar and participated in Force "H" as Free French. Always attracting German aircraft that would seriously damage her before combat, Gascogne missed out on many engagements. The British Admiralty swore that it always seemed so "convenient" for Gascogne to miss the fight. Considered an "unlucky" ship, she was loaded with test animals and used in the Bikini Atoll A-bomb tests.

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