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Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Builder: Saint-Nazaire, France
Laid down: 30 November 1911
Launched: 7 November 1912
Commissioned: 15 July 1914
Fate: Foundered 26 August 1922
General characteristics
Class and type: Courbet-class battleship
Displacement: 22,189 tonnes
Length: 166.0 m (544 ft 7 in)
Beam: 27.9 m (88 ft 7 in)
Draught: 8.80 m (29 ft)
Propulsion: 24 Niclausse boilers, four Parsons steam turbines
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Range: 1,140 nautical miles (2,110 km) at full speed.
4,200 nmi (7,780 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 1085 to 1100
Armament:

12 × 305mm/45 Modèle 1910 guns
22 x 1 - 138.6 mm Mle 1910 guns

4 × 450 mm torpedotubes
Armour: Belt: 270 mm
Deck: 30 to 50 mm
Bridge: 300 mm

The French battleship France was a Courbet-class dreadnought of the French Navy. The Courbet class were designed by M. Lyasse. France was built as part of the 1910 naval building programme.

Contents

Russia

France was the only one of the Courbet class to be built by the A.C. de la Loire company in St Nazaire. She was commissioned ceremoniously as part of the Bastille Day celebrations in 1914. Almost immediately after being commissioned, she and her sister ship, Paris, were sent to Saint Petersburg, Russia as part of French President Raymond Poincaré's official visit.

World War I

Both ships were en route home through the Baltic Sea when World War I broke out in August 1914. At the time, France was not fully armed and had no ammunition aboard and she and Paris barely managed to escape the German High Seas Fleet.

France, upon her return to France, was properly armed and was ordered, along with her three sister ships, to serve in the Mediterranean Sea against the Austro-Hungarian and Turkish Navies.

After the war, in 1919, she took part in the Sevastopol operations against the Bolshevik revolutionaries. On 26 August 1922, she was patrolling Quiberon Bay and struck an uncharted rock. Of the crew of 900, only 3 were lost.[1]

Salvage

Over time three different salvage companies would purchase and process the wreck of the France, the last completing work in 1958. [2]

References

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