The Provence, sister-ship of the Lorraine
|Namesake:||Region of Lorraine|
|Builder:||Ateliers & Chantiers de la Loire|
|Laid down:||1 August 1912|
|Launched:||30 September 1913|
|Commissioned:||27 July 1916|
|Decommissioned:||17 February 1953|
|Class and type:||Bretagne class battleship|
|Displacement:||23 230 tons standard, 26 180 tons full load|
|Propulsion:||4 shaft Parsons turbines, 18-24 boilers, 29,000 hp|
|Range:||4700 nmi at 10 knots, 2680 tons coal and 300 tons oil|
10 × 340mm/45 Modèle 1912 guns in
Belt 270 mm
The Lorraine was built by Ateliers & Chantiers de la Loire at St. Nazaire, and her keel was laid down on 1 August 1912. Launched on 30 September 1913, she was completed and commissioned on 27 July 1916.
Like her sister ships, the battleships Bretagne and Provence, the Lorraine was armed with a main armament of ten of the new 340 mm main guns from the cancelled Normandie-class battleships. The main guns were mounted two per turret; two centreline superfiring forwards, two centreline superfiring aft and one amidships centreline turret that could fire to both sides.
In refits from 1921 to 1922, 1926 to 1927, and from 1934 to 1936 the Lorraine was modernised between the wars, with an aircraft catapult put in place of her midships gun-turret and modern anti-aircraft armament, as well being converted to new oil-firing boilers. Despite putting out 43,000 horsepower, the new boilers only pushed her speed up to 21 knots and here again her lack of speed as well as her relatively thin 180 mm armour made her a liability in battle.
She served with her two sister ships in the Mediterranean during both World Wars. Save for sailing around in potentially hostile waters, the ship saw no action during the First World War.
During the outbreak of Second World War the Lorraine carried France's gold reserves to the United States in November 1939. She was then ordered to the Eastern Mediterranean, where she participated in the bombardment of Bardia.
When France capitulated in 1940, the British Admiral Andrew Cunningham who commanded the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet, and French Admiral René-Emile Godfroy struck a deal which led to the peaceful disarmament and interment of the Lorraine and the other ships of its squadron by the British in Alexandria on 22 June 1940.
After rearming, the Lorraine joined the Allies on 31 May 1943 and was involved in shore bombardments of Southern France, including the cities of Toulon and Marseilles, during the Allies' Operation Dragoon. Her big guns supported the landings in southern France in August and September 1944 and she bombarded a number of hold-out German fortresses in both the Mediterranean and Atlantic for the rest of the war.
Following the end of the war in Europe, the Lorraine was converted into a training hulk.
Decommissioned on 17 February 1953, she was finally scrapped in 1954.