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The Dunkerque-class battleship was a class of two fast battleships, or battle cruisers, used by the French Navy during World War II. The two ships, Dunkerque and Strasbourg, were designed as counters to the German Navy's pocket battleships, but were scuttled at Toulon in 1942 before meeting them in combat.


Both ships of this class were constructed as replacements for the battleships France and Ocean. Modeled on the British ship HMS Nelson, and costing 700,000,000 Francs each, both ships adopted quadruple gun turrets, which were widely spaced to localize the effects of shell fire. As the design was too long to fit into the dry dock used for construction, the stern sections were built separately, and attached to the hull after floating out. In order to distinguish the two ships, Dunkerque, which was laid down on 26th December 1932 and completed in April 1937, had two white bands around the funnel, while Strasbourg, which was laid down on 25th November 1934 and completed in December 1934, had only one white band. [1]


  1. McMurtrie, Francis E. (Editor) Jane's Fighting Ships of World War 2. Tiger Books International. ISBN 0517679639 Page 119

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