Sunday, 12 February 2017

French battleship Dunkerque under contruction damaged by fire according to the Dutch magazine Marineblad dated 1938 no. 5

Sister ship Dunkerque

An item referred to the magazine Marine Rundschau dated March 1938 reporting that on 18th February a fire broke out in the engine room of the French battle cruiser Strassbourg under construction at St. Nazaire, France. It was difficult to extinguish the fire due to the heavy smoke. It seemed that the deck and the electric wiring in the engine room was destroyed. The board of the shipyard claimed that her delivery would not be delayed. It was believed that the fire was a result of sabotage while it was the third fire within two months.

1. Of the Dunkerque-class fast battleships consisting of the Dunkerque and Strasbourg. This class was preceded by the Bretagne-class, succeeded by the Richelieu-class and an answer to the German so-called pocket battleships of the Deutschland-class (for instance the Graf Spee!). The Strasbourg was laid down in November 1934, launched on 12 December 1936, scuttled at Toulon on 27 November 1942, refloated on 17 July 1943 by the Italian navy but after Italy capitulated in German hands, handed over to France on 1 April 1944, sunk as a result of an American air attack on 18 August 1944, refloated on 1 October 1944 and used as a target for trials with underwater explosives, renamed Q45 on 22 March 1955 and sold on 27 May of the same year to be broken up.