Le Hardi-class destroyer

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Hardi class destroyer
Le Hardi class destroyer
Class overview
Name: Le Hardi class
Operators:  French Navy
 Regia Marina
Preceded by: L'Adroit class
Succeeded by: T 47 class
Planned: 12
Completed: 8
General characteristics [1]
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,772 long tons (1,800 t)
Length: 117.20 m (384 ft 6 in)
Beam: 11.10 m (36 ft 5 in)
Draught: 4.20 m (13 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 4 boilers
Geared turbines, 58,000 shp (43,251 kW)
2 shafts
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)
Range: 2,760 nmi (5,110 km; 3,180 mi) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 187 officers and men
Armament:
  • 3 × twin 130 mm (5 in) guns
  • 2 × single 37 mm (1.5 in) AA guns
  • 7 × 13.2 mm (0.52 in) machine guns
  • 1 × triple + 2 × twin 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes

The Le Hardi class was a group of twelve French Navy destroyers (torpilleurs) laid down between 1936 and 1938. Eight ships were commissioned in 1940, with four ships never finished. They were the lighter counterparts to the very fast larger destroyers of the Mogador class, and the successors of L'Adroit class.

The ships of the Le Hardi class were significantly heavier than the L'Adroit '​s, carrying two additional 130 mm guns in enclosed turrets and an extra torpedo tube. They were also 4 knots faster, being designed to operate with the new French fast battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg.

Some of the eight ships of the class were renamed in 1941, taking the names of destroyers previously sunk during the war.

Ships[edit]

The ships of the class were:

Ship Builder Launched Fate
Le Hardi Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes 4 May 1938 Scuttled 27 November 1942, raised as FR37, scuttled Genoa 24 April 1945
Fleuret (later renamed Foudroyant) Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 28 July 1938 Scuttled 27 November 1942, raised as FR35, Scuttled August 1944
Épée (later renamed L'Adroit) Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux 26 October 1938 Scuttled 27 November 1942, raised as FR33, returned to France in a non-repairable condition
Mameluk Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes 18 February 1939 Scuttled 27 November 1942
Casque Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 2 November 1938 Scuttled 27 November 1942
Le Flibustier (later renamed Bison) Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 14 December 1939 Scuttled 27 November 1942
Lansequenet Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux 20 May 1939 Scuttled 27 November 1942,raised as FR34, scuttled Genoa 24 April 1945
Le Corsaire (later renamed Sirocco). Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 14 November 1939 Scuttled 27 November 1942, raised as FR32. Scuttled in Genoa 1943
L'Intrépide Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 26 June 1941 Not completed, scrapped post war.
Le Téméraire Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer 7 November 1941 Not completed, scrapped post war.
L'Opiniâtre Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux not launched Intended for completion by the Germans, as the ZF2, never finished
L'Aventurier Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux 20 April 1947 Used as an experimental hulk post war, broken up 1971

Service history[edit]

The entire class was scuttled in Toulon harbour in November 1942 to prevent them falling into German hands.[2]

Three ships — Épée/L'Adroit, Fleuret/Foudroyant and Lansequenet — were raised, repaired and commissioned into the Italian Navy during 1943 as FR33, FR36 and FR35 respectively. When Italy switched sides, all three were captured by the Germans. Épée was captured in turn by the Allies and the other two scuttled once more to prevent capture.

ZF2[edit]

The hull of the L'Opiniâtre was captured intact and 16% complete in Bordeaux, and the Kriegsmarine intended to complete her for service. Since French armament was not available and for standardisation with the rest of the German Navy, 12.7 cm guns and German pattern torpedo tubes were ordered. Work proceeded tardily until all progress was abandoned in July 1943. The hull was eventually broken up on the slip.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Conway p270
  2. ^ Conway p270
  3. ^ "ZF2". german-navy.de. 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Gardiner, R; Chesnau, R: Conways All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1922-1946 (1980) ISBN 0-85177-146-7
  • Whitley, M.J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Cassell Publishing. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links[edit]