The Vauquelin-class large destroyers (contre-torpilleurs) of the French navy were laid down in 1930 and commissioned in 1931. They were very similar to the previous Aigle class, the only difference being a single extra torpedo tube. The class saw action in World War II.
Maillé Brézé was lost on 30 April 1940 after a torpedo accident at Greenock, Scotland, killing 25 of her crew (sabotage was suspected at the time). Chevalier Paul was sunk off the coast of Syria on 16 June 1941, by British torpedo bombers. Vauquelin, Cassard, Kersaint and Tartu were all scuttled in Toulon Harbour on 27 November 1942 to prevent their capture by Germany, these ships were too badly damaged to be salvaged.