Aigle-class destroyer

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Milan 1936-1937.jpg
Aigle class destroyer
Class overview
Name: Aigle
Preceded by: Guépard class
Succeeded by: Vauquelin class
Completed: 6
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 2,441 long tons (2,480 t) standard
3,140 long tons (3,190 t) full load
Length: 129 m (423 ft 3 in)
Beam: 11.84 m (38 ft 10 in)
Draught: 4.23 m (13 ft 11 in)
Propulsion: Geared turbines, 4 boilers, 68,000 shp (51,000 kW)
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h)
Range: 3,650 nmi (6,760 km; 4,200 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 220 officers and men
Armament:
  • 5 × single 138 mm (5.4 in) Model 1927 guns
  • 4 × 37 mm (1.5 in)/50 DCA Model 1933 AA guns
  • 4 × 13.2 mm (0.52 in)/76 DCA Model 1929 AA guns
  • 6 × 550 mm (22 in) torpedo tubes

The Aigle class destroyers (contre-torpilleurs) of the French navy were laid down between 1928 and 1929 and commissioned in 1931 and 1932. They were very similar to the previous Guepard class, the only difference being improved machinery with higher pressure boilers, offering an additional 0.5 kn (0.93 km/h) of speed and a new model 138 mm gun with a sliding breech block giving a higher rate of fire. The ships were named after birds.

Ships[edit]

  • Aigle (Eagle; pennant numbers 5, 6 and X13)
Built by Ateliers et Chantiers de France, Dunkirk
Launched 19 February 1931
Completed 10 October 1932
Scuttled 27 November 1942
Refloated 10 July 1943.
Bombed and sunk 24 November 1943
Broken up in situ 1952.
  • Vautour (Vulture; pennant numbers 6, 5, 73, X71)
Built by Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, Le Havre
Launched 26 August 1930
Completed 2 May 1932
Scuttled 27 November 1942
Refloated 17 January 1943
Bombed and sunk 4 February 1944
Broken up in situ 1951
  • Albatros (3, 2, 5, 72, X73, X77, F762, D614)
built by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes
Launched 27 June 1930
Completed 25 December 1931
Decommissioned 9 September 1959
Built by Ateliers et Chantiers de Bretagne, Nantes
Launched 14 June 1930
Completed 30 January 1932
Scuttled 27 November 1942
Refloated 1 June 1943.
Partly scrapped June-September 1943
Hulk bombed and sunk 7 March 1944
Broken up in situ 1948
  • Milan (Kite - 1, 4, X113, X111)
Built by Arsenal de Lorient
Launched 13 October 1931
Completed 20 April 1934 -
On 8 November 1942, off Casablanca, she was hit by 16-inch (400 mm) shells from the US fleet and had to be beached.
Built by Arsenal de Lorient,
Launched 14 August 1931
Completed 1 April 1934 - On 9 November 1942,
She was sunk by HMS Aurora off Oran. She was raised, and eventually broken up in 1946.

Three of the ships (Albatros, Épervier and Milan) were stationed in Morocco as part of the Vichy French navy, and engaged Allied forces in the battle of Casablanca during Operation Torch. Along with the unfinished battleship Jean Bart, they engaged the Allied 'Covering Group', a taskforce based on the battleship USS Massachusetts. Milan and Épervier both ran aground after being damaged in the battle; Albatros was damaged but, after her capture, repaired after the war and used as a gunnery training vessel.

References[edit]