French cruiser Kléber

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Kléber in the U.S. before World War I
Name: Kléber
Namesake: Jean-Baptiste Kléber
Builder: Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde
Laid down: April 1898
Launched: 20 September 1902
Commissioned: 1904
Fate: Sunk 27 June 1917
General characteristics
Class and type: Dupleix-class armoured cruiser
Displacement: 7,700 tonnes (7,578 long tons)
Length: 130 m (426 ft 6 in)
Beam: 17.87 m (58 ft 8 in)
Draft: 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 3 shafts; 3 triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 531

Kléber was one of three Dupleix-class armoured cruisers built for the French Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was launched in 1902, commissioned in 1904, and sunk in 1917.

Service history[edit]

Kléber was built by Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, and launched on 20 September 1902.[1]

French cruiser Kléber.[2]

During World War I, while serving in the Gallipoli campaign, Kléber collided with the Royal Australian Navy troopship HMT Boorara in the Aegean Sea in July 1915, forcing Boorara to beach herself on Mudros. After service off Gallipoli and in the Aegean, Kléber was refitted at Bordeaux in 1916 before sailing to Dakar, French West Africa as flagship of the 6th Squadron.

Returning to France, On 27 June 1917 off Pointe de St-Matthieu, Kléber struck a mine laid by German U-boat UC-61[3] and sank in Bay of Biscay off the Iroise entrance to Brest, France, with the loss of 42 of her crew,[4] the rest being saved by escorting destroyers.


  1. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36879). London. 22 September 1902. p. 8.
  2. ^ Photographed in Histoire de la Marine française illustrée, Larousse, 1934.
  3. ^ "French Navy in World War I". Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Kleber". Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  • Chesneau, Roger & Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-88254-979-0.