French destroyer Terrible

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Le Fantasque
Fantasque, sister-ship of Terrible
Career (France)
Laid down: 1931
Launched: 30 November 1933
Commissioned: 1 May 1936
Reclassified: March 1943
Fate: scrapped June 1962
General characteristics
Class and type: Fantasque-class destroyer
Displacement: 2570 tonnes
Length: 132.40 m (434.4 ft)
Beam: 11.98 m (39.3 ft)
Draught: 4.30 m (14.1 ft)
Propulsion: 4 Penhoët boilers
2 Parsons or Rateau engines
74,000 to 81,000 HP
2 propellers
Speed: 45 knots (83 km/h; 52 mph) (40 nominal)
37 knots after refit
Range: 1,200 km (650 nmi; 750 mi) at 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
6,600 km at 17 knots
Complement: 10 officers
210 sailors
Armament: 5 × 138 mm (5.4-inch) guns (2 forward, 3 aft)
4 × 37 mm AA guns (original)
4 × 13.2 mm AA machine guns (original)
8 × 40 mm Bofors AA guns (after refit)
10 × 20 mm Oerlikon AA guns (after refit)
9 × 550 mm torpedo tubes in three triple mounts
40 mines

The Terrible was a large destroyer of the French Navy in service during World War II.


Terrible was launched in 1933 and displaced 2,570 tonnes with 74,000 HP. She became the fastest destroyer ever when she reached 45.1 knots during trials in 1935.[1]

The Fantasque-class destroyers were assigned to the Force de Raid when war was declared.[2] On 25 October 1939, along with her sister-ship Fantasque, Terrible captured the German cargo ship Santa Fe.

She took part in the battle of Mers-el-Kebir on 3 July 1940, exiting the harbour and engaging the British fleet. She attempted to torpedo large British units, but was recalled to escort the Strasbourg back to Toulon.

Terrible took part in the Battle of Dakar in September 1940.

Shortly after Operation Torch, French West Africa and its fleet, including Terrible, rejoined the Allies. In March 1943, she entered a major refit and modernization in Boston, where she was fitted with two radars, a new ASDIC, new anti-air weaponry and other improvements. She was then reclassified as a "light cruiser" to match Allied standards, and was sent to the Mediterranean theater of war.

She took part in Allied invasion of Italy, bombarding shore targets and repelling German planes. On 13 December 1943, she landed 250 men in Ajaccio.

In 1944, she formed the 10th Light Cruiser Division along with her sister-ships Fantasque and Malin, attacking Axis convoys in swift night actions in the Adriatic Sea including defeating a German convoy just off Ist island in February 1944.[1] In August, she took part in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of south France.

In December, she was heavily damaged in a collision with the Malin, which left her under repair until 1945.

After the war, Terrible was put in the reserve, and reclassified as a "swift escort" to match NATO standards, with pennant number D611. She served as an escort to the French carriers La Fayette (R96), Bois Belleau (R97) and Arromanches (R 95).

From 1956, she was used as a training ship in Brest, and she was eventually scrapped in June 1962.


  1. ^ a b Greene, Jack, O'Hara, Vincent P;. Spencer C. Tucker, ed. World War II at sea : an encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, LLC. pp. 7, 282. ISBN 978-1-59884-457-3. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Rohwer, Jürgen; Hummelchen, Gerhard (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 5. ISBN 1-55750-105-X.