Le Hardi-class destroyer

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Hardi-2.jpg
Le Hardi-class destroyer
Class overview
Name: Le Hardi class
Operators:
Preceded by: L'Adroit class
Succeeded by: T 47 class
Planned: 12
Completed: 8
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement:
Length: 117.2 m (384 ft 6 in) (o/a)
Beam: 11.1 m (36 ft 5 in)
Draught: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)
Range: 3,100 nautical miles (5,700 km; 3,600 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 187 officers and enlisted men
Armament:

The Le Hardi class was a group of twelve destroyers (torpilleurs) built for the French Navy during the late 1930s. 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]

Line drawing of the torpilleur d'escadre Le Hardi'
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(later renamed "Cyclone" 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.[1]

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 L'Opiniâtre was captured intact and 16% complete in Bordeaux, and the Kriegsmarine decided 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.[2]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Jordan, John & Moulin, Jean (2015). French Destroyers: Torpilleurs d'Escadre & Contre-Torpilleurs 1922–1956. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-198-4. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 

External links[edit]