Battleship Strasbourg, the forgotten sistership

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Navire de ligne Strasbourg

The forgotten sistership


About Strasbourg and its interest in War Thunder

When thinking about French fast Battleships, Dunkerque is always the one mentioned over its sistership, mostly because it is the lead ship of its class, flagship of its fleet, and its history was more memorable as it was heavily damaged during the attack of Mers el Kebir, etc. However, from a more gameplay/pragmatic point of view, the Strasbourg is better in a lot of way compared to the Dunkerque : Better armor, better AA defenses… and I believe it has its place in War Thunder, mostly as a better main tech tree variant compared to a premium, for example.

The Strasbourg

During the 1920’s the French navy was trying to find a way to rearm its fleet, severely lacking after the end of WW1. Although the Washington treaty had limited the size of its fleet and the scope of its modernisation, The biggest problem was the speed at which the rival fleets were developing. Be it the Italian fleet or the German fleet, they both were modernizing at an alarming rate. While the French navy was building its first heavy cruiser classes, the Regia Marina was creating fast, powerful cruiser killers that were much more modern than anything France was able to align. But it was first and foremost the creation of the Deutschland class in Germany which convinced the French navy to go for a ship capable of facing that kind of threat. They converted their first capital ship project into a 23000t battlecruiser project, which would fit two turrets equipped with 4 canons, in fact, the turret of the scrapped project Normandie from the 1920’s. The Strasbourg was the second battleship born from this program, two years after the Dunkerque, in 1934, and was completed in 1938. The main differences were the addition of a second bridge, several AA positions on the tower, added armor, and different engines. The tests done in 1937/38 evaluated the speed compared to the added armor, the overall sea handling of the ship, as well as its armament.

Strasbourg was put into service in 1939, and mostly followed the footsteps of the Dunkerque, being in the same fleet, the Force de Raid during the war. The main difference started with Mers El Kebir. Indeed, during the attack, the Strasbourg is the first ship to weigh anchor, and manages to pass through the magnetic minefield dropped by the British Swordfish plane, Its escape became a priority, which pushed the French destroyers which escaped as well to escort it, while the Strasbourg was firing at the British fleet. In the end, its escape was the major downfall of the British fleet, which couldn’t prevent it. Admiral Sommervile was even certain he would be court martialled for this, although British propaganda ultimately prevailed and turned the whole operation as a success.

After that, Strasbourg didn’t sailed much, but got an enhanced AA defense, as well as a French made radar, the DEM. Its ultimate demise came with Operation Anton, as the ship was scuttled along with the rest of the French fleet to prevent it from falling into German hands.

General Characteristics :

Tonnage: * 27300 tons (standard)
  • 31570 tons (max load)
  • 36380 tons (max overload)|
    |Propulsion:|* Penhoet steam turbines
  • 6 Indret boilers
  • 107 000 HP|
    |Speed:|30.16 knots (55 km/h) during trials, 29,4 knots usually (54km/h)|
    |Range:|* 7856 nautical miles (11,000 km) at 15 knots
  • 2,450 nautical miles (5,190 km) at 28 knots|

Crew : 1302 men (32 officer, 1270 sailors)

Armor :

Vertical protection :

Main belt : 283mm

Front bulkhead : 225mm

Back bulkhead : 210mm (upper part), 150mm (lower part)

Horizontal protection :

Main deck : 125mm

Above the engine room : 115mm

Above the propellers 100mm
Intermediary armored bridge : 50mm

Conning tower :

Front and side : 270mm

back : 220mm

roof : 150/130mm

Main turrets :

Front : 360mm

Side : 250mm

Roof : 160mm

back : 352mm

130mm turrets :

front : 135mm

side : 90mm

roof : 90mm

Armament :

8 x 330mm mle 1931 canons (2 x 4)

16 x 130mm mle 1932 canons (3 x 4 on the back, + 2 x 2 on the side)

10 x 37 mm mle 1933 AA guns (5 x 2)

32 x 13.2 mm Hotchkiss mle 1929 MGs (8 x 4)

Regarding the 330mm turrets :





depression : -5°, +35°

rotation : 6°/s on 166° (turret 1) or 148° (turret 2)

weight : 67.535 tons

Length : 17.170m

330mm Shells :

AP shell Opf mle 1935 : 570kg, 20kg explosives

penetration : 342mm at 23 000m

Max range : 41 000m

Explosive shell Opfk mle 1935 : 522kg, 63kg explosives

Max range : 40 200m

Regarding the 130mm canons :




depression : -10°, +75°

rotation : 8°/s on 143° (back turret center) or 235° (back side turrets) or 212° (side turrets)

weight : quadruple : 200 tons, double : 81 tons

130mm Shells :

weight : 33.4kg (AP) 29.5 kg (EXP)

Max range : 20 800m (12 000m AA configuration)

Fire rate : 10-12 s/m


Plans and differences with the Dunkerque :



Photos and close-ups :





French Fleet Manoeuvres Atlantic - YouTube


Strasbourg (navire de ligne) - Wikiwand
-MOULIN Jean, Les cuirassés français en images, Marines Editions, 2006 Navire de ligne Strasbourg


Strasbourg with the Normandie ocean liner, Le Havre, Navy Day.

France could use a battlecruiser in the future, this would make a fantastic addition.

France never had Battlecruisers (although there were a few designs we could and imo should see in the future), but a fast Battleship line may be a good alternative for them.

+1 From me, Gaijin needs to beef up the French fleet whilst they still have analogues to those of other nations.

I wasnt aware, thats my bad. Regardless this would make a fantastic addition.

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It’s a matter of definition and language adaptation… Officially these ships were called in French “Ship of the line”, so battleship, fast battleships, battlecruiser… In the end it’s difficult to put an accurate name. One thing’s for sure, they were capital ships, and the Dunkerque was the flagship of its fleet.


What I also want to add is that Strasbourg had 4 more radars at the time of 1942
You can see them in the photo below
The radar itself is called ME-140/MR-126



Here I noted where the radars are located for those who did not notice or did not see them


We already have such a radar in the game on the heavy cruiser Colbert
It would be great if we could see Strasburg in the game at the time of its end, and this is 1942