French Destroyers - initial thoughts

Copied over from a post I made in the last few days of the old forum:

The French DD’s are a pretty decent lot I think…3 Ranks of them…

Rank 1 - M1919 130mm guns with slow rate of fire, Leopard trades 3 TT for half-decent AA, the other 2 have essentially no AA at all. But they are all very cheap to spade - no need for Talismans

Rank 2 - M1927 138.6mm guns - relatively low rate of fire, but these are big guns for relatively low BR DD’s and hand out a lot of damage once you get the SAP shells. The HE shells are big too, but don’t deliver the HE charge into the guts of ships - they do 1-shot PT boats, but so do the SAP shells, so I only carry those. AA is moderate but limited to single-shot 37mm and 13.2mm MG’s - they get a few kills but aren’t to be relied on as a deterrent. 37mm are good used manually vs small boats tho.

Rank 3 - M1929 138.6mm on Maslin brings a very useful increase in rate of fire, and the 6" guns on the Marceau also have a reasonable RoF and hit hard. Le Malin has split TT’s with half on each side like a Cruiser, which is not so useful, Marceau has 8 centreline TT - the best load out of any of the DD’s. Both also have good AA with lots of 40mm Bofors and 20mm of various types. They have different BR’s, but IMO they’re fairly even - Marceau has more and better arranged TT’s, Le Marlin has 5 very good 138.6mm guns that fire faster - but BR’s say otherwise - being 4.3 vs 4.7 for le Marlin

All in all I think they are a characterful lot - strengths are the 138.6,mm gun hitting power and AA on the 2 at Tier 3, but they are not overwhelming at all, and 4.3 is probably fair enough BR compared to the US 5"/38 spam that’s around - Le Marlin at 4.7 is probably a bit too high vs US DD’s.


Leopard trades 3 TT for half-decent AA,

For me the “Léopard” is nothing French, it was modified too much by the Britons, we put 3 AA instead of 1 Turret and 3 Torpedo it’s useless and a bit stupid, moreover they removed a chimney and therefore surely the engine which makes it slower … …

It served its entire career in the French and Free French navies - how TF is it not French?

The engine removal as to make her more suitable as an escort - adding fuel and more comfortable accommodations for the crew - the speed reduction from 35.5 to 31.5 knots still leaves her reaonably fast and nowhere near the slowest DD in the game.

And addition of radar and anti-submarine weapons makes it no longer French??

Are you also going to suggest that all the ships with Bofors and Oerlikon cannon are also not actually French due to Swiss and Swedish guns???


Good review. I also think the French destroyers are fairly good. Though I would’ve traded maybe Jeanne d’Arc for a Mogador or Surcouf at release to better compete with the US destroyers.

The 130 mms are better than most reserve guns really, almost every reserve (and all Italian destroyers) has a pathetic rof, but they hit much harder than the 120 or 102mm reserve guns. Ofc when they face a full uptier they’re pretty much obsolete, but that’s Naval compression for you.

The 138.6 mms have a really good rof for their size, same as the British 120mm while also more damaging than the Russian 130mm, but I guess almost every gun is slow compared to the US 5-inch and British 4.5-inch spam.

Marceau’s layout is kinda ehhh, only 1 forward gun sucks sometimes, makes me wish automatic AA autotargeted destroyers like before.

Biggest weaknesses are probably the terrible early rank AA and lack of enclosed turrets. Oh, and that it’s really easy to hit the ammo of the Aigles, very unfun when your opponent exploits that… at least the bots can’t actually aim lol.


Bit better than that I think… Finding their torps to be very effective though you need a blindside to get a few salvos in with the 138 guns to beat the 5"/38 spam.

Seem to suit roaming, flanking, opportunism and turning up in places people don’t expect - even in arcade where everyone has a wallhack this seems to work. The 37mms don’t really do much, they are french after all, but they add some dakka.

They do have a unique playstyle compared to the other nations trees which is nice to see.

I’m rather impressed by them even though I’m not exactly setting the pace on the leaderboard. Though very few crew skills doesn’t help. Think Gaijin have done a good job with these. Did have 2 magazine explosions to 5" in the same match which started to remind me of the British DDs but seems to be a statistical aberation.

Very solid line thus far which I’d highly recommend.

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The arrangement of 1 in front and 3 in back made it difficult, a pain, to use. BR 4.3 is fine.

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The main problem is that Gaijin added a captured ship when there were more than enough ships to replace it, and rank 1 and 2 are composed of the same copied and pasted ships and the naval top tiers and an under-armed battleship…

I’d like to know what the devs think of Lorraine? Do they know that it doesn’t stand a chance in this tiers?


I have not looked above Rank 3
What ships are copies?

Well, that mainly concerns the first two rows.

If we do the math:

Rank 1 :

  • 1 “Bourrasque” class ship
  • 3 “Leopard” class with some variations, including the lead ship, the “Leopard”, which is severely modified by the British. (so copied and pasted (C&C))

Rank 2:

  • 3 “Eagle” class with few differences between each variant, mainly in terms of flak, but let’s be honest, flak is more useful against coastal vessels than against aircraft… (So C&C)

Rank 3:

  • 1 Class “Le Fantasque”.
  • 1 Captured ship “Marceau” class “Type 1936A(Mob)”, not a wise choice on Gaijin’s part.
  • 1 “Jeanne d’Arc” class training ship.
  • 2 “Duguay-Trouin” class ships, including one without torpedoes (C&C)

Rank 4:

  • 1 “Émile Bertin” class
  • 2 “Suffren” class, and by the way Pony, I’d like to draw your attention to the BR of the “Duplex”, I’ll come back to that later. (C&C)

Rank 5:

  • A single ship… “Courbet” Class

Rank 6 (coming soon):

  • One ship again, “Bretagne” class.

Problems :

  • As for the “Marceau”, the developers had more than enough choice in terms of classes, as the French government was in favor of fast, maneuverable ships, so they developed a large number of “Contre-Torpilleurs” classes, literally designed to counter torpedo boats (destroyers).

    • Here’s an overview of the number of classes that took part in the 2nd World War (Liste des contre-torpilleurs français — Wikipédia) (not counting war-damaged ships from the 1st War): 6 ships - and adding war damage > 11 ships.
    • If we add French ships from WW1 but which would still have a place in WT, plus French ships from WW2 and finally with war damage from WW1 and WW2 we get 20 ships.

So as you can see, there’s plenty to choose from. And that only applies to destroyers, there’s also plenty of choice in protected/light/heavy cruisers.

  • As for the “Suffren”, it’s a real enigma. Why 5.7? Please explain. Because there’s no reason for it to be in 5.7. And I can see where you’re coming from ^^, its armor isn’t a reason, especially when you consider that US ships are as well or even better armored. The Dupleix has less flak than the TT and is slightly slower, yet it’s in 5.7? It’s scandalous.

  • Finally, the “Lorraine”… From my point of view, this is an insult. Gaijin has deliberately chosen (which also makes me think that the French advisor isn’t up to scratch) to go for the most Obscure and weakest version of the Lorraine.

    • 1 less main turret
    • 8 fewer secondary turrets

At her current BR, and taking her competitors into account, it’s unbelievable that she should have operated like that, and when the new rank arrives, it’s even more irritating. The “Bretagne” class is 5 turrets! It’s as if you took a mythical ship from your country and started modifying it, it would be unimaginable. So, yes, this version of the “Bretagne” class did exist, but is that a reason to choose this one in particular? No.
I found the cuirassier marathon very hilarious, Gaijin had said that the Lorraine lacked power which meant that its salvo wasn’t as destructive as that of its rivals, it really made me laugh when I remembered that the culprits of this lack of firepower were the Developers themselves, it’s like if you removed the turbos from your car and thought “Well? My car no longer has any power! Strange?”

  • War Damage" ships would be perfect as Premium ships alongside Unfinished or Prototype ships. But they don’t belong in the TT.

  • And we’re not going to talk about the Colbert’s missing AP shells, or the lack of armor on French ships (although Gaijin has little to do with this). What is remarkable, however, is how quickly the crew of French ships are killed, while rival ships with as much armor as the French sometimes hold out longer…

In conclusion:

Many players have criticized people like me for criticizing the French Navy “La Royale”. Most of them aren’t French themselves, and if the lack of work had affected the fleet they’re attached to, I think their reactions would be quite different. Even so, La Royale is marked by the lack of involvement on the part of the Gaijin, whether it be in :

  • The choice of ships, not because they were “bad” but rather because other ships would have been much better choices for launching La Royale, such as the “Algérie” class as a heavy cruiser, or the “La Galissonnière” class as a light cruiser, for example. As well as the possible destroyer class.

  • The First Ranks consisted exclusively of the same ships, with little or no noticeable differentiation, despite the wide choice of possible classes.

  • The time it took Gaijin to add “One of the world’s largest and oldest naval fleets” (this is a quote from a Gaijin Tweet). 6 years since navy implementation…

  • The Choice of versions under-armed, which sometimes adds, in the name of “modernization”, additions that are useless or not interesting enough for a game like WT (Le Lorraine).

  • The Badge Forum… “French Navy”, is that all? Is that laziness? I don’t know… Wouldn’t “La Royale” have been smarter?

  • The non-existence of the coastal fleet. I understand that before La Royale, the system was different, but honestly I don’t care. Gaijin didn’t even scorn to give us any explanations, nothing any information, not the slightest comm-uni-ca-tion, Gaijin should have made a news about this change of implementations, France still wouldn’t have its CF but at least we would have known why we didn’t have it and on all how Gaijin intends to make up for this change.

  • And I’m sure there are plenty of other problems I don’t have the strength to list…

All in all, La Royale is very similar to the French tank and aircraft TTs, which are very/too difficult to play. Mastered by a handful of players who spit blood to achieve results. And if the statistics are good, it’s only because the number of players in the French TT is so good. Gaijin has made the French Nations accessible to an Elite, which makes it far too difficult/unaccessible to new players, which explains why so few players play French TT, and the French Navy is no exception.

France is certainly not the only country in this situation, but numerous events demonstrate Gaijin’s lack of interest in the French Nations. (interestingly, the USSR (which is not the subject of the future major Update) has obtained as many vehicles as Italy, which is the subject of the Update, so you can draw your own conclusions…)


Didn’t find them at all difficult to play. Frankly if the lower calibres on other trees weren’t insane then 6" guns with 8 RPM on something like the Marceau might even be a bit much. I tended to run in and cap / torp but sitting off a bit and playing it like the very light cruisers they are would be a no brainer to someone with sense.

Think I got 8 kills first time out in an unspaded CL, next two games focussed and died quickly. Which is what you’d expect from a glass cannon with almost no armour. Then again I gave broadside on a single cruiser spawn map so…

Think they’d be very strong in the right hands though. Not easy mode like some but very playable against anything.

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And inferior compared the the German version.

The only things that i see will help the FR Blue water tree are:

Battlecruiser Strasbourg

T47 class Destroyers

Surcouf (D621)

Kersaint (D622)

Cassard (D623)
Bouvet (D624)

Du Chayla (D630)

Similar to Ru Bravy

There are alot:

T53 Class Destroyers

Tartu (D636)


Cruiser De Grasse 1957

Cruiser Colbert 1954

Chateaurenault (D606) (ex Attilio Regolo)


Still at the very beginning I do enjoy the Milan big time. That beauty is super swift, good HE and torps make her fun to play with. Next one will be La Fantasque :). And in my eyes, the starters Bourasque and Panthère are really good ones too. Jolly good show Gaijin.

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I overall concur.

When it came out, I called this tech tree “a quarter of a naval tech tree”. Half a bluewater fleet in half an entire navy without the coastal tree.

The fact that the following patch didn’t even add at least one ship to flesh it out makes me really think Gaijin just got this thing out of the way as fast as possible to quell the few demands and will barely be coming back to flesh it out.

I could certainly be wrong, but if this patch doesn’t have at least one French ship, yeah, the future of the French navy is very grim indeed.