La Melpomène, S size destroyers

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# La Melpomène-class torpedo boat


About this classe and its Interest in War Thunder :

These ships are small destroyers or big torpedo boats used to patrol along French coast in order to fight against anything that would be smaller. It could be an interesting Coastal big boat for France in order to Flesh out its roster. Though it would hardly fit in a bluewater fleet.

About the Melpomène class :

La Melpomène class was a class of twelve heavy torpedo boats, put into service between 1936 and 1938 by the French navy. Those “pocket destroyers” were meant to escort convoys and be fast and nimble enough to intercept anything below their own 600t. Classified as “escorteurs”, they were renamed “Torpedo boats” afterwards.

Those twelve destroyers had varied fates :

The Melpomène, the Flore, the Cordelière, the Incomprise and the Bouclier were captured by the British navy after the Armistice in 1940, and given to the Free French Naval Forces afterwards, and were the only ones to survive the war. The Pomone, Iphigénie and Bombarde were captured by the Germans and given to the Italian navy. The Bayonnaise, the Baliste and the Poursuivante were scuttled during Operation Anton in 1942. And the Branlebas capsized and sank in an accident in december 1940, after the British gave her to the FNFL.

The ships that ended up on the allied side of the war were outfitted with various armament, but some of them had various different loadouts to begin with, carrying sometimes more naval guns, sometimes less. They were also modified for some during the war.

The ships were meant to be really light, but had a consequent armament, which caused many problems of stability during their development. They handled bad weather poorly, and it may have been one of the reasons why the Branlebas capsized.

As far as active service is concerned, although most of them didn’t have the most glorious history, they were present in some of the most important battles. The Melpomène was present and actively helped the troops during Operation Dynamo, during operation Torch, and Operation Overlord and Dragoon.

Caracteristics ( Melpomène lead ship)

|Displacement:|610 tons standard, 834 tons full load|
|Length:|81 m (265 ft 9 in)|
|Beam:|10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)|
|Draught:|2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|Installed power:|* 4 boilers 33,000 shp (25,000 kW)|
|Propulsion:|Geared turbines, 2 shafts|
|Speed:|34.5 knots (63.9 km/h; 39.7 mph)|
|Complement:|8 officers, 94 men|

Armament: Before the war :

  • 2 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns

  • 2 × 2 13.2 mm Hotchkiss MGs

  • 2 × 550 mm TLT (double barrel)

  • 1 x towed Ginocchio torpedo

  • After Allied modifications:

  • 1 x 100mm gun

  • 3 x 40mm QF 2 pnd naval guns

  • 2 x 20mm Oerlikon Mk 2/4

  • 2 x dual 13.2 mm Hotchkiss MGs

  • 2 x 550 mm TLT (double barrel)

  • 1 x towed Ginocchio torpedo|

About the towed torpedo Ginnochio :



(Italian towed torpedo, the French used a very similar system)

The Ginocchio towed torpedo was based on an Italian concept of World War I and consisted of a towed torpedo that was streamed over the stern near a submarine contact in the hope that it would strike the submarine, triggering its warhead. Depth-keeping proved to be a problem during sea trials and it does not appear to have ever been operationally used.

The anti ship Ginnochio torpedoes were originally meant for the Bourrasque destroyers. Sea trials were conducted in 1928 on the Trombe destroyer, but were cancelled in 1933. They were then tested and finally used for the 600t torpedo boats of the Melpomène class.

Variant 1 : Towed at about 15 to 37 m deep, weights 62kg, 1.62m long, 30kg of explosives.

Variant 2 : Towed at about 53m deep, weights 76 kg, length 1.72m, 30kg of explosives.

About the 100mm modèle 1932 gun :




Depression : -10°/+35°
Rate of fire : 10-12 rpm
Max range : 15800m

Rotation : 135°


Blueprint and schematics :



Photos :


Photo of the Bombarde


Photo of the Flore


Photo of the Iphigénie


Photo of the Incomprise


Photo of the Branlebas


Photos of the Pomone (1937) and Pomone under Italian service (1943)





La Melpomène (FNFL)


Model of the Baliste





Close-up shots


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Sources :


Torpilleurs Classe La Melpoméne

France 37 mm/50 (1.46") Model 1925 and CAIL Model 1933 - NavWeaps

Hotchkiss 13.2 mm machine gun - Wikipedia

Armement anti sous-marins: Torpilles Ginocchio

AAMM - Modélisme

Ginocchio towed torpedo - Wikipedia


SALOU Charles, Les torpilleurs de 600t du type la Melpomène, Collection Marine du Monde, 2004, 112p.

1 Like

Excellent write-up, would be very interested in seeing the class in-game.

Such a nice addition ship to be a brand new reserve DD ship ONCE gaijin FINALLY make BR 3.0 as lowest limit for Destroyer as this one basically 3.0 for both its Initial armament and Allied Refit

Currently there also another Destroyer in game that’s qualify to be BR 3.0 instead of 3.3 with current standard and possibly future standard…

That ship is HMS Churchill which is currently the world weakest Destroyer in War Thunder Naval so far, similar as former weakest player in the world, zackzooter WAS…

FOR anyone ever using it, its obvious that it can barely even fend off Groza gunboat or HMS Spey in any kind of confrontation level, not to mention that its AA firepower basically decent enough to deter most rank 2-3 coastal ship and aviaton at its best condition