Light Cruiser de Grasse (1937) : a future cruiser cancelled by the war

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Light cruiser De Grasse (1937)

A future light cruiser cancelled by the war


About this ship and its interest in War Thunder

Now, although the hull was laid down and the ship was in construction, this ship was never really built with this configuration. (just like the Kronshtadt). Before its conversion into an AA cruiser in the 1950’s, its first purpose was to be the lead ship of a new class of light cruisers with better speed and better AA defenses compared to the Galissonnière class, for roughly the same amount of armor. Although I do not think it is a priority, nor absolutely necessary to the future French tech tree, it can be an intersting idea to explore as a premium or event ship.

Project De Grasse, a modern light cruiser for the French navy.

In 1936, the French navy was trying to find a way to rearm its fleet to compete with the rest of the major European powers. The Duguay-Trouin class of light cruisers were aging poorly, and their lack of armor and mediocre speed pushed the navy to start a new serie of light cruisers. After the revision of the 1930 Washington treaty, they opted for a 8,000 tons design. Three ships were to be built, De Grasse, Guichen, and Chateaurenault. The idea was to give the ship better main artillery with new 152mm guns with better elevation, in turrets similar to those on the Richelieu battleships. Furthermore, it would be equipped with better, brand new AA artillery, the 37mm turrets, as well as a more powerful secondary artillery in the form of 100mm mle 1933 guns.

Construction of the De Grasse started in 1938 in Lorient, however, it was halted with the German invasion in 1940. Although the hull miraculously survived the war, the project was judged obsolete and deeply modified, giving birth to the modern De Grasse anti-aircraft cruiser.

General Characteristics :

|Tonnage:|* 8000t (standard)
10000 tons (max)|
|Length:|188.3 m|
|Beam:|21.5 m|
|Draught:|5.5 m|

|Propulsion: Rateau-Bretagne turbines (110 000 HP)
|Max Speed:| 35 knots (65 km/h)|

Crew : 580 men

Armor :

  • Main belt : 76-100mm
  • Main bridge : 68 mm
  • 152mm turrets : 100mm overall
  • Blockaus (coning tower) : 95mm

Armament (1938 project) :

  • 9 x 152mm mle 1930 canons (3 x 3)

-6 or 8 x 90mm mle 1926 canons (3/4 x 2) or 6 or 8 x 100mm mle 1932 AA canons (3/4 x 2)

  • 5 x 25mm mle 1940 canons (5 x 1) OR 8 x 37mm mle 1935 AA canons ( 4 x 2)

  • 8 x 13.2 mm Hotchkiss mle 1929 MGs

  • 6 x 550mm mle 1923 TLT (2 x 3)


Photo of the hull recovered in 1944 :



Plans and schematics :


Original from 1938 :
Modern vision :

Sources :


MOULIN Jean, BAIL René, Les croiseurs De Grasse et Colbert, édition marines.
100 ans de la forme de Lorient : un outil industriel centenaire et toujours à la pointe de l’innovation | Naval Group
Marine : les projets français qui ne furent jamais concrétisés

Les croiseurs De Grasse et Colbert - René Bail, Jean Moulin - Google Livres


Glad to see someone did this suggestion! I would definitely love to see her added to the French Tree potentially as a Premium Light Cruiser. Tech tree would be nice also

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And I think the post war AA version too! :)

8 x 2 (16 total) 127mm
10 x 2 (20 total) 57mm

127mm - France 127 mm/54 (5") Model 1948 - NavWeaps
57mm - Sweden 57 mm/60 (2.25") SAK Model 1950 - NavWeaps

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Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.