Allied Warships

FR Provence

Battleship of the Bretagne class

NavyThe French Navy
TypeBattleship
ClassBretagne 
Pennant 
Built byArsenal de Brest (Brest, France) 
Ordered 
Laid down1 May 1912 
Launched20 Apr 1913 
Commissioned5 Jun 1915 
End service27 Nov 1942 
History

Damaged and beached at Mers-el-kébir during the British attack on 3 July 1940.
Served in the Vichy Navy.
Scuttled at Toulon on 27 November 1942.
Raised on 11 July 1943 by the Italians and scrapped.

 

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Notable events involving Provence include:


9 Mar 1940
The French battleship Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN), the French heavy cruiser Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau) and the British destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) departed Dakar for a patrol in the mid-Atlantic near the equator. (1)

16 Mar 1940
The French battleship Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN), the French heavy cruiser Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau) and the British destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) returned to Dakar. (1)

29 Apr 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) are joined by French warships from Mers-el--Kebir and Algeria, these were the battleships Lorraine (Capt. L.M.L. Rey), Bretagne (Capt. L.R.E. de Pivian), Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), heavy cruisers Tourville (Capt. A.J.A. Marloy), Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau), light cruiser Duguay Trouin (Capt. J.M.C. Trolley de Prevaux) and the destroyers Lion (Cdr. J.J.A. Vetillard), Lynx (Cdr. A.M. De Gouyon Matignon de Pontourade) and Forbin (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. Chartellier).

30 Apr 1940
The destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN) and later the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) departed Malta to join the British battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), French battleships Lorraine (Capt. L.M.L. Rey), Bretagne (Capt. L.R.E. de Pivian), Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), French heavy cruisers Tourville (Capt. A.J.A. Marloy), Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau), French light cruiser Duguay Trouin (Capt. J.M.C. Trolley de Prevaux) that were escorted by the British destroyers HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), Australian destroyers HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the French destroyers Lion (Cdr. J.J.A. Vetillard), Lynx (Cdr. A.M. De Gouyon Matignon de Pontourade) and Forbin (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. Chartellier). These ships were en-route to Alexandria to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet.

HMS Velox and HMS Watchman were detached before arriving at Alexandria though.

3 May 1940
British battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), French battleships Lorraine (Capt. L.M.L. Rey), Bretagne (Capt. L.R.E. de Pivian), Provence (Capt. G.T.E. Barois), French heavy cruisers Tourville (Capt. A.J.A. Marloy), Duquesne (Capt. G.E. Besineau), French light cruiser Duguay Trouin (Capt. J.M.C. Trolley de Prevaux), British light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), British destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), Australian destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN, HMAS Vendetta (Lt. R. Rhoades RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the French destroyers Lion (Cdr. J.J.A. Vetillard), Lynx (Cdr. A.M. De Gouyon Matignon de Pontourade) and Forbin (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. Chartellier) arrived at Alexandria.

Media links


French Battleships 1933-1970

Wayne Scarpaci


amazon.co.uk
(£ 19.32)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/380

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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