Heavy Cruiser Algérie

France (1930)

The perfect Washington cruiser

Algeria arrived after a series of cruisers that had been criticized for their cruel lack of protection and their too light construction. A new type of heavy cruiser still subject to the Washington tonnage was studied under a new direction, but this time trying to achieve a clearly focused compromise towards protection.

Algérie at sea, 1932, Credits: uboats.net


It resulted in more modest dimensions, a flush-deck hull, revised interior designs, but almost unchanged speed, and all this was in favor of excellent overall protection. This was in fact, even in the international opinion without doubt one of the most successful if not the most successful of the “washington cruisers”. Laid down in 1931, it was launched in 1932 and operational in September 1934.
Algeria 1940

Colorized photo of the French cruiser Algérie by Irootoko Jr.

Algeria in operations:

Despite its qualities, Algeria was never really put to the test. Assigned to the first squadron of cruisers (in the company of Foch, Tourville, Duquesne, Colbert and Dupleix), he was detached from Toulon to operate the pursuit of the German privateer Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. For this reason, he was based in Dakar. In March 1940 he escorted the battleship Brittany, putting French gold (3000 tons of bullion) in safety in Canada. After an Italian declaration of war, he was sent to pound the facilities of the port of Genoa. He was on an escort mission when the capitulation came. Wet in Toulon, escorting Provence from Mers-El-Kebir after the attack. During 1942, a radar and a better AA battery were added. But on November 27 he sank at Toulon, like the rest of the fleet.

Algeria in Toulon in 1941. This building was the last heavy French cruiser and by far the most successful before the class of Saint louis planned for 1940.


Displacement: 10,000 t. standard -13 641 t. Full Load
Dimensions: 186.2 m long, 20 m wide, 6.15 m draft.
Propulsion: 4 propellers, 4 Turbine turbines, 6 Indret boilers, 84,000 hp. Maximum speed 31 knots.
Armour: 120 mm belt, 70 mm anti-torpedo partitions, 80 bridge, 95 mm turrets, 95 mm bunker.
Armament: 8 pieces of 203 mm cal.55 (Model 1931), 12×100 mm DP (6×2), 8×37 mm AA (4×2), 16 ML of 13.2 mm AA (4×4), 2×3 TLT 550 mm, 3 seaplanes Loire 130.
Crew: 748

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