Military Wiki
French cruiser Jean de Vienne
Career (France)
Namesake: Jean de Vienne
Builder: Arsenal de Lorient (Lorient, France)
Laid down: 20 December 1931
Launched: 31 July 1935
Commissioned: 10 February 1937
Fate: scuttled 27 November 1942
General characteristics
Class & type: La Galissonnière class cruiser
Displacement: 7,600 tons (standard)
9,120 tons (full load)
Length: 179 metres (589 feet)
Beam: 17.5 metres (57 feet)
Draught: 5.35 metres (17.5 feet)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Parsons single reduction geared turbines
4 Indret boilers
84,000 shp
Speed: 31 knots
Range: 7,000 nmi at 12 knots
6,800 at 14 knots
5,500 at 18 knots
1,650 at 34 knots
Complement: 540
Armament: 9x152 mm (6 inch)/ 54.3 calibre (3x3)
8x90 mm (3.5 inch) anti-aircraft (4x2)
24x40 millimetre (6x4)
4x550mm (21.7 inch) torpedo tubes (2x2)
Armour: main belt: 105 mm
end bulkheads: 30 mm
sides: 120 mm
deck: 38 mm
turrets: 100 mm
tower: 95 mm
Aircraft carried: up to 4 GL-832, later 2 Loire 130 flying boats
1 catapult

The Jean de Vienne was a French light cruiser of the La Galissonnière class. During World War II, she remained with the Vichy France. She was named for Jean de Vienne a 14th-century French knight, general and admiral during the Hundred Years' War.


At the start of World War II, she had completed a major refit at Toulon and had returned to the 3rd Cruiser Division, based at Bizerte. Her formation was to protect French interests in North Africa, should Italy enter the war. Until this occurred, the 3rd Cruiser Division's role was limited, the main event being a transport of gold bullion to Halifax, Nova Scotia in December 1939. After Italy's entry into the war on 10 June 1940, there was a major French sortie to prevent anticipated attempts by the Kriegsmarine to force the Straits of Gibraltar. The only sight of the enemy was a failed attack by the Italian submarine Dandolo.

Jean de Vienne was at Algiers at the time of the French surrender and avoided the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir in June 1940. She subsequently covered the escape of the Strasbourg and destroyers from Mers-el-Kébir in July and escorted them to Toulon. There she remained, out of action until she joined the French High Seas Force in March 1941.

During the Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon, the Jean de Vienne was in drydock, and her captain, Capitaine de Vaisseau Mailloux had her moved forward, to obstruct the gates. Although German commandos rushed aboard and found and disarmed the demolition charges, the ship's valves had been opened and the ship settled, blocking the gates and making the drydock useless. Her crew had also smashed every piece of equipment.

Italian "FR.11"

She was handed over to Italy's Regia Marina, renamed FR.11 and raised on 18 February 1943.[1] Italy got many French ships in November 1942, not only the Jean de Vienne : 2 light cruisers, 11 destroyers, 11 minor ships (corvettes, etc..), 9 subs and 10 minesweepers[2]

A refit began but this had not finished at time of the Italian armistice (it was rebuilt nearly 85% of the ship).

By the end of June 1943 the FR.11 was ready to be moved from Tolone to Liguria for the last repairs, and a crew from the sunken Italian cruiser "Trieste" was sent to Tolone in order to manage the ship. But the departure was delayed and the vessel fell into German hands once more on September.[3]

In an air raid, she was hit by incendiary bombs on 24 November 1943 and set ablaze, gradually listing until she rested against the quayside. When Toulon was liberated by the Allies in August 1944 (Operation Dragoon), a refit was considered but the idea was abandoned and the Jean de Vienne was scrapped.


See also

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