French cruiser La Galissonnière
|Namesake:||Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière|
|Builder:||Arsenal de Brest (Brest, France)|
|Laid down:||15 December 1931|
|Launched:||18 November 1933|
|Commissioned:||1 January 1936|
|Fate:||Scuttled at Toulon, 27 November 1942, scrapped 1952|
|Class & type:||La Galissonnière class cruiser|
|Length:||179 m (587 ft)|
|Beam:||17.5 m (57 ft)|
|Draught:||5.35 m (17.6 ft)|
|Speed:||31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph)|
La Galissonnière was at first assigned to the 2nd Light Squadron in the Mediterranean until October 1937, when she formed the 3rd Cruiser Division at Toulon, together with her sister ships Jean de Vienne and Marseillaise.
At the outbreak of World War II, La Galissonnière carried out patrol duties off the Tunisian coast until mid-November 1939, when she started a major refit at Brest until the end of February 1940. She then was based at Toulon until the French surrender in June.
From January 1941, she was part of the Vichy "High Seas Force" at Toulon. Two of the three cruisers from the 3rd Cruisers Division – she and Marseillaise – never went to high sea due to lack of fuel, except in November 1940, to cover the return to Toulon of the battleship Provence, severely damaged by British gunfire in July 1940 during Operation Catapult. However La Galissonnière was effectively disarmed and inactive.
When the Germans occupied Vichy France, she was scuttled on 27 November 1942 to prevent her capture by the Germans and Italians. The cruiser shared the drydock with Dunkerque, and her captain moved her forward and opened the sea valves so that she would sink and block the gates.
Allocated to the Kingdom of Italy after some political delays, she was subsequently raised by the Regia Marina on 3 March 1943, repaired and renamed FR 12. Italy got many French ships in November 1942, not only the La Galissonnière: two light cruisers, 11 destroyers, 11 escort ships, 9 submarines and 10 minesweepers.
A refit began, but this had not finished at time of the Italian armistice (nearly 60% of the ship was rebuilt). The intention to incorporate the former French ship into the Regia Marina was, however, undermined by Italy's chronic oil fuel shortages.
While in German hands, she was damaged by US bombers on 24 November 1943, after the Italian armistice. La Galissonière eventually sank on 18 August 1944 in an air raid by B-25s of the 321st Bombardment Group, USAAF.
The hulk was raised and finally scrapped in 1952.
- Roger Chesneau, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.