Alsace class, 1941

Line drawing based on one of the Alsace proposals. Original by user Rama on Wikipedia.


With the end of the Naval Treaties in the mid-1930s, and the rearming of Germany and Italy, the French desperately needed more capital ships. Following the two Dunkerque-class and the planned four Richelieu-class battleships, the next design called for a ship with even more firepower. Four of the new class were planned, with standard displacement of 45,570 tons, speed of 32 knots, and 15 inch guns. How many 15"? The design called for three turrets, each housing three to four of them. The final selection seems to have been for the triple turrets, which would have given them a broadside roughly on par with the Italian Vittorio Venito-class, and superior to the German Bismarck-class. Extremely limited large dockyard space in France resulted in delays, and plans to begin the ships in 1941 and 1942 were ended with the German occupation.