Guépard class destroyer

Guépard class destroyer

The "Guépard"-class destroyers ("contre-torpilleurs") of the French navy were laid down in 1927 and commissioned in 1930. They were similar to the previous Chacal class, with a larger hull and with a slightly improved speed and gun armament with 138mm guns of a new design. The first three ships bore 'animal' names like the Chacals, while the remaining three were given names starting with V, for two battles and a field-marshal The class saw action in World War II.


* "Bison" - built by Arsenal de Lorient, completed 10 October 1930. She was sunk by German Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka"s while taking part in the evacuation of Namsos, on 3 May 1940, off Trondheim. Survivors from the Bison were picked up by "HMS "Afridi", who was then sunk by the "Stukas".
*"Guépard" (cheetah) - built by Arsenal de Lorient, completed 13 August 1929, scuttled 27 November 1942.
*"Lion" - built by AT & Ch de France Dunkirk, completed 21 January 1931, scuttled 27 November 1942.
*"Valmy" (named after the battle of Valmy)- built by AT & Ch St Nazaire Panhoet, completed 1 January 1930, scuttled 27 November 1942.
*"Verdun" (named after the battle of Verdun) - built by AT & Ch de la Loire, St Nazaire, completed 1 April 1930, scuttled 27 November 1942.
*"Vauban" (named after Marshall Vauban) - built by AT & Ch de France Dunkirk, completed 9 January 1931, scuttled 27 November 1942.

The other five members of the class ("Guspard", "Lion", "Valmy", "Vauban" and "Verdun") were all scuttled on 27 November 1942 to prevent them falling into German hands. All were subsequently raised by the Italian navy, "Lion" and "Valmy" being repaired and commissioned as the Italian FR21 and FR24. Both were subsequently re-scuttled in September 1943 at La Spezia. "Valmy" was then raised once more and recommissioned into the Kriegsmarine before finally sinking in Genoa in 1945.


*M.H Whitley, Destroyers of World War 2, 1988 Cassell Publishing ISBN 1 85409 521 8
* [ Guepard-class at]

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