French battleship Paris

French battleship Paris

The French battleship "Paris" was a "Courbet"-class dreadnought battleship of the French Navy. The "Courbet" class was designed by M. Lyasse. "Paris" was built as part of the 1910 naval building programme.

"Paris" was the only ship of the "Courbet" class to be built by the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée firm in La Seyne Arsenal. She and her sister ship, "France", were sent to St. Petersburg, Russia as part of French President Raymond Poincare's official visit. Both ships were en-route home through the Baltic Sea in August 1914 when the First World War broke out. At the time, "France" was not fully armed and had no ammunition aboard. "Paris" would have had to defend "France" if an enemy ship were sighted, but both managed to escape the German High Seas Fleet.

Along with her three sister ships, "Paris" served in the Mediterranean Sea during the War against Austro-Hungarian and Turkish Naval forces.

During the Second World War, on June 11 1940, "Paris" was damaged by German bombing at le Havre, France, and was towed to Brest for repairs. Before France surrendered, "Paris" sailed to Plymouth, England.

In the wake of the Armistice, "Paris" was docked at Portsmouth. On the 3 July 1940, as part of "Operation Catapult", British forces forcibly boarded "Paris", along with the destroyers "Le Triomphant" and the "Léopard", "Paris's" sister-ship "Courbet", eight torpedo boats, five submarines and a number of other ships of lesser importance. After "Operation Catapult" when "Paris" was in British hands it was planned to transfer her to the Polish Navy. The ceremony was to be held on July 15, 1940 and it was planned to rename the ship to OF "Paris" (OF - Okręt Francuski - "French ship") but due to lack of personnel the ship was never handed over to the Polish Navy and was used by the British as an accommodation ship in Devonport.

On August 21, 1945, after the war had ended, "Paris" was towed to Brest. She was never used again, and was sold for scrap on December 21, 1955.

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