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EvyL

the Le Fantasque destroyer

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My crappy ISP may have prevented me in sating my ships (and blue bawks duties) gameplay this few months, but at least it won't screw over whats long overdue: badposting about ships.

Might badpost about Mogador if I'm that eager to.

 

I PRESENT TO YOU THE LE FANTASQUE

 

French_destroyer_Le_Fantasque_1935.jpg

 

Because large destroyers carrying big guns and scoffing at fellow destroyers' speeds make peepees hard apparently.

 

Back in the days, the notions on how2destroyer wasn't exactly clear as day to most and people got raving about what a destroyer is all about. I mean after the "stop spamming dreads" rule that is the Washington Naval Treaty as well as the tonnage enforcement it lugged around, France wasn't exactly waiting around since they had some stuff to laugh like madmen for... I mean THIS destroyer impressed everyone:

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... and it ain't helping that nations were also looking at torpedo tech, better ship design via trial n error and improved boiler stuff since designs had to be chopped up in order to be sort of compliant to the Treaty. Then come the French laughing like madmen in the design board with their own versions on how2destroyer.

 

Normally, there are two 'lines' on French destroyer thought: the torpilleur d'escadre and the contre-torpilleur, basically torpedo oriented destroyers and destroyers that kill destroyers. the TE's are the ones that aggressively torpedo big ass ships like cruisers and battleships but if there's a destroyer squadron near the targets, they run away from that while also torpedoing them in the hopes of blasting one or two in order for the CT's to move in and just pulverize the crap out of them WHILE TORPEDOING THEM as well if they get to optimal range. Now this notion is presented because the contre-torpilleurs have big guns (and they can not lie), and I mean big since what madman crams 138's on destroyers? the CT's that's what. Oh and did I forget to mention the CT's also have the potential of chasing destroyers and gunning them down with speed? The first of these were the Jaguars but the most gritty and fastest ones are the Le Fantasques, THIS destroyer being very most notable because GLORIOUS 45.1 KTS SPEED DURING SHAKEDOWN HURR. Mogador and her sisters can't be gritty enough as they manly death'd at Toulon to give the Germans the giant middle finger. You guys already saw an example of a torpilleur d'escadre and played one before: Cyclone of the Bourrasque class during the Dunkirk evacuation and to those that bought Aigle, congratulations, you are playing the lead ship of the Aigle contre-torpilleur destroyers.

 

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BEHOLD, LE TERRIBLE. and yes I shed manly tears when I saw this DD, stats be damned I WANT ONE.

 

Lets talk about big sister Le Fantasque.

 

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Contrary to looks, this destroyer and her sisters are legitimately thicc. No really, they are.

 

Apparently the Vauquelins need more beef and hax and the most ideal solution is to start building a destroyer while chanting "stronger, faster, better, tougher", the end result of those shenanigans being the Le Fantasques. The destroyers got better 138's (longer ones to be exact compared to the 138.6/40 aboard the Aigle as they were 138.6/50 and had better charges) in single mount AB-Q-XY's, some 37mm close-in AA guns, 13mm machine guns, 550mm torpedoes with nine tubes divided to three each, one in the aft on the centerline and the others on both starboard and portside as well as depth charge racks which were within the stern (the depth charges literally exited her ass in two separate racks), later got some 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons as well as some radar and sensor hax after sitting idly in the US. The damn things could run at 40 kts nominal but as it stood, 43 was just full-on flank for the things, and this is saying much on Terrible running naked during shakedown which made her reach 45.1 kts and to this day, no ship can still catch up to her. most of her space is just gritty engine. And boy there were big... not just the guns... they were larger than the contemporary destroyer. I mean because the madmen made these monsters of destroyers without batting an eyelash, its not really surprising yet weird at the same time that skubs had to reclass em as "light cruisers". yes, LIGHT CRUISERS. let that sink in.

 

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About the guns...

 

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Normally, being destroyers whose single mode of existence during surface warfare is to rip apart other destroyers, getting dakka was fine, but somehow the French wanted RPC (Remote Power Control) where the gunner with the rangefinder slaves the guns to where he's looking at up top but for strange and derpy reasons, it didnt exactly quite work out with destroyers which is a shame since the Fantasques were quite decent gun platforms that didnt list a lot in rough swells but at least the things were working in Richelieu's 155's during Dakar so there's that.

 

Running out from the Lorient Arsenal, she was just doing some runs (and showing off her blistering speed) and then some when Germany steamrolled on Poland and the threat of red flagged raiders loomed so she and Le Terrible decided to become privateers (Jean Bart and Surcouf shed manly tears in their graves) and actually plastered as well as capture merch ships and was part of the forces that tried to whack Graf Spee. It wasn't helping that the Germans were also beating the hell out of the hardened French units on the ground so they were placed at Dakar along with Richelieu when a Brit task force was rolling towards the port in order to drop a gigantic STOP in their faces since DeGaulle believed that he can convince the garrison there to join the Brits since the whacking at Mels el Kebir was apparently a big oopsie on the Brits' part via Force H apparently and be sailing as part of the Allied fleet and things went sideways... A LOT. I mean bad weather was getting in the way and add the fact everybody was just poking shells at each other without gritty effect and Richelieu was still not exactly combat ready but a turret did respond to Barham and Resolution after getting hit while Le Fantasque and another destroyer was running smokescreens to cover the more tougher units at Dakar which included a couple of cruisers as the local station but because GLORIOUS SPEED, she was bracketed but goddamn didn't even suffer a brutal hit.

 

Torch happened and both her and Le Terrible went to Brooklyn for a facelift that gave them a load of stuff like ASDIC, surveillance radar, better AA dakka than what they had, and overhauls and sent them to be Richelieu's aides as she herself was in there with turret B practically blown up because lolshells. Then they reignited their privateer blood and started wreaking havoc on German convoy lanes, one of them getting rather daring to plaster the crap out of the convoy by doing what they were made to do: get in and plaster the crap out of enemy ships and get out like a boss as well as provide gun drive-by's. Ran later in Indochina and eventually rested after a long and crazy run.

 

Now people might say "lol France has a navy?" and shens like that but if there's one thing their grit carried on, it was the Le Fantasques. Sure it wasn't as manly tear inducing as Taffy 3, the Benson Laffey getting in the deep at Guadalcanal or the crazy game of tag the convoy at Ormoc, but these destroyers served their tenure.

 

Derp.exe is over. 

 

I'd like to thank my friend for letting me borrow Jordan's book about FRDD's

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