French Armoured Cruisers 1887-1932

  • Subject: Battleships Destroyers and More
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Published:
    November 1, 2019
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    11.5 × 9.75 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    51 oz
Hardcover $75.00
Member Price $60.00 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


Of all the threats faced by the Royal Navy during the first years of the twentieth century, the one which stood out was the risk to Britain’s sea lines of communication posed by France’s armored cruisers. Fast, well-armed, and well-protected, these ships could have evaded any attempted blockade of the French ports and, supported by a worldwide network of overseas bases, could potentially have caused havoc on the trade routes.

The primary focus of the book is on the technical characteristics of the ships. Detailed and labeled drawings based on the official plans are provided by John Jordan, and each individual class of ship is illustrated by photographs from the extensive personal collection of Philippe Caresse. The technical section is followed by a history in two parts, covering the Great War (1914–18) and the postwar years, during which the surviving ships saw extensive deployment as “station” cruisers overseas and as training ships. This is the most comprehensive account published in English or in French and is destined to be the standard reference for many years to come.

Editorial Reviews

“The quality of the archive photography is as wonderful as always and the technical stuff is presented clearly for novice and expert alike.... Above all this book emphasises the importance of the cutting-edge design work carried out in France to lead the way with the armoured cruiser concept. The ships themselves bear a gallic individuality we can only admire from afar. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.” —War History Online
“This is an excellent study of some of the most powerful warships of their time.” —History of War
“The book offers a fascinating look at the French Navy during the years leading up to World War I. The French Navy is normally no more than a footnote in the naval story of World War. Yet, within the pages of this book, one comes to understand how the French Navy served as an integral part of the grand strategy that defeated the Central Powers.  The book is well-written and the photos and illustrations of the armoured cruisers are all sharp and clear. It is an excellent addition to any naval library.” —Naval Historical Foundation
“Jordan and Caresse have produced a wonderful companion to their earlier work on French battleships and as such, it certainly deserves a place on the bookshelf of any who acquired this first volume of their fruitful partnership. More generally, French Armored Cruisers provides an important insight to one of the major influences on the thinking as to how to conduct maritime war in the closing decades of the nineteenth century into the early years of the twentieth…. Recommended to all interested in the naval history of this era.” —The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord
“The illustrative value of this volume is as important. The sectional drawings are particularly valuable in showing how these ships were laid out, with domains given to speed and offensive armament, and as the book makes clear, the Dreadnought deployment made these ships a dubious prospect for inclusion in the main battle line. The detail in the plan drawings is indeed impressive and gives us an idea of the internal layout of these cruisers.” —Warship International
“John Jordan and Philippe Caresse present the story of these fascinating ships in exceptional detail. Scores of technical drawings, adapted from original Marine Nationale files, cover practically all aspects of the individual ships from engineering spaces to frame cross sections, turret details and command and control spaces. Both the drawings and the photographs are superb. There is also coverage of fleet organization and training. Rounding out this work is a full description of the armored cruisers’ deployments and operations in World War I. This is a splendid book for naval construction enthusiasts, ship modelers, and historians of the period.” —Nautical Research Journal
“This work is illustrated by John Jordan’s excellent drawings and by superb photographs from the Caresse collection, all clearly laid out by Stephen Dent…. Jordan and Caresse have given us a comprehensive work of reference, covering all manner of interesting topics, about these fascinating ships.” —Warship
“An excellent reference work.” —Warships: International Fleet Review