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French Cruisers 1922-1956
by John Jordan & Jean Moulin

Reviewed by Sean Hert
April 2013
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John Jordan and Jean Moulin have teamed up to release French Cruisers, a follow-up to French Battleships 1922-1956. John Jordan is a well known naval history author, and the long time editor of Warship. Jean Moulin is a leading authority on the Marine Nationale.

French Cruisers is laid out differently than French Battleships volume. After the preface and a nice Acronym and Abbreviations section- in both French and English- is Part One (of two), The Technical Section. It has six chapters, each dedicated to a cruiser type or class, including a chapter on the "C5" and "Saint Louis" designs, with an introduction and a set of color plates to round out part one. The introduction includes some great information on the French Naval design philosophies, fire control and weapons; the color plates are in fact eight pages of watercolors by Jean Bladé, Surgeon General and former Marine Nationale Medical officer. The chapters have detailed drawings and photos of each class, as the text delves into construction and technical aspects specific to each ship.

Part Two, the Historical Section, has four chapters, each covering a specific time period. This part of the book is actually less than half of the book, but contains the pre-war, wartime and post-war lives of all the French Cruisers, including the wartime refits in United States, and the post-war rebuilds.

  • Preface
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Part I: Technical Section
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 1: The Duguay-Trouin Class
    • Chapter 2: Duquesne and Tourville
    • Chapter 3: The Suffren Class
    • Chapter 4: Pluton, Jeann d'Arc and Emile Bertin
    • Chapter 5: Algérie
    • Chapter 6: The La Galissonnière Class
    • Color Plates
    • Chapter 7: The De Grasse Class
    • Chapter 8: The C5 and Saint Louis Designs
  • Part II: Historical Section
    • Chapter 9: The Period 1926-1939
    • Chapter 10: The Period 1939-1943
    • Chapter 11: The Period 1943-1945
    • Chapter 12: The Period 1945-1956
    • Sources
    • Index

Scans are reduced quality and size.

This book has over 180 photos and drawings, and is very well written and easy to read.


This book is simply fantastic. The high quality of the images and drawings are impressive, and the information available in the text is unmatched by any English languages source. Do not hesitate to buy this book- you won't be disappointed. It is an enjoyable read, and will make a valuable addition to any reference shelf. One can only hope a volume on French Destroyers is forthcoming! Highly Recommended!

French Cruisers 1922-1956 by John Jordan and Jean Moulin is available from Seaforth Publishing (an imprint of Pen and Sword books) US and UK, and the Naval Institute Press (800-233-8764). List Price is 75.00; actual prices vary. Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.