French destroyer Le Hardi

Le Hardi at anchor
Name: Le Hardi
Namesake: "the bold one"
Builder: Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes
Laid down: 20 May 1936
Launched: 4 May 1938
  • Scuttled, 27 November 1942, raised by Italians, seized by Germans
  • Scuttled at Genoa, April 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: Le Hardi-class destroyer
Length: 117.2 m (384 ft 6 in) (o/a)
Beam: 11.1 m (36 ft 5 in)
Draught: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Installed power:
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)
Range: 3,100 nautical miles (5,700 km; 3,600 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 187 officers and enlisted men

Le Hardi ("the bold one") was the lead ship of her class of destroyers (torpilleur d'escadre) built for the French Navy during the late 1930s.

Design and description

The Le Hardi class was designed to counter the large destroyers of the Italian Navigatori and Japanese Fubuki classes. The ships had an overall length of 117.2 meters (384 ft 6 in), a beam of 11.1 meters (36 ft 5 in), and a draft of 3.8 meters (12 ft 6 in). The ships displaced 1,800 t (1,772 long tons) at standard and 2,577 metric tons (2,536 long tons) at deep load. They were powered by two geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by four Sural-Penhöet forced-circulation boilers. The turbines were designed to produce 58,000 metric horsepower (42,659 kW; 57,207 shp), which would propel the ships at 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph). Le Hardi comfortably exceeded that speed during her sea trials on 6 November 1939, reaching a maximum speed of 39.1 knots (72.4 km/h; 45.0 mph) from 60,450 metric horsepower (44,461 kW; 59,623 shp). The ships carried 470 metric tons (463 long tons) of fuel oil which gave them a range of 3,100 nautical miles (5,700 km; 3,600 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). The crew consisted of 10 officers and 177 enlisted men.[1]

The main armament of the Le Hardi-class ships consisted of six Canon de 130 mm Modèle 1932 guns in three twin mounts, one forward and a superfiring pair aft of the superstructure. Their anti-aircraft armament consisted of one twin mount for Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1933 guns and two twin Hotchkiss 13.2 mm (0.5 in) anti-aircraft machinegun mounts. The ships carried one triple and two twin sets of 550-millimeter (21.7 in) torpedo tubes, all above-water. One depth charge chute was built into the stern; this housed eight 200-kilogram (440 lb) depth charges. The other side of the stern was used for the handling gear for a "Ginocchio" anti-submarine torpedo, but this was removed before Le Hardi was completed.[2]


Le Hardi was built at A C de la Loire at Nantes. She was laid down on 20 May 1936, launched on 4 May 1938, and completed. She ran trials in July and November 1939, but had not commissioned before the Armistice in June 1940.

Following the cessation of hostilities in France she transferred to Toulon, where she remained.

Italian FR 37

In November 1942, with the invasion of Vichy France by the Germans she was scuttled along with the French fleet at Toulon.

She was raised by the Italian Navy for repair, and renamed FR 37, but the repairs were unfinished when Italy surrendered in September 1943. She was seized by the Germans at Savona, but was again scuttled at Genoa in April 1945.[3]


  1. Jordan & Moulin, pp. 180–86, 190
  2. Jordan & Moulin, pp. 186–90
  3. Whitley, p. 50


External links

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