French submarine Bévéziers (Q179)

Namesake: Battle of Bévéziers
Commissioned: 1935
Struck: 26 December 1946
Homeport: Toulon
Fate: scrapped
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Le Redoutable class submarine
  • 1,384 long tons (1,406 t) standard
  • 1,570 long tons (1,595 t) normal
  • 2,084 long tons (2,117 t) submerged
  • 92.30 m (302 ft 10 in) oa
  • 92.00 m (301 ft 10 in) pp
Beam: 8.20 m (26 ft 11 in)
Draught: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)
  • 2 diesels, 8,000 shp (6,000 kW) total,
  • 2 electric motors 2,000 shp (1,500 kW)
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)(surfaced)
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
  • 10,000 nmi (18,500 km; 11,500 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
  • 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)
  • 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) at 5 kn (9 km/h; 6 mph) submerged
Complement: 61
  • 4 × fixed 550 mm (21.7 in) torpedo tubes in bow,
  • 5 × 550 mm (21.7 in) and 2 × 400 mm (15.7 in) torpedo tubes on external mounts
  • 1 × 100 mm gun
  • 1 × 13.2 mm machine gun

Bévéziers (Q179) was a Redoutable-class submarine of the French navy named in honour of the Bataille de Bévéziers (Battle of Beachy Head) of 1690.

At the time of the initiation of the Second World War, Bévéziers was part of the 8th division of submarines and a component of the Brest Arsenal in northwestern France, with Agosta, Ouessant, and Sidi-Ferruch.[2] She was sent to patrol the ports on the northern coast of Spain but fled the area after identifying the presence of German merchant ships suspected to be serving as tankers for German U-boats.[3] In early October 1939 the submarine ordered to voyage to the Antilles with the other 8th division submarines.[4]

Bévéziers escorted two convoys of ships from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool and subsequently returned to Brest on 20 April 1940. It was sent to Casablanca before receiving news of the armistice of 22 June 1940 three days after its signing. The submarine then patrolled the gulf of Guinea before journeying to Dakar in French West Africa on 21 August 1940.[5] Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander (Capitaine de corvette) Lancelot near Dakar, as United Kingdom and Free France forces attacked the port on 23 September, Bévéziers torpedoed HMS Resolution; the ship remained out-of-action for nine months.[6]

On 28 October Bévéziers was sent to Casablanca to be part of a division with Casabianca, Sidi-Ferruch, and Sfax.[7] She sailed back to Toulon to be refit on 3 January 1941,[5] and was subsequently sent to Madagascar on 12 November; the submarine arrived on 19 February 1942.[8]

On 5 May 1942 she was depth charged and sunk by Swordfish torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious as part of the opening attacks of the Battle of Madagascar.[9][10] She was raised by the Allies the next year, placed on reserve, and scrapped in 1946.[9]



Further reading

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