De Grasse (croiseur)

One of my favourite light cruisers — De Grasse.

I read her article on French Wikipedia with a french dictionary. I’m glad to learn about her and french language a little.

De Grasse (croiseur) – Wikipédia

I write down a simple translation, some review and notation for french language below.


De Grasse is a french navy’s light cruiser. Her name is derived from a 18th century french admiral “François Paul de Grasse”.

Her construction had begun and planned to have bigger body and higher anti-air performance than previous “Galissonnière” class, after that WW2 broke out and her construction stopped. Germany, defeated France, had tried to change her into light aircraft carrier, but that was also not realized due to lack of materials.

She was launched after the war and towed to Brest to complete the construction. Her sailing test was carried out later and she was assigned at Toulon in summer 1956.

She leads Toulon’s fleet as the command ship, conducted trainings in many sea: Mediterranean, Caribbean, and so on. She returned Brest and was reformed for 1954-1966, after that she became the nuclear operating force’s command ship. She made 7 expeditions to conduct nuclear weapon’s tests at french polynesia. At the nuclear test Betelgeuse in 1966, General Charles de Gaulle watched the shot of the bomb from the captive balloon, on her.

She turned to Brest, reserved in 1972, was lined out in January 1974, and finally was sold out to La Spezia in 1976.


I knew about her only that she is relatively later ship and good at anti-air. Actually she was working really actively on many seas in the world, that’s exciting for me. She was basically at Toulon but at Brest for construction, reformation and reservation. Brest may be a homeport of her. Anyway, I read her article in french language and got familiar to her a lot.

Notation for French Language

croiseur et croisière

“croiseur” is cruiser a kind of warship, “croisière” is to cruise. Therefore “missile de croisière” means not “missile, launched from a cruiser” but “missile, cruising by itself”.

être mise à l’eau

I looked at a phrase “Se coque est mise à l’eau” and then I mistook “Oh, her body was flooded!”. But it’s strange and I found my mistake.


“rayer” simply means “to draw a line”, and “rayon” means “ray of light”. In addition “rayer” means “line out” in other words “delete register”.

le bâtiment amiral ou le bâtiment de commandement

I cannot find difference between them. command ship.

les autres

  • croiseur léger : light cruiser
  • l’honneur de … : honor of
  • achever : complete
  • arsenal : arsenal
  • concevoir : design, come up with
  • l’armement antiaérien : anti-air weapon
  • échapper : escape
  • bombardement : bombing
  • porte-avions léger : light aircraft career
  • coque : body
  • remorquer : tow
  • essais : test
  • expérimentation : experiment
  • escadre : squadron
  • refonte : reform
  • nucléaire : nuclear
  • bord : edge
  • assister : attend
  • tir : shot
  • commandant : commander
  • réserve : reserve
  • rayer : draw a line, line out
  • démolition : demolition

I wish your successes in zjsnR too!