The Béarn was a French aircraft carrier launched in 1920, being originally projected as a battleship of the discontinued Normandie class;
in 1922 she was determined to be finished as an aircraft carrier, while the rest of the hulls of the Normandie class that were in progress
were simply scrapped. The Béarn was a very slow ship that could not be favorably compared with the foreign reconverted ships, and still so,
she remained as the only French aircraft carrier until 1946. Her design was not specially right and the fligh deck was too small for a ship
of such draft.
The Béarn never launched her aircraft in combat, and she spent most of the Second World War docked at Martinique. She
served as an aircraft transport during the early phase of the war and ended this one she served the same purpose in the
French Indochina. From 1948 onwards she was retired and used as a school ship; later she served as a supply ship for submarines, to be
finally scrapped in 1967.
The illustration shows the Béarn as she was in 1938, with modified isle and extra accommodation at prow.
Class: Normandie (1 unit)
Type: Aircraft carrier
Length: 182.6 meters
Beam: 35.2 meters
Draught: 9.3 meters
Displacement (standard): 22500 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 2 x steam turbine, 2 x reciprocating steam engine, 12 x boiler Du Temple-Normand, 36200 horsepower
Speed: 21.5 knots (39.8 kilometers/hour)
Range: 7000 nautical miles (13000 kilometers) at 10 knots
Armament (in 1939): 8 x 155-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 6 x 75-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 8 x 37-millimeter cannon,
16 x 13.2-millimeter machine gun, 4 x 550-millimeter torpedo tubes
Armament (in 1943): 4 x 127-millimeter 38-caliber cannon, 24 x 40-millimeter cannon, 26 x 20-millimeter cannon
Armor: 80 millimeters in belt, 25 millimeters in flight deck/main deck, 60 millimeters in lower deck
Aircraft: 40 (Dewoitine D.373 fighters, Levasseur PL.7 torpedo bombers and Levasseur PL.10 reconnaissance aircraft)