The French produced some of the most striking and innovatory interwar cruiser designs. A large amount of new information about these ships has become available over the past twenty years in France, but this book is the first to make this accessible to an English-speaking readership. Part I explains the design philosophy behind each of the classes built after 1922, and outlines the characteristics of each type, accompanied by detailed data tables and a comprehensive set of specially-drawn plans based on official documents, as well as carefully-selected photographs. Coverage includes the De Grasse, laid down in August 1939 and completed postwar as an AA cruiser, and also the heavy cruisers of the Saint Louis class intended to follow her, about which little has been published. Part II deals with the historical side, covering not only the eventful careers of these ships, but also explaining the peacetime organisation of the Marine Nationale, the complex politics of this turbulent period and their impact on the navy.
Like its highly successful predecessor, French Battleships, this beautifully presented book subtly blends technical and historical analysis to produce what must become the standard reference work.