1/400 L1025 Heller Dunkerque Battlecruiser
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: VG++
Rare. The Dunkerque-class Battlecruisers were the French response to the German Graf Spee-class and the fast and well-armed Italian ships at the time. If the 1900 to 1930 span of French shipbuilding could be defined as lacking a clear vision or plan, the Strasbourg and her sister decisively ended that period. The products of superior design and engineering, the two sisters would re-define fast capital ships as would their near-sisters Battleships Richelieu and Jean Bart after them. But world events would conspire against these beautiful ships and there visibility in naval history. The Dunkerque was laid down on 24 Dec, 1932 at St. Nazaire, launched on 2 Oct, 1935 and put into service on 15 Apr, 1937. Displacement was 26,500 ton and top speed was 30 knots. Main armament was (8) 330mm guns and (16) 130 mm dual purpose. The main and secondary guns were mounted in the first quadruple turrets. Both main 330 mm turrets faced forward and had almost unlimited arcs of fire - so that all main guns could fire when the enemy was sighted or in pursuit. Her superior speed would allow her to escape anything that she could not out-gun. Like most advanced ships of the day she featured the 'All-Or-Nothing' armor design or 'armored box'. The compact design and placement of the main and secondary armament allowed unusually high armor protection for a battlecruiser. Serious consideration was also given to underwater protection, and the ships had a unique and effective (as events would prove) anti-mine/torpedo system with a novel water-exclusive material. At Mers-El-Kebir, the Dunkerque was pinned at the pier. The British fired 15 inch shells, which the Dunkerque's deck armor was surprisingly resistant to. In an unlucky set of events, the auxiliary ship Terre Neuve moored next to her was sunk during the battle with a full load of depth-charges. Later, a torpedo set off the huge explosive cargo. The damage to Dunkerque was immense. She was hastily repaired and fled to Toulon, where she was joined by the hastily repaired Strasbourg. The French tried to repair Dunkerque as best they could but the wartime resources and material were very limited. However, when the Germans threatened to seize the ships, the entire fleet including the two sisters was scuttled in the harbor. The Italians raised the Strasbourg and stripped her of her guns; but she was bombed and sunk by Allied aircraft. In 1945 she was raised again, but salvage was beyond hope. In 1959 she was sold for scrap. Kit has never started. Factory sealed bag or inventoried 100% complete with all parts, decals and instructions.
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