French Navy

French Navy of World War 1

At the outbreak of the First World War France had 19 battleships, 32 cruisers, 86 destroyers, 34 submarines, and 115 torpedo boats.

During the Dardanelles operation, the French Navy sent four battleships, six destroyers, and submarines. The battleship Bovet and four submarines were lost during this campaign.

The French Navy kept to the Mediterranean so the British Navy could recall most of her capital ships to the North Atlantic to counter the German fleet.

Following the 1904 Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, the French Navy policy was to concentrate its forces in the Mediterranean against a likely Italian-Austrian coalition, while maintaining a mainly defensive position in the north (North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic coast) where the Royal Navy would predominate.

French forces in this area initially included seven cruisers and a number of destroyers, torpedo boats, and submarines for patrol duty in the western English Channel.

In the Mediterranean on the other hand was the 1st Armée Navale under the command of Adm de Lapeyrère