Welcome back, Suffren

To students of naval history, the name “Suffren” is quick to jog memories.

An homage to Admiral Comte Pierre André de Suffren, an 18th-century hero who doggedly fought the Royal Navy from the East Indies to the West Indies and off the coast of North America during the Seven Years War and later the American Revolution, more than a half-dozen French ships have carried his name.

These included the 74-gun ship of the line that tangled with HMS Victory directly at Trafalgar, an event that led to Nelson’s death; the early and somewhat innovative central battery ironclad of the late 19th Century; a Great War-era République-class pre-dreadnought that covered the withdrawal from the Dardanelles in 1915 with her 12-inch guns only to be sunk by a German U-boat the next winter; the lead-ship of a four-vessel class of heavy cruisers that saw combat in WWII; and the lead ship of a class of guided-missile destroyers that served during the Cold War.

The WWII-era Suffren, a handsome 12,000-ton CA, survived WWII in Free French service and went on to serve off Indochina and elsewhere, only heading to the breakers in 1974.

French heavy cruiser Suffren leaving Alexandria Harbor, Egypt, 23rd June 1943, after a three-year stay during which she was interned by the British. She sailed out to join the Free French forces- IWM Photo

French heavy cruiser Suffren leaving Alexandria Harbor, Egypt, 23rd June 1943, after a three-year stay during which she was interned by the British. She sailed out to join the Free French forces- IWM Photo

Earlier this month, the eighth Suffren, a brand new Barracuda-class submarine (Q284), was launched. The name is, once again, set aside for the first ship of her class.

The 7th warship to carry the name for France, Suffren (D602), was decommissioned in 2008 after nearly a decade in reserve. The 8th is expected to commission in 2020.

The submarine’s skipper was presented with relics from past Suffrens


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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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