These ships are the first true destroyers or contre-torpilleurs of the French navy and were put into service in 1899 and 1900. Despite being only slightly larger than the torpedo vessels of the jeune école, they have a much stronger artillery armament. All of them were built at the Norman shipyards in Le Havre and bear the names of ancient weapons, a tradition which continued in the following classes. A special feature, retained in the following classes of destroyers, is a torpedo tube able to fire right astern.

Ship data

Relative combat value: 35

Basic damage control capacity: 93%


Displacement: 296 tons

Length: 58 m

Width: 6 m

Draught: 2 m

Standard crew: 52


Maximum speed (undamaged): 26 knots

Endurance: 2038 km

Coal capacity: 79 tons

Armour protection

Conning tower armour: 0

Hull armour: 0

Main belt armour: 0

Deck armour: 0

Best armour type: None


1 x 65mm M1902, centrally controlled. Ammo: 150 rounds

6 x 47mm Hotchkiss, locally controlled. Ammo: 1200 rounds

2 x 38cm Torpedos, centrally controlled. Ammo: 4 torpedoes

Ships in class

  • Durandal
  • Hallebarde (away in the Mediterranean)
  • Fauconneau (away in the Mediterranean)
  • Espignole (†, sunk February 4th 1903)