French destroyer Ouragan

Ouragan (French: "hurricane") was a Bourrasque-class destroyer (torpilleur d'escadre) built for the French Navy during the 1920s. During World War II, the destroyer began the war in service with the French Navy and was undergoing repairs at Brest during the invasion of France. The British Royal Navy towed the destroyer to the United Kingdom and commandeered the vessel following the French surrender in 1940. They transferred Ouragan to the Polish Navy which kept the destroyer in service for less than a year. In 1941, the Polish Navy transferred the destroyer to the Free French Naval Forces, which in turn, transferred Ouragan back to the Royal Navy in 1943. Ouragan saw no further action and was broken up for scrap in 1949.

Name: Ouragan
Namesake: Hurricane
Ordered: 13 March 1923
Builder: Chantiers Navals Français, Caen
Laid down: 7 September 1923
Launched: 6 December 1924
Completed: 19 January 1927
Decommissioned: 3 July 1940
In service: 15 September 1927
Fate: Loaned to Poland
Name: Ouragan
Commissioned: 17 July 1940
Decommissioned: 30 April 1941
Fate: Returned to the Free French, 30 April 1941
Free France
Name: Ouragan
Commissioned: 30 April 1941
Decommissioned: 1943
Fate: Scrapped, 1949
General characteristics
Class and type: Bourrasque-class destroyer
  • 1,320 t (1,300 long tons) (standard)
  • 1,825 t (1,796 long tons) (full load)
Length: 105.6 m (346 ft 5.5 in)
Beam: 9.7 m (31 ft 9.9 in)
Draft: 3.5 m (11 ft 5.8 in)
Installed power:
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Range: 3,000 nmi (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Crew: 9 officers, 153 crewmen (wartime)

Design and description

The Bourrasque class had an overall length of 105.6 meters (346 ft 5 in), a beam of 9.7 meters (31 ft 10 in), and a draft of 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in). The ships displaced 1,320 metric tons (1,300 long tons) at (standard) load and 1,825 metric tons (1,796 long tons) at deep load. They were powered by two geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by three du Temple boilers. The turbines were designed to produce 31,000 metric horsepower (22,800 kW; 30,576 shp), which would propel the ship at 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph). The ships carried enough fuel oil to give them a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[1]

The main armament of the Bourrasque-class ships consisted of four Canon de 130 mm (5.1 in) Modèle 1919 guns in shielded single mounts, one superfiring pair each fore and aft of the superstructure. Their anti-aircraft (AA) armament consisted of a single Canon de 75 mm (3 in) Modèle 1924 gun. The ships carried two triple mounts of 550-millimeter (21.7 in) torpedo tubes amidships. A pair of depth charge chutes were built into their stern that housed a total of sixteen 200-kilogram (440 lb) depth charges.[1]

Construction and career

During the first year of World War II, Ouragan served with the 4th Destroyer Division with the destroyers Bourrasque and Orage, based at Brest. At the time of the German invasion of France in 1940, she was undergoing engine repairs at Brest. The Royal Navy towed her to Devonport where the repairs were completed. After the French surrender in June, the British commandeered her on 3 July and she was transferred to the Polish Navy on 17 July 1940. Until 30 April 1941 she sailed under the Polish ensign (using pennant number H16) but as OF Ouragan (OF - Okręt Francuski - "French ship"), instead of the usual ORP prefix. She was commanded by Lieutenant Commander T. Gorazdowski; most of Ouragan's crew were transferred from Grom, which had been sunk on 4 May 1940, during the Battle of Narvik.

Ouragan participated in operations around the British Isles, during which she suffered storm damage (flooded engine and boiler rooms) and a series of debilitating technical problems, requiring a total of 194 days under repair (compared to 31 days at sea). On 30 April 1941, after 287 days in Polish service, Ouragan was returned to the Free French Forces, who in turn passed her to the Royal Navy in 1943. She never returned to active operations, was decommissioned on 7 April 1949 and scrapped.


  1. Jordan & Moulin, p. 41


  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • Jordan, John & Moulin, Jean (2015). French Destroyers: Torpilleurs d'Escadre & Contre-Torpilleurs 1922–1956. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-198-4.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
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