Dreadnought Bretagne


Photo of the French battleship de Bretagne by Marius Bar. The image is 59 x 23.5 cm in size and in good condition. The photo is framed, the frame is 64.5 x 40.5 cm. The list is somewhat primitive and clearly shows her age of 100 years.

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The Bretagne was the lead ship of her class of three dreadnought battleships built in the 1910s for the French Navy. Bretagne entered service in February 1916, after the start of World War I. She spent the bulk of her nearly 25-year-long career in the Mediterranean Squadron and sometimes served as its flagship. During World War I she provided cover for the Otranto Barrage that blockaded the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the Adriatic Sea, but saw no action. The ship was significantly modernised in the interwar period, and when she was on active duty, conducted normal peacetime cruises and training manoevres in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. After World War II broke out in September 1939, Bretagne escorted troop convoys and was briefly deployed to the Atlantic in search of German blockade runners and commerce raiders. Germany invaded France on 10 May 1940 and the French surrendered six weeks later, at which time the battleship was stationed in Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria. Fearful that the Germans would seize the French Navy, the British attacked the ships there on 3 July 1940 after the French refused to surrender or demilitarise the fleet; Bretagne was hit four times and exploded, killing the majority of her crew. Her wreck was salvaged in 1952 and broken up for scrap.

Marius Bar is a French photographer who was born in 1862, in 1886 he founded the Marius Bar Photography company in Toulon, which still exists today. Marius Bar died in 1930.


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