View Full Version : Le Surcouf et le Minerve

08-25-2005, 07:54 PM
These two were heavy duty cruiser-type subs the French had at the time of their capitulation. Minerve was scuttled I believe, and Surcouf taken from the Vichys by the British, with use of force. The Brits eventually turned the vessel over to the US, and the Navy was transporting it to San Francisco via Panama when it collided with a surface ship in the fog and went down. The idea was to do some mods and send it into action in the Pacific against Japanese merchants. Surcouf would have been rather well suited to that role, because, you see, it had a fore armored turret with two 10" guns. As I recall, it could fire a salvo of 17 steam torpedos (not real good ones) including about nine that were in one-time external mounts on the hull exterior. It had a lot of tubes, but the exact number escapes me. The sub's performance was not of the greatest caliber, but still, "Silent Victory" (a history book) rates them as "tecnically succesful".

Question is, how daunting would the task of modeling one of these beasts for use within SHIII be?

08-25-2005, 08:16 PM
hello mnordby....I would encourage you to go to subsim.com forums and check out what is being done to SH3!

You do have to register to get in, and the link is on the upper right area of the screen and kind of hard to find....

Modders are doing all sorts of crazy things like adding destroyer guns (and their turrets included) to subs and things like that...the Surcouf has come up a fair amount...you might even be able to type "Surcouf" into their search engine and find what you need! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif



08-25-2005, 10:06 PM
Remember that book, "Strike from the Sea" wasnt that about the Surcouf? I thought that was fictional?


08-26-2005, 07:56 AM
The Surcoff had 2 8" guns in a twin semi-revolving turret forward of the conning tower, a floar plane aircraft hanger aft of it, and yes, several trainable torpedo tube mounts in the upper casing that could fire torpedoes abeam. I have all the exact information in a book up in the attic and will try to find it ASAP and post the exact specs for you guys. I do remember watching a documentary about how the Surcoff accidentally sank on TV a few years back. When the ship hit it, it tore off the gun turret and they had no hatch beneath it to close off all the incoming water. If memory serves, the sub was running at a shallow depth when the collision occured.

Try this link for more info:


08-26-2005, 10:41 AM
Thank you all for your replies on this somewhat obscure topic.

The Japanese also used cruiser subs, and I think they, not the French, had up to 10" guns aboard.

I'll have a look at the referenced material.

08-26-2005, 11:40 AM
Well, the Surcouf was never under US control, but under FNFL (Free French) control :

By August 1940, the British completed Surcouf's refit and turned her over to the Free French Naval Forces (Forces Navales Fran├žaises Libres, FNFL) for convoy patrol.

08-26-2005, 11:02 PM
WOW! That got my curiosity going. I know the Japs had big subs, like the I-400 class that carried 4 Seran Float Plane bombers designed to destroy the lock gates of the Panama Canal, but I never knew they had one with guns bigger than 6". I'll have to do some research now. The Brits, as far as I know anyhow, had the record for the biggest gun placed on a sub with the M1 or maybe it was M2 class that carried a single 12" gun. I remember reading about their "dip-chick" method of coming to the surface, firing off a single, aimed shot with that big gun, and then diving again, all done very quickly, seems to me the whole process was less than a minute.

08-27-2005, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Anton_Reinhold:
The Brits, as far as I know anyhow, had the record for the biggest gun placed on a sub with the M1 or maybe it was M2 class that carried a single 12" gun.

I think this is it:

08-27-2005, 01:06 AM
Now that would be a heck of a fun to play with on silent hunter lol
Knocking down unaware destroyers with that beauty...