De Grasse (C 610)
The De Grasse was an anti-aircraft cruiser of the French Navy. She was the first French vessel named in honour of François Joseph Paul, marquis de Grasetilly, comte de Grasse. She was notoriously involved in the nuclear test campaigns in Mururoa.
The De Grasse was designed in the late 30s, as the lead ship of a series of three cruisers a little heavier than the preceding La Galissonnière class cruisers , notably with an improved anti-aircraft equipment. The other two ships Chateaurenault and Guichen were cancelled.
The cruiser Colbert, a modernised version of the De Grasse with the same silhouette. Career
1937 in Lorient Launched:
11 September, 1946 Commissioned:
10 September, 1956 Decommissioned:
25 January, 1974 General characteristics Displacement:
9380 tonnes Length:
199.30 metres Beam:
5.54 metres Width:
21.5 metres (18.60 at the water line) Propulsion:
33,8 knots Complement:
Specifications (1938 design)
The unfinished ship was captured by the invading Germans during the Second World War. In August 1942 the Germans began converting De Grasse to an auxiliary aircraft carrier but the work was stopped in February 1943 because of the high cost, Allied bombing raids and sabotage. 
After the war the hull was eventually launched in 1946. The construction was halted again between 1946 and 1951, when she was towed to Brest to be completed, to a significantly modified design as an anti-aircraft cruiser. The trials began on 17 August 1954 and she was commissioned on 10 September 1956.
Nuclear testing Flagship
She was used as an anti-aircraft cruiser within the Atlantic squadron, until she joined the Pacific Experimentation Centre to participate in the first nuclear tests in French Polynesia. She undertook some modification in 1965, with the bridge being doubled, a quadripod mast mounted on the aft roof and half the armament removed. The ship was also made gas-tight and fitted with washdown facilities. The equipment was modernised and the crew was downsized to 560 men, to make accommodation available for 160 engineers and technicians.
The ship was used for six testing campaigns between 1966 and 1972. She decommissioned in 1973 and was scrapped on 25 January 1974.