Made in the late 1930s by producers Marcel De Hubsch and Etienne Lallier, "Branlebas de Combat" or literally "Call to Action" presents a look at the fighting French Navy just before it was torn to pieces in World War II. Featuring a score by acclaimed composer Jacques Ibert, the movie contains images of the fleet including especially the battleship Provence, which incredibly was sunk twice in WWII -- once by the British and once by the French.
After World War I, the French Navy remained the fourth largest in the world, after the British, US and Japanese navies, but the Italian Navy, considered as the main enemy, was almost as large as the French one. This order of fleets, with the French Navy equal to the Italian Navy, was sanctioned by the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. Every naval fleet consisted of a variety of ships of different sizes, and no fleet had enough resources to make every vessel supreme in its class. Nonetheless, different countries strove to excel in particular classes. Between the World Wars, the French fleet was remarkable in its building of small numbers of ships that were "over the top" with relation to their equivalents of other powers. For example, the French chose to build "super-destroyers" which were deemed during the Second World War by the Allies as the equivalent of light cruisers. The Fantasque class of destroyer is still the world's fastest class of destroyer. The Surcouf submarine was the largest and most powerful of its day. The Dunkerque class battleships, designed specially to fight the German so-called pocket battleships, were, in spite of their relatively small size, very well-balanced designs and precursors of a new fast battleship generation in the world. The Richelieu class full-size battleships are considered by some experts as the most successful battleships built under displacement limits of Washington Treaty in the world.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com