Arsenal de Brest
Brest, France
Pennant Number:
July 4, 1909
Keel Laid:
June 1, 1911
Sunk Mar. 19, 1917 by SMS U-64 (Kapitänleutnant Robert Moraht)

Location: Mediterranean Sea, 30 miles north of San Pietro Island, Sardinia.
(38.45N - 08.03E)

About 300 crewmen lost, over 800 survivors picked up by the destroyer Massue.

Commanding Officers (Information not available)

Combat Victories (None)

Ship's History (Wikipedia)
Danton was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest in February 1906. Her launching was scheduled for May 1909, but socialist activists prevented the ship from leaving the stocks, and so the launching was delayed until on 4 July 1909. After completing fitting-out work, she was commissioned into the French Navy on 1 June 1911. A week after she was completed, she was sent to the United Kingdom in honour of the Coronation of George V in 1911. Upon her return to France, Danton was to the 1st Battleship Squadron in April 1912, along with her five sister ships. Later that year, while off Hyères in the Mediterranean, Danton suffered an explosion in one of her gun turrets, which killed three men and injured several others. In 1913, the squadron was joined by the two powerful dreadnoughts Courbet and Jean Bart.

Danton served in World War I in the French Mediterranean Fleet. At the outbreak of the war in early August 1914, she was assigned to guard convoys bringing French soldiers from North Africa, to protect from attack by the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau, which were operating in the area. At the time, she remained in the 1st Battle Squadron alongside her sister ships, under the command of Vice Admiral Chocheprat. By 16 August, the French naval commander, Admiral de Lapeyrère, took the bulk of the French fleet from Malta to the entrance of the Adriatic to keep the Austro-Hungarian Navy bottled up.

Danton, commanded by Captain Delage, was torpedoed by U-64, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Moraht, at 13:17 on 19 March 1917, 22 miles (19 nmi; 35 km) south-west of Sardinia. The battleship was returning to duty from a refit in Toulon and was bound for the Greek island of Corfu to join the Allied blockade of the Strait of Otranto. Danton was carrying more men than normal, as many were crew members of other ships at Corfu, and had been zig-zagging to foil enemy submarines. The ship sank in 45 minutes; 806 men were rescued by the destroyer Massue and nearby patrol boats, but 296, including Captain Delage, went down with the ship. Massue attacked U-64 with depth charges, but the U-boat successfully evaded her attacker.

Page published Sept. 25, 2011