The French Destroyer Bourrasque





Survivors from the French destroyer Bourrasque, sunk by a mine at 4.45pm on the 30th May 1940. This photograph is taken from another French destroyer, Branlebas, which arrived to rescue survivors. Of the estimated 800 men on board, 600 were saved.


Taking the long eastward Route Y, Bourrasque had come under German artillery fire from Nieuwport. In attempting evasive action, she went off course and sailed straight into a French minefield, detonating a mine and sinking rapidly thereafter. Tragically, the sinking was so rapid that there was insufficient time to deactivate her depth charges and the subsequent detonation of these killed many in the water.
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