Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Condition Zebra - Rare - 2/40


The Bearn was France's first aircraft carrier, based on the hull of the canceled battleship Normandie. It was commissioned in 1927 and was the only French carrier active during the years of WWII. Its intended replacement, the two ships of the Joffre class, were scrapped and all work halted when France surrendered to the Germans.

Rendered obsolete by her slow speed and age, the Bearn served as an aircraft transport, ferrying much needed aircraft to the European theater. In an effort to keep Germany from getting access to French warships, many were briefly interred, including the Bearn. In 1943, it officially joined the Allies, resuming her aircraft transport role. The Bearn continued to serve through the end of the war, and into the post-war years, helping France in the Indochina conflict. Bearn was utilized as a training ship afterward and around 1967, was finally scrapped.


-RB's CZ Opening Salvo #1-
As a carrier, BĂ©arn has only two virtues: She gets the Marine Nationale into naval aviation, and her battleship genealogy means that she's a reasonably rugged ship. She's best suited for basing a Wildcat, Martlet, or D.520 along with a V-156F Vindicator. Keeping fighter cover over a fleet each round is useful, while the sting of Poor Facilities can be ameliorated by careful timing to combine a rearming dive bomber with an attack by land-based air assets. Just don't expect her to win many sprints for the objectives!

Don't think of the Bearn as a Fleet Carrier because she is not. Think of her as a cruiser with cap 1, with another plane in reserve, which only appears every other turn. Use the D.520 to fly defensive cover if going against an strong air opponent. Use the Wildcat/Martlet if you want escorts for the V-156F Vindicator's. Without any torp planes though the DB's just can't really be used against anything other than destroyers, cruisers, and carriers. The Bearn will roll slow half the time on average but can be used to take objectives as it is strong enough to tangle with destroyers and hold it's own against cruisers. Never underestimate it's mains or the single torp attack when opposing it.

Tincancaptain: (after Condition Zebra)
Hurray for Vichy Wildcats! The guns and torpedoes are interesting on a carrier but I almost cannot call this thing a carrier with Slow 3 and Poor Facilities. 6.5/10

Herky80: (after Condition Zebra)
You could look at the Bearn like a slow heavy cruiser with 1.5 basing cap and Expert Bomber. Not a bad deal for 15 points, boosting the Vindicator to a 9 bomb rating while having the ability to attack destroyers at range 3. For 28 points, the Bearn/Dewoitine/Vindicator combo supplemented by one or two more Vindicators to get through enemy AA is not the worst idea in the world. For those who like to play the French anyway.

15 points for a cap-1 carrier (add rearming = land base… Not even 1.5 basing capacity, just lets you take another plane if your land base is full) with EB1… The armor is good and the guns okay, plus torpedoes out to range one makes it even more formidable against enemy cruisers and destroyers…

The ability to base Wildcats is okay, as it allows for a plane that can escort your Vindicators in a pure French fleet… But then, you can only escort Vindicators at this point, and their AA is no better than the D. 520…

Even in a purely French fleet, I just can't see expending any points on this unit… Going with a French air build obviously isn't a good idea, and it has a basing capacity of essentially one with no Expert Dogfighter sa, at a cost of 15 points…

Plastic Figure Notes:

The mini looks very good and has nice clean lines. While not exciting it is much better than many expected. Note that it is in it's pre-refit layout and can be modified for post-refit looks and paint scheme.

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