The war in Europe had begun with the invasion of Poland only a few months earlier when the French Navy considered a new battleship design. It was very early in 1940 when the Conseil Superieur decided that the navy needed more battleships. France had two ships of the Richelieu class under construction and two ships of a modified Richelieu design ordered in the 1938 program. However, Germany had their Bismarck and Tirpitz well advanced and had six improved battleships of the H class projected for construction. Looking to the Mediterranean, the relationship with Italy was uneasy as Mussolini sat on the fence. The Italians has four battleships of the Vittorio Veneto class completing, building or on order. Three design standards were considered with a 40,000-ton design armed with nine 15-inch guns in three triple turrets, two forward and one aft; a 42,500-ton design called for the same arrangement but with nine 16-inch guns; the third design called for using the maximum limit under the proposed 1936 London Naval Treaty of 45,000-tons but mounting twelve 15-inch guns, using the same quadruple turret designed for the Richelieu. Considering that the triple gun turrets would require a new turret and mount design and 16-inch gun development would take even longer, using an existing design was the obvious choice with two quad turrets forward and one aft.
Armor protection would have been similar to the Richelieu and a top speed of 30 knots would have been required, which would require 197000 shp. Secondary and AA armament would have also been on the lines of the modified Richelieu of the Gascogne. On April 15, 1940 the construction of four battleships of the class was approved by the legislature. The names selected were Alsace, Normandie, Flandre, and Bourgogne and two more were considered for construction. However, the ships were never laid down as that spring brought the German Blitzkrieg tof the West and France had been over-run by that summer. MB Models produces a 1:1250 scale model of the Alsace 1940 French battleship design with a resin hull and white metal turrets, superstructure and other equipment. The master casting was prepared by John Youngerman.
The MB Models 1:1250 scale Alsace is available directly from the manufacturer at Waterline Ships Co.