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Design C5A3 was a French preliminary design for a 10,000 ton heavy cruiser to replace the aging Duguay-Trouin class, as well as being a response to the German Admiral Hipper class. Based on the very successful design of heavy cruiser Algérie, the ship was to have been fitted 3 triple turrets with the same 203mm/50 Model 1924 fitted on preceding heavy cruiser classes, and the same armour scheme as on Algérie. The design was slightly longer than her predecessor, but was eventually discarded in favour of the following C5SA3 design, the Saint Louis class. 6 ships of the latter type were scheduled to be laid down in 1939, however, due to the start of hostilities, none was eventually. The name Masséna was given to this design following the tradition of French heavy cruisers of the 1930s of being named after decommissioned pre-Dreadnoughts, which in turn were named after historical French figures (the ships of the Saint Louis class are a good example: Saint Louis, Henry IV, Charlemagne, Brennus, Charles Martel, Vercingétorix - the only exception to the naming convention is Algérie).