French corvette Dupleix (1861)

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For other ships of the same name, see French ship Dupleix.
Dupleix
Steam corvette Dupleix
Career French Navy Ensign
Name: Dupleix
Laid down: 9 October 1856
Launched: 28 March 1861
Commissioned: 26 February 1862
Decommissioned: 1887
General characteristics
Type: Steam Corvette
Displacement: 1,773 long tons (1,801 t) freight tons
Length: 61 m (200 ft 2 in)
Beam: 11.4 m (37 ft 5 in)
Draught: 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: Steam engine, 340 hp (254 kW)
Speed: 13.5 knots (15.5 mph; 25.0 km/h)
Complement: 190
Armament: 10 × 160 mm (6.3 in) guns

The Dupleix was a steam and sail corvette of the French Marine Nationale. She was the first French vessel named after the 18th Century Governor of Pondichéry and Gouverneur Général of the French possessions in India marquess Joseph François Dupleix.

After her commissioning, the Dupleix was sent to the Chinese Sea under vice-admiral Jaures. She arrived in Saigon on the 25 August 1862, and made short stops in Ryukyu Islands and the port of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaidō, before arriving in Yokohama.

Bombardment of Shimonoseki[edit]

During the bombardment of Shimonoseki (5 September 1864), the Dupleix was second in the line of corvettes, between the British Tartar and the Dutch Metallkruz. She fired 411 shots and received 22 cannonballs (seven in the hull, four under the waterline, and 11 in the sails). She had two killed and eight wounded. On the 28 December 1864, the Dupleix sailed back to France, where she was decommissioned on the 25 June 1865.

She was re-commissioned in Cherbourg in 1867, and sent back to serve in the "Far-East Naval Division", under counter-admiral Ohier. She arrived in Yokohama in February 1868, and was immediately involved in the events of the Japanese Revolution.

Sakai incident[edit]

Sakai incident, Japan (堺事件). Le Monde Illustré, 1868.

On the 8 March 1868, a skiff sent to Sakai was attacked by samurai retainers of the daimyo of Tosa; 11 sailors and Midshipman Guillou were killed (a monument in Kobe is now erected to their memory). The captain Dupetit Thouars protested so strongly that the culprits were arrested, and 20 of them were sentenced to death by seppuku. However, the execution style was so shocking to the French that after 11 were carried out, the French captain requested grace for the survivors. This allowed the French and Japanese parties to reconcile, and is now known as the "Sakai incident", or Sakai Jiken (堺事件).

On the 16 April 1868, the Dupleix was the first Western ship to salute the Emperor at Fort Tempozan.

In October of the same year, the Dupleix was sent to Edo. She rescued the British corvette HMS Rattler, which was shipwrecked at Romanzoff Bay, in La Perouse Strait.

Hokkaidō[edit]

Replaced in Edo by the cruiser Coëtlogon, the Dupleix was stationed in the northern port of Hakodate during the Battle of Hakodate, in order to guarantee French interests there. She brought back captain Jules Brunet and his companions from Hakodate to Yokohama after the fall of the Republic of Ezo.

From July 1870 to February 1871, the Dupleix blockaded the German corvette Hertha in Nagasaki as part of operations during the Franco-Prussian War. In March, the Dupleix sailed back to Cherbourg to be de-commissioned.

From 1876 to 1886, the Dupleix was re-armed every year from March to October to monitor fishery operations in Iceland. She was struck in 1887.