French ironclad Lave
Lave, one of the first ironclad floating batteries.
|Cost:||1.23 million French Francs|
|Laid down:||20 August 1854|
|Launched:||5 June 1855|
|Maiden voyage:||6 August 1855|
|Fate:||Scrapped in 1873|
|Class and type:||Dévastation class ironclad floating battery|
|Length:||53.02 m (174.0 ft)|
|Beam:||13.35 m (43.8 ft)|
|Draught:||2.66 m (8 ft 9 in)|
|Propulsion:||Sail (three-masted, 885 m²)
single screw, Mazeline steam engine, 150 shp
|Speed:||4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)|
|Armament:||1st battery: 16 × 50 + 2 × 12 cm
2nd battery: 2 × 24 + 6 × 19 + 3 × 16 cm
|Armour:||110mm iron plates (100mm over the batteries), plus 440mm oak planking.|
In the 1850s, the British and French navies deployed iron-armoured floating batteries as a supplement to the wooden steam battlefleet in the Crimean War. The role of the battery was to assist unarmoured mortar and gunboats bombarding shore fortifications. The French used three of their ironclad batteries (Lave, Tonnante, and Dévastation) in 1855 against the defences at the Battle of Kinburn (1855) on the Black Sea, where they were effective against Russian shore defences. They would later be used again during the Italian war in the Adriatic in 1859.
The ships were flat-bottomed, and commonly nicknamed "soapboxes". They were towed from France to Crimea to participate to the conflict. Lave was towed by the paddle frigate Magellan.
- (French) Classe Dévastation in Dossiers Marine
- de Balincourt, Captain; Vincent-Bréchignac, Captain (1973). "French Floating Batteries". F.P.D.S. Newsletter (Akron, OH: F.P.D.S.) I (2): 13–20.
- Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
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