French ironclad Gloire
Gloire at anchor, 1860
|Laid down:||April 1858|
|Launched:||24 November 1859|
|Class & type:||Gloire-class ironclad|
|Displacement:||5,630 tonnes (5,540 long tons)|
|Length:||77.8 m (255 ft 3 in)|
|Beam:||17 m (55 ft 9 in)|
|Draught:||8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)|
|Installed power:||2,500 ihp (1,900 kW)
8 oval boilers
|Propulsion:||1 × Shaft
1 × Horizontal return connecting rod-steam engine
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)|
|Armour:||110–120 mm (4.3–4.7 in) iron plates|
The French ironclad Gloire ("Glory") was the first ocean-going ironclad in history. She was developed following the Crimean War, in response to new developments in naval gun technology, especially the Paixhans guns and rifled guns, which used explosive shells with increased destructive power against wooden ships, and followed the development of the ironclad floating batteries built by the British and French for the bombardment of Russian forts during the Crimean War. She was designed by the French naval architect Dupuy de Lôme, and was launched at the arsenal of Mourillon, Toulon, on 24 November 1859.
A 5,630-ton broadside ironclad, she had a wooden hull. Her 12 cm-thick (4.7 in) armour plates, backed with 43 cm (17 in) of timber, resisted the experimental firing of the strongest guns of the time (the French 50-pounder and the British 68-pounder) at full charge, at a distance of 20 metres (65 ft). Her official top speed was 13.1 knots but other reports suggested no more than 11.75 knots had been reached and that 11 knots was the practical maximum.
As was common for the era, Gloire was constructed with sails as well as a steam-powered screw. The original rigging was a light barquentine rig providing 1,096 sq. m (11,800 sq. ft) of surface area. This was later increased to a full rig providing 2,508 sq. m (27,000 sq. ft) of surface.
Gloire rendered obsolete traditional unarmoured wooden ships-of-the-line, and all major navies had no choice but to build ironclads of their own. However La Gloire was soon herself rendered obsolete by the launching in 1860 of the British HMS Warrior, the world's first iron-hulled ironclad warship. In 1879, Gloire was struck from the French fleet registry and scrapped in 1883.
Photograph of La Gloire, circa 1860, at the Musee de la Marine
Scale model of La Gloire at the Musée de la Marine, Paris
Couronne, near sister-ship of Gloire after she was rebuilt
- de Balincourt, Captain; Vincent-Bréchignac, Captain (1974). "The French Navy of Yesterday: Ironclad Frigates, Part I". F.P.D.S. Newsletter (Akron, OH: F.P.D.S.) II (2): 12–15, 18.
- Chesneau, Roger & Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
- Gille, Eric (1999). Cent ans de cuirassés français. Nantes: Marines. ISBN 2-909-675-50-5.
- Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours, 1671 – 1870. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922.
- Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-88254-979-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gloire.|