Dévastation-class ironclad floating battery

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French floating battery Lave.jpg
Lave in 1854
Class overview
Name: Dévastation class
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by: None
Succeeded by: Palestro class
Built: 1854–1855
In service: 1855–1871
Completed: 5
Scrapped: 5
General characteristics
Type: Ironclad floating battery
Displacement: 1,600–1,674 metric tons (1,575–1,648 long tons).[1]
Length: 53 m (173 ft 11 in).[1]
Beam: 13.35 m (43 ft 10 in).[1]
Draft: 2.65–2.8 m (8.7–9.2 ft).[1]
Installed power: 150 nhp.[1]
Propulsion: single screw, Le Creuzot steam engine
Sail plan: three masts, 350 m2 (3,800 sq ft).[2]
Speed: 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)[1]
Complement: 282[1]
Armament:
Armor: Hull: 110 mm (4.3 in) wrought iron.[1]

The Dévastation-class ironclad floating batteries were built for the attack of Russian coastal fortifications during the Crimean War. France had intended to build ten of these vessels, but in the time available was only able to construct five in French shipyards, of which the first three took part in the attack on Kinburn in 1855, and served in the Adriatic in June–July 1859 during the Italian war.

  • The Dévastation left Cherbourg for the Black Sea towed by the paddle-frigate l'Albatros on 10 August 1855.[3] On 17 October 1855 she took part in the bombardment of the Russian fortress at Kinburn,[3] firing 1,265 projectiles (including 82 shells) in four hours, and sustained 72 hits (including 31 on the armour), resulting in 2 of the crew being killed and 12 wounded.[2] In June and July 1859 she was part of the siege flotilla in the Adriatic during the Italian war.[3] In 1866 she became a gunnery school as a tender to the Louis-XIV at Toulon.[3]
  • The Tonnante was armed at Rochefort on 2 June 1855.[4] She left Brest for the Black Sea towed by the paddle-frigate Darien.[4] On 17 October 1855 she took part in the bombardment of the Russian fortress at Kinburn,[5] firing 1,012 projectiles in four hours, and sustained 66 hits on her armour, and nine of her crew were wounded.[2] She spent the winter of 1855-56 iced in on the Dnieper. She was rearmed on 5 June 1856,[4] and commissioned at Brest on 5 July 1856.[4] She went into reserve at Brest on 18 September 1857.[4] She was recommissioned at Brest on 3 June 1859,[4] and in June and July 1859 she was part of the siege flotilla in the Adriatic during the Italian war.[4] She went into reserve on 6 March 1860.[4]
  • The Lave was armed at Lorient on 18 May 1855,[5] and left Lorient for the Black Sea towed by the paddle-frigate Magellan.[5] On 17 October 1855 she took part in the bombardment of the Russian fortress at Kinburn,[5] firing 900 projectiles in four hours, and received no injuries.[2] She was disarmed at Toulon on 10 July 1856.[5] She was rearmed at Toulon on 22 April 1859, and in June and July 1859 she was part of the siege flotilla in the Adriatic during the Italian war.[5] She was disarmed again at Toulon on 1 September 1859.[5] She was rearmed on 26 October 1867 and disarmed 3 December 1867 at Toulon. She was again rearmed on 1 September 1870, until she was disarmed at Toulon on 1 April 1871.[5]
  • The Foudroyante was ordered to the Baltic in 1856, but the peace intervened, so she remained at Cherbourg. She was armed on 10 June 1859, and disarmed in 1865-67.[6]
  • The Congrève was armed for war in 1855, and it was planned to send the Congrève to the Baltic, but she did not go.[7] She was in reserve in 1861-65, and disarmed in 1866.[7]

The Congrève was retired in 1867 and the other four in 1871.

Name Built at Laid down Launched In service date Retired Scrapped Source
Dévastation Cherbourg 5 September 1854 17 April 1855 10 August 1855 9 May 1871 1872, Toulon [3]
Tonnante Brest 5 September 1854 17 March 1855 30 July 1855 31 August 1871 1873-4, Toulon [4]
Lave Lorient 20 August 1854 26 May 1855 6 August 1855 9 May 1871 1873, Toulon [5]
Foudroyante Lorient 20 August 1854 2 June 1855 10 June 1859 29 November 1871 1874, Cherbourg [6]
Congrève Rochefort 4 September 1854 1 June 1855 Never commissioned 13 May 1867 1868, Brest [7]

The Dévastation's armour consisted of 183 plates of 110 mm (4.3 in) thick wrought iron made by Creusot Rive-de-Gier, which weighed in total 297.5 metric tons (292.8 long tons).[1][2]

In total, the five Dévastation-class ironclad floating batteries cost 6,580,000 Francs (an average of 1,316,000 Francs each).[8] The Dévastation cost 1,146,489 Francs.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cent ans de cuirasseés français, p12.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cent ans de cuirasseés français, p14.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1, 1671 - 1870, p149
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1, 1671 - 1870, p440
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1, 1671 - 1870, p275
  6. ^ a b Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1, 1671 - 1870, p212
  7. ^ a b c Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1, 1671 - 1870, p124
  8. ^ Baxter, The introduction of the ironclad battleship, p80. The information on costs came from a table of values of the French fleet dated 25 March 1856, which was a supporting paper 1857 budget.
Bibliography
  • 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.
  • Caruana, J.; Koehler, R. B. (1996). "Question 7/95: French Ironclad Floating Batteries". Warship International. Toledo, Ohio: International Naval Research Organization. XXXIII (4): 416–18. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
  • Gille, Eric (1999). Cent ans de cuirassés français (in French). 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 1, 1671 - 1870 (in French). Toulon: Roche. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922.
  • Baxter, James Phinney (1933). The introduction of the ironclad battleship. Cambridge, Mass, USA: Harvard University Press.

External links[edit]

  • Dossiers Marine, la Flotte de Napoléon III, Batteries flottantes, by Alain Clouet.