French ship Tonnant (1740)

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For other ships with the same name, see French ship Tonnant.
Name: Tonnant
Namesake: Thundering
Ordered: 12 June 1740
Builder: Toulon
Laid down: 18 October 1740
Launched: 15 November 1743
In service: June 1744
Struck: April 1780
General characteristics
Displacement: 1700 tonnes
Length: 54.6 m (179 ft 2 in)
Beam: 14.9 m (48 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: Sail
  • 80 guns:
  • 30 × 36-pounders
  • 32 × 18-pounders
  • 18 × 8-pounders
Armour: Timber

Tonnant was an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

She was the flagship of the French fleet at the Second battle of Cape Finisterre, and later took part in the Battle of Quiberon Bay, and in the American War of Independence.

She was broken up in 1780.


Constructed in Toulon between 1740 and 1744, it was armed with 80 cannons.


It was the flagship of Louis XV's fleet, and thus served as Admiral vessel to Marquis de l'Estenduère during the Second battle of Cape Finisterre in 1747. During this naval battle, eight French vessels were sacrificed when they took on the fourteen British ships by Admiral Hawke, to protect the merchant ships. The Tonnant was involved in fierce combat. Partly dismasted, it escaped by being towed by the Intrépide of Vaudreuil, who crossed British lines to secure the ship.

The Tonnant also participated at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759; on board was the Chevalier de Bauffremont. It escaped and took refuge at Rochefort.

It was refurbished in 1770, and participated in the campaign of Admiral Estaing in America in 1778–1779. It was present during the attack on Newport in 1778 and at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779. It finished its naval career in 1780.

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