French frigate Diane (1796)
|Laid down:||July 1794|
|Launched:||10 February 1796|
|In service:||March 1796|
|Captured:||27 August 1800|
|Acquired:||27 August 1800 by capture|
|Fate:||Broken up in 1816|
|Displacement:||1,466 tons (French)|
|Tons burthen:||1,142 15⁄94 (bm)|
|Length:||47.6 m (156 ft)|
|Beam:||12 m (39 ft)|
|Draught:||5.7 m (19 ft)|
|Armament:||38 to 44 guns|
Diane was a 38-gun frigate of the French Navy, launched in 1796. She participated in the battle of the Nile, but in August 1800 the Royal Navy captured her. She was taken into British service as HMS Niobe, and broken up in 1816.
She took part in the Battle of the Nile, managing to escape to Malta with the Justice. During the battle Rear-Admiral Denis Decrès was on board Diane in his capacity as commander of the frigate squadron. He would go on to become Napoleon's Minister of Marine.
In 1800, as she tried to escape from Malta, HMS Success, HMS Northumberland, and HMS Genereux captured her. At the time she had only 114 men on board, having left the remainder at Malta to assist in its defense.
On 13 November 1810, off Le Havre along with Diana, Niobe sighted the 40-gun Amazone and the 44-gun Elisa. HMS Donegal and HMS Revenge joined the chase, attacking the French squadron when it was anchored at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at the Action of 15 November 1810. Eventually, the Elisa was wrecked near La Hougue, while the Amazone escaped to Le Havre. Four months later at the Action of 24 March 1811, Niobe participated in the destruction of the French frigate Amazone near the Phare de Gatteville lighthouse, Normandy.
On 24 March 1811, she sailed with a squadron comprising HMS Berwick, Amelia, Goshawk, and Hawk again chased Amazone, which they trapped near Barfleur. Her crew scuttled Amazone to prevent her capture.
HMS Niobe was eventually sold on 31 July 1816.
- Naval Database
- Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours. 1. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922.
- Troude, Onésime-Joachim (1867). Batailles navales de la France (in French). 3. Challamel ainé.
- Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1.
- Winfield, Rif & Stephen S Roberts (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 - 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042
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