Naval/Maritime History 17th of April - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 April 1807 – Launch of Charlemagne, a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, part of the shorter Borée subtype.


Charlemagne was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, part of the shorter Borée subtype.

Lancement-du-charlemagne.jpg
Launch of Charlemagne before Napoléon.

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Charlemagne was the first ship of the line to be built in Antwerp according to the wishes of Napoléon, who wanted to expand the French Navy by exploiting shipyards in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. In 1807, she was stationed in Vlissingen under Commander Dupotet, in the squadron of Vice-Admiral Missiessy. She aided in the defence of Antwerp against the amphibious raid led by Chatham, and again during the Siege of Antwerp of 1814.

After the Bourbon Restoration, on 30 August 1814, Charlemagne was transferred to the Dutch Navy, as per the Treaty of Paris. The Dutch brought her into service as Naussau.


sistership
j3345.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showng the body plan, stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Rivoli' (1812), a captured French Third Rate, as taken off at Portsmouth Dockyard after fitting as 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. Signed by Nicholas Diddams [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1803-1823]


The Téméraire-class ships of the line were class of a hundred and twenty 74-gun ships of the line ordered between 1782 and 1813 for the French navy or its attached navies in dependent (French-occupied) territories. Although a few of these were cancelled, the type was and remains the most numerous class of capital ship ever built.[citation needed]

The class was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané in 1782 as a development of the Annibal and her near-sister Northumberland, both of which had been designed by him and built at Brest during the 1777-1780 period. Some dozen ships were ordered and built to this new design from 1782 to 1785, and then the same design was adopted as a standard for all subsequent 74s during the next three decades as part of the fleet expansion programme instituted by Jean-Charles de Borda in 1786.

The design was appreciated in Britain, which eagerly commissioned captured ships and even copied the design with the Pompée and America class.

Unbenannt.JPG

Variants from basic design

While all the French 74-gun ships from the mid-1780s until the close of the Napoleonic Wars were to the Téméraire design, there were three variants of the basic design which Sané developed with the same hull form of Téméraire. In 1793 two ships were laid down at Brest to an enlarged design; in 1801 two ships were commenced at Lorient with a slightly shorter length than the standard design (with a third ship commenced at Brest but never completed); and in 1803 two ships were commenced at Toulon to a smaller version (many more ships to this 'small(er) model' were then built in the shipyards controlled by France in Italy and the Netherlands) - these are detailed separately below.


Small Variant (Pluton or Borée group – 24 ships launched)

1280px-Rivoli-IMG_6928-with_camels.jpg
Rivoli, fitted with the camels that allowed her to cross the shallow banks before Venice harbour.

Starting with the prototypes Pluton and Borée in 1803, a smaller version of the Téméraire class, officially named petit modèle, was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané to be produced in shipyards having a lesser depth of water than the principal French shipyards, primarily those in neighbouring states under French control and in foreign ports which had been absorbed into the French Empire such as Antwerp. The revised design measured 177 feet 7 inches on the waterline, 180 feet 1 inch on the deck, and 46 feet 11 inches moulded breadth. The depth of hull was 9 inches less than that in the "regular" Téméraire design.

Pluton class – A revised design for Téméraire class, by Jacques-Noël Sané, described officially as "the small model" specially introduced to be constructed at shipyards outside France itself (the first pair were built at Toulon) where they lacked the depth of water required to launch 74s of the Téméraire Class.
  • Pluton 74 (launched 17 January 1805 at Toulon) – captured by the Spanish at Cadiz in June 1808, retained the same name, later renamed Montañes, BU 1816.
  • Borée 74 (launched 27 June 1805 at Toulon) – BU 1827
  • Génois 74 (launched 17 August 1805 at Genoa) – BU 1821
  • Charlemagne 74 (launched 8 April 1807 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Netherlands Navy in 1814 and renamed Nassau.
  • Commerce de Lyon 74 (launched 9 April 1807 at Antwerp) – BU 1830
  • Anversois 74 (launched 7 June 1807 at Antwerp) – BU 1819
  • Duguesclin 74 (launched 20 June 1807 at Antwerp) – BU 1820
  • César 74 (launched 21 June 1807 at Antwerp) – transferred to the Netherlands Navy on 1 August 1814 and renamed Prins Frederik.
  • Dantzig 74 (launched 15 August 1807 at Antwerp) – renamed Achille in August 1814, BU 1815
  • Ville de Berlin 74 (launched 6 September 1807 at Antwerp) – renamed Atlas in July 1815, BU 1819
  • Pultusk 74 (launched 20 September 1807 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Netherlands Navy on 1 August 1814 and renamed Waterloo.
  • Breslaw 74 (launched 3 May 1808 at Genoa) – condemned 1836.
  • Dalmate 74 (launched 21 August 1808 at Antwerp)
  • Albanais 74 (launched 2 October 1808 at Antwerp)
  • Rivoli 74 (launched 6 September 1810 at Venice) – captured by the British in an action in the Adriatic in February 1812 and added to the RN under the same name, stricken 1819.
  • Mont Saint Bernard 74 (launched 9 June 1809 at Venice)
  • Régénérateur 74 (launched July 1811 at Venice)
  • Royal Hollandais 74 (begun 1806 at Flushing, frames taken to Woolwich after Flushing was taken by the British, and there launched as HMS Chatham on 14 February 1812)
  • Castiglione 74 (launched 2 August 1812 at Venice)
  • Royal Italien 74 (launched 15 August 1812 at Venice)
  • Piet Hein 74 (launched 1 May 1813 at Rotterdam) – abandoned December 1813 to Netherlands, who renamed her Admiraal Piet Hein
  • Couronne 74 (launched 26 October 1813 at Amsterdam) – abandoned December 1813 to Netherlands, who renamed her Prins Willem de Eerste
  • Montebello 74 (launched 7 November 1815 at Venice) – completed by Austrians, who renamed her Cesare but never finished her
  • Audacieux 74 (launched October 1816 at Amsterdam for Netherlands Navy, renamed Wassenaar)
  • Polyphème 74 (launched July 1817 at Amsterdam for Netherlands Navy, renamed Holland)
Four further ships begun at Venice to this design were never launched – Montenotte, Arcole, Lombardo and Semmering; all were broken up on the stocks by the Austrian occupiers.

1280px-Boree-Antoine_Roux-p35.jpg
Portrait of Borée on 12 April 1807, by Antoine Roux

1280px-Mont_Saint_Bernard_img_3102.jpg
Mont Saint-Bernard fitted with Ship Camels



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Charlemagne_(1809)
https://collections.rmg.co.uk/colle...el-343464;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=R
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 April 1822 – Launch of HMS Bramble, a 161-ton, 10-gun cutter, from Plymouth Dockyard.


HMS Bramble
was a 161-ton, 10-gun cutter launched on 8 April 1822 from Plymouth Dockyard.

lossy-page1-1280px-A_Man_of_War_Cutter_of_10_Guns,_as_Bramble,_&c._Sailing_by_the_wind,_on_the...jpg

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Naval career
She operated from April 1842 to April 1847, under the command of Lieutenant Charles Bampfield Yule as a tender to HMS Fly. In the East Indies Station she undertook surveys around Australia. After April 1847, still commanded by Charles Yule as a tender to HMS Rattlesnake, she undertook surveys and explored the southern part of New Guinea and the Louisiade Archipelago.

Between 1855 and 1859 she was assigned as a tender to HMS Calliope undertaking survey work around Australia and also for diving operations at Sydney. Bramble was then assigned to the Australia Station in 1859 before being decommissioned in 1876.

j0518.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with midhips framing and inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Diligence, a Revenue Cutter. The plan, with subsequent modifications was also used for Bramble (1822), Swift (1821), and Sparrow (1828). Signed Edward Churchill [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1815-1829]

j0480.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with midship framing, and longitudinal half-breadth for Skylark (1821), a 10-gun Cutter being built at Pembroke Dockyard. Signed by Joseph Tucker [Surveyor of the Navy, 1806-1822]. Note: The plan does not relate to Swift (1821), Bramble (1822), or Diligence (1818), as they were either built in a different yard, or to different dimensions


Civilian career
She was sold as a lightship and was anchored at Sow and Pigs reef situated just on the eastern side of the channel between Middle Head and South Head, Sydney Harbour. She was purchased by Colonial Sugar Refining Co. and was fitted out as a lighter. In 1938, during the Sesquicentennial celebrations, she was chartered to the Maritime Services Board, who made the vessel into a replica of the historic HMS Supply. Afterwards she was reconverted into a lighter and was known as Registered lighter No. 79.

'HMS_Supply'_Replica_in_Sydney_Harbour_(11976156784).jpg
Replica of HMS Supply in Sydney Harbour in 1938


j0479.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile, upper deck, lower deck with platforms, and a section illustrating the fixing of beams to the sides, for 160 ton Cutters building at Pembroke Dockyard. This relates to Skylark (1821), a 10-gun Cutter; and possibly Swift (1821), a Revenue Cutter. Signed by Henry Peake [Surveyor of the Navy, 1806-1822], Joseph Tucker [Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1831], and Robert Seppings [Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1832]

j0517.jpg
Scale: 1:24. Plan showing a part midship section, midship framing elevation, and part section at Station 15, for 160 ton Revenue Cutters building at Plymouth dockyard, prepared from the Draught of the Diligence (1818). The plan relates to Bramble (1822), as she was the only Revenue Cutter to be built at Plymouth to this description. The Swift (1821) and the Skylark (1828) were actually built at Pembroke Dockyard, so trhe pencil annotation is not strictly accurate

j0580.jpg
Scale: 1:96. Plan showing the sail plan for the Bramble (1822), a cutter rigged as a schooner Survey Vessel.



https://collections.rmg.co.uk/colle...el-297511;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=B
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Sparrow_(1828)
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 April 1909 - SS Mahratta, a steamship owned by Brocklebank Line which was launched in 1891, ran aground on the Goodwin Sands in 1909. One member of the crew committed suicide.


SS Mahratta
was a steamship owned by Brocklebank Line which was launched in 1891 and ran aground on the Goodwin Sands in 1909. One member of the crew committed suicide.

History
SS Mahratta was launched on 19 November 1891. Its name is an old spelling of Maratha. In 1900 she served as a troopship in connection with the Boer War.

S_S_Mahratta_Showing_Break_1.jpg

Shipwreck
On 9 April 1909 (Good Friday), the 5,639 ton liner Mahratta stuck in the Goodwin Sands, with a heavy cargo, a crew of 90 and 17 passengers. The Mahratta was homeward bound to London[1] from Calcutta, India with a mixed cargo including jute, rice, rubber and tea. She ran aground on the Fawk Spit of the Goodwin Sands in calm weather and stuck fast.

The next day, lifeboats were launched and the majority of the passengers were rescued by the Deal lifeboat. Although two tugs were sent from Dover, it was impossible to pull Mahratta free. Mahratta broke in two the day after this. The three passengers aboard at the time included one female passenger who had refused to leave as she had a dog with her which would have to go into quarantine if rescued.

The Sands did not break the Mahratta's back for 24 hours, allowing time for locals to help unload its cargo. Many of them demanded their right of salvage, and when customs officers searched their houses they were physically roughed up.

The westerly wind increased in strength, and as cargo was salvaged from No.4 and 5 holds the ship listed making further salvage more difficult.

A Board of Trade inquiry found that the ship had run aground because the pilot had failed to recognise the Gull Light and then took an incorrect course.

A second ship named Mahratta ran aground on the Goodwin Sands in 1939, less than a mile away from the site of the wreck of the first Mahratta.

Pride of Canterbury ferry incident
On 31 January 2008, the roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry Pride of Canterbury operated by P&O Ferries struck the wreck of Mahratta while manoeuvering in severe weather into a holding position in The Downs. The ferry suffered extensive damage to her port propeller and had to be assisted to berth in Dover. It is not clear whether the wreck site named in the MAIB report is that of the first SS Mahratta or the later vessel




 

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8 April 1940 - the German troopship Rio de Janeiro was torpedoed and sunk by the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł off Lillesand. About 180 survived the sinking with roughly 200 being killed.


MS Rio de Janeiro
was a German steam ship and a cargo ship, owned by the shipping company Hamburg Süd and home ported in Stettin. She was launched on 3 April 1914 as Santa Ines and later renamed Rio de Janeiro. Before World War II she carried passengers and freight between Germany and South America.

She was requisitioned by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for transportation of troops on 7 March 1940, before Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway and Denmark, began on 9 April 1940

Rio_de_JaneiroHSDG.jpg

Invasion of Norway
The secret plan for the ship was to arrive at Bergen right after German troops had captured the city. On board Rio de Janeiro there were a total of 50 crew and 330 soldiers. Her cargo consisted of six 2 cm FlaK 30 and four 10.5 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft guns, 73 horses, 71 vehicles and 292 tons of provisions, animal feed, fuel and ammunition.

Sinking

The conning tower of the Polish submarine Orzeł

The ship left Stettin on 6 April 1940 at 3 AM. Two days later, at 11.15, less than a day before the attack on Norway began, a surfaced submarine was sighted off Lillesand. At first it was thought to be a German submarine, but it turned out to be the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł, serving under British command. It had 85 A written on the tower. The submarine signalled for Rio de Janeiro to stop, and the order was followed. Captain Jan Grudzinski, of the Polish Navy, then ordered the ship to surrender or it would be sunk, but nothing happened. The Polish submarine then torpedoed the ship, and she took in water and began sinking. The crew and soldiers on board began to jump into the sea. Captain Grudziński informed the British Admiralty about the sinking of this north-bound transport vessel with German troops. At 12.00, an aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service started circling around the sinking ship. At 12.50 the submarine torpedoed the ship a second time, from a submerged position. The torpedo hit the ammunition depot, which caused an explosion. About 180 survived the sinking, and were rescued from the sea and taken by local vessels to Lillesand and Kristiansand; roughly 200 died.

Norwegian authorities notified
Norwegian officials were told by survivors that the ship's destination had been Bergen. The fact that there were horses on board and that many of the dead and survivors were wearing military uniforms, led to alerting of the central authorities. However, the government did not realize that a German invasion was imminent.

The wreck
The exact location of the wreck of Rio de Janeiro was unknown for many years. Fishermen over the years caught parts from the wreck in their fishing nets in this area, and the Royal Norwegian Navy attempted to locate the wreck.

In June 2015, more than 75 years after the torpedoing, the wreck was finally located by a Norwegian diving company at about 135 metres (443 ft) depth off Lillesand. The wreck is considered a war memorial and thus protected by Norwegian law.



ORP Orzeł was the lead ship of her class of submarines serving in the Polish Navy during World War II. Her name means "Eagle" in Polish. The boat is best known for the Orzeł incident, her escape from internment in neutral Estonia during the early stages of the Second World War.

ORP_Orzel.jpg



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Rio_de_Janeiro_(1914)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORP_Orzeł_(1938)
 

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8 April 1961 - Persian Gulf: British Oceanliner "Dora" exploded; 236 people died


The MV Dara was a Dubai-based passenger liner, built by a shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland in 1948. The 120 metre, four-decked vessel travelled mostly between the Persian Gulf and the Indian subcontinent, carrying expatriate passengers who were employed in the Gulf.

Dara sank in the Persian Gulf on 8 April 1961, as a result of a powerful explosion that caused the deaths of 238 of the 819 persons on board at the time of the voyage, including 19 officers and 113 crew. Another 565 persons were rescued during an operation by a British Army tank landing craft, a number of ships of the Royal Navy, and several British and foreign merchant ships.

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Sinking
The vessel had sailed from Bombay on 23 May, on a round trip to Basra, calling at intermediate ports. She arrived at Dubai on 7 April and was unloading cargo, embarking and disembarking passengers when the wind picked up, quickly reaching force seven winds and preventing further work. Captain Elson decided to take the ship out of harbour to ride the storm. Due to the conditions there had been no time to disembark those persons on board who did not intend to travel, including relatives and friends seeing off passengers, cargo handlers and various shipping and immigration officials.

At approximately 04.30 on 8 April 1961, a large explosion struck the port side of the engine casing between decks, passing through the engine bulkhead and two upper decks, including the main lounge. The explosion had occurred as Dara was returning to the harbour and it started a series of large fires. The explosion having affected all electrical, fire-water and steering systems, the fire spread rapidly, aided by the winds of the storm, and the captain ordered the evacuation of the ship.

The launching of the lifeboats was chaotic in the rough seas, with one witness describing an overcrowded lifeboat overturning due to the height of the waves. A second lifeboat had been damaged earlier during the storm, this ailing lifeboat would later be intercepted by the lifeboat of a Norwegian tanker. At the time there were several ships nearby and aid was given by British, German and Japanese vessels in the vicinity, as well as boats travelling out from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Qawain.

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A nearly completed hotel building in Dubai was taken over as a reception centre for the wounded, with many suffering from burns, exposure and wounds from flying metal shards. The tide of wounded overwhelmed Al Maktoum Hospital and field stations were opened at Sheikh Rashid's Customs House office block.[6]

In the days following, three British frigates and a US destroyer sent parties on board the Dara to extinguish the fires and the vessel was then taken in tow by the Glasgow salvage vessel Ocean Salvor, but she sank at 09.20 on 10 April 1961.

The explosion is believed to have been caused by a deliberately placed explosive device, planted by an Omani rebel group or individual insurgents. A British Admiralty court concluded, more than a year after the disaster, that an anti-tank mine, "deliberately placed by a person or persons unknown", had "almost certainly" caused the explosion. British Solicitor General Sir John Hobson, testifying before the court, said that fighters in the Dhofar Rebellion were likely responsible, having previously sabotaged British assets. However, no forensic evidence has ever been provided to prove beyond doubt that a bomb was the cause.

The wreck sits at a depth of 15 metres (49 ft).



 

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Other Events on 8 April


1780 – Spanish San José 70 wrecked (launched 14 December 1769 at Havana)

San Francisco de Paula class
ordered 1766 at Havana, 70 guns
San Francisco de Paula 70 (launched 12 January 1769 at Havana) - Burned 1784
San José 70 (launched 14 December 1769 at Havana) - Wrecked 8 April 1780


1798 HMS Diamond (38), Cptn. Sir R. J. Strachan, and HMS Hydra (38), Cptn. Sir Francis Laforey, engaged 33 invasion barges in the Caen River.

HMS Diamond
(1794), a fifth-rate launched at Deptford in 1794 and broken up in 1812.

HMS Hydra launched in 1797 was a fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, armed with a main battery of twenty-eight 18-pounder guns.
She was built to the design of the captured French frigate Melpomene (taken in 1794).

Hydra-chambegu.jpg
Capture of the Fort & Vessels in the Spanish Harbour of Begu,(Catalonia) by H.M.Ship Hydra, Capt G Munday Aught 7th 1807.



1814 Seamen and marines from HMS Hogue (74), Cptn. Hon. Thomas Blayden Capel, HMS Maidstone (32), Cptn. George Burdett, HMS Endymion (50), Cptn. Henry Hope, and HMS Borer destroyed 27 American vessels in the Connecticut River.



1823 - The barges USS Mosquito, USS Gallinipper, and sloop-of-war Peacock chase the pirate schooner, Pilot, which is driven ashore off Havana, Cuba.

USS Mosquito
(1822), a barge or cutter in the West Indies Squadron


1838 - Departure for Maiden voyage of SS Great Western

SS Great Western
of 1838, was an oak-hulled paddle-wheel steamship, the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic, and the initial unit of the Great Western Steamship Company. She was the largest passenger ship in the world from 1837 to 1839. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Great Western proved satisfactory in service and was the model for all successful wooden Atlantic paddle-steamers. She was capable of making record Blue Riband voyages as late as 1843. Great Western worked to New York for 8 years until her owners went out of business. She was sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and was scrapped in 1856 after serving as a troop ship during the Crimean War

The_Steamer_Great_Western_of_Bristol_RMG_A7626.jpg

Development and design
In 1836, Isambard Brunel, his friend Thomas Guppy and a group of Bristol investors formed the Great Western Steamship Company to build a line of steamships for the Bristol-New York route. The idea of regular scheduled transatlantic service was under discussion by several groups and the rival British and American Steam Navigation Company was established at the same time.[6] Great Western's design sparked controversy from critics that contended that she was too big. The principle that Brunel understood was that the carrying capacity of a ship increases as the cube of its dimensions, whilst the water resistance only increases as the square of its dimensions. This meant that large ships were more fuel efficient, something very important for long voyages across the Atlantic.

Great Western was an iron-strapped, wooden, side-wheel paddle steamer, with four masts to hoist the auxiliary sails. The sails were not just to provide auxiliary propulsion, but also were used in rough seas to keep the ship on an even keel and ensure that both paddle wheels remained in the water, driving the ship in a straight line. The hull was built of oak by traditional methods. She was the largest steamship for one year, until the British and American's British Queen went into service. Built at the shipyard of Patterson & Mercer in Bristol, Great Western was launched on 19 July 1837 and then sailed to London, where she was fitted with two side-lever steam engines from the firm of Maudslay, Sons & Field, producing 750 indicated horsepower between them.

Service history

The_Great-Western_Steam_Ship_1838_H._Papprill_after_J.S._Coteman.jpg
The Great-Western Steam Ship in 1838, engraved by H. Papprill after a painting by J.S. Coteman

On 31 March 1838, Great Western sailed for Avonmouth (Bristol) to start her maiden voyage to New York. Before reaching Avonmouth, a fire broke out in the engine room. During the confusion Brunel fell 20 feet (6.1 m), and was injured. The fire was extinguished, and the damages to the ship were minimal, but Brunel had to be put ashore at Canvey Island. As a result of the accident, more than 50 passengers cancelled their bookings for the Bristol-New York voyage and when Great Western finally departed Avonmouth, only 7 passengers were aboard.

Construction of the rival British and American's first ship was delayed, and the company chartered Sirius to beat Great Western to New York. Sirius was a 700 GRT Irish Sea steam packet on the London – Cork route, and had part of her passenger accommodation removed to make room for extra coal bunkers. She left London three days before Great Western, refuelled at Cork, and departed for New York on 4 April. Great Western was delayed in Bristol because of the fire and did not depart until 8 April.

SS_Great_Western_1882_engraving.jpg

Even with a four-day head start, Sirius only narrowly beat Great Western, arriving on 22 April. When coal ran low, the crew burned 5 drums of resin. Great Western arrived the following day, with 200 tons of coal still aboard. Although the term Blue Riband was not coined until years later, Sirius is often credited as the first winner at 8.03 knots (14.87 km/h). However, Sirius only held the record for a day because Great Western's voyage was faster at 8.66 knots (16.04 km/h).

Great Western proved completely satisfactory in service and influenced the design of other Atlantic paddlers. Even Cunard's Britannia was a reduced version of Great Western. During 1838–1840, Great Western averaged 16 days, 0 hours (7.95 knots) westward to New York and 13 days, 9 hours (9.55 knots) home. In 1838, the company paid a 9% dividend, but that was to be the firm's only dividend because of the expense of building the company's next ship. After the collapse of British and American, Great Western alternated between Avonmouth and Liverpool, before abandoning Avonmouth entirely in 1843. The ship remained profitable even though she lacked a running mate because of the protracted construction on Great Britain. In 1843, Great Western's receipts were GB£33,400 against expenditures of GB£25,600.

The company's fortunes improved in 1845 when Great Britain entered service. However, in September 1846 Great Britain ran ashore because of a navigational error and was not expected to survive the winter. The directors suspended all sailings of Great Western and went out of business. Great Western had completed 45 crossings for her owners in eight years. In 1847 she was sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Companyand used on the West Indies run. In November 1851 she ran aground at Liverpool at the end of a voyage from New York, United States and was damaged.[9] She was refloated on 23 November and was found to have damaged her keelson. Later, after serving as a troopship in the Crimean War, in 1856 she was broken up at Castles' Yard, Millbank on the Thames.



1848 - The first U.S. flag is flown over the Sea of Galilee when Lt. William F. Lynch sails in an iron boat up the Jordan River. He later authors a book, Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

Captain William Francis Lynch (1 April 1801 – 17 October 1865), was a naval officer who served first in the United States Navy and later in the Confederate States Navy.

William_Francis_Lynch_wmm.jpg 2.JPG

Middle East Operations
Lynch had his first command, the Poinsett, from 3 March to 30 December 1839. The ship sailed on behalf of the United States Naval Hydrographic Office. In 1847, he proceeded to the Jordan River, transporting overland, by camels, a copper and a galvanized iron boat. A total of 16 men were a part of the trip, including John Y. Mason. Each boat was "assembled" and then placed on a carriage. His expedition ended with the exploration of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

Using the triangulation method, Lynch's expedition was the first to determine that the Dead Sea was below sea level, something that the scientific community had inferred but not previously determined conclusively, though several other expeditions by Europeans had attempted to do so. The American expedition's measurement showed the Dead Sea to be 1312.7 ft. (400 metres) below sea level.

He published his travels in 1849, Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

In 1849 he was commissioned commander and in 1850 was promoted to captain. In 1852, he requested permission to explore the interior of Africa for purposes of possible colonization. In his exploration in west central Africa, he caught a fever, and was forced to return to the United States. Lynch believed that explorers who "remove the obstruction to Commerce, Civilization and Christianity will become the benefactors of mankind."



1925 - Lt. John D. Price, piloting a VF-1 plane, makes a night landing on USS Langley (CV 1), at sea off San Diego, Calif., the first on board a U.S. Navy carrier.

John Dale Price
(May 18, 1892 – December 18, 1957) was an admiral in the United States Navy who, early in his career, set many records as a naval aviator.

VADM_John_Dale_Price_USN_aviator_1892-1957.png 1.JPG

Early life and education
Price graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1916 along with his friend Spig Wead. In 1920, he was designated as a naval aviator.

Career
Lieutenants Wead and Price set five world records for Class C seaplanes with a Curtiss CS-2 biplane on June 22–23, 1924 - distance (963.123 miles, 1,544.753 km), duration (13 hours, 23 minutes, 15 seconds), speed over 500 km (73.41 mph, 117.74 km/h), speed over 1,000 km (74.27 mph, 119.12 km/h) and speed over 1,500 km (74.17 mph, 118.96 km/h) - and again on July 11–12 - distance (994.19 miles, 1599.99 km) and duration (14 hours, 53 minutes, 44 seconds). Lieutenant Price is also credited with making the first planned night landing on a US aircraft carrier, on the USS Langley (CV-1) in a TS fighter biplane on April 8, 1925 (Lieutenant Harold J. Brow "stalled while practicing night approaches" and landed by accident on February 5).

He served in World War II, and at some point commanded Fleet Air Wing Two as a rear admiral. After the war, he served as commander of the Naval Air Forces in the Pacific from 1947 until 1948 and Vice Chief of Naval Operations for Air from 1948 until 1950. He was a "tombstone admiral", meaning he was promoted to four star rank upon retirement.

He died in 1957 at the Naval Hospital in San Diego. He was survived by his wife Miriam.

He was played by Ken Curtis in the 1957 film The Wings of Eagles, which starred John Wayne as Spig Wead. Price served as a technical adviser on the film.[5] He also served as a technical advisor for the movie Mister Roberts.


USS Langley (CV-1/AV-3) was the United States Navy's first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3), and also the US Navy's first turbo-electric-powered ship. Conversion of another collier was planned but canceled when the Washington Naval Treaty required the cancellation of the partially built Lexington-class battlecruisers Lexington and Saratoga, freeing up their hulls for conversion to the aircraft carriers Lexington and Saratoga. Langley was named after Samuel Pierpont Langley, an American aviation pioneer. Following another conversion to a seaplane tender, Langley fought in World War II. On 27 February 1942, she was attacked by nine twin-engine Japanese bombers of the Japanese 21st and 23rd Naval Air Flotillas and so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled by her escorts.

1920px-USS_Langley_(CV-1)_underway_in_June_1927_(520809)_(cropped).jpg
USS Langley underway, 1927

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Langley_(CV-1)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Price


1944 - USS Seahorse (SS 304) and USS Trigger (SS 237) successfully attack a Japanese convoy off Guam, damaging a Japanese destroyer and a tanker.


1961 - USS Laffey (DD 724) and USS Tanner (AGS-15) assist in rescue work and firefighting after the British passenger liner Dara catches fire in the Persian Gulf.
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1782 - The Battle of the Saintes (known to the French as the Bataille de la Dominique), or Battle of Dominica,
was an important naval battle in the Caribbean between the British and the French that took place 9 April 1782 – 12 April 1782, during the American Revolutionary War.
British under Rodney decisively defeat French under de Grasse in the West Indies

Part I



The Battle of the Saintes (known to the French as the Bataille de la Dominique), or Battle of Dominica, was an important naval battle in the Caribbean between the British and the French that took place 9 April 1782 – 12 April 1782, during the American Revolutionary War.[1] The British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse, forcing the French and Spanish to abandon a planned invasion of Jamaica.[5]

The battle is named after the Saintes (or Saints), a group of islands between Guadeloupe and Dominica in the West Indies. The French fleet had the year before blockaded the British Army at Chesapeake Bay during the Siege of Yorktown and supported the eventual American victory in their revolution.

The French suffered heavy casualties at the Saintes and many were taken prisoner, including the admiral, Comte de Grasse. Four French ships of the line were captured (including the flagship) and one was destroyed. Rodney was credited with pioneering the tactic of "breaking the line" in the battle, though this is disputed.

The_battle_of_the_Saints_12_avril_1782.jpg
The Battle of the Saintes, 12 April 1782: surrender of the Ville de Paris by Thomas Whitcombe, painted 1783, shows Hood's HMS Barfleur, centre, attacking the French flagship Ville de Paris, right.

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Origins
In October 1781, Admiral Comte de Grasse, commander of the French fleet in the West Indies; Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, General Bureau for the Spanish Indies; and Bernardo de Gálvez, court representative and aide to the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, developed a plan against British forces. The strategic objectives of the Franco-Spanish military forces in the West Indies in this plan were:
  • to aid the Americans and defeat the British naval squadron at New York
  • to capture the British Windward Islands and
  • to conquer Jamaica.
This plan became known as the "De Grasse – Saavedra Convention". The first objective was essentially met by the surrender of the British army under General Cornwallis at the Siege of Yorktown in September 1781. Grasse and his fleet played a decisive part in that victory, after which they returned to the Caribbean. On arrival in Saint Domingue in November 1781, the admiral was notified to proceed with a plan for the conquest of Jamaica.

Jamaica was the largest and most profitable British island in the Caribbean, mainly because of sugar; it was more valuable to the British economy than all of the thirteen American colonies. King George III wrote to Lord Sandwich, saying that he would risk protecting Britain's important Caribbean islands at the risk of Britain herself, and this was the strategy implemented in 1779. Sugar made up 20% of all British imports and was worth five times as much as tobacco. The French and Spanish were fighting to take over Jamaica in order to expel the British from the West Indies, and to strike a massive blow against the British economy. The courts at Paris and Madrid perceived the invasion of Jamaica as an alternative to the Spanish and French attempts to take Gibraltar, which for two years had been a costly disaster.

While Grasse waited for reinforcements to undertake the Jamaica campaign, he captured St. Kittsin February 1782. The rest of the Windward Islands - Antigua, St Lucia, and Barbados - still remained under British control. Admiral George Rodney arrived in the Caribbean theater the following month, bringing reinforcements. These included seventeen ships of the line and gave the British a slight numerical advantage.

On 7 April 1782, Grasse set out from Martinique with 35 ships of the line, including two 50-gun ships and a large convoy of more than 100 cargo ships, to meet with a Spanish fleet of 12 ships of the line. In addition, Grasse was to rendezvous with 15,000 troops at Saint Domingue, who were earmarked for the conquest and intended to land on Jamaica's north coast. Rodney, on learning of this, sailed from St Lucia in pursuit with 36 ships of the line the following day.

The British hulls by this time had been given copper sheathing to protect them from marine growth and fouling, as well as salt water corrosion. This dramatically improved speed and sailing performance as a whole in good wind.

Battle
On 9 April 1782, the copper-hulled British fleet soon caught up with the French, who were surprised by their speed. Admiral de Grasse ordered the French convoy to head into Guadeloupe for repair, forcing him to escort two fifty-gun ships (Fier and Experiment), and placing his fleet in line of battle in order to cover the retreat. The British fleet became separated from the centre and rear divisions[clarification needed]. But eight ships of their vanguard under Rear-Admiral Samuel Hood moved against Grasse's retreating ships and waged a fight. After an inconclusive encounter in which both sides suffered damage, Grasse soon realized that the main British fleet would soon be upon them. He broke off the engagement to return to protect the merchant convoy.

Battle_of_the_Saintes_plan.jpg
Main stages of the battle

In the following days the two fleets faced each other parallel but both sides kept their distance as they repaired their ships.

On 12 April, the French were sighted a short distance away, as the two fleets maneuvered between the northern end of Dominica and the Saintes. A French straggler, Zélé (74 guns), was spotted and was chased by four British ships as De Grasse made for Guadeloupe. He bore up with his fleet to protect the ship which led him to Guadeloupe[clarification needed] and at the same time Rodney recalled his chasing ships and made the signal for line of battle.

Rear-Admiral Hood's van division were still making repairs from the action three days earlier, so he directed his rear division, under Rear Admiral Francis S. Drake, to take the lead. At 7:40, HMS Marlborough, under Captain Taylor Penny, led the British line and opened battle when he approached the centre of the French line. Having remained parallel with the French, the ships of Drake's division passed the remaining length of de Grasse's line and the two sides exchanged broadsides, a typical naval engagement of this time.

Breaking of the line
As the battle progressed, the strong winds of the previous day and night began to temper and became more variable. As the French line passed down the British line, the sudden shift of wind let Rodney's flagship HMS Formidable and several other ships, including HMS Duke and HMS Bedford, sail toward the French line.

Battle-of-the-Saintes-12th-April-1782-William-Elliott-1784-871.jpg
Lord Rodney’s flagship ‘Formidable’ breaking through the French line at the battle of the Saintes, 12th 1782; painted by William Elliott

At 8 am, Formidable opened fire and engaged the French centre. As she slowed, she duelled with de Grasse's flagship, Ville de Paris of 104 guns. The rest of the ships soon followed, raking the French as they did so, causing high casualties amongst the soldiers and sailors. Around 9 am, Drake's rearmost ship, HMS Russell, cleared the end of the French fleet and hauled wind; while his ships had taken some damage, they had inflicted a severe battering on the French.

Within an hour, the wind had shifted to the south, forcing the French line to separate and bear to the west, as it could not hold its course into the wind. This allowed the British to use their guns on both sides of their ships without any fear of return fire from the front and rear of the French ships they were passing between. The effect was greater with the use of carronades, with which the British had just equipped nearly half their fleet; this relatively new short-range weapon was quicker to reload and more of them could be carried. Glorieux was the first victim; virtually a sitting duck, she was quickly pounded and dismasted by intense fire. In the confusion, four French ships began milling around; Formidable turned to starboard and brought her port guns to bear on them. As a result, Formidable sailed through the French line, blasting her way through; this piercing was followed by five other British ships.

At the same time, Commodore Edmund Affleck, to the south, also immediately capitalized on the opportunity and led the rearmost of the British ships through the French line, inflicting significant damage. The French tried to restore order; around 1:30 pm, Admiral de Grasse signalled line on the port tack, but this was not fulfilled; he was soon battling Hood's 90-gun HMS Barfleur. With their formation shattered and many of their ships severely damaged, the French fell away to the southwest in small groups. Rodney attempted to redeploy and make repairs before pursuing the French. By 2 pm, the wind had freshened and a general chase ensued. As the British pressed south, they took possession of Glorieux and caught up with the French rear at around 3 pm. In succession, Rodney's ships isolated the other three ships. César, which was soon totally dismasted and in flames, was captured by HMS Centaur. Hector, a complete dismasted wreck, struck her flag after having battled HMS Canada and HMS Alcide.[20] Ardent soon followed, being taken by the rest of the British centre.

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The end of the César, by François Aimé Louis Dumoulin

At 4 pm, de Grasse with Ville de Paris, alone and being battered by Barfleur, with little support and suffering huge losses in men, made another attempt to signal the fleet and gave the order "to build the line on the starboard tack", but again this was not done. By this time, most of the French fleet, apart from those ships that were surrounded, had retreated. Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who commanded Auguste, succeeded in rallying eight ships of his own division.

Finally, the isolated Ville de Paris, being overwhelmed and suffering terrible losses, eventually struck her colours, signalling surrender. Hood took the surrender; the boarding crew, which included the British fleet surgeon Gilbert Blane, were horrified at the carnage; Remarkably Admiral de Grasse appeared not to have a scratch on him, while every one of his officers had either been killed or wounded. Rodney boarded soon after, and Hood presented Grasse to him. With his surrender, the battle had effectively ended, except for a few long-range desultory shots and the retreat of many of the French ships in disorder. With a fire out of control, the magazine aboard the César exploded, killing more than 400 French and 50 British sailors, although many men jumped overboard trying to avoid the disaster.

The Comte de Vaudreuil in Sceptre, learning of Grasse's fate, assumed command of the scattered French naval fleet. On 13 April, he had ten ships with him and sailed toward Cap-Français.




 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1782 - The Battle of the Saintes (known to the French as the Bataille de la Dominique), or Battle of Dominica,
was an important naval battle in the Caribbean between the British and the French that took place 9 April 1782 – 12 April 1782, during the American Revolutionary War.
British under Rodney decisively defeat French under de Grasse in the West Indies

Part II



Aftermath
The British lost 243 killed and 816 wounded, and two captains of 36 were killed. The total French casualties have never been stated, but six captains out of 30 were killed. It is estimated that the French may have lost as many as 3,000 men. More than 5,000 French soldiers and sailors were captured. In addition to several French ships captured, others were severely damaged. The high number of men demonstrates the considerable force the French committed to achieve the invasion of Jamaica. Of the Ville de Paris' crew alone, over 400 were killed and more than 700 were wounded – more than the casualties of the entire British fleet.

Barnard's_History_of_England_-_Rodney_accepts_the_surrender_of_deGrasse.jpg
A 1785 engraving of de Grasse surrendering to Rodney.

On 17 April, Hood was sent in pursuit of the French, and promptly captured two 64-gun ships of the line (Jason and Caton) and two smaller warships in the Battle of the Mona Passage on 19 April.

Soon after the defeat, the French fleet reached Cap Francois in several waves; the main contingent, under Vaudreuil, arrived on 25 April; Marseillois, along with Hercule, Pluton and Éveillé, arrived on 11 May.

In May, all French ships from the battle arrived from Martinique, then numbering twenty-six ships, and were soon joined by twelve Spanish ships. Disease took a hold of the French forces, in particular the soldiers, of whom thousands died. The allies hesitated, and indecision soon led to the abandonment of the attack on Jamaica.

The battle has been controversial, for three reasons:
  • Rodney's failure to follow up the victory by a pursuit was much criticised. Samuel Hood said that the 20 French ships would have been captured had the commander-in-chief maintained the chase. In 1899 the Navy Records Society published the Dispatches and Letters Relating to the Blockading of Brest. In the introduction, they include a small biography of Admiral William Cornwallis, who commanded the Canada at the Saintes. A poem purportedly written by him includes the lines:
Had a chief worthy Britain commanded our fleet,
Twenty-five good French ships had been laid at our feet.
  • The battle is famous for the innovative British tactic of "breaking the line", in which the British ships passed through a gap in the French line, engaging the enemy from leeward and throwing them into disorder. Historians disagree about whether the tactic was intentional or made possible by weather. And, if intentional, who should receive credit: Rodney, his Scottish Captain-of-the-Fleet and aide-de-camp Sir Charles Douglas or John Clerk of Eldin Arguably the battle was not the first time a line had been broken; Dano–Norwegian admiral Niels Juel did this in the Battle of Køge Bay more than a hundred years earlier and even earlier the Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter used it for the first time in the last day of the Four Days' Battle in 1666 (and again in the Battle of Schooneveld and the Battle of Texel of 1673).
  • On the French side, de Grasse blamed his subordinates, Vaudreuil and Bougainville, for his defeat.
French_Captive_Ships_12_April_1782.jpg
Captive French ships after the battle by Dominic Serres

France and Spain's plan to invade Jamaica was ruined, and it remained a British colony with no further threat, as indeed were Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua.[3]Rodney was feted a hero on his return; he presented the Comte De Grasse as his prisoner personally to the King. He was created a peer with £2,000 a year settled on the title in perpetuity for this victory. Hood was elevated to the peerage as well, while Drake and Affleck were made baronets.

Following the Franco-American victory at Yorktown the previous year, and the change of Government in England, peace negotiations among Britain, the American colonies, France, and Spain had begun in early 1782. The Battle of the Saintes transferred the strategic initiative to the British. The most likely next military action would be an attack on the French sugar islands. The French were consequently inclined to ameliorate their terms. Britain's dominance at sea was reasserted. The Americans realized they were unlikely to have much French support in the future. Richard Howe gained relief of the Siege of Gibraltar by defeating the huge Franco-Spanish assault; the siege was lifted in February 1783. Initial articles of peace were signed in July, with a full treaty following in September 1783.

As a result of the battle, naval warfare changed along the tactical lines employed. The British used these tactics again in the all-important Battle of Trafalgar, where Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon’s fleet using similar tactics.

Order of battle
Britain
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France
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Appearances in popular culture
The Battle of the Saintes is the subject of the title track on No Grave But the Sea, the 2017 album by the Scottish "pirate metal " band Alestorm. The lyrics mention De Grasse, the British ships HMS Dukeand Bedford, and the tactic of "breaking the line."



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Saintes
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1782 - The Battle of the Saintes (known to the French as the Bataille de la Dominique), or Battle of Dominica,
Part III - Some Ships


HMS Ardent
was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built by contract by Hugh Blaydes at Hull according to a design by Sir Thomas Slade, and launched on 13 August 1764 as the first ship of the Ardent-class. She had a somewhat turbulent career, being captured by the French in 1779, and then re-captured by Britain in 1782.

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Capture of HMS Ardent by the frigates Junon and Chantil

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Career
The Ardent was first commissioned in October 1774 under Captain Sir George Douglas. In 1778, under the command of Captain George Keppel, she was with Admiral Lord Howe's squadron off New York, defending the town from the larger French fleet under the command of Admiral d'Estaing. The two forces engaged in an action off Rhode Island on 11 August, though both fleets were scattered by a storm over the following two days. She returned home to Portsmouth and was paid off in January 1779.

June 1779 saw Ardent recommissioned under the command of Captain Phillip Boteler, sailing from Plymouth in August to join Sir Charles Hardy in the Channel. According to the ship's logs, as many as 4/5 of the crew were landmen, and neither Boteler nor the captain of the Marlborough, in whose company Ardent was sailing, were aware that a French fleet had put to sea. Ardent encountered a fleet two days after sailing, and after receiving the correct replies to the private signal, ran down to meet them. The fleet however was a Franco-Spanish fleet, somehow in possession of the Royal Navy signal code book, thus permitting the correct response to Ardent's signals.

With Ardent within range, the French frigate Junon fired two broadsides before raising her colours. Three further frigates, and the Spanish ship of the line Princesa joined the action shortly afterward. In response, Ardent offered sporadic and inaccurate return fire before striking her colours to the vastly superior enemy force. At his subsequent court martial Captain Boteler blamed his failure to return fire on an inadequate supply of gunpowder for Ardent′s cannons, a statement strongly denied by the ship's gunner Archibald Macintyre who presented evidence there was enough powder for fifty minutes of vigorous engagement. The court martial rejected Boteler's claims, finding instead that the inexperience of the crew was the principal cause of Ardent′s failure to respond to the attack. Boteler was dismissed from the Navy for his failure to adequately defend his ship.

Little is known of Ardent's career in the French Navy; however the British re-captured her on 14 April 1782 following the Battle of the Saintes, and recommissioned her that month under Captain Richard Lucas. On 28 August 1783 the ship was renamed Tiger. She was sold out of the service in June 1784

j3370.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with quarter gallery decoration, and longitudinal half-breadth proposed (and approved) for building Ardent (1764) at Hull, and later for Raisonnable (1768), both 64-gun Third Rate, two-deckers. Signed by Thomas Slade [Surveyor of the Navy, 1755-1771], and John Clevland [Secretary to the Admiralty]


César was a 74-gun ship of the French Navy. Ordered in the spring of 1767 from the Toulon shipyard, she was launched on 3 August 1768. She saw service in the American War of Independence, and was destroyed in battle during it.

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Design
César was a 74-gun ship built according to the standards defined by French shipbuilders in the 1740s. The design aimed to combine good manoeuvrability and armament cost effectively, so as to counter British warships.

Her hull was constructed from oak, while her masts and yards were pine. Elm, linden, poplar and walnut wood was used for the gun carriages, sculptures and carvings. 80 tons of ropes and c. 2,500 m² of sails were made of hemp, with a set of replacement sails stored in the hold. She could operate for several weeks at sea, carrying three months supply of fresh water, supplemented by six months supply of wine. Tens of tons of biscuits, flour, fresh and dried vegetables, meat and salted fish, cheese, oil, vinegar, salt, were also carried, as was live cattle, which would be slaughtered as required.

César carried twenty-eight 36-pounder guns on her lower deck, and thirty 18-pounder guns on her upper deck. In addition, sixteen 8-pounder guns were distributed on the fore and aftcastle. In total César's armament weighed around 215 tons. 6,000 cannonballs, weighing some 67 tons, were carried. There was also around 8 tons of bar, chain and grape shot. 20 tons of gunpowder was embarked, stored in the form of cartridges or in bulk in the depths of the ship. On average, each gun had 50 to 60 cannonballs.

American War of Independence
d'Estaing's squadron (1778-1779)

At the time of the French entry to the American War of Independence, César was under the command of Captain Joseph de Raimondis d'Allons. On 13 April 1778, César sailed from Toulon bound for America, with the 12 ships of the Comte d'Estaing's fleet. The fleet arrived at the mouth of the Delaware River, north of Baltimore, on 8 July and pursued several enemy ships. On 8 August, it forced the straits at New York and entered the mouth of the Connecticut River, where the British forces were anchored. The British burnt seven of their ships and their stores. On 11 August 1778, the César was separated from the squadron by a violent storm at the time when they were about to engage in a battle with the forces of Richard Howe. On 16 August 1778, César battled HMS Iris and then went to shelter in Boston, where she was joined by the other French ships.

In December 1778, after d'Estaing's squadron had transferred to the West Indies, the César took part in the French defeat at the Battle of St. Lucia. On 6 July 1779 César was part of the rear squadron in the hard-fought battle of Grenada against the forces of John Byron. After Estaing's failure to support the Siege of Savannah in October 1779, the César returned to France with the other ships that had arrived on America in 1778 in order to be refitted and to recruit new crew.

De Grasse's fleet (1781-1782)
In 1781, the César left for the West Indies under the command of Charles Régis de Coriolis d'Espinouse in the fleet of the Comte de Grasse. On 28 April she was present at the Battle of Fort Royal, attempting to raise the blockade of Martinique. On 24 May César was part of the squadron which covered the French Invasion of Tobago. On 5 September 1781 César was present at the decisive battle of the Chesapeake, which completed the encirclement of the British forces at Yorktown.

In 1782, still with De Grasse's fleet, César sailed to the West Indies and in January took part in the Battle of Saint Kitts. César was then at the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April 1782, during which she was totally dismasted and then captured by HMS Centaur. In the night after the battle, a fire broke out in the magazine, causing it to explode. The César was destroyed, killing 400 French sailors and 50 British members of the prize crew. The César was one of the twenty ships lost by the French Navy during the American War of Independence.


The French ship Glorieux was a second-rate 74-gun ship of the line in the French Navy. Built by Clairin Deslauriers at Rochefort and launched on 10 August 1756, she was rebuilt in 1777.

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The view from Lady Juliana on the morning after the hurricane, featuring Glorieux along with HMS Centaurand HMS Ville de Paris

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French service
On 30 August 1781, she was with the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse. According to French sources, the British sloop Loyalist and the frigate Guadeloupe were on picket duty in the Chesapeake when they encountered the French fleet. Guadeloupe escaped up the York River to York Town, where she would later be scuttled. The English court martial records report that Loyalist was returning to the British fleet off the Jersey coast when she encountered the main French fleet. The French frigate Aigrette, with the 74-gun Glorieux in sight, was able to overtake Loyalist. The French took her into service as Loyaliste in September, but then gave her to the Americans in November 1781.

The British captured Glorieux at the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April 1782 despite the best efforts of Denis Decrès, and commissioned her into the Royal Navy as HMS Glorieux or HMS Glorious the following day. She was rated as a third rate.

Fate
She sailed with the fleet for England on 25 July 1782 but was lost later that year in a hurricane storm off Newfoundland on 16–17 September, along with the other captured French prize ships Ville de Paris, Hector and Caton. Glorieux was lost with all hands, including her captain, Thomas Cadogan, son of Charles Cadogan, 3rd Baron Cadogan. This disaster to the fleet of Admiral Graves also saw the loss of HMS Ramillies, HMS Centaur, the storeships Dutton and British Queen, and other merchantmen from a convoy of 94 ships, with a total of over 3,500 men lost.

Other
Heller SA has created a 1:150 scale model of Le Glorieux in its French guise.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Saintes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ardent_(1764)
https://collections.rmg.co.uk/colle...el-292340;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=A
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_César_(1768)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glorieux
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1796 – Launch of HMS Ardent, a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Northfleet.


HMS Ardent
was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 9 April 1796 at Northfleet. She had been designed and laid down for the British East India Company who was going to name her Princess Royal, but the Navy purchased her before launching, for service as a warship in the French Revolutionary War.

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Career
In May 1797 while lying at the Nore she was caught up in the Great Mutiny, she played a minor part but at one point was fired upon by the mutineers on HMS Monmouth.

On 11 October 1797 she took part in the Battle of Camperdown.

pw5875.jpg
A pencil and wash drawing signed, ' N. Pocock', lower left and inscribed 'Camperdown' by the artist. It shows the later part of the action with De Winter's totally dismasted Dutch flagship 'Vrijheid' in the centre still exchanging broadsides with Duncan's 'Venerable', centre right. The ship on fire and missing her mizzen mast on the left is the Dutch 'Hercules',. This was as a result of action with the 'Bedford', 74, (Captain Sir Thomas Byard) which may be the ship on the far left. The fire was put out but not before the 'Hercules' had thrown all her powder overboard to forestall blowing up. Unable to defend herself further, she subsequently surrendered. While the two battle lines were numerically matched at 16 ships each, the British were more heavily gunned with, for example, seven 74s to three Dutch. Although a British victory with seven Dutch ships of the line captured, plus two 50s and two frigates - more than half the Dutch fleet - it was also a hard fought battle (and the last) in a history of such contests between British and Dutch going back to the 17th century

In 1801, Ardent took part in the Battle of Copenhagen.

On 28 November 1803, Ardent gave chase to the corvette Bayonnaise in Finisterre Bay. The corvette's crew ran her ashore and then set fire to her prevent the British from capturing her. Captain Winthrop of Ardent described Bayonnaise as a frigate of 32 guns and 220 men, which had been sailing from Havana to Ferrol. Actually, Bayonnaise was armed en flute with only six 8-pounder guns, and was returning from the Antilles.

In 1808 she was assigned to convoy duty, escorting British merchantmen between The Nore and Gothenburg.

Fate
She was placed on harbour service in 1812. In 1813 she was converted into a prison hulk at Bermuda. In 1824 she was broken up there.

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for fitting the 'Princess Royal', an East India Company ship purchased in frame at Northfleet, as a 64-gun Third Rate two decker and renamed 'Ardent' (1796).

j3019.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the quarterdeck and forecastle for 'Ardent' (1796), a 64-gun Third Rate, two-decker, describing the fore and aft bolt in the hanging and lodging knees. Those in black ink are well drove and clenched; those in red ink are short and drove from each side of the beam. Four of these are partly worked out, and marked 'A'; those in green ink are new, the originals having worked themselves out. Signed by Joseph Tucker [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1802-1813; later Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1831]


https://collections.rmg.co.uk/colle...el-292342;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=A
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1799 - HMS San Fiorenzo (38), and HMS Amelia (38), engaged three French frigates, Cornelie, Vengeance and Semillante, off Belle Isle.


The Action
On 9 April 1799, after reconnoitering two French frigates in L'Orient, St Fiorenzo and HMS Amelia sailed towards Belle Île. Conditions were hazy and although Neale had sighted some vessels, it was only when he had passed the island that he discovered three French frigates and a large gun vessel. At that instant a sudden squall carried away Amelia's main-top-mast and fore and mizzen top-gallant masts; the fall of the main-top-mast tore away much of the mainsail from the yard. Neale shortened St Fiorenzo's sail and ordered Amelia to keep close to St Fiorenzo to maintain the weather gage, and to prepare for battle. An action commenced but the French vessels avoided close-quarter action and, although the British ships came under fire from shore batteries, they had to bear down on the French three times to engage them. After nearly two hours the French wore ship and sailed away to take refuge in the Loire, with the gun-vessel returning to Belle Île.

Amelia lost two killed and 17 wounded in the engagement. St Fiorenzo lost one man killed and eighteen wounded.

That evening St Fiorenzo captured a French brig and learned that the French frigates were the Vengeance, Sémillante and Cornélie. The British further learned that Cornélie had lost some 100 men dead and wounded, with one of the wounded being her commodore. Later reports mentioned that Captain Caro of Vengeance had been mortally wounded and that Sémillante had 15 dead.


Minerve was a 40-gun frigate of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. She operated in the Mediterranean during the French Revolutionary Wars. Her crew scuttled her at Saint-Florent to avoid capture when the British invaded Corsica in 1794, but the British managed to raise her and recommissioned her in the Royal Navy as the 38-gun fifth rate HMS St Fiorenzo (also San Fiorenzo).


HMS_St_Fiorenzo_and_Piemontaise.jpg
HMS St Fiorenzo and Piémontaise

She went on to serve under a number of the most distinguished naval commanders of her age, in theatres ranging from the English Channel to the East Indies. During this time she was active against enemy privateers, and on several occasions she engaged ships larger than herself, being rewarded with victory on each occasion. She captured the 40-gun Résistance and the 22-gun Constance in 1797, the 36-gun Psyché in 1805, and the 40-gun Piémontaise in 1808. (These actions would earn the crew members involved clasps to the Naval General Service Medal.) After she became too old for frigate duties, the Admiralty had her converted for successively less active roles. She initially became a troopship and then a receiving ship. Finally she was broken up in 1837 after a long period as a lazarette.

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French career
The French built Minerve at Toulon, launching her on 21 July 1782. She was the lead ship of her class. Minerve began her career in the Mediterranean, in particular operating in the Levant campaign from 1790 to 1791. In March 1793 she and Melpomène escorted from Toulon to Algiers two xebecs that the French had outfitted for the Dey. On Minerve’s return to Toulon her commander was arrested following an insurrection on board. On 18 February 1794, her commander scuttled her before the British under Sir David Dundas captured the town of San Fiorenzo in the Gulf of St. Florent in Corsica. The British found Minerve on 19 February 1794, and were able to refloat her. They then took her into service as a 38-gun frigate under the name St Fiorenzo.

British career
Service in the Channel
She was initially under the command of Captain Charles Tyler, but passed under Captain Sir Charles Hamilton in July 1794. Hamilton sailed her back to Chatham, where she arrived on 22 November and was registered as a Royal Navy ship on 30 May 1795. She was then commissioned in June that year under Captain Sir Harry Neale. Neale was to command her for the next five years.

St Fiorenzo was among the 25 British warships in the fleet under the command of Admiral John Colpoys that shared in the capture on 2 November 1796 of the French privateer Franklyn. Twenty-six days later, St Fiorenzo was in company with Phaeton when they captured the French brig Anne. At some point, St Fiorenzo also captured the brig Cynthia.

Capture of Résistance and Constance

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San Fiorenzo (far left) and Nymphe (second from right) capture Résistance and Constance, 9 March 1797. by Nicholas Pocock.

On 9 March 1797 St Fiorenzo was sailing in company with Captain John Cooke's Nymphe, when they sighted two sails heading for Brest. These turned out to be the French frigate Résistance and the corvette Constance, returning from the short-lived, quixotic and unsuccessful French raid on Fishguard in Wales, where they had landed troops. Cooke and Neale chased after them, and engaged them for half an hour, after which both French ships surrendered.

There were no casualties or damage on either of the British ships. Resistance had ten men killed and nine wounded; Constance had eight men killed and six wounded.

Resistance had 48 guns, with 18-pounders on her main deck, and a crew of 345 men. Constance had twenty-four 9-pounder guns, and a crew of 181 men. The Royal Navy took both into service. Résistance became HMS Fisgard, while Constance retained her name. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General service Medal with clasp "San Fiorenzo 8 March 1797" to surviving claimants from the action.

Channel

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St Fiorenzo escapes the mutiny

St Fiorenzo was one of the ships caught up in the mutiny at the Nore, but was one of the few ships to remain loyal to her commander. She subsequently escaped to Harwich after enduring musket and grapeshot fire from the mutinous ships that left four of the crew wounded.

Further successes followed later that year. She captured the French privateer lugger Unité off The Owers on 3 June 1797. Unité was armed with 14 guns and had a crew of 58 men commanded by Citizen Charles Roberts. She was three days out of Morlaix without having captured anything.

Then on 1 July St Fiorenzo captured the French privateer lugger Castor off the Scilly Isles. Castor too had been armed with 14 guns, all of which she had thrown overboard during the chase in an attempt to lighten herself and so gain speed, and had a crew of 57 men. She was 18 days out of Saint Malo and in that time had captured the brig Resolution, which had been carrying a cargo of salt.

St Fiorenzo and Clyde shared in the capture in November and December 1797 of the French brigs Minerva and Succès. In addition to the capture of the privateer Succès on 14 December, St Fiorenzo and Clyde captured the privateer Dorade two days later. The actual captor of Dorade was Clyde. Dorade was from Bordeaux and was pierced for 18 guns, though she only had 12. She had been out 50 days and had been cruising off the Azores and Madeira, but had captured nothing. She and her crew of 93 men were on their way home when Clyde captured her. Unfortunately, the commander of the prize crew hoisted too much sail with the result that Dorade overturned, drowning all 19 members of the prize crew.

St Fiorenzo, Cormorant and Cynthia shared in the recapture of the American brig Betty on 16 February 1798. On 9 March St Fiorenzo recaptured the brig Cynthia. Almost a month later, on 7 April, St Fiorenzo, in company with Impetueux, recaptured the Ulysses. Ulysses, Smith, master, had been on her way from Santo Domingo to London when the French privateer Grande Buonaparte, of 22 guns and 200 men, captured her on 2 April. St Fiorenzo sent Ulysses into Plymouth.

On 23 May St Fiorenzo captured the pram (chasse maree) Maria. two days later, St Fiorenzo and Impetueux captured the ship Fair American. On 1 June, she added the brig Zeniphe to her list of captures, and then six days later, two empty sloops. Sans Pareil, St Fiorenzo, and Amelia shared in the capture of the French sloop Marie Catharine. St Fiorenzo, Phaeton, Anson and Stagg shared in the proceeds of the capture on 23 June of the Jonge Marius. That same day Phaeton captured the Speculation; San Fiorenzo's officers entitled to first or second-class shares in prize money shared by agreement.

On 29 June Pique, Jason and Mermaid chased a French frigate. Pique and Jason chased her down and captured her in the Breton Passage on 30 June 1798, after an engagement in which the French suffered some 170 men killed. The French vessel was the Seine, which the Royal Navy took into service under her existing name. In the fight Jason, Pique and Seine ran aground. Mermaid arrived and retrieved Jason, but Pique had to be destroyed. St Fiorenzo too arrived and was instrumental in recovering Seine.

On 9 November, St Fiorenzo captured the French privateer Resource. Head money for the men on the privateer and salvage for the Cynthia in March was paid in February 1810.

On 11 and 12 December 1798 St Fiorenzo and Triton captured and sent into Plymouth the Spanish privateer St Joseph y Animas and the French privateer Rusée, and recaptured the brig George, of London, which had originally been sailing from Bristol to Lisbon, loaded with a cargo of coals, copper, and bottles. St Joseph y Animas was armed with four brass 6-pounder guns and had a crew of 64 men. Rusée was coppered and just off the stocks, she carried fourteen 4-pounder guns and a crew of 60. Neale recommended that the Navy take her into service. On 15 December St Fiorenzo captured the Spanish brig Nostra Senora Del Carmen y Animas.

In late 1798 or early 1799, San Fiorenzo, Phaeton, Anson, Clyde, Mermaid, and Stag, shared in the capture of the chasse maree Marie Perotte and a sloop of unknown name, as well as the recapture of the Sea Nymphe and the Mary. On 9 March 1799, St Fiorenzo and Clyde captured the French sloop St Joseph.[32] Three days later Triton, St Fiorenzo, Naiad and Cambrian captured the French merchant ship Victoire.

The action on 9 April 1799 - see above......

Then on 13 April, St Fiorenzo captured the French ship Entreprenant. On 17 April St Fiorenzo returned to Plymouth, bringing with her a French brig that she had captured. The French vessel had been sailing from San Domingo to Lorient with a cargo of sugar and coffee. St Fiorenzo had also captured another French brig, sailing in ballast, but she had not yet arrived. That same month St Fiorenzo captured the Prussian brig Vrou Helena Catherina. On 2 July 1799 St Fiorenzo took part in an attack on a Spanish squadron anchored in the Aix Roads.

On 13 November 1800 St Fiorenzo and Cambrian recaptured the merchantman Hebe, which the 18-gun French privateer Grande Decide had captured about a week earlier.

Captain Charles Paterson took over command in January 1801, serving in the Mediterranean. St Fiorenzo, Loire, Wolverine, Aggressor, Seahorse, Censor and hired armed cutter Swift shared in the capture on 11 and 12 August 1801 of the Prussian brigs Vennerne and Elizabeth. On 30 September 1801 St Fiorenzo captured the schooner Worcester.

In May 1802 Captain Joseph Bingham succeeded Paterson. He would serve as St Fiorenzo's commander until 1804.


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lines & profile 'San/Saint Fiorenzo' (1794)

East Indies
Bingham sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, and spent the next couple of years operating in the Indian Ocean. On 14 January 1804 St Fiorenzo gave chase to the French naval chasse-marée and aviso Passe-Partout off Mount Dilly on the Malabar Coast. When the wind began to fail, Bingham sent three of his boats after the quarry. Once alongside, in two minutes the British had captured the French vessel, despite fire from two brass six-pounder guns, six brass swivel guns and small arms. Out of her 25-man crew, Passe-Portouthad two dead and five seriously wounded, including the captain, who was mortally wounded; the British suffered only one man slightly wounded. Bingham discovered that the French had outfitted Passe Partout to land three officers on the coast to incite the Mahratta states to attack the British. Bingham passed on the intelligence with the result that the British at Poona were able to capture the Frenchmen.

Bingham's successor was Captain Walter Bathurst, who commanded St Fiorenzo in 1805. Captain Henry Lambert (acting), replaced Bathurst.

Psyché
On 13 February 1805 St Fiorenzo found the French frigate Psyché and two vessels that looked like merchantmen, off Vishakhapatnam. On the evening of the 14th, St Fiorenzo recaptured one of the merchantmen, the Thetis, which was a prize to Psyché and which the French had abandoned. He put a prize crew aboard her and then engaged the other two vessels. After a fierce battle of more than three hours, Captain Bergeret, the French commander of Psyché, sent a boat to announce that she had struck her colours. She had lost 57 men killed and 70 men wounded; St Fiorenzo had 12 killed and 56 wounded. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "San Fiorenzo 14 Feby. 1805" to any surviving claimants from the action.

During the engagement the third vessel, Equivoque, occasionally intervened, firing at St Fiorenzo. She was a privateer of ten guns and a crew of forty men under the command of a lieutenant. She was the former local ship Pidgeon, which Bergeret had captured and fitted out as a privateer. She escaped.

Lambert was promoted to another command. Captain Patrick Campbell then commanded St Fiorenzo between 1806 and 1807.

Capture of the Piémontaise
St Fiorenzo's next commander was Captain George Nicholas Hardinge, who on 6 March 1808 encountered the 50-gun French frigate Piémontaise, which had been raiding British shipping off the Indian coast. Piémontaise was under the command of Captain Jacques Epron and had sailed from Île de France on 30 December with a crew of 366 Frenchmen, together with almost 200 lascars to work the sails.

Hardinge was patrolling when, after having passed three East Indiamen, he spotted a frigate that would not identify itself. St Fiorenzo sailed towards the Frenchman, who attempted to escape. St Fiorenzo chased the Piémontaise for the next several days, with intermittent fighting as the French turned to engage their pursuer, before sailing away again. On 7 March the British lost eight men killed and suffered many wounded, two of whom died later.

St Fiorenzo finally brought Piémontaise to a decisive battle late on 8 March in the Gulf of Mannar, where after an hour and twenty minutes of fierce fighting, the French surrendered. French losses amounted to 48 dead and 112 wounded, while over the three days the British lost 13 dead and 25 wounded. Captain Hardinge was among the dead, killed by grapeshot from the second broadside in the last engagement. Lieutenant William Dawson took command and brought both vessels back to Colombo, even though Piémontaise's three masts fell over her side early in the morning of the 9th.

Piémontaise also had on board British army officers and captains and officers from prizes that she had taken. These men helped organize the lascars to jury-rig masts and bring Piémontaise into port. St Fiorenzo had too few men and too many casualties and prisoners to guard to provide much assistance.

Aftermath
On 29 November 1809, His Majesty George III granted to the Hardinge family an augmentation to their coat of arms commemorating both the victory over Piemontaise and Hardinge's earlier victory over Atalante. The merchants, shipowners, and underwriters of Bombay voted the sum of £500 to be "distributed to the Sufferers in the Action on the 8th March 1808". Sixteen men died without receiving their portion and the grantors paid for a notice in the London Gazette calling on the relatives of the men to claim their shares. When for eight seamen and marines no one had forward for the money by September 1818 the Treasury agreed to hold £160 in trust (£20 per man) should any relative come forward later. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "San Fiorenzo 8 March 1808" to any surviving claimants from the action.

Hardinge's successor was Captain John Bastard, who commanded St Fiorenzo until she was paid off later in 1808.

Later career and fate
St Fiorenzo was then fitted out at Woolwich for service in the Baltic, under the command of Henry Matson. She took part in the Walcheren Campaign in 1809. Her crew therefore qualified for the prize money from the expedition.

St Fiorenzo was then refitted as a 22-gun troopship and sent to Lisbon under Commander Edmund Knox. She was further fitted in 1812, this time to serve as a receiving ship at Woolwich, before being laid up in ordinary at Chatham. Her final service was as a lazarette at Sheerness, where she remained between 1818 and 1837. She was broken up at Deptford in September 1837, after 43 years with the Royal Navy.

sistership
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Scale: 1:48. Melpomene (captured 1794)




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Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1807 – Launch of French Commerce de Lyon, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy


Commerce de Lyon was a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

1280px-Achille_mp3h9307.jpg
Scale model of Achille, sister ship of French ship Commerce de Lyon (1807), on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.

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Career
Ordered on 29 September 1803, Commerce de Lyon was one of the ships built in the various shipyards captured by the First French Empire in Holland and Italy in a crash programme to replenish the ranks of the French Navy.

Commissioned under Commander Victor-André Hulot-Gury, she was part of Missiessy's squadron of the Escaut from 1810 to 1813. In March 1813, she was appointed to defend Antwerp.

After the Treaty of Paris in 1814, she was one of the 12 ships of the line France was authorised to keep, and she was sailed to Brest. Put in ordinary there, she was never reactivated; she was struck on 23 February 1819 and broken up in 1830.


Téméraire-class ships of the line - Small Variant (Pluton group – 24 ships launched)

1280px-Rivoli-IMG_6928-with_camels.jpg
Rivoli, fitted with the camels that allowed her to cross the shallow banks before Venice harbour.

Starting with the prototypes Pluton and Borée in 1803, a smaller version of the Téméraire class, officially named petit modèle, was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané to be produced in shipyards having a lesser depth of water than the principal French shipyards, primarily those in neighbouring states under French control and in foreign ports which had been absorbed into the French Empire such as Antwerp. The revised design measured 177 feet 7 inches on the waterline, 180 feet 1 inch on the deck, and 46 feet 11 inches moulded breadth. The depth of hull was 9 inches less than that in the "regular" Téméraire design.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Commerce_de_Lyon_(1807)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Téméraire-class_ship_of_the_line
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1868 – Launch of French ironclad Atalante, a wooden-hulled armored corvette built for the French Navy in the mid-1860s.


The French ironclad Atalante was a wooden-hulled armored corvette built for the French Navy in the mid-1860s. She played a minor role in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, bombarded Vietnamese forts during the Battle of Thuận An in 1884 and participated in the Sino-French War of 1884–85. Atalante was reduced to reserve in Saigon in 1885 and sank there two years later after having been condemned.

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Atalante in the Fitzroy Dock, Sydney Harbour, 1873

Design and description
The Alma-class ironclads were designed as improved versions of the armored corvette Belliqueuse suitable for foreign deployments. Unlike their predecessor the Alma-class ships were true central battery ironclads as they were fitted with armored transverse bulkheads.[1] Like most ironclads of their era they were equipped with a metal-reinforced ram.

Atalante measured 68.78 meters (225 ft 8 in) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 14.2 meters (46 ft 7 in). She had a mean draft of 6.56 meters (21 ft 6 in) and displaced 3,825 metric tons (3,765 long tons). Her crew numbered 316 officers and men.

Propulsion
The ship had a single horizontal return connecting-rod steam engine driving a single propeller. Her engine was powered by four oval boilers. On sea trials the engine produced 1,640 indicated horsepower (1,220 kW) and the ship reached 11.56 knots (21.41 km/h; 13.30 mph). Atalante carried 250 metric tons (250 long tons)[2] of coal which allowed the ship to steam for 1,460 nautical miles (2,700 km; 1,680 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). She was barque-rigged and had a sail area of 1,338 square meters (14,400 sq ft).

Armament
Atalante mounted her four 194-millimeter (7.6 in) Modèle 1864 breech-loading guns in the central battery on the battery deck. The other two 194-millimeter guns were mounted in barbettes on the upper deck, sponsoned out over the sides of the ship. The four 120-millimeter (4.7 in) guns were also mounted on the upper deck. She may have exchanged her Mle 1864 guns for Mle 1870 guns. The armor-piercing shell of the 20-caliber Mle 1870 gun weighed 165.3 pounds (75.0 kg) while the gun itself weighed 7.83 long tons (7.96 t). The gun fired its shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,739 ft/s (530 m/s) and was credited with the ability to penetrate a nominal 12.5 inches (320 mm) of wrought iron armour at the muzzle. The guns could fire both solid shot and explosive shells.

Armor
Atalante had a complete 150-millimeter (5.9 in) wrought iron waterline belt, approximately 2.4 meters (7.9 ft) high. The sides of the battery itself were armored with 120 millimeters (4.7 in) of wrought iron and the ends of the battery were closed by bulkheads of the same thickness. The barbette armor was 100 millimeters (3.9 in) thick, backed by 240 millimeters (9.4 in) of wood. The unarmored portions of her sides were protected by 15-millimeter (0.6 in) iron plates.

Service
Atalante was laid down at Cherbourg in June 1865 and launched on 12 April 1867. Her sea trials began on 1 April 1869 and she joined the reserve at Brest on 11 July 1869. Atalante was commissioned on 23 February 1870 and was initially assigned to the Evolutionary Squadron before transferring to the Northern Squadron in July 1870 at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. The squadron was ordered to lift its blockade of the Prussian North Sea ports on 16 September and return to Cherbourg. Atalante went back into reserve in November 1870, but she was recommissioned the following year.

She was named as the flagship of the Pacific Squadron on 1 July 1872 under command of Rear Admiral Baron Roussin. On 14 August Atalante sailed from Lorient for the Pacific. On 8 August 1873, Atalante was put into the Fitzroy Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney, Australia. At the time she was the largest vessel to be drydocked in the harbour and the first ironclad to be docked in the Southern hemisphere.

She returned on 27 February 1874 where she placed into reserve but was recommissioned on 28 December 1875 as the flagship of the China Squadron under Rear Admiral Veron. She departed Lorient on 10 January 1876, but returned on 16 May 1878. The ship spent the next four years in reserve before being recommissioned on 3 July 1882 for service with the Cochinchina Division (French: division navale de Cochinchine).

FrenchShipAtalante.jpg
French Navy Atalante

Atalante
was transferred to the new Tonkin Coast Division (French: division navale des côtes du Tonkin) when it was formed in 1883. During 18–21 August 1883 she participated in the Battle of Thuận An. This was an attack by the French on the forts defending the mouth of the Perfume River, leading to the Vietnamese capital of Huế in an attempt to intimidate the Vietnamese government. Atalante was assigned to bombard the North Fort by the French commander, Vice Admiral Amédée Courbet. After two days of bombardment a landing party from the ship captured the fort.[6] Ensign (French: Enseigne de vaisseau) Louis-Marie-Julien Viaud, who was aboard the Atalante during the battle and participated in the landing, wrote several articles graphically describing his experiences that were published in the newspaper Le Figaro under the pen-name of Pierre Loti.

The ship was assigned to the Far East Squadron (French: escadre de l'Extrême-Orient) under Admiral Courbet when it was formed by the amalgamation of the Tonkin Coast and Far Eastern Divisions in June 1884 in preparation for the Sino-French War of 1884–85.[6] In early September 1884 Atalante was in Huế,[9] but she carried Admiral Courbet to Keelung on 23 September. The ship was paid off into reserve in Saigon in 1885 and condemned two years later. She fell into such a state of disrepair that "she foundered one night and gradually sank into the mud."


The Alma-class ironclads were a group of seven wooden-hulled, armored corvettes built for the French Navy in the mid to late 1860s. Three of the ships attempted to blockade Prussian ports in the Baltic Sea in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War. Three others patrolled the North Sea and the Atlantic, while the last ship was en route to Japan when the war began and blockaded two small Prussian ships in a Japanese harbor. Afterwards they alternated periods of reserve and active commissions, many of them abroad. Three of the ships participated in the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881 while another helped to intimidate the Vietnamese Government into accepting status as a French protectorate and played a small role in the Sino-French War of 1884–85.

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Model of Jeanne d'Arc on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris, before the rear barbettes were deleted.

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French ironclad Thetis, launched in 1867, and part of the Alma-class


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ironclad_Atalante
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alma-class_ironclad
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1887 – Launch of HMS Victoria, the lead ship in her class of two battleships of the Royal Navy.
On 22 June 1893, she collided with HMS Camperdown near Tripoli, Lebanon, during manoeuvres and quickly sank, killing 358 crew members, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.


HMS Victoria
was the lead ship in her class of two battleships of the Royal Navy. On 22 June 1893, she collided with HMS Camperdown near Tripoli, Lebanon, during manoeuvres and quickly sank, killing 358 crew members, including the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. One of the survivors was executive officer John Jellicoe, later commander-in-chief of the British Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

HMS_Victoria_(1887)_William_Frederick_Mitchell.jpg

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Design
Model_of_HMS_Victoria.jpg
Scale model of Victoria, as she was when launched in 1887 from Elswick, located in the Discovery Museum in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Victoria was constructed at a time of innovation and rapid development in ship design. Her name was originally to be Renown, but this was changed to Victoria while still under construction to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, which took place the year the ship was launched. Her arrival was accompanied by considerable publicity. She was the largest, fastest and most powerful ironclad afloat, with the thickest armour and the heaviest guns.

She was the first battleship to be propelled by triple-expansion steam engines. These were constructed by Humphrys, Tennant and Company of Deptford and had cylinders of diameters 43 in (1,100 mm), 62 in (1,600 mm) and 96 in (2,400 mm) with stroke of 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m). They produced 12,000 ihp (8,900 kW) under forced draught, or 7,500 ihp (5,600 kW) under open draught. She was also the first Royal Navy ship to be equipped with a steam turbine which was used to run a dynamo.


Victoria_Class_Battleship_Starboard_elevation_and_Deck_plan.jpg
Starboard elevation, deck plan and sectional views, as shown in Brassey's naval annual 1888–9

Design limitations
Despite the ship's many impressive features, compromises in the design meant that she proved less than successful in service.

The ship was nicknamed 'the Slipper' (or when with her sister ship Sans Pareil, also attached to the Mediterranean squadron, 'the pair of Slippers') because of a tendency for her low foredeck to disappear from view in even slight seas and especially, as a result of the low forward deck and raised aft superstructure, for the two ships' humorously perceived resemblance to the indoor footwear.


Turret on Sans Pareil

The forward deck held a single turret with two BL 16.25 in (413 mm) Mark I guns. The 16.25 in (413 mm) gun was chosen because similar large guns had been used in foreign ships, and because of difficulties in obtaining the navy's preferred 13.5 in (340 mm) design. The great weight of the forward turret with its two guns meant that it had to be mounted low so as not to detract from the ship's stability, and that a similar large gun and turret could not be mounted aft. Instead, the after gun was a BL 10 in (250 mm) gun protected by a gun shield. The original plan was for main armament fore and aft, and the eventual layout, which followed that of the preceding ironclad battleship Conqueror, was a compromise that meant the ship could only fire her main armament sideways or forward. It was found that if the guns were fired directly forward, the recoil buckled the deck.

The gun barrels were found to be so heavy that they drooped when installed on their mountings, and could fire only 75 rounds before barrel wear became excessive.

Her main armour extended only along some 162 ft (49 m) of her total 340 ft (100 m) length varying from 16–18 in (41–46 cm) thick. By comparison, the French battleship Amiral Baudin, constructed at a similar time, had 21.5 in (55 cm) armour along her whole length. However, the British design produced a faster ship with greater range and larger guns.

The collision
HMS_Victoria_bow_in_dock_Malta.jpg
Victoria in dry dock at Malta.

The Royal Navy saw the Mediterranean as a vital sea route between Britain and India, under constant threat from the navies of France and Italy. The impressive force they concentrated there to protect these sealanes made the British Mediterranean Fleet one of the most powerful in the world. On 22 June 1893, the bulk of the fleet, 11 ironclads (eight battleships and three large cruisers), were on their annual summer exercises off Tripoli in Lebanon.

Tryon was a strict disciplinarian who believed that the best way to keep his crews taut and efficient was by continuous fleet evolutions, which before the invention of wireless were signalled by signal flags, semaphore and signal lamp. He had gained a reputation as a daring and highly proficient handler of his ships. His specialty was the "TA" system, a new system he had developed himself by which complex manoeuvres could be handled by only a few simple signals, but which required his ships' captains to use their initiative; a quality that had become blunted by decades of naval peace since Trafalgar, and which was unwelcome in a hierarchical navy that deified Admiral Horatio Nelson while misunderstanding what he had stood for. A taciturn and difficult man to his subordinate officers, Tryon habitually avoided explaining his intentions to them, to accustom them to handle unpredictable situations.

Disposition of the fleet
Tryon led one column of six ships, which formed the first division of his fleet, in his flagship Victoria travelling at 8 kn (9.2 mph; 15 km/h). His deputy — Rear-Admiral Albert Hastings Markham — was in the lead ship of the second division of five ships, the 10,600 long tons (10,800 t) Camperdown. Markham's normal divisional flagship — Trafalgar — was being refitted. Unusually for Tryon, he had discussed his plans for anchoring the fleet with some of his officers. The fleet were to turn inwards in succession by 180°, thus closing to 400 yd (370 m) and reversing their direction of travel. After travelling a few miles in this formation, the whole fleet would slow and simultaneously turn 90° to port and drop their anchors for the night. The officers had observed that 1,200 yd (1,100 m) was much too close and suggested that the columns should start at least 1,600 yd (1,500 m) apart; even this would leave insufficient margin for safety. The normal turning circles of the ships involved would have meant that a gap between the two columns of 2,000 yd (1,800 m) would be needed to leave a space between the columns of 400 yd (370 m) on completion of the manoeuvre. Tryon had confirmed that eight cables 1,300 m (4,300 ft) should be needed for the manoeuvre the officers expected, but had later signalled for the columns to close to six cables 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Two of his officers gingerly queried whether the order was what he intended, and he brusquely confirmed that it was.

He ordered speed to be increased to 8.8 kn (10.1 mph; 16.3 km/h) and at about 15:00 ordered a signal to be flown from Victoria to have the ships in each column turn in succession by 180° inwards towards the other column so that the fleet would reverse its course. However, the normal "tactical" turning circle of the ships had a diameter of around 800 yd (730 m) each (and a minimum of 600 yd (550 m), although standing orders required "tactical rudder" to be used in fleet manoeuvres), so if they were less than 1,600 yd (1,500 m) apart then a collision was likely.

As there was no pre-determined code in the signal book for the manoeuvre he wished to order, Tryon sent separate orders to the two divisions. They were:

"Second division alter course in succession 16 points to starboard preserving the order of the fleet." "First division alter course in succession 16 points to port preserving the order of the fleet."

The phrase "preserving the order of the fleet" would imply that on conclusion of the manoeuvre the starboard column at the start would still be the starboard at the finish. This theory was propounded in 'The Royal Navy' Vol VII pages 415-426. It is suggested here that Tryon intended that one division should turn outside the other.

Tryon's flag-lieutenant was Lord Gillford, and it was he who received the fatal order to signal to the two divisions to turn sixteen points (a half circle) inwards, the leading ships first, the others of course following in succession.

Although some of his officers knew what Tryon was planning, they did not raise an objection. Markham, at the head of the other column, was confused by the dangerous order and delayed raising the flag signal indicating that he had understood it. Tryon queried the delay in carrying out his orders, as the fleet was now heading for the shore and needed to turn soon. He ordered a semaphore signal be sent to Markham, asking, "What are you waiting for?" Stung by this public rebuke from his commander, Markham immediately ordered his column to start turning. Various officers on the two flagships confirmed later that they had either assumed or hoped that Tryon would order some new manoeuvre at the last minute.

However, the columns continued to turn towards each other and only moments before the collision did the captains of the two ships appreciate that this was not going to happen. Even then, they still waited for permission to take the action that might have prevented the collision. Captain Bourke of Victoria asked Tryon three times for permission to order the engines astern; he acted only after he had received that permission. At the last moment, Tryon shouted across to Markham, "Go astern! Go astern!"

Camperdown strikes Victoria

Animation of the sinking.


By the time that both captains had ordered the engines on their respective ships reversed, it was too late, and Camperdown's ram struck the starboard side of Victoria about 12 ft (3.7 m) below the waterline and penetrated 9 ft (2.7 m) into it. The engines were left turning astern, and this caused the ram to be withdrawn and to let in more seawater before all the watertight doors on Victoria had been closed. Two minutes after the collision, the ships were moving apart.

800px-HMS_Victoria_collision_1893.jpg
Artistic rendering of the collision between the Victoria and the Camperdown as it appeared in a French illustrated weekly.

It was a hot afternoon, and a Thursday, which was traditionally a rest time for the crew. All hatches and means of ventilation were open to cool the ship. There was a 100 sq ft (9.3 m2) hole in the side of the ship open to the sea, but initially, Tryon and his navigation officer, Staff Commander Thomas Hawkins-Smith, did not believe the ship would sink, as the damage was forward and had not affected the engine room or ship's power. Tryon gave orders to turn the ship and head for the shore 5 mi (8.0 km) away so she could be beached. Some of the surrounding ships had launched boats for a rescue, but he signalled for them to turn back. Just two minutes after Camperdown backed out of the hole she had created, water was advancing over the deck and spilling into the open hatches. A party under Lieutenant Herbert Heath attempted to unroll a collision mat down the side of the ship to patch the hole and slow the inrush of water, but by the time they could manhandle it into position they were standing in water, and had to abandon the attempt. Five minutes after the collision, the bow had already sunk 15 ft (4.6 m), the ship was listing heavily to starboard and water was coming through the gun ports in the large forward turret. The foredeck became submerged, with the top of the gun turret forming a small island. Although the engine room was still manned and the engines running, hydraulic power for the helm failed so the ship could not be turned and there was no power to launch the ship's boats. Eight minutes after the collision, the entire fore end of the ship was under water, and the water was lapping the main deck. The stern had risen so that the screws were nearly out of the water.

1024px-HMS_Victoria_(1887)_and_Camperdown_collision_diagram.jpg
Diagram showing collision point and penetration of Camperdown into Victoria.

Immediately after the collision, Captain Bourke had gone below to investigate the damage and close the watertight doors. The engine room was dry, but forward in the ship men were struggling to secure bulkheads even as water washed in around them. Already men had been washed away by incoming water or had been trapped behind closed doors. Yet still there had not been sufficient time to close up the ship to stop the water spreading. He returned on deck and gave orders for the men to fall in. The assembled ranks of sailors were ordered to turn to face the side, and then to abandon ship.

1280px-HMSVictoriasinking1893.jpg
Victoria sinking after the collision, taken from HMS Collingwood. HMS Nile on the left.

Victoria capsized just 13 minutes after the collision, rotating to starboard with a terrible crash as her boats and anything free fell to the side and as water entering the funnels caused explosions when it reached the boilers. With her keel uppermost, she slipped into the water bow first, propellers still rotating and threatening anyone near them. Most of the crew managed to abandon ship, although those in the engine room never received orders to leave their posts and were drowned. The ship's chaplain, Rev S. D. Morris RN, was last seen trying to rescue the sick: "In the hour of danger and of death, when all were acting bravely, he was conspicuous for his self-denying and successful efforts to save the sick and to maintain discipline. Nobly forgetful of his own safety, he worked with others to the end, and went down with the vessel ... seeing escape impossible he folded his arms upon his breast, and looking up to heaven, his lips moving in prayer, he died." The area around the wreck became a "widening circle of foaming bubbles, like a giant saucepan of boiling milk", which the rescue boats did not dare enter. Onlookers could only watch as the number of live men in the water steadily diminished. Gunner Frederick Johnson reported being sucked down three times, and said that while originally there were 30-40 people around him, afterwards there were only three or four. Lieutenant Lorin, one of the survivors, stated: "All sorts of floating articles came up with tremendous force, and the surface of the water was one seething mass. We were whirled round and round, and half choked with water, and dashed about amongst the wreckage until half senseless." Camperdown was also in a serious condition, with her ram nearly wrenched off. Hundreds of tons of water flooded into her bows and her foredeck went underwater. Her crew had to construct a cofferdam across the main deck to stop the flooding. As with Victoria, the watertight doors had not been closed in time, allowing the ship to flood. After 90 minutes, divers managed to reach and close a bulkhead door so that the flooding could be contained. The ship returned to Tripoli at one quarter speed with seven compartments flooded.

The other ships had more time to take evasive action, and avoided colliding with each other. Nile was already turning to follow Victoria when the collision happened and came to within 50 yd (46 m) of her as she tried to turn away. Some of the surviving witnesses claimed the distance was even less. Similarly, Edinburgh narrowly avoided running into Camperdown from behind. Inflexible ended up stopped some 200 yd (180 m) from Victoria, and Nile 100 yd (91 m) away.

HMS_Camperdown_damaged_bow.jpg
Camperdown's damaged bow.

357 crew were rescued and 358 died. Collingwood was that day responsible for providing a steam launch for the fleet, so her launch was ready and away within a minute of Camperdown and Victoria disengaging. Captain Jenkins had ignored Tryon's order for the rescue boats to turn back, and picked up the greatest number of the survivors. Six bodies were recovered immediately after the sinking, but although a search was instituted during the night and the following days, no more were found. Turkish cavalry searched the beaches, but no bodies were found there either. The six were buried the following day in a plot of land provided by the Sultan of Turkey just outside Tripoli. 173 injured officers and men were transferred to the cruisers Edgar and Phaeton and taken to Malta. Commander Jellicoe, still suffering from fever and then immersion where he was assisted in the water by Midshipman Philip Roberts-West, shared the captain's cabin on Edgar.

Tryon himself stayed on the top of the chart-house as the ship sank, accompanied by Hawkins-Smith. Hawkins-Smith survived, but described the force of the sinking and being entangled in the ship's rigging. He thought it doubtful Tryon could have survived, being less fit than himself.

800px-HMS_Victoria_1887_Watertight_compartments.jpg




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Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1906 – Launch of French Ernest Renan, an armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the first decade of the 20th century.


Ernest Renan was an armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, she participated in the hunt for the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and then joined the blockade of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the Adriatic. She took part in the Battle of Antivari later in August, and the seizure of Corfu in January 1916, but saw no further action during the war. After the war, the British and French intervened in the Russian Civil War; this included a major naval deployment to the Black Sea, which included Ernest Renan. She served as a training ship in the late 1920s before she was sunk as a target ship in the 1930s.

Armoured_cruiser-Ernest_RenanLOC11005uAA.jpg

Design and description

Cruiser_Ernest_Renan_diagrams_Brasseys_1923.jpg
Right elevation and deck plan as depicted in Brassey's Naval Annual 1923

Ernest Renan was intended to be a member of the Leon Gambetta class, but naval architect Emile Bertin repeatedly tinkered with the design and decided to lengthen the ship in an attempt to increase her speed. She measured 159 meters (521 ft 8 in) overall, with a beam of 21.4 meters (70 ft 3 in). Ernest Renan had a draft of 8.2 meters (26 ft 11 in) and displaced 13,644 metric tons (13,429 long tons). Her crew numbered either 750[2] or 824 officers and enlisted men.

The ship had three propeller shafts, each powered by a single vertical triple-expansion steam engine. They were rated at a total of 37,000 indicated horsepower(28,000 kW) using steam provided by 42 Niclausse boilers. The boilers were grouped into two sets of boiler rooms that were separated by the amidships gun turretsand their magazines and exhausted into six funnels. Ernest Renan had a designed speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph), but reached 24.4 knots (45.2 km/h; 28.1 mph) from 37,685 ihp (28,102 kW) during her sea trials. She initially carried up to 2,260 tonnes (2,220 long tons) of coal, although this was later reduced to 1,870 tonnes (1,840 long tons), which gave her a range of 5,100 nautical miles (9,400 km; 5,900 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).

Ernest Renan's main armament consisted of four 50-caliber Canon de 194 mm Modèle 1902 guns mounted in twin gun turrets fore and aft. Her intermediate armament was twelve 45-caliber Canon de 164 mm Modèle 1893-96 guns. Eight of these were in single turrets on the forecastle deck and the other four were in casemates. For anti-torpedo boat defence she carried sixteen 65-millimeter (2.6 in) guns and eight 47-millimeter (1.9 in) Hotchkiss guns. She was also armed with two submerged 450-millimetre (18 in) torpedo tubes. During World War I, some of her lighter guns were replaced by anti-aircraft guns, but details are lacking.

The waterline armored belt of Ernest Renan was 152 millimeters (6.0 in) thick amidships and extended from 1.35 meters (4 ft 5 in) below the waterline to 2.31 meters (7 ft 7 in) above it. The armor thinned to 102 millimeters (4.0 in) forward of the foremast and 84 millimeters (3.3 in) aft of the mainmast. It did not extend all the way to the stern and terminated in a 89-millimeter (3.5 in) bulkhead. The upper strake of armor was 36–58 millimeters (1.4–2.3 in) thick and extended to the upper deck. The curved protective deck had a thickness of 46 millimeters (1.8 in) along its centerline that increased to 66 millimeters (2.6 in) at its outer edges and 71 millimeters (2.8 in) over the rudder. A watertight internal cofferdam, filled with cellulose, ran the length of the ship between the upper and main decks.

The main gun turrets had 203-millimeter (8.0 in) thick sides and 51-millimeter (2 in) roofs and the intermediate turrets were protected by 170-millimeter (6.5 in) sides and had 30-millimeter (1.2 in) roofs. The supports for the turrets ranged from 102 to 183 millimeters (4 to 7.2 in) in thickness for the main turrets and 64 to 132 millimeters (2.5 to 5.2 in) for the intermediate turrets. The conning tower was 203 mm thick.

Construction and career
Ernest Renan, named after the philosopher and philologist Ernest Renan, was built at the Chantiers de Penhoët shipyard in Saint-Nazaire. Her keel was laid down on 21 October 1903 and she was launched on 9 April 1906. Fitting-out work was completed by early 1909, and she was commissioned into the French Navy in February. After entering service, Ernest Renan was assigned to the cruiser squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet, based in Toulon. In April 1912, she was assigned to the 1st Light Squadron, along with the two Edgar Quinet-class cruisers.

World War I

French_cruiser_Ernest_Renan.jpg
Ernest Renan steaming at high speed

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Ernest Renan and the armored cruisers Edgar Quinet and Jules Michelet were mobilized as the First Light Division and tasked with hunting down the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and her consort Breslau. These ships, along with a flotilla of twelve destroyers, was to steam to Philippeville on 4 August, but the German ships had bombarded the port the previous day. This attack, coupled with reports that suggested the Germans would try to break out of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic, prompted the French high command to send Ernest Renan and the First Light Division further west, to Algiers.

After the German ships escaped to Constantinople, rather than attack the French troop transports from North Africa as had been expected, Ernest Renan joined the rest of the French fleet in its blockade of the Adriatic Sea. The fleet, commanded by Admiral Augustin Boué de Lapeyrère, had assembled by the night of 15 August; the following morning, it conducted a sweep into the Adriatic and encountered the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Zenta. In the ensuing Battle of Antivari, Zenta was sunk, with no losses on the French side. The French fleet then withdrew due to the threat of Austro-Hungarian U-boats in the area.

On 8 January 1916, Ernest Renan, Edgar Quinet, Waldeck-Rousseau and Jules Ferry embarked a contingent of Chasseurs Alpins (mountain troops) to seize the Greek island of Corfu. The cruisers sent the troops ashore on the night of 10 January; the Greek officials on the island protested the move but offered no resistance.[9] On 22 December, Ernest Renan collided with an Italian steamer, several passengers of which drowned in the accident. Ernest Renan spent the rest of the war in the Mediterranean and did not see further action.

Postwar
Shortly after the end of the war, British and French warships began to operate in the Black Sea in what became a large-scale intervention in the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks. Ernest Renan was among the first Allied warships to enter the area; she arrived in Novorossiysk with the British light cruiser HMS Liverpool and two torpedo boats on 23 November 1918. On 18 March 1921, the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Georgia was evacuated on board Ernest Renan to France after the Red Army invasion of Georgia.

After returning to France, the ship's mainmast was removed to allow her to tow a balloon and anti-aircraft guns were installed on the roofs of the after 164 mm gun turrets. Ernest Renan finished her active career as a gunnery training ship from 1927 to 1929, after which she was stricken from the naval register. During her tenure in the gunnery school, she was commanded by Émile Muselier, who went on to serve as the commander of the Free French Naval Forces during World War II. In 1931, the old cruiser was expended as a target ship for aircraft and naval gunners




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Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1910 – Launch of HMS Colossus, the lead ship of her class of two dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the first decade of the 20th century.


HMS Colossus
was the lead ship of her class of two dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the first decade of the 20th century. She spent her whole career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets, often serving as a flagship. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during World War I generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. Colossus was the only dreadnought from the main body of the Grand Fleet to be hit during the Battle of Jutland, although she suffered only minor damage.[1] The ship was deemed obsolete after the war and was reduced to reserve and then became a training ship. Colossus was hulked in 1923 and sold for scrap in 1928.

British_Battleships_of_the_First_World_War_Q38500.jpg

Design and description
The design of the Colossus class was derived from that of the earlier HMS Neptune with redistributed armour and more powerful torpedoes. Colossus had an overall length of 545 feet 9 inches (166.3 m), a beam of 86 feet 8 inches (26.4 m), and a normal draught of 27 feet (8.2 m). She displaced 20,030 long tons (20,350 t) at normal load and 23,266 long tons (23,639 t) at deep load. In 1911 her crew numbered 751 officers and ratings.

Colossus_class_diagrams_Brasseys_1915.jpg
Right elevation and plan from Brassey's Naval Annual 1915. This diagram shows masts for HMS Neptune as the Colossus class had only a foremast, positioned behind the forward funnel.

Colossus was powered by two sets of Parsons direct-drive steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from eighteen Babcock & Wilcox boilers. The turbines were rated at 25,000 shp (19,000 kW) and were intended to give the ship a maximum speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). During her full-power, eight-hour sea trials on 30 March 1911, she reached a top speed of 21.6 knots (40.0 km/h; 24.9 mph) from 29,296 shp (21,846 kW) in a moderate storm. The Colossus-class ships carried enough coal and fuel oil to give them a range of 6,680 nautical miles (12,370 km; 7,690 mi) at a cruising speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).

Armament and armour
The Colossus class was equipped with ten breech-loading (BL) 12-inch (305 mm) Mark XI guns in five hydraulically powered twin-gun turrets, three along the centreline and the remaining two as wing turrets. The centreline turrets were designated 'A', 'X' and 'Y', from front to rear, and the port and starboard wing turrets were 'P' and 'Q' respectively. Their secondary armament consisted of sixteen BL 4-inch (102 mm) Mark VII guns. Ten of these were mounted in the forward superstructure and six in the aft superstructure in single mounts. Four 3-pounder (1.9 in (47 mm)) saluting guns were also carried. The ships were equipped with three 21-inch (533 mm) submerged torpedo tubes, one on each broadside and another in the stern, for which 18 torpedoes were provided.

They had a waterline belt of Krupp cemented armour that was 11 inches (279 mm) thick between the fore and aftmost barbettes that did not cover the full length of the ships. Above this was a strake of 8 inches (203 mm) armour. The forward oblique 4-inch bulkheads connected the forward barbette to the side armour. Similarly, the aft bulkhead connected them to the rearmost barbette, although it was 8 inches thick. The three centreline barbettes were protected by armour 10 inches (254 mm) thick above the main deck and thinned to 4 inches below it. The wing barbettes were similar except that they had 11 inches of armour on their outer faces. The gun turrets had 11-inch faces and sides with 3-inch (76 mm) roofs.

The three armoured decks ranged in thickness from 1.5 to 4 inches (38 to 102 mm) with the greater thicknesses outside the central armoured citadel. The front and sides of the conning tower were protected by 11-inch plates, although the rear and roof were 8 inches and 3 inches thick respectively. The torpedo control tower aft had 3-inch sides and a 2-inch roof. In an effort to reduce weight, the Colossus-class ships reverted to the inadequate underwater protection scheme of HMS Dreadnought and their anti-torpedo bulkheads only protected the shell rooms and magazines, although they had a maximum thickness of 3 inches.

Modifications
Sometime in 1912, the compass platform was extended forward to accommodate a rangefinder. After the start of the war in August 1914, a pair of 3-inch anti-aircraft (AA) guns were added. A fire-control directorwas installed on a platform below the spotting top before December 1915. Approximately 50 long tons (51 t) of additional deck armour was added after the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. Around the same time, four 4-inch guns were removed from the aft superstructure. By April 1917, Colossus was equipped with single 4-inch and 3-inch AA guns and the forward group of 4-inch guns had been enclosed in casemates. The stern torpedo tube was removed in 1917–1918 and a high-angle rangefinder was fitted on the spotting top in 1918. The AA guns were removed in 1919–1920 and some 4-inch guns were removed during her September–October 1921 refit. In addition, some machinery was removed during the refit to render her non-combat worthy in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty.

1280px-HMS_Colossus_LOC_ggbain_16825.jpg

Construction
Colossus, named after the Colossus of Rhodes, was the fifth ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy (RN). The ship was ordered on 1 June 1909 and laid down at Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering at their shipyard in Greenock on 8 July. She was launchedon 9 April 1910 and completed in July 1911 at the cost of £1,672,102, including her armament. The ship began trials on 28 February that lasted until July. Colossus commissioned at Devonport on 8 August and was assigned to the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet. This was redesignated as the 2nd Battle Squadron (BS) on 1 May 1912. The ship participated in the Parliamentary Naval Review on 9 July at Spithead and became the temporary flagship of the squadron while her sister ship, Hercules, was being refitted in November–December. During this time, she conducted gunnery practice off Portland at a range of 14,000 yards (13,000 m), the longest shoot performed by any ship of the RN before the start of the war. Shortly afterwards, Colossus was transferred to the 1st BS. She visited Cherbourg, France, with part of the fleet in March 1913

Colossus_NH_110246.jpg
Colossus at anchor in Scapa Flow with other ships of the Grand Fleet, 1916


HMS_Hercules.jpg
Hercules at anchor in Scapa Flow, circa 1916–1917

The Colossus-class battleships were a pair of dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy (RN) at the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the last 12-inch-gunned (305 mm) battleships built for the RN. The sister ships spent their whole careers assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets, often serving as flagships. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, and the inconclusive Action of 19 August several months later, their service during the First World War generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.

The Colossus class were deemed obsolete by the end of the war in 1918 and were reduced to reserve the following year. Hercules was sold for scrap in 1921, although Colossus was briefly used as a training ship. She was hulked in 1923 and sold for scrap five years later.

Unbenannt.JPG

HMS_Hercules_(aft_deck).jpg
Aft turrets of Hercules



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1914 – Mexican Revolution: One of the world's first naval/air skirmishes takes place off the coast of western Mexico.
The Action of 9 April 1914 was an important turning point in naval and aviation history. On the said date one of the first naval/air skirmishes took place.



The Action of 9 April 1914 was an important turning point in naval and aviation history. On the said date one of the first naval/air skirmishes took place. This engagement took place off the coast of western Mexicoduring the Mexican Revolution. The action was part of the naval campaign off Topolobampo at the edge of the Gulf of California. A Constitutionalist biplane dropped bombs on two Huertista gunboats; they all missed.

Sonora_aircraft.jpg
Captain Camina and his biplane which attacked Guerrero and Morelos in Topolobampo Bay

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Background

After four engagements with the Federals, Lieutenant Hilario Malpica, of the gunboat Tampico, was awarded the rank of Captain, apparently by a Constitutionalist commander, General Álvaro Obregón. Tampico sat inside the bar at Topolobampo, partially sunk and blockaded. When President Francisco I. Madero took office, he sponsored five Mexicans to travel to Long Island, New York, to train as pilots at the Moisant International Aviators School. The "Famous Five" were Gustavo Salinas Camiña, Alberto Salinas Carranza, Horacio Ruiz Gaviño with two of his brothers, Juan Pablo Aldasoro and Eduardo Aldasoro Suárez. Camina would eventually be in service during the Mexican Revolution where he was summoned by General Obregon to break the blockade of Topolobampo.

Action
On April 9, 1914, Captain Camina lifted off from an airfield constructed behind Topolobampo for an attack run on the gunboats Guerrero and Morelos, which were under the command of Captain Navio Torres of the Guerrero. Camina was armed with five explosives, which when dropped would detonate upon impact. He flew a Glenn L. Martin Company biplane. The Guerrero was armed with four 4 inch guns; it is not known what Morelos was armed with but most likely 4 inch guns as well. In addition, the crews of the gunboats had rifles and pistols. Captain Camina entered Topolobampo Bay, there he sighted the two Huertista gunboats at anchor. Little is known but Camina remained high in the air.

The aircraft was spotted by lookouts aboard Guerrero and Morelos, the crews were ordered to take up small arms and fire on the biplane. With shots whizzing by, Captain Camina continued his attack run until over the target, he quickly looked over the side and dropped the five bombs over the warships which were anchored close to each other. The bombs fell and Camina turned and headed for home. It is believed the rebel biplane was not hit by small arms fire. The bombs all failed to hit the target, although a couple did detonate near Guerrero. Captain Camina was too high in the sky to have a good chance of hitting the gunboats. Either way, the small engagement became one of the first naval actions involving aircraft.

1280px-AldasoroSalinasRuiz1914.jpg
Five Mexican pilots that attended the Moissant School of aviation. From Left: Alberto Salinas Carranza, Gustavo Salinas Camiña, Juan Pablo Aldasoro Suárez, Horacio Ruiz Gaviño, Eduardo Aldasoro Suárez.

Aftermath
The commanders of Guerrero and Morelos would be subsequently forced to abandon the blockade of Topolobampo, in order to resupply and coal their vessels. The end of the blockade gave Tampico a chance to take the fight to the federal gunboats. She would encounter only one, the Guerrero, at the final Fourth Battle of Topolobampo. Morelos would not participate, she was destroyed during the Siege of Mazatlan, where she ran aground in the harbor and over time was destroyed by both the rebel and federal forces.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1940 – Launch of HMS Howe (pennant number 32), the last of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy. Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company,


HMS
Howe
(pennant number 32) was the last of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy. Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, she was laid down on 1 June 1937 and launched 9 April 1940. She was originally to have been named Beatty but this was changed to Howe, after Admiral Richard Howe. Howe was completed on 29 August 1942 after her building time was extended, as needed war supplies were diverted to work of a higher priority such as the construction and repair of both merchant ships and escort ships. Like her sister-ship Anson, Howe spent most of her career in the Arctic providing cover for Russian convoys.

In 1943 Howe took part in Operation Husky and bombarded Trapani naval base and Favignana in support of the allied invasions. Along with King George V, Howe escorted two surrendered Italian battleships to Alexandria. Howe was also sent to the Pacific and attached to Task Force 113, where she provided naval bombardments for the Allied landings at Okinawa on 1 April 1945.

Following the end of the war, Howe spent four years as flagship of the Training Squadron at Portland, before she was placed in reserve in 1950. The battleship was marked for disposal in 1957, sold for scrap in 1958, and completely broken up by 1961.

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Howe transiting Suez Canal on her way to the Pacific, July 1944

Construction
In the aftermath of the First World War, the Washington Naval Treaty was drawn up in 1922 in an effort to stop an arms race developing between Britain, Japan, France, Italy and the United States. This treaty limited the number of ships each nation was allowed to build and capped the tonnage of all capital ships at 35,000 tons.[4] These restrictions were extended in 1930 through the Treaty of London, however, by the mid-1930s Japan and Italy had withdrawn from both of these treaties and the British became concerned about a lack of modern battleships within their navy. As a result, the Admiralty ordered the construction of a new battleship class: the King George V class. Due to the provisions of both the Washington Naval Treaty and the Treaty of London, both of which were still in effect when the King George Vs were being designed, the main armament of the class was limited to the 14-inch (356 mm) guns prescribed under these instruments. They were the only battleships built at that time to adhere to the treaty and even though it soon became apparent to the British that the other signatories to the treaty were ignoring its requirements, it was too late to change the design of the class before they were laid down in 1937.

The keel of Howe, the last ship of the King George V class, was laid on 1 June 1937 at the Fairfield Shipyard in Govan. She was originally to have been named HMS Beatty, after Admiral David Beatty, commander of the British battlecruiser squadron at the Battle of Jutland, but the name was changed to HMS Howe, after Admiral Richard Howe. Howe was launched on 9 April 1940 and completed on 20 August 1942. She carried improved anti-aircraft armament and radar equipment as a result of lessons already learned in World War II.

HMS_Howe_(32)_at_Auckland_1945.jpg
Howe while visiting Auckland, 1945

Design
Main article: King George V-class battleship (1939)
Howe displaced 39,150 long tons (39,780 t) as built and 44,510 long tons (45,220 t) fully loaded. She had an overall length of 744 feet 11.5 inches (227.1 m), a beam of 103 feet (31.4 m) and a draught of 29 feet 6 inches (9.0 m). Her designed metacentric height was 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) at normal load and 8 feet 1 inch (2.46 m) at deep load.

The ship was powered by Parsons geared steam turbines, driving four propeller shafts. Steam was provided by eight Admiralty 3-drum water-tube boilers, which normally delivered 100,000 shaft horsepower(75,000 kW) but could produce 110,000 shp (82,000 kW) at emergency overload. This gave Howe a top speed of 27.62 knots (51.15 km/h; 31.78 mph). The ship carried 4,210 long tons (4,300 t) of fuel oil. She also carried 183 long tons (200 t) of diesel oil, 262 long tons (300 t) of reserve feed water and 442 long tons (400 t) of freshwater. At full speed Howe had a range of 2,600 nautical miles (4,800 km; 3,000 mi) at 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph).

Armament
HMS_Howe_(32)_c1943.jpg
HMS Howe, 1943

Howe mounted 10 BL 14-inch (356 mm) Mk VII guns. The 14-inch guns were mounted in one Mark II twin turret forward and two Mark III quadruple turrets, one forward and one aft. The guns could be elevated 40 degrees and depressed 3 degrees. Training arcs were: turret "A", 286 degrees; turret "B", 270 degrees; turret "Y", 270 degrees. Training and elevating was done by hydraulic drives, with rates of two and eight degrees per second, respectively. A full gun broadside weighed 15,950 pounds (7,230 kg), and a salvo could be fired every 40 seconds. The secondary armament consisted of 16 QF 5.25-inch (133 mm) Mk I guns which were mounted in eight twin mounts, weighing 81 tons each. The maximum range of the Mk I guns was 24,070 yd (22,010 m) at 45 degrees with HE shell at 2,672 ft/s (814 m/s), the anti-aircraft ceiling was 49,000 feet (14,935.2 m). The guns could be elevated to 70 degrees and depressed to 5 degrees. The nominal rate of fire was ten to twelve rounds per minute, but in practice the guns could only fire seven to eight rounds per minute. Upon commissioning, along with her main and secondary batteries, Howe carried 48 QF 2 pdr 1.575-inch (40.0 mm) Mk.VIII "pom-pom" anti-aircraft guns and 18 20 mm (0.8 in) Oerlikon AA guns

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Howe (right), and Vanguard in reserve at Devonport, 1956


The King George V-class battleships were the most modern British battleships in commission during World War II. Five ships of this class were built: HMS King George V (1940), HMS Prince of Wales (1941), HMS Duke of York (1941), HMS Howe (1942) and HMS Anson (1942).

The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 limited all of the number, displacement, and armament of warships built following its ratification, and this was extended by the First London Naval Treaty but these treaties were due to expire in 1936. With increased tension between Britain, the United States, Japan, France and Italy, it was supposed by the designers of these battleships that the treaty might not be renewed and the ships of the King George V class were designed with this possibility in mind.

All five ships saw combat during World War II, with King George V and Prince of Wales being involved in the action on 24 May to 27 May 1941 that resulted in the German battleship Bismarck being sunk. Following this on 25 October 1941, Prince of Wales was sent to Singapore arriving on 2 December and becoming the flagship of Force Z. On 10 December, Prince of Wales was attacked by Japanese bombers and sank with the loss of 327 of its men. In the aftermath of the sinking, King George V, Duke of York, Howe and Anson provided escort duty to convoys bound for Russia. On 1 May 1942, King George V collided with the destroyer HMS Punjabi, resulting in King George V being sent to Gladstone docks for repairs on 9 May, before returning to escort duty on 1 July 1942. In October 1942 Duke of York was sent to Gibraltar as the new flagship of Force H and supported the Allied landings in North Africa in November. Anson and Howe would also provide cover for multiple convoys bound for Russia from late 1942 until 1 March 1943, when Howe provided convoy cover for the last time. In May 1943 King George V and Howe were moved to Gibraltar in preparation for Operation Husky. The two ships bombarded Trapani naval base and Favignana on 11–12 July and also provided cover for Operation Avalanche on 7 September to 14 September. During this time Duke of York and Anson participated in Operation Gearbox, which was designed to draw attention away from Operation Husky. Duke of York was also instrumental in sinking the German battleship Scharnhorst on 25 December 1943. This battle was also the last time that British and German capital ships fought each other.

In late March 1945, King George V and Howe were sent to the Pacific with other Royal Navy vessels as a separate group to function with the U.S. Navy's Task Force 57. On 4 May 1945, King George V and Howe led a forty-five-minute bombardment of Japanese air facilities in the Ryukyu Islands. King George V fired her guns in anger for the last time in a night bombardment of Hamamatsu on 29 July and 30 July 1945. Duke of Yorkand Anson were also dispatched to the Pacific, but arrived too late to participate in hostilities. On 15 August Duke of York and Anson accepted the surrender of Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong and along with King George V were present for the official Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. Following the end of World War II, the ships were phased out of service and by 1957 all of the ships had been sold off for scrap, a process that was completed by 1958.

Unbenannt.JPG

HMS_Prince_Of_Wales_in_Singapore.jpg
Prince of Wales


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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1940 - The Action off Lofoten was a naval battle fought between the German Kriegsmarine and the British Royal Navy off the southern coast of the Lofoten Islands, Norway during World War II.


The Action off Lofoten was a naval battle fought between the German Kriegsmarine and the British Royal Navy off the southern coast of the Lofoten Islands, Norway during World War II.
A German squadron under Vizeadmiral Günther Lütjens consisting of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau met and engaged a British squadron under Admiral Sir William Whitworth consisting of the battlecruiser HMS Renown and 9 destroyers. After a short engagement, Gneisenau suffered moderate damage and the Germans withdrew.

Lofotencapitalships.jpg
The capital ships that fought during the Action off Lofoten: Scharnhorst (top), HMS Renown (middle), and Gneisenau (bottom).

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Background
The German invasion of Norway, Operation Weserübung, began on 9 April 1940. In order to prevent any disruption of the invasion by the British, the Kriegsmarine had previously dispatched a force under Vice Admiral Günther Lütjens to protect the troop convoy landing at Narvik. The German squadron consisted of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, and 10 destroyers. With intelligence suggesting that the Germans were massing ships, the British sent out a squadron under Admiral Sir William Whitworth to deny German access to neutral Norwegian waters by laying mines in Operation Wilfred and prevent any German naval movements into the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after departing German waters on 7 April, Lütjens′ force was attacked by British bombers which did no damage to the squadron. On 8 April, Admiral Hipper and the German destroyers were dispatched to Narvik while the German capital ships headed north for a diversionary manoeuver into the North Atlantic. As Admiral Hipper left, she met and engaged the British destroyer HMS Glowworm which had become separated from Admiral Whitworth′s main force. Though Vizeadmiral Lütjens—and the two German battleships—was nearby, their assistance was deemed unnecessary, and Admiral Hipper sank Glowworm, though taking some damage in return. Whitworth′s main force then caught sight of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at 03:30 on 9 April and moved to engage the battleships.

Whitworth′s force consisted of the battlecruiser Renown and the nine remaining destroyers. HMS Hotspur, Hardy, Havock, and Hunter were "H"-class destroyers while HMS Esk was an "E"-class destroyer and HMS Ivanhoe, Icarus, and Impulsive were of the "I" class. HMS Greyhound was of the "G" class. Renown had been completely reconstructed between 1936 and 1939, with lighter machinery, increased armour and upgraded armament. She mounted a main battery of six 42-calibre 15-inch guns with improved shells and greater range and a dual-purpose secondary battery consisting of twenty 4.5 inch (QF 4.5 inch L/45) arranged in ten turrets. The four "I" and "E"-class destroyers had been rigged for mine laying and most of their normal armament had been removed; they only had two 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns each. Greyhound and the "H"-class destroyers were more capable ships, each armed with eight torpedo tubes and four 4.7-inch guns. Of the H-class destroyers, Hardy was built as a destroyer leader and thus had an additional 4.7-inch gun.

The German force consisted of the two Scharnhorst-class battleships, each with a main battery of nine 28.3 cm guns and a secondary battery of twelve 15 cm guns. In a close range engagement, the British force was superior, but at a distance the guns on Whitworth′s destroyers were outranged and the German firepower was greater. The German force also held a speed advantage over Renown, having a top speed of 32 knots(59 km/h; 37 mph) to the battlecruiser′s 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph), but was slower than the destroyers, which could steam at 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph). Thus, Lütjens clearly held an advantage over Renown, though the German force was significantly vulnerable to attack from Whitworth′s destroyers.

800px-UK-NWE-Norway-1a.jpg
British and German naval movements off Norway between 7 and 9 April 1940.

Battle
At 03:50, Gneisenau sighted Renown on its radar (but failed to identify her) and the German ships cleared for action. Due to poor weather conditions, neither side was able to engage the other until 04:05, as heavy seas and poor visibility prevented the two squadrons from closing within range. Renown began the action by attacking Gneisenau with her 15-inch guns. The German warships returned fire at 04:11 with Gneisenau scoring two hits on Renown with her 11 inch shells. Both shells failed to explode, with the first hitting the British battlecruiser′s foremast and the second passing through the ship near the steering gear room. About the same time, Renown struck Gneisenau with two shells, with a third a little later. These hits damaged the German battleship's director tower, forward range finders, and aft turret putting it out of action, a port anti-aircraft gun was also hit. Renown then moved her fire to Scharnhorst who had moved to hide Gneisenau with smoke. Both German ships suffered damage from the heavy seas as they sought to avoid Renown's fire and both suffered serious electrical problems in their turrets as a result, resulting in poor output from their guns. Renown also suffered some damage to her starboard bulge from the rough seas and firing of her guns, limiting speed. These early salvos were sporadic and lasted until 05:00, when the engagement was broken off for 20 minutes due to waves breaking over Renown′s forward turrets as the German ships headed directly into the storm to escape. By this time Renown's destroyer escort had fallen back due to the severe weather and Scharnhorst started to suffer radar issues at about 04.20.

At 05:20, the action reignited, with ineffectual fire coming from both sides. With both ships damaged by their speed through the storm, Gneisenau missing a turret and Scharnhorst's radar out of action, as well as fearing a torpedoattack on the damaged Gneisenau, the Germans increased their speed and disengaged at 06:15. The Germans mistook Whitworth′s smaller vessels for much more powerful capital ships and as a result thought they were heavily outgunned. Damaged and determined to steer clear of what he thought was a superior force, Lütjens managed to shake off the British squadron and end the action by sailing west into the Arctic Ocean. With her damaged bulge and the issues of firing forwards into a storm Renown was forced to break off the search, instead moving to cut off the ships should they turn round.

Renown fired 230 15 inch and 1065 4.5 inch rounds during the action, while Scharnhorst fired 182 11 inch rounds and Gneisenau only managed to fire 54 11 inch rounds.

Aftermath
Despite the Royal Navy winning a minor tactical victory over the Kriegsmarine, the Germans considered the engagement a strategic success due to the fact that Whitworth′s force was delayed long enough to keep it from interfering with the landings at Narvik. After the action had ended, Whitworth′s force continued to search for the German capital ships. With the British squadron occupied, the German destroyer-transports managed to make their way through to Narvik after destroying two Norwegian coastal defence ships in their path. After their engagement with Renown, the German battleships linked up with Admiral Hipper on the 11th near Trondheim. From there, they returned to Germany, reaching Wilhelmshaven on 12 April where the battle and weather damage to Scharnhorst and Gneisenau was repaired.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 April 1940 - The Battle of Drøbak Sound took place in Drøbak Sound, the northernmost part of the outer Oslofjord in southern Norway.
German cruiser Blücher was sunk by Norwegian shore defences, killing 830 of 2,202 troops and crew aboard.



The Battle of Drøbak Sound took place in Drøbak Sound, the northernmost part of the outer Oslofjord in southern Norway, on 9 April 1940. It marked the end of the "Phoney War" and the beginning of World War II in Western Europe.

A German fleet led by the cruiser Blücher was dispatched up the Oslofjord to begin the German invasion of Norway, with the objective of seizing the Norwegian capital of Oslo and capturing King Haakon VII and his government. The fleet was engaged in the fjord by Oscarsborg Fortress, an ageing coastal installation near Drøbak, that had been relegated to training coastal artillery servicemen, leading the Germans to disregard its defensive value. However, unbeknownst to German military intelligence, the fortress' most powerful weapon was a torpedo battery, which would be used to great effect against the German invaders.

The fortress' armaments worked flawlessly despite their age, sinking the Blücher in the sound and forcing the German fleet to fall back. The loss of the German flagship, which carried most of the troops and Gestapo agents intended to occupy Oslo, delayed the German occupation long enough for King Haakon VII and his government to escape from the capital.

German_cruiser_Blücher_sinking.jpg
Blücher sinking in the Oslofjord


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Before the battle
As the political situation was chaotic, the ageing 64-year-old commander, Oberst (Colonel) Birger Eriksen, had not received any clear orders and had received no notice as to whether the approaching warships were German or Allied. He was well aware that Norway was officially neutral, but that the government was inclined to side with the British in case of direct Norwegian involvement in the war.

Apart from the officers and NCOs, almost all soldiers manning the fortress were fresh recruits, having only been conscripted seven days before, on 2 April. Because of the influx of 450 fresh recruits, the fortress' naval mines were not deployed on 9 April. Part of the recruits' training was to lay the mine barrier, a process planned for a few days later.

Torpedo battery
The commander of the torpedo battery at Oscarsborg had at the time of the battle been on sick leave since March 1940. Due to this, the retired Kommandørkaptein (Commander Senior Grade) Andreas Anderssen, who lived in nearby Drøbak, had been assigned as temporary commander for the battery. As an unidentified flotilla started forcing its way past the outer fortifications in the south of the Oslofjord, late at night on 8 April, Oberst Eriksen called Anderssen in and had him come down to the fortress. Anderssen donned his old uniform and was transported by boat over the fjord to the torpedo battery. Anderssen would show himself worthy of the important task of leading the fortress' most lethal weapon system; having first served at the torpedo battery in 1909, he knew the ageing weapons intimately. When Anderssen had been called back into duty a month previously, he had been a pensioner for 13 years, having originally retired from his post as commander of the torpedo battery in 1927. The battery had three torpedo tunnels which could fire six torpedoes without reloading and a total of nine torpedoes were stored and ready for use.

Battle
Main Battery rounds


28_cm_gun_at_Oscarsborg_Fortress.jpg
One of the three 28 cm (11 in) main battery guns at Oscarsborg

While the main combat station for the Main Battery and the commander of Oscarsborg fortress was on the island Håøya north-west of South Kaholmen, due to the special circumstances in 1940, Oberst Eriksen took position in the backup station on the eastern flank of the main battery at South Kaholmen.
At 04:21 on 9 April, Eriksen gave the Main Battery guns the order to fire at the lead ship of the unknown flotilla forcing its way towards Oslo. Upon giving the command, Eriksen was questioned. He responded with his now famous response; "Either I will be decorated or I will be court martialled, Fire!" Two rounds from the 28 cm (11.0 in) Krupp guns Moses and Aron engaged the German cruiser Blücher at 1,800 m (2,000 yd) range. The two Norwegian guns had been loaded with live, 255 kg (562 lb) high-explosive shells; firing them "in anger" was a violation of the pre-war Norwegian rules of engagement which dictated warning shots be fired first, as had been the case at Oslofjord Fortress further down the fjord. Colonel Eriksen later explained his decision by alluding to the fact that the German naval force already had forced their way past the Oslofjord Fortress' forts and had received both warning shots and live rounds from these more outlying coastal fortifications. As the vessels had continued up the fjord toward the capital, Eriksen was of the opinion that he had the right to consider them enemy warships and to engage them as such.



Karte_Oscarsborg.png
Map of Oslofjord and the fortress of Oscarsborg

The first 28 cm shell hit Blücher right in front of the aft mast, and set the midship area up to the fore mast on fire. The second 28 cm round hit the base of the forward 20.3 cm (8.0 in) gun turret shortly thereafter, throwing large parts of it into the fjord and igniting further fires on board. There was only time for the Main Battery to fire these two rounds, due to their slow reload time with only 30 untrained recruits manning them at the time. Only one gun crew of actual artillerymen was available, and two guns could only be made operational by splitting the real gunners between the two guns and using non-combatant privates to assist the gunners. The personnel pressed into service on the main guns included cooks woken up to man the Main Battery. There was no time to reload; there was not even time to fire the third gun, Josva, which was loaded but unmanned.
The reason for the significant effect of the two 28 cm rounds on Blücher was that the first round penetrated the side of the ship and exploded inside a magazine containing cans of oil, smoke dispensers, incendiary bombs, aircraft bombs for the cruiser's Arado Ar 196 reconnaissance floatplanes and depth charges. The bulkheads on that deck were blown out and the burning oil developed into an intense fire. The second 28 cm shell also knocked out the electricity central for the ship's main guns, rendering them unable to return fire.

Kopås and Husvik batteries
While fire raged aboard Blücher, the secondary Norwegian coastal batteries fired at her with guns ranging in calibre from the two small 57 mm (2.24 in) pieces at Husvik, intended to protect the fortress' missing mine barrier, to the three 15 cm (5.9 in) guns of the Kopås Battery on the eastern side of the fjord. The larger guns wrought havoc on board Blücher, while the 57 mm guns concentrated on the cruiser's superstructure and the anti-aircraft weapons, and were partially successful in suppressing the fire from her light artillery as Blücher slowly sailed past the fortress. The Husvik battery had to be abandoned when Blücher passed in front of it and fired her light AA guns directly down into the positions. Although the main building at the battery caught fire, the Norwegians suffered no casualties. In all, thirteen 15 cm rounds and around thirty 57 mm shells hit the German cruiser as it passed the guns of the fortress' secondary batteries. One of the 15 cm rounds from Kopås disabled Blücher's steering gear and forced the cruiser's crew to steer her using the engines and propeller to avoid running aground. Blücher's fire-fighting system was also knocked out by shell fragments from the two Norwegian batteries, making attempts to control the fires aboard the ship and rescue the many wounded much more difficult.

Identity of the intruders becomes known
As the now crippled Blücher passed the fortress guns, a sudden outburst of voices from the burning cruiser could be heard above the battle noises; Norwegian sources state that the crew broke into singing Deutschland, Deutschland über alles. Only at this point did it become clear to the men of the fortress whom they were fighting. Later, at 04:35, Oberst Eriksen received a message from the Norwegian minesweeper HNoMS Otra confirming that the intruding ships were German. The message had been sent to the naval base in Horten at 04:10, but the massive communications problems that severely hampered the efforts of the Norwegian military throughout the Norwegian Campaign had prevented it from reaching Oscarsborg in time.

The return fire from Blücher was ineffective, with the light artillery mostly pointing too high and the main batteries, 20.3 cm guns, unable to fire due to the damage caused by the second 28 cm round from Oscarsborg's Main Battery. The shelling lasted only for five to seven minutes. When the guns on both sides silenced, with all the "passengers" still under deck—"there was a dead silence on board the whole ship, no movement whatsoever was identified".

Anderssen launches the torpedoes
After passing the line of fire of the fortress' gun batteries, the cruiser was burning and severely damaged, but her captain still hoped he would be able to save his ship. At this point, however, Blücher entered the sights of Anderssen as she slid past the torpedo battery at a range of only 500 m (550 yd). The retired torpedoes the officer was aiming at the cruiser were 40-year-old Whitehead weapons of Austro-Hungarian manufacture. These torpedoes had been practice-launched well over 200 times before, but no one was certain if they would function or not. As Anderssen pushed the firing mechanism, at approximately 04:30, the weapons turned out to work perfectly, first one and then another torpedo raced out of their underwater exit tunnels at 3 m (9.8 ft) below the surface toward the burning warship. As Anderssen had overestimated the speed of his target slightly, the first torpedo hit near Blücher's forward turret (nicknamed "Anton"), creating only inconsequential damage. The aim was corrected for the second torpedo launch and the torpedo struck Blücher amidships, hitting the same general area as the first 28 cm shell. This caused catastrophic damage to the cruiser and blew open many of her bulkheads, allowing water to flood her decks while she was burning furiously. The third torpedo launcher was left loaded in case more ships were to follow close behind Blücher. After firing, the two other tubes were reloaded and readied for the next target.

End of Blücher


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Blücher on fire and sinking in Drøbak Sound

With all engines knocked out by the second torpedo hit, the cruiser anchored near the Askholmene islets just north and out of the arc of fire of the fort's guns to try to fight the ferocious fires raging throughout the vessel. Blücher's torpedoes were fired against land to avoid them exploding in the uncontrolled fires aboard. The crew's struggle ended when, at 05:30, fires reached a midship ammunition hold for the 10.5 cm (4.13 in) Flak guns, blowing a large gap in the ship's side. The magazine blast ruptured the bulkheads between the boiler rooms and tore open the cruiser's fuel bunkers; igniting further fires. By this point, Blücher was doomed.

At 06:22, Blücher sank bow first into the depths of the Oslofjord, first laying over on her port side, then turning upside-down and finally succumbing with her screws the last to disappear below the surface. After the ship had disappeared from the surface, large quantities of oil floated up and covered the close to two thousand sailors and soldiers fighting for their lives in the freezing water. The oil rapidly caught fire, killing hundreds more Germans.


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German survivors, with the sinking Blücher in the background

In all, 650–800 Germans died, and 550 of the approximately 1,400 wet and cold survivors of Blücher were captured by soldiers from Company no. 4 of the Norwegian Royal Guards under the command of Kaptein (Captain) A. J. T. Petersson. In total, some 1,200 of the survivors had made it ashore at Frogn near Drøbak. The guardsmen were supposed to take all the Germans prisoner, but mainly focused on caring for the many wounded and dying. Around 1,000 of the Germans, including Generalmajor Erwin Engelbrecht and Admiral Oskar Kummetz, were eventually moved to a nearby farm and placed under light guard. None of the prisoners were interrogated. By 18:30, the Norwegian soldiers withdrew from the area, abandoning the Germans. Engelbrecht and Kummetz then made their way to Oslo. The leading German officers reached Oslo at 22:00, moving into the Hotel Continental, though without most of the troops intended to occupy the capital. Many of the German wounded were initially taken to Åsgården summer hotel in Åsgårdstrand for medical care, where Norwegian wounded had already been brought. The hotel was the temporary improvised location for the Royal Norwegian Navy Hospital, which had been evacuated from Horten at midnight on 8 April.

Remaining ships retreat
By the time Blücher sank, the remaining naval force destined for Oslo had long since turned around and retreated back down the fjord. Seeing the geysers of water from underwater explosions on Blücher, and unaware of the torpedo battery, the commander of the heavy cruiser Lützow (the recently renamed 'pocket battleship' Deutschland) assumed the flagship had hit mines and at 04:40 the decision was made for the flotilla to turn back and land the invasion forces out of range of the Oscarsborg batteries. The planned coup against Oslo to force the surrender of the Norwegian government was replaced by a land advance up the Oslofjord.

As the force made good its escape, the fortress managed to damage Lützow, the 15 cm guns of the Kopås battery scoring three hits and knocking out the ship's forward 28 cm turret ("Anton"). Kopås kept firing at the retreating ships until they disappeared in the mist at a range of around 3,000 m (3,300 yd). After pulling out of range of the fortress guns, Lützow employed her remaining turret "Bruno" to bombard the defenders from a range of 9–10 km (4.9–5.4 nmi; 5.6–6.2 mi) down the fjord.

Luftwaffe bombing

Oscarsborg_Fortress_under_air_attack,_9_April,_1940.jpg
Oscarsborg's Hovedøya under Luftwaffe attack

The fortress was subjected to heavy Luftwaffe bombing later on the same day, to which the fortress could only reply with two Bofors 40 mm L/60 anti-aircraft (AA) guns and three Colt M/29 7.92 mm (0.312 in) AA machine guns at Seiersten Battery, as well as another four Colt M/29 7.92 mm AA machine guns at Håøya Battery, but again there were no Norwegian casualties. Initially, four machine guns on the roof of the Main Battery also returned fire, but these had to be abandoned early on.

One of the two 40 mm guns became unserviceable after only 22 rounds; the other gun kept firing until 12:00, but to little effect. After a break in the attacks from 12:00 to 13:30, during which time Lützow bombarded Hovedøya, the Luftwaffe bombers returned at 13:30 and soon strafed the remaining Norwegian anti-aircraft guns, forcing the crew to seek shelter in the nearby forest at around 14:00. In all, the fortress was subjected to nearly nine hours of air attack, during which time around five hundred bombs—ranging from 50–200 kg (110–440 lb) in size—were dropped on Oscarsborg. Amongst the bombers that attacked Oscarsborg were twenty-two long-range Junkers Ju 87R "Stuka" dive bombers of Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 under the command of Hauptmann Paul-Werner Hozzel, operating from Kiel-Holtenau airport in northern Germany.

Surrender
Although the German naval attack on Oslo had been thwarted by the actions of Oscarsborg, the city was seized later that day by forces that were airlifted into Fornebu Airport. In light of the fall of the capital, and with news of German landings at the village of Son south of Drøbak, Colonel Eriksen decided that further fighting without adequate infantry support was in vain, and agreed to a ceasefire in the evening of 9 April. The fortress was surrendered intact on the morning of 10 April.

The garrison at the main battery and at Håøya were treated separately by the Germans from those captured from the mainland batteries, and were released a week after the battle. The soldiers and non-commissioned officers captured at the mainland batteries were released three days after the fortress' surrender, while the officers were held as prisoners of war at Fredriksten Fortress. The reserve officers were released on 15 May, while the full-time officers were transferred to Grini prison camp and released in late May 1940.

Aftermath
In one of the more peculiar battles of the war, a hundred year old fortification, manned by raw recruits and pensioners and armed with 40- to 50-year-old weaponry of German and Austro-Hungarian manufacture, had destroyed a ship so new, its crew was still finishing training. Oscarsborg had fulfilled its mission and denied an invader access to the capital. Even though it and the country were ultimately captured and occupied, the effects of delaying the German advance were immediate and considerable. On board Blücher were troops specially designated to capture the King, the Norwegian cabinet, the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the national gold reserve; the delay made it possible for all these to escape. On 9 April, the Storting was able to convene at Elverum and give the cabinet a wide authorization to govern until a Storting could again assemble. Thus, the Norwegian government was able to continue the defence of Norway until it had evacuated to exile in the United Kingdom on 7 June, with the Norwegian Army laying down their arms on 10 June.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_cruiser_Blücher
 
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