Le COMMERCE DE MARSEILLE (1788) - 118 guns ship - leadship of french Commerce de Marseille / Océan class

Uwek

Admin
Staff member
Administrative
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
8,462
Points
728

Location
Vienna, Austria
Commerce de Marseille was a 118-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship of the Océan class. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the chamber of commerce of Marseille.

1.JPG 2.JPG

Built on state-of-the-art plans by Sané, she was dubbed the "finest ship of the century". Her construction was difficult because of a lack of wood, and soon after her completion, she was disarmed, in March 1791.

Commerce-de-marseille-2.jpg
Commerce de Marseille at Toulon in 1788

Commerce de Marseille came under British control during the Siege of Toulon. When the city fell to the French, she evacuated the harbour for Portsmouth. She was briefly used as a stores ship, but on a journey to the Caribbean Sea, in 1795, she was badly damaged in a storm and had to limp back to Portsmouth. She remained there as a hulk until she was broken up in 1856.

3.JPG 4.JPG


pu6037.jpg
Print. Coloured etching showing the the port side of the Commerce de Marseilles (1788), which was captured from the French at the Siege of Toulon and added 29 August 1793. Commerce de Marseiiles was an 118 gun, first rate three deck ship of the line of the French Navy and a lead ship of the Ocean Class. She is shown moored in placid water, the rigging clear, with sails closely furled along the yards of all three masts. The French flag (jack) flies at the bow and stern and the ensign of the French Navy from the main mast

j1853.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with sternboard decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Commerce de Marseilles (captured 1793), a captured French First Rate. The plan illustrates the ship as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard, prior to being fitted as a 120-gun First Rate, three-decker. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-1802]

j1851.jpg
Scale: 1:96. Plan showing the quarterdeck and forecastle, upper deck, and middle deck for Commerce de Marseilles (captured 1793), a captured French First Rate. The plan illustrates the ship as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard, prior to being fitted as a 120-gun First Rate, three-decker. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-1802]

j1852.jpg
Scale: 1:96. Plan showing the gun deck (lower deck), orlop deck, and fore & aft platforms for Commerce de Marseilles (captured 1793), a captured French First Rate. The plan illustrates the ship as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard, prior to being fitted as a 120-gun First Rate, three-decker. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-1802]

l0604.jpg
l6652_002.jpg
Scale: 1:48. A contemporary half block model of the warship Commerce de Marseille (1788), a French 120 gun three decked ship of the line. The hull is carved from a solid block of wood (?) and is painted a metallic copper colour below the main wales. The topsides are painted black, interspersed by the three gundecks highlighted by creamy white horizontal bands. The gunports are let into the hull and painted black. The bow is fitted with head rails just aft of the figurehead (missing) with a stump bowsprit above. All three decks are flush and fitted with stump masts painted an off white colour. The stern is complete with carved galleries, painted black with a rudder below, complete with gudgeons and pintles. The whole model is mounted on a rectangular wooden backboard which is painted a creamy white surrounded by a stained moulded edging. There is a detached plaque which is inscribed "Commerce de Marseille 118, French 1788 Built at Toulon and then the largest ship in the world. Rated as 120 guns in RN but not used. Broken up 1802. Dimensions: - Gundeck 208ft 4in Beam 54ft 9 1/2in"


 

Uwek

Admin
Staff member
Administrative
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
8,462
Points
728

Location
Vienna, Austria
The Océan-class ships of the line were a series of 118-gun three-decker ships of the line of the French Navy, designed by engineer Jacques-Noël Sané. Fifteen were completed from 1788 on, with the last one entering service in 1854; a sixteenth was never completed, and four more were never laid down.

The first two of the series were Commerce de Marseille and États de Bourgogne in the late 1780s. Three ships to the same design followed during the 1790s (a further four ordered in 1793–94 were never built). A second group of eleven were ordered during the First Empire; sometimes described as the Austerlitz class after the first to be ordered, some of the later ships were not launched until after the end of the Napoleonic era, and one was not completed but broken up on the stocks. A 'reduced' (i.e. shortened) version of this design, called the Commerce de Paris class, with only 110 guns, was produced later, of which two examples were completed.

The 5,095-ton 118-gun type was the largest type of ship built up to then, besting the Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad. Up to 1790 Great Britain, the largest of the battle fleet nations, had not built especially large battleships because the need for large numbers of ships had influenced its battleship policy. The French initiated a new phase in battleship competition when they laid down a large number of three-deckers of over 5,000 tons.

Along with the 74-gun of the Téméraire type and the 80-gun of the Tonnant type, the Océan 120-gun type was to become one of the three French standard types of battleships during the war period 1793 to 1815.

These were the most powerful ships of the Napoleonic Wars and a total of ten served during that time. These ships, however, were quite expensive in terms of building materials, artillery and manpower and so were reserved for admirals as their fleet flagships.

Some of the ships spent 40 years on the stocks and were still in service in 1860, three of them having been equipped with auxiliary steam engines in the 1850s.


Design
The design for the first 118-gun three-decker warships originated in 1782 with a design prepared by the shipwright Antoine Groignard. Carrying an extra pair of cannon on each deck (including the quarterdeck), this raised the firepower of these capital ships from 110 to 118 guns, including an unprecedented thirty-two 36-pounder guns in the lowest tier. The French Navy ordered two of these, to be built at Toulon and at Brest, the shipwright entrusted with the construction of the latter ship being Jacques-Noël Sané. However, with the onset of peace following the conclusion of the American War of Independence, these two ships were cancelled in 1783, along with several others. The concept was revived in 1785 when Sané, in conjunction with Jean-Charles de Borda, developed the design of Commerce de Marseille, marking a leap in the evolution of ship of the line design, when the first two ships were re-ordered at Toulon and Brest. The hull was simple with straight horizontal lines, minimal ornaments, and tumblehome. The poop deck was almost integral the gunwale, and the forecastle was minimal.

Ocean-IMG_8745 (1).jpg
Scale model of an Océan-class ship, including the inner disposition of the lower decks, on display at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.

They were highly successful as gun platforms and sailers, a fact which indicates that great improvements had been made in warship design since the late 17th century when battleships of less than half their size were regarded as unwieldy giants which ought to be brought into harbour before the September gales began. However, at least the first two of this class appear to have had less strength than necessary - one (Commerce de Marseille) which was taken by the British in 1793, was never used by them, and the other (by now renamed Ocean) had to be extensively rebuilt after a decade. This indicates that the growth in size of wooden warships caused structural problems which only gradually were solved.

Although these ships were costly, their design changed to become even larger in terms of overall tonnage with the introduction of a second (modified) group in 1806. Mounting 18-pounder cannon on her third gun deck (unheard of in French three-decked ships of the period), Austerlitz set the example for all of the French 118-gun ships to follow.


Ships of the first group
(listed under their names at time of launching, and in order of their launching dates)

1280px-Decoration_pannel_from_Souverain_(1819)_mg_5215.jpg
Aft pannel of Souverain, on display at Toulon naval museum.
Builder: Toulon
Ordered: 1786
Laid down: September 1786 or April 1787
Launched: 7 August 1788
Completed: October 1790
Fate: captured by the English in Toulon on the 29 August 1793 and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Commerce de Marseille. Converted to a floating prison in February 1799, and scrapped in 1802.
Builder: Brest
Ordered: 30 September 1785
Laid down: 12 August 1786 as États de Bourgogne
Launched: 8 November 1790
Completed: December 1790
Fate: renamed Montagne on 22 October 1793 and then Peuple on 25 May 1795 and Océan on 30 May 1795, disarmed in 1854 and stricken in 1855.
Builder: Toulon
Ordered: 21 November 1789
Laid down: May 1790 as Dauphin Royal
Launched: 20 July 1791
Completed: August 1793
Fate: renamed Sans Culotte on 29 September 1792 and then Orient on 21 May 1795; blew up at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798.
Builder: Rochefort
Ordered: 1793
Laid down: 1794 as République française (renamed February 1803)
Launched: 1802Completed: August, 1803
Fate: Scrapped in 1839
Builder: Brest
Ordered: 1793
Laid down: 17 October 1793 as Peuple, renamed to Vengeur in July 1794.
Launched: 1 October 1803.Completed: February 1804.
Fate: Renamed Impérial on 7 March 1805. Grounded and captured by the British during the Battle of San Domingo on 6 February 1806 and destroyed by fire.
  • Four further ships of this class were ordered, two in 1793 at Toulon (to be named Fleurus and probably Quatorze Juillet) and two in 1794 at Brest (Liberté des Mers) and Rochefort (Républicain) respectively, but were never proceeded with.


The_Battle_of_the_Nile.jpg
The Destruction of L'Orient at the Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, painting by George Arnald, on display at the National Maritime Museum.


Ships of the second (modified) group
(listed under their names at time of launching, and in order of their launching dates) Although these constituted a second batch of the Océan class, built to the same dimensions, the design was modified and they had a heavier displacement, and were often referred to as the Austerlitz class.

  • Austerlitz: ordered on 19 December 1805 and laid down on 10 April 1806 at Toulon; launched 15 August 1808 and completed August 1809. Never commissioned after her refit of 1821-22, and broken up in 1837.
  • Ville-de-Paris: ordered on 19 July 1806 and laid down in May 1808 at Rochefort as Marengo; renamed to Ville-de-Vienne in 1807, Comte-d'Artois on 8 July 1814, and Ville-de-Paris on 9 August 1830. Launched in 1850. Entered Service in July, 1851. Converted to a dual sail/steam ship in 1858, engine removed and converted to transport in 1870. Stricken in 1882; hulk used as floating barracks until scrapped in 1898.[8]
  • Wagram: ordered in early 1809 and laid down April 1809 as Monarque at Toulon; renamed Wagram on 15 February 1810; launched 1 July 1810 and completed March 1811. Scrapped in 1836.
  • Impérial: ordered on 4 June 1810 and laid down on 2 July 1810 at Toulon; launched 1 December 1811 and completed in August 1812, renamed to Royal Louis on 9 April 1814, reverted to Impérial on 22 March 1815 and then again to Royal Louis on 15 July 1815, condemned 1825 at Toulon and scrapped.

Montebello, circa 1850
  • Montebello: ordered in 1810 and laid down in October 1810 at Toulon, launched on 6 December 1812 and completed in August 1813. Transferred to the gunnery school in 1860 and to the navigation school in 1865. Stricken in 1867. Scrapped in 1889.[8]
  • Louis XIV: ordered in early 1811 and laid down as Tonnant in April 1811 at Rochefort; renamed to Louis XIV in 1828, launched on 28 February 1854. Entered service in 1854. Converted to a dual sail/steam ship in 1857. Transferred to the gunnery training school in 1861. Out of service 1873, stricken in 1880, scrapped in 1882.[8]
  • Sans Pareil: ordered on 15 March 1811 and laid down as Sans Pareil in April 1811 at Brest. Renamed Roi de Rome in early 1812, then Inflexible on 21 May 1812 and finally reverted to Sans Pareil on 21 December 1812. Cancelled and broken up on the ways in June 1816 without having been launched.
  • Héros: ordered on 20 February 1812 and laid down in April 1812 at Toulon; launched on 15 August 1813 and completed in January 1814, but never commissioned. Scrapped in 1828.
  • Friedland: ordered on 20 February 1812 and laid down at Cherbourg as Inflexible on 1 May 1812, renamed Duc de Bordeaux on 19 December 1820 and then Friedland on 9 August 1830. Launched on 4 April 1840. Entered service on 5 October 1840. Conversion to dual sail/steam ship started in 1857 but was abandoned and ship was laid up without engine in 1858. Stricken in 1864. hulk renamed Colosse in 1865 and scrapped in 1879.[8]
  • Souverain: ordered on 20 March 1813 and laid down at Toulon in April 1813, launched on 25 August 1819. Converted to sail/steam and entered service in 1857. Used as gunnery training vessel from 1860. Stricken in 1867. Hulk scrapped in 1905.[8]
  • Trocadéro: ordered on 20 March 1813 and laid down in September 1813 at Toulon as Formidable, renamed to Trocadéro in 1823, launched on 14 April 1824 and completed in October 1824 but never commissioned. Destroyed in an accidental fire on 4 March 1836.

Duckworth's_action_off_San_Domingo,_6_February_1806,_Nicholas_Pocock.jpg
Admiral Sir John Duckworth was watering and refitting his squadron off the Caribbean island of St Kitt's when he learnt that a large French force was intending to attack the economically important British colony of Jamaica. In a successful action on 6 February 1806, he managed to run two of the French ships ashore and capture the remaining three. Duckworth's action secured the way for the capture of Curacao, Martinique, Cayenne, and Guadeloupe.


 

Uwek

Admin
Staff member
Administrative
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
8,462
Points
728

Location
Vienna, Austria
A very complete planset in scale 1:48 of the Commerce de Marseille and Ocean class is available by Gerard Delacroix

You can find a detailed Review here:

 

donfarr

Well-Known Member
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
1,586
Points
428

FANTASTIC HISTORY LESSON UWE. Don
 

Jimsky

Moderator
Staff member
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
1,722
Points
478

Location
Brooklyn, New York USA
A wealth of information for someone who wants to build her! And not to mention incredible models. Still wonders me, how the heck they build them without all power tools and modern technology! Just amazing! Many thanks for bringing to our attention Uwe!
 
Top