This entire site, including all its pages, is copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2001-2018 or later as indicated.


Two Volumes Published!





In the 1786-1861 book the data on this web site has been greatly expanded and complete information for the period before 1816 has been added, giving full coverage of the period from just before the French Revolution to the advent of the broadside ironclad. The old data has been left on this web site for legacy reasons (see below) but anyone with a serious interest in the subject should use that book. The earlier volume takes the story of French warships back to Richelieu in 1626. Both books may be obtained from either of the following two sources.


Seaforth Publishing (Pen & Sword Books)

U.S. Naval Institute Press


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French Navy Ships, 1816-1859




A plan of the paddle frigate (ex steam packet) Panama dated 28 February 1847.

This portion of the Shipscribe site contains a reference guide to the ships of the French navy between 1816 and 1859, the period during which the navy transitioned from sail to steam. More complete data are now available in Winfield and Roberts, French Warships in the Age of Sail, 1786-1861 as noted above. The main part of this site consists of data pages for ships added to the navy between 1816 and 1859. Most of the data is from the French naval archives, collected while the author was researching his Ph.D dissertation, The Introduction of Steam Technology in the French Navy, 1818-1852 (University of Chicago, 1976, possibly available through University Microfilms). The site also contains a list of ships in the French navy in 1816 and a historical introduction that includes data tables on building programs, the strength of the navy, its guns, steam engine builders, etc. The data are presented in a format compatible with Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, which the reader may consult for the years after 1859. Information on sail and screw transports was added in March 2009. To begin select one of the following links. 

Introduction: The French Navy, 1816-1859


List of the French Navy in 1816

and, for the main listing, 

French Navy Ships, 1816-1859


This entire site, including all its pages, is copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2001-2018 or later as indicated.