Ship Type Menu.
Converted screw ships of the line (1st class)

MONTEBELLO (launched 1852)
SOUVERAIN (launched 1854)
LOUIS XIV (launched 1857)
VILLE DE PARIS (launched 1858)

MONTEBELLO converted screw ship of the line (1st class)

Displacement: 4830t
Dimensions:207ft 4in wl, 207ft 9in deck x 56ft 2in ext x 24ft 11in mean, 26ft 3in max.
Same, meters:63.20, 63.31 x 17.12 x 7.59, 7.99m
Machinery:140nhp (Indret). Coal 199t
Hull material:wood
Armament:(1852) GD 28-30p No.1, 4-22cm No.1 shell; MD 28-30p No.2, 4-22cm No.2 shell; UD 34-30p No.3; SD 10-16cm shell. (1860, training ship) GD 8-16cm M1858 MLR, 2-50p, 6-36p, 8-22cm No.1 shell, 8-30p No.1; MD 8-22cm No.2 shell, 20-30p No.2; UD 6-30p No.3, 6-16cm shell; SD 2-16cm rifles, 2-30p No.4, 12-30p carr.

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
MONTEBELLOToulon1.4.5123.8.5225.8.52Stk. 25.7.67

Class. In 6.49 the navy examined a proposal to give a 120-gun ship a steam engine considerably smaller than the one planned for Charlemagne. An engine of 120nhp would give the ship a maximum speed under steam of only 4 1/2 knots, but would not detract from its sailing qualities or military strength and would not require it to sacrifice any of its 6 months of provisions. In 12.49 the minister ordered the ports to prepare plans for fitting all four classes of ships of the line with such machinery, and on 12.2.51 Montebello was chosen for the first conversion. Conversion plans by Dupuy de Lôme were approved in 5.51. The successful trials of ships with more powerful engines, first Charlemagne and then Napoléon, eclipsed this concept and Montebello remained the only French ship of her type. Montebello relieved Suffren and served as gunnery training ship at Toulon between 1860 and 1865.

Disposal. Montebello became a barracks hulk at Toulon and was BU 1889.

SOUVERAIN converted screw ship of the line (1st class)

Displacement: 5096t
Dimensions:205ft 5in wl, 208ft 2in deck x 56ft 11in ext x 26ft 0in mean, 27ft 6in max.
Same, meters:62.61, 63.45 x 17.34 x 7.93, 8.38m
Machinery:600nhp (Toulon). 2 cylinders, return connecting rod, trials 1618ihp = 10.45kts. Coal 445t
Hull material:wood
Armament:(1857) GD 16-36p, 16-22cm No.1 shell; MD 24-30p No.2, 8-22cm No.2 shell; UD 32-16cm shell; SD 2-16cm rifles, 12-30p carr. (1877, training ship) GD 2-24cm, 4-19cm, 6-16cm, 2-10cm; MD 16-14cm, 2-10cm (all BLR)

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
SOUVERAINToulon11.5311.5416.3.57Stk. 8.12.85

Class. Toulon reported in 7.53 that Souverain would probably need a refit and recommended fitting her with steam machinery. On 5.4.54 the minister ordered Toulon to begin conversion of the hull on plans just completed by Silvestre du Perron, and at the end of the year he ordered it to build the machinery with help from the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (Philip Taylor), which was to make some of the parts. The machinery was designed by Dupuy de Lôme as a scaled down version of the 900nhp set he had designed for Algésiras. Souverain's engines were removed in 1877 and she replaced Alexandre as gunnery training ship at Toulon.

Disposal. Souverain was replaced as training ship by the ironclad Couronne in 1885 and became a barracks hulk at Toulon for the Naval Infantry. She was BU 1905.

LOUIS XIV converted screw ship of the line (1st class)

Displacement: 5170t
Dimensions:207ft 7in wl, 209ft 8in deck x 57ft 1in ext x 25ft 11in mean, 27ft 5in max.
Same, meters:63.28, 63.90 x 17.40 x 7.90, 8.35m
Machinery:600nhp (Napier). Coal 500t
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(1858) GD 28-30p No.1, 4-22cm No.1 shell; MD 30-30p No.2, 4-22cm No.2 shell; UD 34-30p; SD 2-16cm rifles, 14-30p carr. (1861, training ship) GD 8-16cm rifles, 2-50p, 6-36p, 8-30p No.1, 8-22cm No.1 shell; MD 20-30p No.2, 8-22cm No.2 shell; UD 6-30p No.3, 2-30p No.4, 6-16cm shell, 6-30p carr.; SD 2-16cm rifles.

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
LOUIS XIVBrest9.56185725.8.57Stk. 3.5.80

Class. The machinery for this ship was ordered in 2.56 and an option under the contract was taken up in 3.56 for a second 600nhp set for the proposed conversion of Valmy at Toulon. This second engine was cancelled in 5.56 and replaced with two of 500nhp for Tage and Duguay Trouin. Louis XIV was converted on plans by Chariot approved in 9.56. She became gunnery training ship at Brest in 1861, moved to Toulon and relieved Montebello in 1865, and continued to serve as training ship to 1872.

Disposal. Louis XIV was BU 1882.

VILLE DE PARIS converted screw ship of the line (1st class)

Displacement: 5302
Dimensions:226ft 7in wl, 224ft 9in deck x 56ft 3in ext x 25ft 9in mean, 27ft 4in max. Depth 24ft 6in
Same, meters:69.05, 68.50 x 17.15 x 7.84, 8.34m. 7.46m
Machinery:600nhp (FCM). Trials 1581ihp = 10.59kts. Coal 450t
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(1859) GD 16-36p, 16-22cm No.1 shell; MD 24-30p No.2, 8-22cm No.2 shell (replaced in 1862 by 8 more 30p No.2); UD 32-16cm shell; SD 2-16cm rifles, 8-16cm shell (replaced in 1862 by 8-30p carr.).

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
VILLE DE PARISToulon7.575.581.8.58Stk. 7.2.82

Class. This ship and her sister Friedland were among 8 battleships for which machinery was ordered in May-July 1856. Friedland's conversion, also planned for Toulon, was never ordered and her machinery was used in Turenne. Hull plans for Ville de Paris by De Coppier were approved in 9.57 and provided for modifying the stern for the screw and lengthening the bow by 17ft 8in. Ville de Paris was reclassified as a steam transport in 1870 but remained in reserve until stricken.

Disposal. Ville de Paris became a barracks hulk at Toulon and was BU 1899.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.