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Converted fast screw ships of the line (3rd class)

ALEXANDRE (launched 1857)
MASSENA class (launched 1860)

ALEXANDRE converted fast screw ship of the line (3rd class)

Displacement: 5292t
Dimensions:236ft 4in wl, 240ft 9in deck x 53ft 4in ext x 24ft 7in mean, 26ft 7in max.
Same, meters:72.03, 73.38 x 16.25 x 7.50, 8.10m
Machinery:800nhp (Indret). Coal 600t
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(1858) GD 18-36p, 16-22cm No.1 shell; UD 34-30p No.2; SD 2-16cm rifles, 20-16cm shell. (1873, training ship) GD 4-24cm, 4-19cm, 6-16cm; UD 8-14cm, 2-12cm; SD 1-19cm (all BLR)

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
ALEXANDRERochefort28.4.5627.3.571.9.57Stk. 22.2.77

Class. On 19.10.54 the minister included Alexandre in a list of conversions to be begun in 1855. Three ships still on the ways, Alexandre, Masséna, and Castiglione were to be given full steam power to provide a ratio in the fleet of one fast battleship for every two with auxiliary steam propulsion after the conversion program was completed. Alexandre's conversion was ordered proceeded with on 1.12.54, and Sabattier's conversion plans were approved in 5.55. The ship was reclassified as a 2nd class ship of the line in 1855 because of her length and speed. She was cut in half amidships and, on 28.4.56, lengthened by sliding the stern half 33ft 1in down the building ways. (The start of conversion dates in the tables for this ship and for Eylau and the Masséna class are the dates on which this lengthening took place.) Alexandre's engines were ordered removed on 20.11.71 and she relieved Louis XIV as gunnery training ship at Toulon on 28.5.72.

Disposal. Alexandre replaced Colosse (ex Friedland) as a barracks hulk for seamen at Toulon and was BU 1899.

MASSENA class converted fast screw ship of the line (3rd class)

Displacement: 5137t
Dimensions:239ft 6in wl, 242ft 8in deck x 53ft 5in ext x 24ft 5in mean, 26ft 9in max.
Same, meters:72.99, 73.97 x 16.28 x 7.43, 8.15m
Machinery:800nhp (Indret). Trials 2189ihp = 11.46kts (Masséna), 2259ihp = 11.77kts (Castiglione). Coal 550t
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(Masséna 1863) GD 18-30p No.1, 16-16cm M1858 MLR; UD 34-30p No.2; SD 20-16cm shell, 2-16cm rifles. Castiglione (1863) same except 16-22cm shell instead of 16-16cm rifles on gun deck.

Name          Conversion Started  Launched Commiss. Fate         
MASSENAToulon12.3.5615.3.6021.4.60Stk. 9.5.79
CASTIGLIONEToulon2.1.564.7.6015.7.60Stk. 11.10.81

Class. The origin of the conversion of these two ships was the same as for Alexandre except that they were carried out on plans by Dupuy de Lôme with stern modifications by Kerris approved in 4.56. They were also reclassified as 2nd class ships of the line in 1855 because of their length and speed. They retained their original square sterns. The commissioning process for these two ships began early, and they did not have their machinery installations completed until 5.61 and 12.61 respectively.

Disposals. Masséna became a barracks hulk at Toulon, was renamed Mars in 1892 and BU 1906. Castiglione became a barracks hulk for the Naval Infantry at Toulon and was BU 1900.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.