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Fast screw frigates (1st class)

IMPERATRICE EUGENIE class (launched 1856-57)
IMPETUEUSE class (launched 1856)

IMPERATRICE EUGENIE class fast screw frigates (1st class)

Displacement: 3797t
Dimensions:242ft 9in wl, 245ft 3in deck x 47ft 1in mld, 48ft 6in ext x 20ft 9in mean, 22ft 7in max. Depth 19ft 5in
Same, meters:73.98, 74.76 x 14.36, 14.78 x 6.33, 6.88m. 5.93m
Machinery:800nhp (Schneider, except Mazeline in Audacieuse). 4 cylinders, return connecting rod, 1950ihp, 12.5kts. Coal 640t.
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(1856) GD 30-30p No.1, 6-22cm No.1 shell; SD 18-30p No.3, 2-16cm rifles. (SD in Audacieuse originally 18-30p No.3, 2-30p carr.; changed by 1863 to 14-30p No.3, 4-30p No.4, 2-16cm rifles. SD in Foudre 16-30p No.3, 4-30p carr.)

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
IMPERATRICE EUGENIEToulon4.5421.8.5621.3.57Stk. 8.2.78
FOUDREToulon8.542.12.5615.5.57Stk. 1.7.72
AUDACIEUSEBrest6.6.5422.1.563.6.56Stk. 11.4.70
ARDENTEBrest6.6.5425.5.571.6.58Stk. 15.11.69

Class. In 9.51 the navy began work on plans for six 500nhp, 34-gun screw frigates intended as successors to the sail third-class frigates. Four were cancelled in favor of two sisters to Napoléon in 1852 and the other two were scheduled to be begun in 1853, Impétueuse at Lorient on plans by Guieysse and Foudre at Toulon on plans by Dupuy de Lôme. In 10.52 the minister, motivated by the success of Napoléon's trials, ordered these replaced by fast first-class frigates carrying 60 guns at 12 knots. The hulls of six ships were ordered 10.10.53 and Dupuy de Lôme's plans were approved for four ships at Toulon and Brest in 12.53. The ships made over 12 knots on trials, but their seakeeping qualities were poor and their rapid construction caused their service to be short. Their sail area was 2946 sq.yd. Impératrice Eugénie was renamed Touraine 19.9.70.

Disposals. Touraine became a storage hulk and was BU 1887. Foudre became a hulk and was BU 1891. Audacieuse and Ardente were BU 1871 at Cherbourg and Brest, respectively.

IMPETUEUSE class fast screw frigates (1st class)

Displacement: 3773t
Dimensions:236ft 3in wl, 236ft 11in deck x 46ft 11in mld, 48ft 4in ext x 21ft 9in mean
Same, meters:72.00, 72.21 x 14.30, 14.72 x 6.63m
Machinery:800nhp (Mazeline). 4 cylinders, return connecting rod, 2228ihp, 12.04kts
Hull material:Wood
Armament:(Impétueuse, 1856) GD 30-30p No.1, 6-22cm No.1 shell; SD 2-16cm rifles, 18-30p No.3 (altered by 1857 to 4-16cm rifles, 16-30p No.3). (Souveraine, 1856) GD 26-30p No.1, 8-22cm No.1 shell; SD 2-16cm rifles, 20-30p carr.

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
IMPETUEUSECherbourg20.1.5415.8.5615.11.56Stk. 3.11.69
SOUVERAINELorient15.5.543.6.5610.1.57Stk. 24.5.72

Class. A plan by Allix was approved in 11.53 for the two remaining fast steam frigates ordered on 10.10.53. They were very similar to those designed by Dupuy de Lôme, but their lines were slightly fuller and they had hoisting screws.

Disposals. Impétueuse became a hospital hulk at Cherbourg and was BU 1874. Souveraine became a school hulk and was BU 1892.

The navy reverted to a smaller design for its next frigates, which were to be second-class ships of the Isly type with 650nhp, a length of around 246ft, and 40 guns. The proposed armament was GD 12-36p, 12-22cm No.1 shell; SD 2-36p, 2-22cm No.1 shell, 12-36p carr. Plans by Guesnet were approved in 12.56, but construction of the still-unnamed ships was abandoned along with the Sébastopol class ships of the line on 23.3.58.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.