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Screw corvette (1st class, 320 nhp)

COMTE D'EU (launched 1846)

COMTE D'EU screw corvette (1st class)

Displacement: 919t
Dimensions:206ft 8in wl, 211ft 7in deck x 35ft 5in wl, 35ft 11in max x 13ft 11in mean
Same, meters:63.00, 64.50 x 10.80, 10.96 x 4.23m
Machinery:320nhp (Schneider). 4 cylinders, oscillating cylinders, geared, 11.33kts. Coal 120t
Hull material:Iron
Armament:(1854) 6-12cm bronze shell (later only 2). (1874) 3-14cm No.2 MLR

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
COMTE D'EUNormand9.4420.12.461.1.47Stk. 8.4.82

Class. This ship was built as a yacht for the use of the king during his summers at Eu, on the Channel coast. She was originally to have been a replacement for the previous Comte d'Eu (q.v.), a 120nhp paddle steamer whose trials in 1843 had been a failure. In 9.43 a ministry official proposed building at Indret a shallow draft iron steamer of about 200t with 120nhp paddle engines with Penn's oscillating cylinders. The Prince de Joinville, a son of the king who had made the navy his career, expressed his dissatisfaction with Indret's products and wrote the minister that, to get the best possible ship for the king, the navy should give the ship's specifications to France's best private firms and give them a free hand. He was probably also responsible for the fact that, by the time the king signed the order to build the ship on 9.10.43, she had grown to be a 320nhp screw steamer. This, in turn, made her too large to fulfill her original mission, entering and leaving the port at Tréport which served Eu, a task which was eventually passed on to the smaller Anacréon and Passe Partout. When the contracts with Normand and Schneider were approved in 7.44 the ship's mission was described as providing rapid communications for the king between France and England and between French ports.

Normand designed a ship with a graceful hull and a substantial rig (1882 sq.yd. on three masts with square sails on the fore and main). The navy approved Normand's plans in 8.45, bringing to a head a year-long quarrel between Normand and Schneider, who was already building the engines and who objected to the hull lines. Trials were interrupted in 8.47 by a serious boiler explosion and the discovery that the boilers were producing only a third of the steam called for in the contract. The boilers were finally rejected and replaced in 1852, and the ship saw her first active service in 1853. She was renamed Patriote 29.2.48, Reine Hortense effective 1.6.53, and Cassard 14.2.67.

Disposal. Cassard, ex Comte d'Eu served as headquarters hulk for the Défense mobile at Toulon until 1887, when she was replaced by Cérès, and then as a torpedo-boat base ship at Port Vendres. She was renamed Faune in 10.93 and was BU at Cette in 1914.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.