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Brumaire-class submarine
File:SM U-14 (Austria-Hungary).jpg
Curie (Q 87) later SM U-14
Class overview
Name: Brumaire class
Operators:  French Navy
Built: 1911–1913
In commission: 1911–1930
Completed: 16
Lost: 3
General characteristics [1]
Type: Submarine
Displacement: 397 t (391 long tons), surfaced
551 t (542 long tons) submerged
Length: 170 ft 11 in (52.10 m)
Beam: 17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)
Draft: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m), surfaced
Propulsion: 2 × propeller shafts
2 × license-built MAN 6-cylinder diesel engines, surfaced, 840 bhp (630 kW) total
2 × electric motors, submerged, 660 shp (490 kW) total
Speed: 13 knots (15 mph; 24 km/h), surfaced
8.8 knots (10.1 mph; 16.3 km/h), submerged
Range: 1,700 nmi (3,100 km) @ 10 knots (19 km/h), surfaced
84 nmi (156 km) @ 5 knots (9.3 km/h), submerged
Complement: 29
Armament: 1 × 17.7 in (450 mm) bow torpedo tube, up to 8 torpedoes

The Brumaire class submarines were built for the French Navy prior to World War I. There were sixteen vessels in this class,[1] of the Laubeuf type.[2]

All saw action during the First World War, with three boats lost.


The French Navy built 34 Laubeuf-type submarines between 1906 and 1911. These are usually described as two classes, of which the Brumaire class was one, the other being the Pluviôse class.[1] (Another source[2] treats the vessels as one group, divided by the yards that built them) The boats had two naming schemes; the earlier vessels were named after the months of the French Revolutionary calendar, and the later ones after French scientists. However apart from the name ship of the class, only two were named after months; the remaining thirteen boats of the Brumaire class were named for scientists.


The Brumaire class were Laubeuf type submarines, following the Laubeuf standard design of double hull and dual propulsion systems (as were the Pluviôse class). The Brumaire boats had electric motors for underwater propulsion, and are usually listed as having diesel engines for surface propulsion, though in practice this was mixed. While most had diesels several of the earlier boats had steam engines. These had been preferred by Laubeuf in the early stages, though later Laubeuf type submarines, such as the Circé class, predecessors to the Pluviôse and Brumaire classes, had used diesel engines, and some of the later Pluviôse boats had diesels.


The Brumaire class were ordered in the 1906 programme and the first vessels were laid down the same year. However construction proceeded more slowly than the Pluviôse boats, and the first of the class, Brumaire was not launched until four years later, priority being given to the Pluviôse boats. The boats were built at three of the French Navy’s dockyards, at the Arsenals of Cherbourg, Rochefort and Toulon. The first of the class, Brumaire, was launched in April 1911, and the last, Franklin in March 1913.[1]


The Brumaire class submarines were armed with 17.7 inch torpedoes, of which eight were carried. They had one 17.7 inch torpedo tube mounted in the bow, with one torpedo loaded and one carried as a reload, and six carried externally. Of these four were in Drzewiecki drop-collars and two in external cradles alongside the conning tower.[1]

Service history

The Brumaire class were acknowledged to be good sea boats and saw action throughout the First World War on patrol and close blockade duty. Of the sixteen built, four were lost in action. Two vessels (Joule and Bernouilli) were mined; another (Foucault) was sunk by aircraft, the first incidence of such a loss. the fourth, Curie was lost attempting to penetrate the Austro-Hungarian naval base at Pola. She was later raised by the Austrians and put into service by them, but was returned after the Austrian surrender.



  1. This submarine, Bernouilli, is named for members of the Bernoulli family, but according to the sources here does not use the same spelling


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gardiner 1985, pp. 209–10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jane's (1919, reprint 2003) p199


  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-907-8. OCLC 12119866. 
  • Moore, John (1919 : reprinted 2003). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. London, England: Jane's Publishing Company. ISBN 1-85170-378-0. 

External links

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