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Danton-class battleship
Vergniaud-ELD.jpg
Class overview
Preceded by: Liberté-class
Succeeded by: Courbet-class
In commission: 1911-1937
Completed: 6
Lost: 1
General characteristics
Type: Pre-dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 18,318 tonnes (standard), 19,763 tonnes (full load)
Length: 144.9 m (475 ft)
Beam: 25.8 m (85 ft)
Draught: 9.2 m (30 ft)
Propulsion: 22,500hp; 4 shaft Parsons turbines; 26 Belleville or Niclausse coal-fired boilers
Speed: 19.2 knots (36 km/h)
Complement: up to 923
Armament:

4 × 305mm/45 Modèle 1906 guns (2×2)
12 × 240mm/50 Modèle 1902 guns (6×2)
16 × 1 75mm/65 Modèle 1906 guns
10 × 1 47 mm guns

2 × 450 mm torpedo tubes (M12D until 1920, M18 afterwards)
Armour:
  • Belt: 270 mm (10.6 in)
  • Upper deck: 48 mm
  • Lower deck: 45 mm
  • Turrets: 300 mm (11.8 in)
  • Secondary Turrets: 200 millimetres (7.9 in)

The Danton class was a class of French battleships built between 1907–1911, which served in World War I. The six ships in the class were all pre-dreadnought battleships, the last of their kind produced in the French Navy.[1]

Design and production

Danton-class design as depicted by Brassey's Naval Annual 1915

With minor individual variations, the Danton-class ships had a bow-to-stern length of 480 feet and a displacement of 18,400 tons. Their main batteries were four 30.5-centimetre (12.0 in) guns, with a heavy secondary battery of twelve 24.0-centimetre (9.4 in) guns[2]

These ships were unusual in that they combined turbine propulsion machinery with a pre-dreadnought armament. They were designed by L'Homme for the 1906 programme and were a considerable advance on previous French ships. They were however overshadowed by HMS Dreadnought which was completed before they were laid down.

Wartime service

The six Danton-class ships served together in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1914 to 1919. They formed the bulk of the French Navy's First Squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Paul Chocheprat.[3]

Ships

  • Condorcet: Named after Marquis de Condorcet. Built by AC de la Loire St Nazaire. Laid down 23 August 1907, launched 25 July 1909, and completed 25 July 1911. Depot ship after 1931, hulk scuttled at Toulon 1942.
  • Danton: Named after Georges Danton. Built by Arsenal de Brest. Laid down 1906, launched 4 July 1909, and completed 1 June 1911. Sunk by U-64 19 March 1917. Wreck discovered off Sardinia in December 2007 by a gas survey team.[4]
  • Diderot: Named after Denis Diderot. Built by AC de la Loire St Nazaire. Laid down 20 October 1907, launched 19 April 1909, and completed 1 August 1911. Broken up 1937.
  • Mirabeau: Named after Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau. Built by Arsenal de Lorient. Laid down 4 May 1908, launched 28 October 1909, and completed 1 August 1911. Ran aground near the Crimea in 1919 but salvaged. Target ship 1921, broken up 1928.
  • Vergniaud: Named after Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud. Built by C de la Gironde, Bordeaux. Laid down July 1908, launched 12 April 1910, and completed 22 September 1911. Decommissioned 1921 and used as a target ship. Broken up 1928.
  • Voltaire: Named after Voltaire. Built by FC de la Méditerranée, La Seyne. Laid down 20 July 1907, launched 1 August 1911, and completed 1 August 1911. Decommissioned 1935. Broken up 1939.

Notes

  1. Miller, David (2001); Illustrated Directory of Warships from 1860 to the Present; Salamander, Osceola, WI. ISBN 0-7603-1127-7. See p.90.
  2. Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, Volume 24 (1912); "Ships: France"; R. Beresford, Washington DC. See p.340.
  3. Corbett, Julian S. (1920); History of the Great War: Naval Operations, Volume 1; Longmans, Green & Co., NY. See p.61.
  4. Amos, Jonathan (2009-02-19). "Danton wreck found in deep water". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7898890.stm. 

Bibliography

  • Caresse, Phillippe (2012). "The Battleship Gaulois". In Jordan, John. Warship 2012. London: Conway. ISBN 978-1-84486-156-9. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. 
  • Gille, Eric (1999). Cent ans de cuirassés français. Nantes: Marines. ISBN 2-909675-50-5. 
  • Meirat, Jean (1978). "French Battleships Vergniaud and Condorcet". Akron, Ohio: F. P. D. S.. pp. 5–6. 
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-88254-979-0. 

External links



Coordinates: 38°45′21″N 8°03′18″E / 38.75583°N 8.055°E / 38.75583; 8.055

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