Military Wiki
French battleship Carnot
Battleship Carnot-Marius Bar.jpg
Career (France)
Name: Carnot
Namesake: Marie François Sadi Carnot
Builder: Toulon
Laid down: July 1891
Launched: July 1894
Commissioned: July 1897
Fate: Broken up in 1922
General characteristics
Type: Pre-dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 11,954 t (11,765 long tons; 13,177 short tons)
Length: 114 m (374 ft)
Beam: 21.4 m (70 ft)
Draft: 8.36 m (27.4 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft triple expansion engines
24 boilers
16,300 ihp (12,200 kW)
Speed: 17.8 kn (33.0 km/h; 20.5 mph)
Complement: 647

2 × 1 305mm/45 Modèle 1887 guns
2 × 1 274mm/45 Modèle 1887 guns
8 × 1 138mm/45 Modèle 1888 guns

2 × 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes (submerged)
Armor: Belt: 460 mm (18 in)
Conning tower: 230 mm (9.1 in)
Turrets: 380 mm (15 in)

Carnot was an ironclad battleship of the French Navy. She was laid down in July 1891, launched in July 1894, and completed in July 1897. She was a member of a group of five broadly similar battleships, along with Charles Martel, Jauréguiberry, Bouvet, and Masséna, which were ordered in response to the British Royal Sovereign class. Like her half-sisters, she was armed with a main battery of two 305 mm (12.0 in) guns and two 274 mm (10.8 in) guns in individual turrets. She had a top speed of 17.8 kn (33.0 km/h; 20.5 mph).

Carnot had a fairly uneventful career. She spent the majority of her service life in the Northern and Mediterranean Squadrons of the French fleet, where she participated in extensive, annual maneuvers. She was withdrawn from service by the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, and so did not see action during the conflict. She remained in the French Navy's inventory until 1922, when she was stricken from the naval register and sold for scrap.


Carnot was the second member of a group of five battleships built to a broadly similar design, but different enough to be considered unique vessels. The first ship was Charles Martel, which formed the basis for Carnot and three other ships.[1] Design specifications were identical for each of the ships, but different engineers designed each vessel. The ships were based on the previous battleship Brennus, but instead of mounting the main battery all on the centerline, the ships used the lozenge arrangement of the earlier vessel Magenta, which moved two of the main battery guns to single turrets on the wings. The five ships were built in response to the British Royal Sovereign-class battleships.[2]

General characteristics and machinery

Carnot was 114 meters (374 ft 0 in) long between perpendiculars, and had a beam of 21.4 m (70 ft 3 in) and a draught of 8.36 m (27 ft 5 in). She had a displacement of 11,954 tonnes (11,765 long tons). Her bridge was cut down compared to Charles Martel to save weight, and she was equipped with lighter pole masts instead of the heavy fighting masts used on her half-sister. She had a crew of 647 officers and enlisted men.[1]

Carnot had two vertical triple expansion engines each driving a single screw, with steam supplied by twenty-four Lagrafel d'Allest water-tube boilers. Her propulsion system was rated at 16,300 indicated horsepower (12,200 kW), which allowed the ship to steam at a speed of 17.8 knots (33.0 km/h; 20.5 mph). As built, she could carry 680 t (670 long tons; 750 short tons) of coal, though additional space allowed for up to 980 t (960 long tons; 1,080 short tons) in total.[1]

Armament and armor

Carnot's main armament consisted of two Canon de 305 mm Modèle 1887 guns in two single-gun turrets, one each fore and aft. She also mounted two Canon de 274 mm Modèle 1887 guns in two single-gun turrets, one amidships on each side, sponsoned out over the tumblehome of the ship's sides. Her secondary armament consisted of eight Canon de 138.6 mm Modèle 1888 guns, which were mounted in single turrets at the corners of the superstructure. She also carried four 9-pounder quick-firing guns, twelve 3-pounders, and eight 1-pounder revolving cannons. Her armament suite was rounded out by two 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes, which were submerged in the ship's hull.[1]

The ship's armor was constructed with nickel steel. The main belt was 460 mm (18 in) thick amidships, and tapered down to 250 mm (9.8 in) at the lower edge. On either end of the central citadel, the belt was reduced to 305 mm (12.0 in) at the waterline and 250 mm on the lower edge; the belt extended for the entire length of the hull. Above the belt was 101 mm (4.0 in) thick side armor. The main battery guns were protected with 380 mm (15 in) of armor, and the secondary turrets had 101 mm thick sides. The main armored deck was 69 mm (2.7 in) thick. The conning tower had 230 mm (9.1 in) thick sides.[1]


Illustration of Carnot, Masséna, Bouvet, and Jauréguiberry

Carnot was laid down in Toulon in July 1891 and launched three years later in July 1894. Fitting-out work was completed another three years after that, in July 1897, and the ship was commissioned into the French Navy.[1]

Carnot spent the majority of her active career alternating between the Northern and Mediterranean Squadrons. The newer battleships typically served in the Mediterranean, while older vessels were assigned to the Northern Squadron. In 1901, she was assigned to the Northern Squadron, under the command of Vice Admiral Ménard. The Northern Squadron conducted annual training exercises in June; the following month, they joined the Mediterranean Squadron for combined fleet maneuvers.[3]

By 1902, Carnot had been transferred to the Reserve Squadron of the Mediterranean Squadron, alongside the old battleships Charles Martel, Brennus, and Hoche.[4] The Reserve Squadron was commanded by Rear Admiral Besson, who flew his flag in Brennus.[5] The entire French fleet, including Carnot, conducted extensive maneuvers in the Mediterranean in July and August of that year.[6]

Carnot had been transferred to the Northern Squadron by 1906, and participated in the annual summer maneuvers in June–July 1906.[7] The following year, Carnot was back in the Mediterranean, in the Second Squadron.[8] She remained in the Second Squadron through 1909.[9]

By the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Carnot had been laid up in the port of Brest, along with Charles Martel. Both ships were retained on the effective list, however, pending the completion of the new Normandie-class battleships.[10] Carnot was ultimately stricken from the naval register in 1922 and sold for scrapping that year.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gardiner, p. 293
  2. Ropp, p. 223
  3. France, p. 412
  4. Brassey (1903), p. 57
  5. Brassey (1903), p. 140
  6. Brassey (1903), pp. 148–149
  7. Brassey (1907), pp. 102–103
  8. Palmer, p. 171
  9. Courtney, p. 1001
  10. Preston, p. 29
  11. Gardiner & Gray, p. 192


  • Brassey, Thomas A., ed (1903). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". Portsmouth, UK: J. Griffin & Co.. 
  • Brassey, Thomas A., ed (1907). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". Portsmouth, UK: J. Griffin & Co.. 
  • Courtney, W. L., ed (1909). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". London, UK: Chapman & Hall, Ltd.. 
  • "France". Washington, DC: United States Office of Naval Intelligence. July 1901. pp. 412–415. 
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwhich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-8317-0302-8. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1922. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-907-8. 
  • Palmer, W., ed (1908). "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ltd.. 
  • Preston, Antony (1972). Battleships of World War I. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0811702111. 
  • Ropp, Theodore (1987). Roberts, Stephen S.. ed. The Development of a Modern Navy: French Naval Policy, 1871–1904. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-141-6. 

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