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French ship Bretagne (1766)
Bretagne mg 8087.jpeg
Scale model of Bretagne, on display at Brest naval museum
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign


Ordered: 1762
Launched: 24 May 1766
Commissioned: 1767
Renamed: Renamed to Révolutionnaire in October 1793
Fate: broken up in 1796
General characteristics
Length: 56 metres (keel: 50 m)
Beam: 15 metres
Draught: 7.5 metres
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 19 officers, 1200 men

110 guns
Lower deck: 30 36-pounders
Middle deck: 32 24-pounders
Upper deck: 32 12-pounders

Forecastle: 16 6-pounders (originally 6)

The Bretagne was a large 110-gun three-decker French ship of the line, built at Brest, which became famous as the flagship of the Brest Fleet during the American War of Independence. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Bretagne.

She was one of 17 ships of the line ordered in 1762 as a result of the Duc de Choiseul’s campaign to raise funds for the navy from the cities and provinces of France. She was completed at Brest in 1766.

She fought at the Battle of Ushant in 1778 as flagship of the Comte d'Orvilliers.

During the French Revolution she was renamed Révolutionnaire. In May 1794 she fought in the skirmishes before the Battle of the Glorious First of June, dropping to the rear of the French fleet to drive off the pursuing British ships. In action against five or six 74-gun ships she was badly damaged, lost all her masts, and was only saved from capture by confusion among her opponents. She was towed to Rochefort by the battleship Audacieux and escorted by the corvette Unité.

She took part in the Croisière du Grand Hiver, where she was very heavily damaged.

Too damaged by the battle to be repaired, she was broken up between January and May 1796.

A scale model of Bretagne is on display at Brest naval museum.

External links

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