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French ship Océan (1790)
Océan drawn by Antoine Léon Morel-Fatio
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign
Namesake: Ocean
Builder: Arsenal de Toulon
Laid down: 12-8-1786
Launched: 8-11-1790
Completed: 12-1791
Out of service: 2-8-1850
Renamed: Ordered as États de Bourgogne; Côte d'Or 22 January 1793; Montagne 22 October 1793; Peuple 25 May 1795;Océan 30 May 1795.
Struck: 1851 floating battery, 1855/56 broken up
Fate: Broken up in 1856
General characteristics
Class & type: Océan class ship of the line
Displacement: 2 700 tonnes
Length: 65,18 metres (196,6 French feet)
Beam: 16,24 metres (50 French feet)
Draught: 8,12 metres (25 French feet)
Propulsion: sail, 3 265 m²
Complement: 1 079 men

Lower deck:
lower deck: 32 36-pound guns
middle deck: 34 24-pound guns
upper deck: 34 12-pound guns

forecastle: 18 8-pound guns, 6 36-pound carronades

Océan was a 118-gun first-rate three-decker ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Bourgogne.

She was ordered as États de Bourgogne and was launched at Brest in 1790. Like many French ships of the line during the Revolutionary period, she was renamed several times, becoming Côte d'Or in January 1793, Montagne in October 1793, Peuple on 17 May 1795, and a matter of weeks later again renamed, to Océan. She served until 1855.

A large model at the 1/16 scale can be seen at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.


An old-gold colored figurehead, still attached to the brown wooden ship, of a crowned, bearded man with a double-handed spear. He is covered on his forward arm and just below his waist by flowing cloth. With one foot back towards the ship and one foot forward on gold scroll-work at the bow, he shown starting a charge forward, aiming his spear ahead.

Figurehead of the Océan.

As the largest ship of the line in the Brest fleet, the ship spent much of her early career as the fleet flagship.

As Montagne, the ship was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse in the Combat de Prairial (known in English literature as the Glorious First of June) in 1794. She was badly damaged by the HMS Royal Sovereign, losing 313 men and receiving 233 round shots in her hull.

On 17 May 1795, she was renamed Peuple; a month later, on the 23 of June she fought in the Battle of Groix as Villaret's flagship. Returning to Lorient three days later, she was (officially, since 30 of May the name Océan was used) renamed to Océan.

She was refitted in Brest in 1797. In 1801, she once again served as Villaret's flagship, ferrying troops of Leclerc's expedition to Saint-Domingue.

Océan was Allemand's flagship at the Battle of the Basque Roads.

She was decommissioned on 2 August 1850, and used as a floating artillery battery from May 1851.

See also

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