Sunday, October 12, 2014

French Ironclad Colbert

The central battery ironclad Colbert is one of the ten ships of the French navy that constitute the group ranking next in importance to the squadron of great turret ships, of which the Formidable is the largest. The group consists of six types, as follows:
274mm cannon in the armoured section of a Colbert class
ironclad, by Gustave Bourgain, circa 1885. 
  1. The Ocean type; three vessels; the Marengo, Ocean, and Suffren.
  2. The Friedland type, of which no others are built.
  3. The Richelieu type, of which no others are built.
  4. The Colbert type, of which there are two; the Colbert and the Trident.
  5. The Redoubtable type, of which no others are built.
  6. The Devastation type, of which no others are built.
Laid down in 1870, the Colbert was launched at Brest in 1875, and her sister ship, the Trident, in 1876. Both are of iron and wood, and the following are the principal dimensions of the Colbert, which apply very closely to the Trident: She is 321 ft. 6 in. long, 59 ft. 6 in. beam, and 29 ft. 6 in. draught aft. Her displacement is 8,457 tons, her indicated horse power is 4,652, and her speed 14.4 knots. She has coal carrying capacity for 700 tons, and her crew numbers 706. The thickness of her armor belt is 8.66 in., that protecting the central battery is 6.29 in. thick, which is also the thickness of the transverse armored bulkheads, while the deck is 0.43 in. in thickness.
the French ironclad war ship Colbert.
The Colbert-class was designed by Constructor Sabattier as an improved version of the ironclad Richelieu and they were the last ships authorized in the 1857 Naval Program. The class reverted to a single propeller shaft to improve sailing qualities and to lessen the chance of the propellers being fouled by fallen rigging. As central battery ironclads, their armament is concentrated amidships and consists of eight old 11 in. guns, two 9 in., six 6 in., four deck mounted torpedo tubes, and fourteen revolving and machine guns. Like most ironclads of their era, they are also equipped with a plough-shaped ram.
While the exact reason for such a prolonged construction time is not known, it is believed that reduction of the French Navy's budget after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and out-of-date work practices in French dockyards were likely causes.—Engineering.
Technical Specifications:
Bow: 1o9, A: 1o9, FS: 1o11, BS: [3o11], 3o6; DT-4, 14QF

click image for a PDF copy of the ship chart.

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