Saturday, August 25, 2007

French central battery ships

I am still amazed that the French kept their central battery ironclad battleships from the 1870's in service into the 20th Century. They were rebuilt, at least. The Reboutable is listed in Jane's with a date of 1876. They were ships with top speeds, as designed, as low as 13 knots. With a single screw, iron armour no more than 14 thick on a complete belt, I have trouble seeing how they provided any useful service besides training. They did provide a number for strength comparison lists, but by 1903, their value was extremely low. They also had the problem of having a narrow belt, almost submerged, with about a 60mm deck on top of that. They had high, unprotected sides.

1 comment:

Mike Burleson said...

I imagine by then they had virtually conceded the naval race with Britian, thanks in part to the Jeune Ecole strategy, and the rising threat from the Germans on land. They were also pretty late in the game for the dreadnought race. So, keeping the old battleships were perhaps a necessity?