The dictionary of french naval fighting ships


Volume 1: 530 pages, A4 format

Information appears in the following order :

1. Official NAME of the ship. By default : unnofficial name or local designation. To allow a simple alphabetical classification, the names of the ships are not preceded by the "article" (LE/LA). However, when it is known, it is placed afterwards between brackets. The only exception to this rule is made when the "article" forms an essential part of the name (LA MOTTE-PICQUET, LA FAYETTE, …).

2. Type of the ship : When the name of the ship changes during its life. In the appendix, you will find a short definition for each type of used ships. The generic term "ship" is employed when the ship's type is unknown.

3. Building location : Shipyard, and/or city, and/or country of construction.

4. Laid down or beginning of construction.

5. Launching, flooding of basin.

6. Date of commission in the French Navy. By default : date of the 1st armament, date of completion (for the oldest ships), of requisition, purchase, taken as prize. In the worst case : first date of known existence.

7. Completion date of career : Condamnation, withdrawal from the list of the fleet, de-requisition, restitution, capture, loss, shipwreck, scuttling, stranding, destruction...). Precise details are provided in the text.

8. Symbol of hull, number of hull, serial number, number of conning tower for the submarines.

9. Average displacement in tons. By default : "barrels", gross tonnage, cargo capacity. Refer to the appendix for displacement.

Volume 2: 595 pages, A4 format
10. Effective horse-power. Before 1886, the power indicated on the lists of the fleet was the nominal power (quarter of the effective power). The figure given has been converted.

11. Dimensions : Overall length x width x draught. The width is given apart from the drums for the paddle boats. To allow comparison, at the risk of offending the purists, dimensions are given in metric units S.I. without regard for the era.

12. Characteristics : Manufacturer and/or architect, rigging, sail area, system of propulsion, number of propellers, speed in knots, crew.

13. Armament : Number of arms in Roman numerals, calibre in Arab numerals. The term "canons" is used, when the data is vague, to describe all kinds of parts : howitzers, "caronades", weapons designed to fire stone ammunition...

14. Observations : Principal dates in the history of the ship. Date of official allocation of name, trials, campaigns, cruises, combat, taking of prizes, commanders, culminating in her final destiny, etc. The appendix "Lexicon and definition" make it possible to specify certain terms usually used in the French Navy. Refer to the appendix "Abbreviations" for the most used symbols and acronyms. A simple date, associated with a name, indicates a date of official allocation of name (example: "11/6/1954:CLEMENCEAU" = This ship was named Clemenceau on June 11th 1954). The renamings are indicated by an arrow.

15. Number Q : Allocated disarmament number, for more than 800 ships.