View Full Version : Océan-class ship of the line

Comte de Brueys
09-16-2013, 11:51
French Océan-class ships


From Wiki:

The Océan-class ships of the line were a series of 16 first-rate 118-gun ships of the line of the French navy, designed by engineer Jacques-Noël Sané. Fifteen were completed from 1788 on, with the last one entering service in 1854. The first of the series was the Commerce de Marseille.

The 5,100 ton 118-gun type was the largest type of ship built up to then, besting the Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad. Up to 1790 Great Britain, the largest of the battle fleet nations, had not built especially large battleships because the need for large numbers of ships had influenced its battleship policy. The French initiated a new phase in battleship competition when they laid down a large number of three-deckers of around 5,000 tons.

Along with the 74-gun of the Téméraire type and the 80-gun of the Tonnant type, the Océan 120-gun type was to become one of the three French standard types of battleships during the war period 1793 to 1815.

These were the most powerful ships of the Napoleonic Wars and a total of ten served during that time. These ships, however, were quite expensive in terms of building materials, artillery and manpower and so were reserved for admirals as their fleet flagships.

Some of the ships spent 40 years on the stocks and were still in service in 1860, three of them having been equipped with auxiliary steam engines in the 1850s.

Woodden model in a French museum:





The first Océan-class ship of the line was designed by the engineer Jacques-Noël Sané, marking a leap in the evolution of ship of the line design. The hull was simple with straight horizontal lines, minimal ornaments, and tumblehome. The poop deck was almost integral the gunwale, and the forecastle was minimal.

They were highly successful as gun platforms and sailors, a fact which indicates that great improvements had been made in warship design since the late 17th century when battleships of less than half their size were regarded as unwieldy giants which ought to be brought into harbour before the September gales began. However, at least the first two of this class appear to have had less strength than necessary - one (Commerce de Marseille) which was taken by the British in 1793, was never used by them, and the other (Ocean) had to be extensively rebuilt after a decade. This indicates that the growth in size of wooden warships caused structural problems which only gradually were solved.[1]

It is interesting to note that though these ships were costly, their design changed to become even larger in terms of overall tonnage with the introduction of the Impérial in 1803. Mounting 18 pound cannon on her third gun deck (unheard of in French three-decked ships of the period), she would set the example for all of the French 118 gun ships to follow.

Océan-class first-rate in battle:


Comte de Brueys
09-16-2013, 11:56
The Ships:

Commerce de Marseille

Builder: Toulon
Ordered: 7 July 1782
Laid down: September 1786
Launched: 7 August 1788
Completed: October 1790
Fate: captured by the English in Toulon on the 29 August 1793 and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Commerce de Marseille. Converted to a floating prison in February 1799, and scrapped in 1802.


États de Bourgogne

Builder: Brest
Laid down: 12 August 1786 as États de Bourgogne
Launched: 8 November 1790
Completed: December 1790
Fate: renamed Montagne on 22 October 1793 and then Peuple on 25 May 1795 and Océan on 30 May 1795, disarmed in 1854 and stricken in 1855.


Dauphin Royal

Builder: Toulon
Ordered: 21 November 1789
Laid down: May 1790 as Dauphin Royal
Launched: 20 July 1791
Completed: August 1793
Fate: renamed Sans Culotte on 29 September 1792 and then Orient on 21 May 1795; blew up at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798.



Builder: Rochefort
Laid down: 1794 as République française(renamed February 1803)
Launched: 1802
Completed: August, 1803
Fate: Scrapped in 1839


laid down as Peuple at Brest in October 1793, renamed to Vengeur in July 1794, launched 1 October 1803 and completed February 1804. Renamed Impérial in March 1805. Captured during the Battle of San Domingo on the 6th of February 1806 and destroyed by fire.



laid down April 1806 at Toulon; launched 15 August 1808 and completed August 1809. Scrapped in 1837.


laid down April 1809 as Monarque at Toulon; renamed Wagram February 1810; launched 1 July 1810 and completed March 1811. Scrapped in 1836.


launched 1811 at Toulon, completed 1812, renamed to Royal-Louis in April 1814, renamed Impérial March 1815, renamed Royal Louis July 1815, condemned 1825 at Toulon and scrapped.


laid down in 1810, launched in 1812 at Toulon. Transferred to the gunnery school in 1860 and to the navigation school in 1865. Stricken in 1867. Scrapped in 1889.


launched in 1813 at Toulon. Scrapped in 1828.


laid down in Toulon in 1813, launched in 1819. Converted to sail/steam and entered service in 1857. Used as gunnery training vessel from 1860. Stricken in 1867. Hulk scrapped in 1905.


laid down in 1813 at Toulon as Formidable, renamed to Trocadéro in 1823, launched in 1824. Destroyed in an accidental fire in 1836.


laid down as Inflexible in May 1812, renamed Duc de Bordeaux in May 1821 and then Friedland in August 1830. Launched on 4 April 1840 at Cherbourg. Entered service in 1840. Conversion to dual sail/steam ship started in 1857 but was abandoned and ship laid up without engine in 1858. Stricken in 1864. hulk renamed Colosse in 1865 and scrapped in 1879.[2]



laid down in 1806 at Rochefort as Marengo; renamed to Ville-de-Vienne in 1807, Comte-d'Artois in 1814, and Ville-de-Paris in 1830. Launched in 1850. Entered Service in July, 1851. Converted to a dual sail/steam ship in 1858, engine removed and converted to transport in 1870. Stricken in 1882; hulk used as floating barracks until scrapped in 1898.



laid down as Tonnant in 1811 at Rochefort; renamed to Louis-XIV in 1828, launched in 1854. Entered service in 1854. Converted to a dual sail/steam ship in 1857. Transferred to the gunnery training school in 1861. Out of service 1873, stricken in 1880, scrapped in 1882.


laid down in 1811 at Brest. Cancelled in 1816 without having been launched.

09-16-2013, 12:03
Thank you for posting this, Sven. I recently received a shipment of 1:4800 ships, 6 of which are three-deckers. This info is nice background to what I can do with those.

09-16-2013, 13:09
A pity none survived to our day.
What a long service history for a ship model. laid down between 1786 - 1811.
Last scrapped at 1905.

I don't think modern warships are used so long -
Is the Arizona the oldest active warship now days?

(yes I know the Constitution is commissioned, but its not going out to shoot at anyone soon...)

Cpt Kangaroo
09-16-2013, 13:43
Nice job Sven, and a great addition to the reference Library. This really would have been something to see in real life.

09-16-2013, 16:15
Is the Arizona the oldest active warship now days?

No -- despite rumors to the contrary, _Arizona_ was struck off the rolls 12/1/1942; a special dispensation allows it to continue flying the US flag.

09-16-2013, 17:33
I don't think modern warships are used so long -
Is the Arizona the oldest active warship now days?
(yes I know the Constitution is commissioned, but its not going out to shoot at anyone soon...)


The USS Arizona is a monument in Hawaii where she was sunk by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941. She is still under water with 1102 of the 1177 Sailors and Marines that were killed with her that morning. She has not been active since that day. You may be thinking of the battleship USS Missouri, commissioned in 1944 and was active up until 1995. She has been a floating museum since 1998 in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.


09-16-2013, 17:37

Thank you ver much for the list of ships and excellent pictures. I can use this!


Comte de Brueys
09-16-2013, 23:42
Thank you comrades. :hatsoff:

I was inspired by Cpt Kangaroo who did this for the upcoming Ares Games miniatures.

To be honest, the Ocean class is the ship I wanted to command & as a flagship for the Napoleonic maritime warfare.

Comte de Brueys
09-16-2013, 23:53
A pity none survived to our day.
What a long service history for a ship model. laid down between 1786 - 1811.
Last scrapped at 1905.

Some decomissioned ships-of-the-line were used as barracks, floating batteries or prison ships.


From Wiki:

Mars (1860), laid down in 1835 as Sceptre, renamed Masséna in 1840, redesigned as a screw steamer in 1856, launched and completed in 1860. Stricken in 1881 and used as an accommodation hulk at Toulon, renamed Mars in 1892. Broken up for scrap in 1906.

09-17-2013, 00:04
Thanks for posting this information. I've compared the GHQ version with the Langton one online and I think the GHQ model is slightly more accurate, especially in the stern detailing. This might be my next build, which if you compare the hull of this class with the Santisima Trinidad, the Ocean class does look larger, even if it's not a four decker ship. Very helpful information.

09-17-2013, 12:49
I got my battleships confused :
The Iowa-class commissioned in the early 1940's (1943-1944) the mothballed in the 1960s
Recommissioned in the 1980's and eventually decommissioned in the 1990's

That's about 50 years (with a break in the middle)...

Are there any other old fighting ships still on active - fighting - service?

David Manley
09-17-2013, 13:29
I came across a Chilean APD when I had an extended visit there in the 1990s that was over 50 years old and still in active service

09-17-2013, 15:26
Don't forget, USS New Jersey was reactivated in the '60s for a Nam tour--very effective, but turdsucker Mac the Knife (may he burn in Hell) and his beancounters deemed her "too expensive" (read: "not enough kickback to us and our buddies in it").

Comte de Brueys
05-04-2014, 02:42
I was able to restore most of the pictures, that get lost during the server change month ago.

Some are still missing, because I didn't saved them on my personal computer.


05-04-2014, 09:22
Thanks for restoring what you could. Some wonderful illustrations, and we'll soon have our own SGN Ocean ship to go with this thread. :thumbsup:

05-05-2014, 00:59
Somehow I expected Sven's activity on this topic :happy:

Well done and very useful!

Comte de Brueys
05-05-2014, 05:30
Thank you, Nemanja.

The Orient is my flagship. :salute:

First game with this beauty will be definitely with Expolsion & Flagship optional rules. :wink:

05-17-2014, 12:34
Sven, here's something I just discovered in my hunt for additional Ocean class information. A spectacular collection of ship models here in North America. Specifically The Thomson Collection of Ship Models in the Art Gallery of Ontario. If you go to their website you'll also be able to listen to an audio description of this particular model. . .and many others as well.

A POW Model of a "L'Ocean" class French 1st Rate


Go to Track 11 to listen to this model description