:: CHARLES MARTEL (1893) ::

Charles Martel battleship (1893) High resolution picture

The Charles Martel was a French pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1893 in response to the British battleships of the Royal Sovereign class. Along with the Charles Martel other four ships of broadly similar, but not equal characteristics were built. Between the "monstrous" French battleships and the well proportioned British counterparts there was a strong contrast. In the decades 1870-1880 the French battleships had been built as bizarre fortresses with thick masts and small turrets whose cannons seemed twice as long. The hulls were tall, with the boards very curved inwards and the cannons disposed in groups, with those of smaller caliber around those of larger.

Heir of that style was the Charles Martel, an early form of pre-dreadnought battleship whose construction was still strongly influenced by the former ironclad designs. The armor was thicker than in later forms of pre-dreadnought battleships but the main turrets were single so the main artillery comprised only two 305-millimeter cannons, albeit other two 274-millimeter pieces existed. The picture shows clearly the characteristic form of the hull, much wider at waterline level than at deck level.

The Charles Martel spent her active career in the Mediterranean Squadron of the French Navy, initially in the active squadron and later in the reserve squadron. She regularly took part in maneuvers and in 1901 she was used as target for a dummy torpedo launched by the submarine Gustave Zédé. Being then a ship of very outdated formula, she was out of service at the outbreak of the First World War and she remained like that during the whole conflict, being ultimately broken up for scrap in 1922.

Class: Charles Martel (1 unit - Charles Martel)

Type: Battleship

Length: 115.49 meters

Beam: 21.64 meters

Draught: 8.38 meters

Displacement: 11639 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x vertical triple-expansion steam engine, 24 x boiler Lagrafel d'Allest, 14900 horsepower

Speed: 18 knots (33 kilometers/hour)

Range: 3520 nautical miles (6520 kilometers) at 10 knots

Complement: 644

Armament: 2 x 305-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 2 x 274-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 138-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 65-millimeter cannon, 12 x 47-millimeter cannon, 2 x 450-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 305-460 millimeters in belt, 100 millimeters in battery, 70 millimeters in main deck, 150 millimeters in barbettes, 380 millimeters in main turrets, 100 millimeters in secondary turrets, 230 millimeters in conning tower

~ Return to Pre-Dreadnought Battleships ~

~ Return to Military Ships ~