“Napoléon” was a 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world. She is also considered the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever.
Launched in 1850, she was the lead ship of a class of nine battleships, all built over a period of ten years. This class of ship was designed by the famous naval designer Henri Dupuy de Lôme. She was originally to be named Prince de Joinville, in honour of François d'Orléans, Prince of Joinville, but was renamed 24 Février during the French Second Republic to celebrate the abdication of Louis Philippe I, and later to “Napoléon” in May 1850, a few days after her launch. The Prince of Joinville mentioned the incident in his Vieux Souvenirs, bitterly writing "I still laugh about it".
The Napoleon was indeed in 1850, both the first steam-powered battleship as well as the first screw battleship ever built… It immediately drawn attention of the international press and admiralties, including a perplexed Royal Navy. Soon, the ship reached speeds impossible with classic sailship of the line, like 14 knots during trials in 1852, and maintained a cruise speed no less impressive.
This was a full-fledged 90-gun warship, with two complete and one incomplete upper decks, three masts, 240ft of lenght, 55ft of width, 27ft of draught, for a 5000 ton displacement. The steam engine was seen as an auxiliary one, a 2-cyl Indret geared, of 960 nhp (574 ihp), which gave excellent performances, thanks to the fine hydrodynamic qualities of the hull. Artillery comprised sixty 30-pdr (220 mm), the standard caliber of the time. The crew rose to 910 men.
Although original plans included iron plating, the urge was such that a more classical configuration was chosen, with a wooden hull protected by a 8 inches thick layers of teck and oak timbers. Also the sailing qualities defined by naval engineer Jean-Michel Sané were kept unchanged, combining the best of both worlds. The result was a landmark in naval history. The ship was broken up in 1886.
The design stamp is made after painting of Barthelemy Louvergne: "Napoleon" at the 1852 naval review in Toulon."
Grenadinas of Grenada 2019; 4$.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_sh ... 9on_(1850);
https://naval-encyclopedia.com/industri ... n-1850.php.
The full index of our ship stamp archive
1 post • Page 1 of 1