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 Being then a ship of very outdated formula, she was out of service at the outbreak of the First World War and she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)
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
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: 460 millimeters in belt, 70 millimeters in main deck, 150 millimeters in barbettes, 380 millimeters in main turrets,
230 millimeters in conning tower