:: GLOIRE (1859) ::

Gloire ironclad (1859)

The Gloire was a French ironclad launched in 1859, the first ocean-going ironclad in history. She was developed following the experience acquired in the Crimean War, in response to new developments in naval gun technology, which used explosive shells with increased destructive power against wooden ships. She had a wooden hull covered with 12 cm thick armour plates, backed with 43 cm of timber, a configuration that resisted the experimental firing of the strongest guns of the time (the French 50-pounder and the British 68-pounder) at full charge, at a distance of 20 meters. As was common for the era, the Gloire was constructed with sails as well as a steam-powered screw. The original rigging was a light barquentine rig providing 1096 square meters of surface area, being later increased to a full rig providing 2508 square meters of surface.

The Gloire rendered obsolete the traditional unarmoured wooden ships of the line, and all major navies had no choice but to build ironclads of their own. However, the Gloire was soon herself rendered obsolete by the launching in 1860 of the British HMS Warrior, the world's first iron-hulled ironclad warship. In 1879, the Gloire was struck from the French fleet registry and scrapped in 1883.

Class: Gloire (3 units)

Type: Ironclad

Length: 77.8 meters

Beam: 17 meters

Draft: 8.4 meters

Displacement (standard): 5630 tonnes

Sail surface: 1096-2508 square meters

Propulsion: 1 shaft return connecting rod steam engine, 2500 hp

Speed: 11 knots (20.3 km/h)

Range: 665 tonnes of coal

Complement: 570

Armament (as built): 36 x 164 mm rifled muzzle-loading guns

Armament (after 1866): 8 x 240 mm breech-loading guns, 6 x 192 mm breech-loading guns

Armor: 430 mm wooden hull, 120 mm coated iron plates

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