French ship Orient (1791)
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The Orient explodes at the Battle of the Nile
|Laid down:||May 1790|
|Launched:||20 July 1791|
|Out of service:||August 1798|
|Renamed:||originally Dauphin-Royal, renamed Sans-Culotte in September 1792, and finally renamed Orient in May 1795.|
|Fate:||Destroyed by explosion of her magazine at the Battle of the Nile, August 1798|
|Displacement:||5 095 tonnes|
|Length:||65,18 metres (196,6 French feet)|
|Beam:||16,24 metres (50 French feet)|
|Draught:||8,12 metres (25 French feet)|
|Propulsion:||sail, 3 265 m²|
|Complement:||1 079 men|
Upper deck: 34 x 12-pounder guns|
Middle deck: 34 x 24-pounder guns
Lower deck: 32 x 36-pounder guns
Quarterdeck and Forecastle:
18 x 8-pounder guns, 6 x 36-pounder carronades
During the French Revolution, she was renamed Sans-Culotte in September 1792, and eventually Orient in May 1795.
She carried Napoleon to his invasion of Egypt, in which the French fleet narrowly avoided discovery by Nelson's fleet. If it had been discovered, Orient would have been a major target for the British ships and Napoleon's life would have been in considerable danger.
She was the flagship of the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798. After receiving heavy fire from numerous British ships, she was set aflame. Eventually, the fire reached her powder magazine, and she blew up, with the loss of most of her crew, including her captain, Luc-Julien-Joseph Casabianca and his young son - giving rise to the memorable poem Casabianca by Felicia Hemans which begins ... "The boy stood on the burning deck".
- Dictionnaire de la flotte de guerre française de 1617 à nos jours, Jean-Michel Roche