French ship Redoutable (1791)

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the Redoutable
The Redoutable fighting the Temeraire and HMS Victory, by Louis-Philippe Crépin
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign
Namesake: Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez
Builder: Brest Naval Dockyard
Laid down: January 1790
Launched: 31 May 1791 as Suffren
Renamed: to Redoutable on 20 May 1794
Fate: Sunk, 22 October 1805
General characteristics
Class and type: Téméraire class ship of the line
Displacement: 1 630 tonnes
Length: 52 m
Beam: 14 m
Draught: 7 m
Complement: 3 officers + 690 men

74 guns:

  • 28 x 36 pdr (16 kg)
  • 30 x 24 pdr (11 kg)
  • 16 x 8 pdr (3.6 kg)
  • 4 x 36 pdr (16 kg) carronades

The Redoutable was a ship of the line of the French Navy. She is known for her duel with HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar.

One of the 89 Seventy-fours completed of the Téméraire class (another ten were started but never completed) designed by engineer Jacques-Noël Sané (the largest number of battleships ever built to one design), the Redoutable was laid down at Brest in January 1790, and launched as the Suffren on 31 May 1791. She was completed there in December 1792. Her crew took part in the mutiny of the vessels attached to the squadron of Vice-Admiral Morard de Galles.

She was subsequently renamed Redoutable on 20 May 1794. In March 1802, the Redoutable was the flagship of a squadron of two ships of the line and four frigates under Admiral Bouvet sent to reinforce Guadeloupe in 1802 and Santo Domingo in 1803.

She took part in the Expédition d'Irlande, reaching Bantry Bay, where she accidentally collided with the Résolue, destroying her bowsprit, foremast, mainmast and mizzen.

At the Battle of Trafalgar, on 21 October 1805, she was commanded by capitaine de vaisseau Lucas, and came immediately after the flagship Bucentaure in the French line. She was kept so close to the Bucentaure, to protect her stern, that she forced HMS Victory to run afoul of her, dropping alongside, and eventually striking to her.

Her crew fiercely engaged the Victory, causing considerable damage. The crew and soldiers of the Redoutable maintained a heavy fire on the quarterdeck with hand-grenades and small arms, and a French marksman mortally wounded Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson from the mizzen fighting top.

The French crew were about to board the Victory when HMS Temeraire intervened, firing on the exposed French crew at point blank range. At 1.55 pm, the Redoutable, with Captain Lucas severely wounded, and only 99 men still fit out of 643, was essentially defenceless. The Fougueux attempted to come to her aid but came afoul of HMS Temeraire. After it was ascertained that she was too damaged to survive after the battle, the Redoutable struck her colours.

The Victory had 160 casualties, and the Temeraire, 120. The Redoutable sank the next day.

External links

de:Redoutable (1791) es:Redoutable (1791) fr:Le Redoutable (1791) ja:シュフラン (戦列艦・初代)