French ship Robuste (1806)

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File:Robuste-Antoine Roux.jpg
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Robuste
Namesake: "Robust"
Ordered: 26 March 1805
Builder: Toulon
Laid down: April 1805
Launched: 30 October 1806
Fate: Scuttled on 26 October 1809
General characteristics
Class and type: Bucentaure-class
Type: ship of the line
Length: 55.88 m (183.33 ft) (overall)
53.92 m (176.90 ft) (keel)
Beam: 15.27 m (50.10 ft)
Depth of hold: 7.63 m (25.03 ft)
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: 2,683 m2 (28,879.57 sq ft)
Complement: 866

80 guns

  • 30 x 36-pounders
  • 32 x 24-pounders
  • 18 x 12-pounders
  • 6 x 36-pounder howitzers

The Robuste was an 80-gun Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané.

She was commissioned under captain Infernet, and was later captained by Julien Cosmao.

From April 1809, she was part of a squadron comprising Robuste as flagship,

In late 1809, Ganteaume was organising reinforcements to Barcelona. Robuste became the flagship of a squadron under Cosmao, along with Donawerth, Génois, Borée and Lion, as well as the frigates Pauline and Pénélope, and a dozen of transports. The fleet departed Toulon on 24 April 1809, and returned on 1 May without incident.

In October, the squadron attempted another ferry, under rear-admiral François Baudin. On the 21, the French were detected by HMS Pomone, which reported to Lord Collingwood's squadron. Collingwood sent his 3 frigates as vanguard and departed with 15 ships of the line. In the morning of 23 October, HMS Volontaire detected and reported the French squadron.

The British gave chase, but lost the contact. On 24 at dawn, HMS Tigre detected Robuste, Borée, Lion and Pauline but the fleets lost contact again. In the morning of 25, the fleets came again into view, the French sailing close to the shore, and the chase resumed. The Robuste and Lion were beached around noon near Frontignan. After two hours of fruitless attempts to save the ships, Baudin ordered them scuttled, and they were set on fire in the evening. Thex exploded at 10h30.


  • William James, The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War By France in 1798 to the Accession of George IV p.142
  • Jean-Michel Roche, Dictionnaire des Bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours, tome I