French ship La Couronne (1750)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Fight of the Ça Ira off Noli on 14 March 1795
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign
Name: Ça-Ira
Builder: Arsenal of Brest
Laid down: May 1748
Launched: 1749
Christened: as La Couronne
Renamed: Renamed Ça-Ira on 29 September 1792
Reclassified: rebuilt in 1784 in Toulon
Captured: Captured by the Royal Navy on 14 March 1795
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Fate: Destroyed in an accidental fire
General characteristics
Displacement: 1400 tonnes
Length: 54.2 metres
Beam: 14.3 metres
Draught: 7.1 metres
Complement: 600

80 guns:

  • 28 x 36-pounder long guns
  • 30 x 18-pounder long guns
  • 18 X 8-pounder long guns

The Couronne was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

In 1792, she was renamed Ça Ira.

On 13 March 1795, under Captain Coudé, she was part of a French squadron of 13 ships, under contre-amiral Martin. Off Alassio the French met a 15-ship English fleet under Lord Hotham. Outnumbered, they tried to avoid combat, but while manoeuvering, Ça Ira collided with Victoire and damaged her rigging; she found herself upwind and was soon attacked by the English fleet, forcing the French squadron to engage in combat. Ça Ira was attacked by the frigate HMS Inconstant under Captain Thomas Fremantle and HMS Agamemnon under captain Horatio Nelson, repelling them but sustaining heavy damage. The French gunners proved particularly clumsy, failing to hit Agamemnon while she managed to outmaneuver and rake Ça Ira from the aft. The French frigate Vestale and the ship Censeur came to rescue, fighting the whole English vanguard.

The next day Ça Ira and Censeur were lagging behind the French squadron and the English advanced to capture them. Admiral Martin tried to intervene but failed due to unfavourable wind and incompetent gunners. Only the Duquesne intervened, and had to retreat after she sustained damage and casualties [1]. Ça Ira and Censeur tried to fight but due to a false maneuver Ça Ira collided with Censeur; her rigging fell on Censeur, stranding both ships. Men from Agamemnon boarded Ça Ira and captured her.

She was recommissioned in the Royal Navy. Nelson was offered her command but deemed her too badly damaged, and she was used as a hulk floating hospital in Saint-Florent.

On 11 April 1796 she was destroyed in an accidental fire. The wounded aboard were evacuated, and she was towed off the harbour to prevent fire from sparking to the rest of the ships of to the town. She sank 500 metres off the beach.

In 1988 a map signaling the wreck was discovered in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and undersea archeological survey has taken place since.

External links

ja:クーローヌ (戦列艦)