French ship Orient (1791)

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Orient explodes
The Orient explodes at the Battle of the Nile
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign
Builder: Toulon Arsenal
Laid down: May 1790
Launched: 20 July 1791
Commissioned: August 1793
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
General characteristics
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
Armament: 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
Armour: Wood

The Dauphin-Royal was a Océan class 118-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

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".

After the Battle of Trafalgar, Viscount Horatio Nelson was put in a coffin carved from a piece of the main mast of Orient, which had been taken back to England for this purpose.


  • Dictionnaire de la flotte de guerre française de 1617 à nos jours, Jean-Michel Roche

fr:L'Orient it:L'Orient ja:ドーファン=ロワイヤル (戦列艦) pl:L'Orient