Armored cruiser Amiral Aube

The Amiral Aube was the fifth and thus the last ship of the Gloire class, which was to form a larger and improved version of the Gueydon class.


Launch and design:

Since the beginning of the 90s of the 19th century, work has been underway on concepts to provide the French Navy with large protected cruisers to serve the colonies. In 1895 the naval architect Emile Bertin took over the management of the project. His first action was to transform the concept of the large protected cruiser Jeanne d'Arc into an armoured cruiser in order to build a class of ships that would block and disrupt the enemy's trade routes in a later war.

In addition to the Jeanne d'Arc, the ships of the Amiral Charner were also the first to build a class of armoured cruisers designed from the ground up. However, these were still too much based on the principle of the large protected cruisers, so that shortly afterwards Emile Bertin developed a smaller and cheaper variant of armoured cruisers with the ships of the Gueydon class.

However, the Gueydon class did not prove to be sufficient overall, so that shortly after its release by the French Ministry of the Navy a successor model was developed and which was to be somewhat larger and improved again.

The resulting Gloire class should consist of 5 ships with a length of 139,8 meters and a width of 20,2 meters. The displacement was 9.534 tons with a draught of 7,7 meters.

The armament remained with the main guns at 2 x 194 mm guns of the Modèle 1896. The caliber of the secondary armament was also taken over by the ships of the Gueydon class, only the number differed. This again consisted of 8 x 164 mm, the number of 100 mm guns was increased from 4 to 6. Also the number of the 47 mm guns was increased from 10 to 18, but the 37 mm guns were omitted.

The armour on the ship's belt was also significantly increased. This was reinforced from 150 to 170 mm, and the deck was also reinforced from 55 to 63 mm. The armour of the turrets remained at 173 mm.

Once again, three vertical triple expansion steam engines were used to drive the turrets, but these were driven by 24 Belleville boilers. The output thus increased by only 500 to a total of 20.500 hp, which meant that the maximum speed only rose slightly to 21 knots.

The Amiral Aube was launched on May 9, 1902 and put into service on April 17, 1904.



Drawing of the Gloire Class


Armored cruiser Amiral Aube


View on the front main gun of the armoured cruiser Amiral Aube


View on the deck of the armored cruiser Amiral Aube




History of the Amiral Aube:

After the trial runs and the official handover to the French Navy, the Amiral Aube took part in the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Canadian city of Quebec in 1908, in which royal guests and dignitaries from countries of the British Empire and the United States of America also took part.

After the festivities, the ship also visited several ports in the USA.



The armored cruiser Amiral Aube during the celebrations in Quebec 1908


Crew members of the armored cruiser Amiral Aube train at the anti-aircraft gun during their stay in New York


Crew members of the armored cruiser Amiral Aube during their stay in New York


Crew members of the armored cruiser Amiral Aube during their stay in New York




Use in war:

With the outbreak of World War I the Amiral Aube was assigned to the training squadron together with the sister ships of the Gloire class, which strengthened the 2nd light squadron of the Atlantic fleet in Brest.

Until 1914 the ship patrolled the Western Channel to intercept merchant ships on their way to the German Empire.

After completion of the mission, the Amiral Aube was moved to the eastern Mediterranean to take over security duties there.

After the outbreak of the Russian civil war and the Allied intervention, the Amiral Aube was moved to the north of Russia to support the Allied troops. This task was carried out until the end of the war.





After the end of the First World War the Amiral Aube was assigned to the reserve.

Due to her age and technical backwardness, it was decided to remove the ship from the list of warships on 4 April 1922 and to scrap it from 15 September 1922.




Ship data:


Amiral Aube



Type of ship:  

Armored cruiser



Building yard:  

Chantiers de Penhoët, Saint-Nazaire

Building costs:  



May 9th, 1902


April 17th, 1904


From 15 September 1922 scrapped


139,8 metres


20,2 metres


Maximum 7,7 metres


Maximum 9.534 tons


612 men




three vertical triple expansion steam engines

24 Belleville boiler


20.500 HP (15.300 kW)

Maximum speed:  

21 knots (39 kilometres per hour)




2 × 194 mm guns

8 × 164 mm guns

6 × 100 mm guns

18 × 47 mm guns

5 × 450 mm torpedo tubes


Belt: 106 - 170 mm
Deck: 45 - 63 mm
Turrets: 173 mm
Bulkheads: 102 - 127 mm
Command tower: 152 mm






You can find the right literature here:


French Battleships 1914–45 (New Vanguard)

French Battleships 1914–45 (New Vanguard) Paperback – January 22, 2019

This authoritative study examines the French Navy's last battleships, using detailed color plates and historical photographs, taking them from their inception before World War I, through their service in World War II including the scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon in 1943, and the service of Richelieu in the war against Japan.

On September 1, 1910, France became the last great naval power to lay down a dreadnought battleship, the Courbet. The ensuing Courbet and Bretagne-class dreadnoughts had a relatively quiet World War I, spending most of it at anchor off the entrance to the Adriatic, keeping watch over the Austro-Hungarian fleet. The constraints of the Washington Naval Treaty prevented new battleships being built until the 1930s, with the innovative Dunkerque-class and excellent Richelieu-class of battleships designed to counter new German designs.

After the fall of France in 1940, the dreadnoughts and fast battleships of the Marine Nationale had the unique experience of firing against German, Italian, British, and American targets during the war.

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French Battleships of World War One

French Battleships of World War One Hardcover – June 15, 2017

When war broke out in August 1914 France had only two dreadnoughts in service, with a second pair running trials. The main body of the elite Armée Navale was made up of the eleven battleships of the Patrie and Danton classes, both of which were intermediate designs with two main gun calibers. Older ships included survivors of the notorious Flotte d'echantillons ('fleet of samples') of the 1890 program and their successors designed during the 1890s.

This book traces the development of French battleships from 1890 to 1922, and also covers the extensive modifications made to the survivors during the interwar period. It is liberally illustrated throughout with line drawings and labelled schematics, plus photographs from the extensive Caresse collection, many of which are previously unpublished.

This is the most comprehensive account of these ships published in English or French, and is destined be the standard reference for many years to come.

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French Armoured Cruisers 1887–1932

French Armoured Cruisers 1887–1932 Hardcover – November 1, 2019

Of all the threats faced by the Royal Navy during the first years of the twentieth century, the one which stood out was the risk to Britain's sea lines of communication posed by France's armored cruisers. Fast, well-armed, and well-protected, these ships could have evaded any attempted blockade of the French ports and, supported by a worldwide network of overseas bases, could potentially have caused havoc on the trade routes.

The primary focus of the book is on the technical characteristics of the ships. Detailed and labeled drawings based on the official plans are provided by John Jordan, and each individual class of ship is illustrated by photographs from the extensive personal collection of Philippe Caresse. The technical section is followed by a history in two parts, covering the Great War (1914-18) and the postwar years, during which the surviving ships saw extensive deployment as "station" cruisers overseas and as training ships. This is the most comprehensive account published in English or in French and is destined to be the standard reference for many years to come.

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To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War

To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War Hardcover – July 15, 2013

The only comparative analysis available of the great navies of World War I--each chapter is written by a recognzed expert fluent in the subject language. The work studies the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom (John Roberts), the German Kaiserliche Marine (Dr. Peter Schenk with Axel Niestlé and Dieter Thomaier) the United States Navy (Trent Hone), the French Marine Nationale (Jean Moulin), the Italian Regia Marina (Enrico Cernuschi and Vincent P. O'Hara) the Austro-Hungarian Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine (Zvonimir Freivogel), and the Imperial Russian Navy (Stephen McLaughlin) to demonstrate why the war was won, not in the trenches, but upon the waves. It explains why these seven fleets fought the way they did and why the war at sea did not develop as the admiralties and politicians of 1914 expected.

After discussing each navy's goals and circumstances and how their individual characteristics impacted the way they fought, the authors deliver a side-by-side analysis of the conflict's fleets, with each chapter covering a single navy. Parallel chapter structures assure consistent coverage of each fleet--history, training, organization, doctrine, materiel, and operations--and allow readers to easily compare information among the various navies. The book clearly demonstrates how the naval war was a collision of 19th century concepts with 20th century weapons that fostered unprecedented development within each navy and sparked the evolution of the submarine and aircraft carrier. The work is free from the national bias that infects so many other books on World War I navies. As they pioneer new ways of viewing the conflict, the authors provide insights and material that would otherwise require a massive library and mastery of multiple languages. Such a study has special relevance today as 20th-century navies struggle to adapt to 21st-century technologies.

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