Battleship Jauréguiberry

The Jauréguiberry was one of the first battleships to be built in France at the end of the 19th century, in response to the expansion of the Royal Navy and the German Navy.


Launch and design:

After the lost Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, France began to rebuild and structure its army. Shortly after the war the planning for the army began, only a few years later the French navy began to modernize and to build new ships.

During this process the plans for several early battleships were developed. Up to this time France had no experience in building such ships, but the technical development in Great Britain and the German Empire forced the Navy to build such ships as well.

Based on the experience of the Marceau class, the construction of the two battleships Brennus and Charles Martel began in 1884. However, these were abandoned by Admiral Théophile Aube, since the technical development already brought many innovations, which were to be introduced into the new ships. For this purpose, the construction plans were revised and adapted.

In 1888 the construction of the Brennus began, which was regarded as the first battleship built in France.

When the Naval Defense Act was enacted in Great Britain in 1889 and 8 battleships were released for construction, the French Naval Ministry was forced to enact the Naval Statute in 1890, which resulted in the construction of 24 battleships and other smaller warships. The first phase of the programme included the construction of 4 battleships based on the plans of the Brennus. On December 24, 1889, the basic requirements were set by the Ministry. Thus the displacement should amount to approximately 14.000 tons, the main guns should have a caliber of 340 mm and the armour should be up to 450 mm. 5 naval architects then submitted their designs for the new ships, with the Commission also agreeing on the design for Amable Lagane. Amable Lagane was director of naval construction at the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée shipyard and had previously supervised the construction of one of the Magenta class ships and was also inspired by the Chilean battleship Capitán Prat, which was also built at the shipyard.

As with the other designs, the Jauréguiberry also had only two single turrets in which the main guns with a calibre of 305 mm were housed one at the front and one at the rear of the ship. The Capitán Prat took over the concept to place only one turret with a caliber of 274 mm at the side of the ship. This application was intended to save space, but had the disadvantage that the entire gun could fail in the event of a hit and the medium-weight artillery, unlike other ships, was rather small in number. Revolutionary, however, was the installation of electric drives for the turrets, except for the two main guns. This technology was used for the first time in a French battleship, but was prone to failure and unreliable. Further 4 x 138 mm, 4 x 65 mm and 14 x 47 mm guns were installed. Overall, however, the armament proved to be too weak compared to other warships of the time.

The propulsion was provided by two vertical three-cylinder triple expansion engines, each driving one propeller. The power required for this was provided by 24 water-tube boilers housed in 6 boiler rooms. The target output was 14.441 hp and the maximum speed 17,5 knots. The ship was 111,9 metres long, 23 metres wide, 8,45 metres deep and had a maximum displacement of 12.229 tonnes.

The armour was made of nickel steel, up to 400 mm thick on the belt, to protect the ammunition and boiler rooms in particular. The two main turrets were protected by 370 mm thick armour, the other turrets by up to 10 mm. In addition to the weaker armament, the Jauréguiberry was also less armoured than the other battleships.

The Jauréguiberry was launched on 27 October 1893 and put into service on 16 February 1897.



Drawing of the battleship Jauréguiberry


Drawing of the battleship Jauréguiberry


Battleship Jauréguiberry in 1905




History of the Jauréguiberry:

Already before the official commissioning during the test runs there were several accidents on the ship. On 10 June 1896, for example, one of the steam pipes burst in one of the boiler rooms. The escaping steam then killed 6 crew members, 3 others were injured, some severely. In August 1896, a test of the main guns also resulted in an accident in which crew members were injured but none died.

After the commissioning on 16 February 1897 it came again to an accident in March when an air chamber of one of the torpedoes exploded. The division to the Mediterranean squadron was delayed thus again and the ship could begin its service only on 17 May 1897.

In the following years, the annual manoeuvres and exercises were carried out and round trips to ports in the Mediterranean were made.

On 20 January 1902 a torpedo air chamber exploded again, killing 1 crew member and injuring 3 others.

In 1904 the Jauréguiberry was replaced in the Mediterranean by the new ship Suffren and transferred to the Atlantic squadron with the home port Brest. There were further accidents on 18 July 1904 when fog covered the port entrance of Brest and the ship ran aground and on 18 May 1905 already the third time the air chamber of a torpedo exploded, which led to the flooding of the control room.

In February 1907, it was transferred to the Mediterranean Sea and integrated into the reserve fleet, where other older battleships were also combined. In 1910, the ship was transferred back to the Atlantic fleet and overhauled, completely replacing the boiler tubes.

In October 1913, the ship was transferred back to the Mediterranean and served as a training ship. A new fire control system was also installed, which was to be extensively tested before it was to be installed in the new Courbet class battleships.



Battleship Jauréguiberry




Use in war:

When the First World War broke out in Europe, the French warships in the Mediterranean were ordered to mobilise and be operational on 1 August 1914. The Jauréguiberry was sent to the French colony of Algeria on 4 August to secure the important troop transports from the colony back to France.

From December 1914 to February 1915, the ship was at Port Said port to serve as the flagship of the Syrian fleet.

In the March the transfer to the other ships took place before the Dardanelles, where British and French troops tried to form a bridgehead and destroy the Ottoman coastal fortifications there. Since France had already lost the battleship Bouvet and the battleships Suffren and Gaulois were badly damaged, the Jauréguiberry was to be used as compensation. On 25 April, the ship helped the troops land at Cape Helles when it fired at the Ottoman positions. The operation lasted until 26 May, when targets were fired at during the Battle of Krithia. Although the ship itself received some ships from Ottoman guns, the damage was comparatively minor.

On 19 July the Jauréguiberry was ordered back to Port Said to fire at targets in Haifa, which was held by the Ottoman Empire. Afterwards the ship served again as flagship of the Syrian fleet.

Until the year 1917, missions to secure the Suez Canal were still carried out, until the Jauréguiberry had to surrender some of its weapons that were needed to defend the canal. After the construction, the ship was put in reserve in 1918.



The battleship Jauréguiberry in Port Said in 1915





After the First World War, the Jauréguiberry returned to Toulon on 6 March 1919, where the ship was decommissioned. On 30 March 1919 it was assigned to the Engineer's Training School, where it remained until 1932.

On 23 June 1934, the ship was finally sold and then scrapped.




Ship data:





Type of ship:  



Single ship

Building yard:  

Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne-sur-Mer

Building costs:  



October 27th, 1893


February 16th, 1897


Sold and scrapped on 23 June 1934


111,9 meters


23 meters


Max. 8,45 meters


Max. 12.229 tons


597 men


24 Lagrafel d'Allest water tube boiler

2 Vertical triple expansion machines


14.441 HP (10.769 kW)

Maximum speed:  

17,5 knots (32,4 kilometers per hour)




2 × 305 mm guns

2 × 274 mm guns

4 × 138 mm guns

4 × 65 mm guns

14 × 47 mm guns

6 × 450 mm Torpedo tubes


Belt: up to 400 mm
Deck: 90 mm
Main guns: 370 mm
Towers: 250 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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!






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