Steam regatta La Gloire

The French steam regatta La Gloire sprang from the experience of the navy during the Crimean War and was not only the world's first ocean-going armored ship but laid groundbreaking foundations for the further construction and development of warships despite its disadvantages in its lifetime.

Launching and design:

As early as 1845, the French shipbuilding engineer Henri Dupuy de Lôme presented to the naval command a concept of a ship with iron fittings. At this time, however, the Navy refused to build. Only with the experience from the Crimean War and the realization that only heavily armored ships could withstand the new explosive grenades was the concept after re-submission in 1857 taken up again.


Dampffregatte La Gloire

Steam regatta La Gloire


Already in March 1858 the construction started at the shipyard in Toulon. The design provided a composite construction, so that the keel and ribs were made of iron, was covered with wood. The iron armor was then added over the wood.

This iron belt extended 1.8 meters below the waterline to the upper deck. In the middle, the armor was 110-119 mm thick, which then thinned to the respective ends. The total weight of the armor alone was around 812 tons.

With the drive one used classically still the rigging with a sail surface of 1100 square meters. Further, a steam engine was installed, which was fired by eight boilers and made 2537 hp.

At the start of construction, the ship was equipped with 36 162mm guns, with two guns were on the upper deck, the rest was distributed to the batteries. After reconstruction in 1866, eight 239mm guns and six 192mm guns were added.


Dampffregatte La Gloire

Steam regatta La Gloire




The end of La Gloire:

Combat actions were neither La Gloire nor one of her sister ships Normandie and Invincible part. Due to its design and the resulting disadvantages in terms of durability, the La Gloire was put out of service after 10 years and scrapped in 1883.

Although the La Gloire was the first ocean-going battleship to bring its new development not used, however, it was found that the classic wooden ships had served their days due to the development of new weapons. As a result, shortly after launching La Gloire, the British also launched their first battleship with the HMS Warrior and began a new arms race across Europe with these new types of ships.


Dampffregatte La Gloire

Steam regatta La Gloire



Ship data:

Ship type Steam regatta
Country France
Launching November 24, 1859
Whereabouts Scrapped in 1883
Number of masts 3
Sail and drive  

1100 square meters sail area

Horizontal piston engine with 2537 hp

Length 77,9 meters
Width 17 meters
Draft ahead 7,03 meters, behind 8,49 meters
Displacement 5630 metric tons
Speed Up to 12.5 knots

36x162mm guns

from 1866 additionally:

8x 239mm guns

6x 193mm guns

Crew Round 570 Man






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