French Ship Ocean (1790)
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French Ship Ocean 1790

Namesake: Ocean
Ordered: 30 September 1785 [1]
Builder: Arsenal de Toulon
Laid down: 12 August 1786 as États de Bourgogne[2][3]
Launched: 8 November 1790[3]
Out of service: 2 August 1850
Renamed: Ordered and completed as États de Bourgogne; Côte d'Or 22 January 1793; Montagne 22 October 1793; Peuple 25 May 1795; Océan 30 May 1795.
Stricken: 1851 floating battery, 1855/56 broken up
Fate: Broken up in 1856
General characteristics
Class and type: Océan-class ship of the line
Displacement: 2 700 tonnes
Length: 65.18 m (213.8 ft) (196.6 French feet)
Beam: 16.24 m (53.3 ft) (50 French feet)
Draught: 8.12 m (26.6 ft) (25 French feet)
Propulsion: sail, 3,265 m2 (35,140 sq ft)
Complement: 1,079

Océan was a 118-gun first-rate three-decker ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship[note 1] of her class. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Bourgogne.

She was ordered as États de Bourgogne and was launched at Brest in 1790. Like many French ships of the line during the Revolutionary period, she was renamed several times, becoming Côte d'Or in January 1793, Montagne in October 1793, Peuple on 17 May 1795, and a matter of weeks later again renamed, to Océan. She served until 1855.

A large model of a generic Océan-class ship, named Océan, at the ​ scale can be seen at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.


An old-gold coloured figurehead, still attached to the brown wooden ship, of a crowned, bearded man with a double-handed spear. He is covered on his forward arm and just below his waist by flowing cloth. With one foot back towards the ship and one foot forward on gold scroll-work at the bow, he shown starting a charge forward, aiming his spear ahead.
Figurehead of Océan.

As the largest ship of the line in the Brest fleet, the ship spent much of her early career as the fleet flagship.

As Montagne, the ship was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse in the Combat de Prairial (known in English literature as the Glorious First of June) in 1794. She was badly damaged by HMS Royal Sovereign, losing 313 men and receiving 233 round shots in her hull.

On 17 May 1795, she was renamed Peuple; a month later, on 23 June she fought in the Battle of Groix as Villaret's flagship. Returning to Lorient three days later, she was officially renamed to Océan, a name that had been in use since 30 May.

She was refitted in Brest in 1797.

In 1801, she once again served as Villaret's flagship, ferrying troops of Leclerc's expedition to Saint-Domingue.

Océan was Allemand's flagship at the Battle of the Basque Roads.

She was decommissioned on 2 August 1850, and used as a floating artillery battery from May 1851.

Notes and References


  1. ^ Commerce de Marseille was ordered after États de Bourgogne (which was later renamed Océan), but launched before her; therefore, the ship type is alternatively called Commerce de Marseille class or Océan class


  1. ^ Boudriot, p.21
  2. ^ Demerliac, 1774 à 1792
  3. ^ a b Roche, vol.1, Océan


  • "Le vaisseau trois-ponts l'Océan", Jean Boudriot, in Neptunia n° 102 (1971), page 21.
  • Demerliac, Alain (2004). La Marine de Louis XVI: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1774 à 1792 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-906381-23-3.
  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours. 1. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922. (1671-1870)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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