fighting ships of the world



IÉNA battleship (1902)

Iéna 1902 drawing from www.shipbucket.com

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Iéna   Arsenal de Brest 15/1/1898 1/9/1898 14/4/1902 explosion 12/3/1907


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

122.2 wl 122.4 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m

8.38 max

No of shafts



VTE, 20 Belleville boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1080

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

Harvey Nickel steel; belt: 330 - 120, upper belt: 120 - 80, main turrets: 290, turret bases: 200, secondary guns: 200 - 80, CT: 300, deck: 65


2 x 2 - 305/40 M1893-96, 8 x 1 - 165/45 M1893-96, 8 x 1 - 100/45 M1893, 20 x 1 - 47/40 M1885, 4 x 1 - 37/20 M1885, 4 - 450 TT (beam, 2 aw, 2 sub)



Ship project history: In general design Iéna was an enlarged Charlemagne. The 305mm guns were arranged as in Charlemagne with the 165mm in casemates on the main deck, the four amidships weapons being sponsoned out over the tumblehome. The 3.9in guns were on the forecastle deck and superstructure. Though fitted with large bilge keels Iéna was reported to roll considerably and to pitch heavily.

Ship protection: The belt was complete and extended from 0.9m above water to 1.5m below. For 83.9m amidships it was 330mm and was gradually reduced to 230mm at the ends, the lower edge being a uniform 120mm. The upper belt was in two strakes, the lower 120mm and the upper 80mm, with a combined width of 2m increased at the bows and reduced at the stern. There was the usual cellular layer with the armour deck at the main belt upper edge 65mm max hardened steel on 18mm plating and the deck at the belt lower edge 33mm max. The casemates had 90mm armour with 200mm on the ammunition tubes.

Modernizations: early 1900s: - 2 - 450 TT (aw).

Naval service: She blew up in dry dock at Toulon 12/3/1907, the whole after section and much of the midships part being wrecked, though she was afterwards patched up as a target. The explosion was due to spontaneous ignition of decomposing nitrocellulose propellant in an after 100mm magazine, and the after 305mm magazines and shell rooms were later involved. It may be noted that most of the 100mm ammunition contained propellant that was known to be dangerous, and that the magazine cooling gear had been removed when the ship was in dock.




Ivan Gogin, 2014