fighting ships of the world



LIBERTÉ battleships (1908)

Verité 1909

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Démocratie   Arsenal de Brest 1/5/1903 30/4/1904 1/1908 stricken 1/1921
Justice 969 F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 4/1903 27/10/1904 2/1908 stricken 1/1922
Liberté   A C de la Loire, St-Nazaire 11/1902 19/4/1905 3/1908 internal explosion 25/9/1911
Verité   C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 4/1903 28/5/1907 6/1908 stricken 1/1922


Displacement normal, t

14489 - 14860

Displacement full, t


Length, m

133.8 pp 134.8 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m

8.36 - 8.41 max

No of shafts



VTE, 22 Belleville boilers

Justice: VTE, 24 Niclausse boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1800

Endurance, nm(kts) 8400(10)

Armour, mm

belt: 280 - 80, upper belt: 240 - 80, main turrets: 360 - 280, turret bases: 250, secondary turrets: 150 - 85, casemates: 140, deck: 55, CT: 300


2 x 2 - 305/40 M1893-96M, 10 x 1 - 194/50 M1902, 13 x 1 - 65/50 M1902, 10 x 1 - 47/50 M1902, 2 - 450 TT (beam, sub)



Ship project history: In most respects this class was the same as the République:, the main difference being in the secondary armament of 10 194mm guns. These were very powerful guns for their size and were arranged in six single turrets at forecastle deck level with two guns in upper deck casemates below the foremast and two in main deck casemates below the after funnel.The Liberté class also differed in having a mixed anti-torpedo craft armament of 65mm of a new high velocity pattern and 47mm of the same type as in the République.

Ship protection: Main belt covered area from the bows to near the stern and had 3.8m height (2.3m above and 1.5m below water). Its thickness was 280mm amidships tapering to 240mm at upper and 80mm at lower edges. These figures at ship ends were 180, 140 and 80mm respectively. 2.7m high area over main belt between the bows and foremast was covered by 80mm armour. Flat 55mm main deck was connected with upper edge of main belt and 50mm lower deck connected with lower edge of the belt by 70mm slopes. A space between these decks was divided into many small compartments, filled with coal or stores. Main turrets were protected by 320-280mm armour and had 280mm bases, secondary turrets had 150mm faces, 280mm rears (for balancing) and 140-90mm bases. Casemates had 140mm protection.

Modernizations: 1916 - 1917, all survived: - 6 x 1 - 47/50; + 4 x 1 - 47/50 Hotchkiss AA

Naval service: Liberté 25/9/1911 blew up in Toulon due to spontaneous ignition of propellant in one of 194mm gun magazines. Most of the magazines in the fwd part of the ship exploded, demolishing the ship. In 1914-1918 all three survived ships served on Mediterranean.

Démocratie 1908

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14