fighting ships of the world



BOUCLIER destroyers (1911-1913)

Bouclier 1918

Casque 1914

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Bouclier M66 Normand, Le Havre 1909 29/6/1911 1911 stricken 2/1933
Boutefeu M67 Dyle et Bacalan, Bordeaux 1909 2/5/1911 1911 sunk 15/5/1917
Casque M68 F C de la Méditerranée, La Seyne 1909 25/8/1910 1911 stricken 3/1926
Cimeterre M69 F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 1909 13/4/1911 1912 stricken 7/1926
Dague M70 F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 1909 13/4/1911 1912 sunk 24/2/1915
Faulx M71 De la Brosse et Fouché, Nantes 1909 2/2/1911 1912 collision 18/4/1918
Fourche M72 De la Brosse et Fouché, Nantes 1909 21/10/1910 1912 sunk 23/6/1916
Capitaine Mehl M73 A C de la Loire, St-Nazaire 1910 20/4/1912 1912 stricken 7/1926
Commandant Bory M74 Dyle et Bacalan, Bordeaux 1910 14/9/1912 1913 stricken 7/1926
Commandant Rivière M75 F C de la Gironde, Bordeaux 1910 2/10/1912 1913 stricken 6/1933
Dehorter M76 Penhoët, St-Nazaire 1910 18/4/1912 1913 stricken 1933
Francis Garnier M77 Normand, Le Havre 1910 1/10/1912 1913 stricken 2/1926


Displacement normal, t

720 - 756

Displacement full, t

760 - 820

Length, m

Bouclier: 72.3

others: 74.0 - 78.3

Breadth, m

7.60 - 8.00

Draught, m

2.90 - 3.30

No of shafts

Bouclier, Casque: 3

others: 2


Bouclier, Casque, Capitaine Mehl, Dehorter, Francis Garnier: Parsons steam turbines, 4 Normand, Normand-Sigaudy, Du Temple or Dyle et Bacalan boilers

Boutefeu, Commandant Rivière: Zoelly steam turbines, 4 Normand, Normand-Sigaudy, Du Temple or Dyle et Bacalan boilers

Cimeterre, Dague: Bréguet steam turbines, 4 Normand, Normand-Sigaudy, Du Temple or Dyle et Bacalan boilers

Faulx, Fourche, Commandant Bory: Rateau steam turbines, 4 Normand, Normand-Sigaudy, Du Temple or Dyle et Bacalan boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 120 - 160

Endurance, nm(kts) 1200-1400(12-14)


2 x 1 - 100/45 M1893, 4 x 1 - 65/50 M1902, 2 x 2 - 450 TT

Complement 80 - 83

Ship project history: These 12 800-tonners were designed by various shipyards lo the general specification which included turbines and oil-fired boilers as a requirement - hence many variations from ship to ship. They were however given a uniform armament of 2 100mm 1893 model guns, 4 65mm 1902 model guns and 2 twin trainable 45Omm TT. These ships were laid down in 1909-1910 under 1908 and 1910 programmes and completed in 1911-1913. Casque cost 2.96 million francs. They had twin screw machinery - except Bouclier and Casque which had 3 screws and were the fastest ships of the class, reaching 35.5kts and 34.9kts respectively an trials. Bouclier and Casque also had the lowest fuel consumption. These 800t destroyers were modified during the war and became overloaded so their top operational set speed seldom exceeded 26kts. Their hulls showed weakness in a seaway and had to be strengthened and their machinery proved itself to be not very sturdy. Other drawbacks became apparent and needed correcting before the end of the war -armament was thought to be weak, the bridge poorly constructed and the ship's silhouette too high. Ships of this type formed a relatively homogenous class, rare in the French Navy at that time troubled as it was by frequent changes of policy. Four funnels were fitted except in Casque which had three. The funnels were stepped in two groups before the engine room (Boutefeu and Commandant Bory had their stacks spaced equally). The slowest ship of the class was Bory which reached only 24kts in service.

Modernizations: 1916 - 1918, all survived: + 1 x 1 - 75/35 M1897, 2 x 1 - 8/80, 2 DCR (8 - 10).

Naval service: Bouclier was damaged by German destroyers off Dunkirk 20/5/1917, 8/12/1917 she lost her poop after explosion of own DC. Boutefeu was cut in half 15/5/1917 at Brindisi on a mine laid by German submarine UC25, Fourche was torpedoed and sunk 23/6/1916 by Austrian submarine U15. Dague was stricken 24/2/1915 by drifting mine at coast of Montenegro, Faulx was rammed by destroyer Mangini 18/4/1918 in Otranto Strait. Commandant Rivière in action against Austrian destroyer Dinara 22/12/1916 was badly damaged (one boiler room was knocked out). Casque twice received serious damages from collisions: with Italian destroyer Giuseppe Cesare Alba in the Otranto Strait 23/12/1916 and with French minelayer Pluton off Dardanelles 29/8/1918, but both times was repaired and commissioned again.

Francis Garnier

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14