fighting ships of the world



FOUDRE torpedo depot ship (1897)

Foudre 1897

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Foudre   Soc de la Gironde, Bordeaux 6/1892 20/10/1895 9/1897 repair ship 1907, minelayer 1910, aircraft depot ship 1912, seaplane carrier 1913, stricken 12/1921


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

116.0 pp 118.7 oa

Breadth, m

15.6 wl 17.2 oa

Draught, m

7.14 max

No of shafts



VTE, 24 Lagrafel d'Allest

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1260

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

Harvey Nickel steel; deck: 60 with 120mm slopes, shields: 55, CT: 120


8 x 1 - 100/45 M1891, 4 x 1 - 65/50 M1891, 4 x 1 - 37/20 M1885, 8 - 10 18m TBs



Ship project history: A ship of cruiser type with three funnels close together and overhead gear for handling her TBs forward and aft of the funnels. The 100mm were at bow and stem with six in upper deck sponsons. The 18m TBs for the Foudre were known by letters A to I. Of these, eight were built by Le Creusot at Chalons-sur-Saône, and one, C, by Yarrow.

Ship protection: The armour deck was 60mm total on the flat and 120mm max on the slopes, and there was the usual cofferdam and cellular layer above, with 120mm on the CT.

Modernizations: 1907: - (8 - 10) TBs

1910: + 80 mines

1911: hangar was fitted between rear funnel and the mainmast, crane added.

1913: + 4 - 8 flying boats (F.B.A. A)

1918: - some 1 - 100/45; + some 90/24 M1891

Naval service: The Foudre was converted to a minelayer and then in 1912 to a seaplane carrier with a hangar abaft the funnels, and operated two aircraft in the 1913 manoeuvres, one being hoisted out and the other launched from a runway. In 1914-1918 she also was used as submarine tender. After the war she was also used as aviation school ship.

Ivan Gogin, 2014