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CRUISERS
DESCARTES protected cruisers (1896 - 1897)


Ships


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Descartes     A C de la Loire, St-Nazaire 8/1892 27.9.1894 7/1896 disarmed 1917, stricken 5.1920
Pascal     Arsenal de Toulon 12/1893 26.9.1895 1897 stricken 1911


Technical data


Displacement normal, t

3960

Displacement full, t 
Length, m

96.3 pp 99.0 oa

Breadth, m

13.0

Draught, m

6.50 max

No of shafts

2

Machinery

2 VTE, 16 Belleville boilers

Power, h. p.

8500

Max speed, kts

19.5

Fuel, t

coal 543

Endurance, nm(kts)

5500(10)

Armour, mm

steel; deck: 45 with 60mm slopes, shields: 50, CT: 70

Armament

Descartes: 4 x 1 - 165/45 M1891, 10 x 1 - 100/45 M1891, 8 x 1 - 47/40 M1885, 4 x 1 - 37/20 M1885, 2 - 450 TT (aw, beam)

Pascal: 4 x 1 - 165/45 M1891, 10 x 1 - 100/45 M1891, 14 x 1 - 47/40 M1885, 8 x 1 - 37/20 M1885, 2 - 450 TT (aw, beam)

Complement

Descartes: 383

Pascal: 401



Project history

Two-funnelled cruisers with plough bows and tumblehome. They were wood-sheathed and coppered. The 165mm guns were in midships sponsons on the upper deck, while of the 100mm two were abreast forward and aft on the forecastle deck and four forward and two aft on the upper deck, the sides being recessed for axial fire. Descartes was reported as attaining 21.8kts on trials, but both had to be ballasted to improve stability and in Descartes, at least, the magazines were excessively hot.

Ship protection

The 100mm guns had 50mm shields with 70mm on the CT, and the armour deck was 45mm total on the flat amidships with 60mm slopes. There was a cellular layer above the armour deck and a light debris deck below over the machinery spaces.

Modernizations

None.

Naval service

Descartes collided with Spanish s/s Telesfora and British s/s Strathmore during WWI. In 1917 she was laid up to reserve and disarmed.