Republique Class

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Republique Class French Battleships, built in the first years of the 20th Century and served in the First World War.
Republique 4th September 1902 Served in Mediterranean during WW1. Scrapped after 1921.
Patrie 17th December 1903 Served in Mediterranean during WW1. Scrapped after 1928.

Republique

"The Launch of a New French Battleship"

Extract from  "Army & Navy Illustrated" 1902.

The largest vessel ever built in a French yard, the ?Rebublique,? has just been launched at Brest.  The putting into the water of the new war-ship of any kind is always interesting, and the number of launches we have seen in this country lately has given an added impetus to the interest in the Navy which has so long been the desire of a number of patriots to instil into the mind of every Briton.  It was once claimed for the ?Republique? and her sister ships that she would be superior, in every respect, to any type of existing vessel.  Changes have been made since the time she was laid down, however, and powerful as she may indubitable will be, the difference between her and our ?King Edward VII.? Class will not be very marked.  The advantage, if any, is more likely to be on the side of the latter.  We would not be thought by that to insinuate that the ?Republique? is an inferior type of battleship.  On the contrary, she will be a most formidable opponent in any Naval engagement.  In fact, the units of this type are very fine vessels indeed, and resemble much more closely vessels of the British type than their predecessors.  There is in point of fact a remarkable tendency nowadays to a gradual approximation to one type.  There was a time when the differences between ships of the British and French Fleets were noticeable even when the vessels were at a considerable distance; now it is possible to point to vessels in both the French and Russian Navies which are substantially similar to our own.  The ?Republique? is the first vessel of M. de Lanessan?s programme o be launched, and is consequently an object of interests to all students of Naval architecture.  Her displacement is 14,865 tons, and her indicated horsepower of 17,475 is expected to take her through the water at a speed of 18 knots.  Her projected length was 439-ft, but this has been cut down to 434-ft, 7-in., while her beam remains at 79-ft, 6-in as originally designed.  Her draught is 27-ft, 6-in aft.  Her normal coal capacity of 905 tons, and this can be doubled, which would enable her to go across the Atlantic and back at a nominal speed of 10 knots without recoiling.   Her armour is harveyed steel, and her principal protection a complete belt, rising 8-ft above the water line, and having a maximum thickness of 12-in.  The armour belt on her bow and above the water-line belt is 4-in thick; the sloping protected deck being of the same thickness.  Her main turrets are protected by 12-in armour. The armament consists of four 12-in breech loaders mounted in pairs in turrets; eighteen 6.4-in quick firers, twelve of which are mounted in pairs also in turrets, and six in casemates, besides twenty-eight smaller guns.  Of the five torpedo tubes two are submerged.  Her complement will be 793 men.  The ceremony of launching went off very successfully.  More than 20,000 people were present, which constitutes a record for France.  Vice-Admiral Rouston arrived at about 4 o?clock and proceeded at once to the marquee where all the dignitaries were assembled, together with the officers of the Greek ?Psara? and the Austrian ?Szigethvar.?  As soon as the Vice-Admiral had raken his place on the platform, the customary religions service was conducted by l?Abbe Jamont, who is a brother of the General Jamont who served with distinction in China during the Boxer troubles.  The cords were then cut and the huge mass slid gently off the ways.  The attendant bands truck up the ?Marseillaise,? and the vessel plunged into the water, raising on either side huge waves, which did not subside for some little time.  The whole affair was a success, and an enthusiastic crowd greeted with all the power of its lungs the latest addition to the French Navy.  The ?Republique? was laid down at the beginning of last December, and has therefore been just eight months on shipbuilding annals.  Over 2,000 men have been employed on her.  Her designer was M. Bertin, French director of Naval Construction, and after the ceremony he was heartily congratulated by his colleagues at the ministry, who also complimented M. Bahon, the engineer who has been entrusted with the supervision of the building Admiral Rouston, indeed in the general orders of the day highly commended all those connected with the construction of the ?Republique.?    It is worthy of notice in connection with the launch of the ?Republique,? which, as already mentioned, id the first battle ship of the 1900 programme to be launched, that Brest has also the honour of having launched the first cruiser of that programme, the ?Leon Gambetta.?  Moreover, at the rime of writing they are the only vessels of that programme at present in the water, so that the authorities may well be pleased with the results attained.  For us there are not many lessons to be deduced from this launch.  The vessels of foreign Navies are becoming more and more like our own, which goes to prove that the genius of Sir William White is having its effect, and beyond that there is little to be said.  Our latest vessels compare more than favourably with the ?Republique,? and their armaments are rather heavier.

Extract from  "Army & Navy Illustrated" 1902.

Republique.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB085

Republique by moonlight.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB086

Republique

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB087

Republique.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB088

Republique

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB089

Republique

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB090

Republique.  Photograph sent in by Jean Gillet

Republique

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB091

Republique. Sent in by Jean Gillet

Republique.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB092

The Republique with damage after being hit by debris from the Liberte explosion.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB215

The Republique after being hit by debris from the Liberte explosion

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB226

Republique.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB096

Patrie

Patrie.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB093

 

Patrie

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB094

Patrie.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PFB095