, named after the Battle of Valmy
The Battle of Valmy was the first major victory by the army of France during the French Revolution. The action took place on 20 September 1792 as Prussian troops commanded by the Duke of Brunswick attempted to march on Paris...
, was the largest three-decker
A three-decker is a sail warship which carried her guns on three fully armed decks. Usually additional guns were carried on the upper works , but this was not a continuous battery and so did not count. Three-deckers were usually "ships of the line", i.e...
of the French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...
, and the largest tall ship ever built in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
was laid down at Brest
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...
in 1838 as Formidable
and launched in 1847. When she entered service in 1849, she was the largest warship in the world and would remain so until 1853, when the British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....
three-decker Duke Of Wellington
HMS Duke of Wellington was a 131-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1852, she was symptomatic of an era of rapid technological change in the navy, being powered both by sail and steam...
(6,071 tons and converted to steam power while on the stocks) entered service, but she would remain the largest sailing three-decker ever built. Unlike most similar ships, that featured a pronounced tumblehome
In ship designing, the tumblehome is the narrowing of a ship's hull with greater distance above the water-line. Expressed more technically, it is present when the beam at the uppermost deck is less than the maximum beam of the vessel....
, she had vertical sides; this significantly increased the space available for upper batteries, but reduced the stability of the ship; wooden stabilisers were added under the waterline to address the issue.
was thought to be the largest sort of sailing ship possible, as larger dimensions made the management of rigging impracticable with mere manpower.
She was engaged in the Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...
, where she proved difficult to manoeuvre and, like other sailing vessels, often had to be towed by steam ships. During the bombardment of Sevastopol, the only time she fired her guns in anger, she was towed by the new steam two-decker Napoléon
The Napoléon was a 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and the very first purpose-built steam battleship in the world . She is also considered the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever . Launched in 1850, she was the lead ship of a class of 9 battleships, all...
She returned to Brest in 1855, where she was disarmed. She was used as a school ship for the French Naval Academy from 1864 under the name Borda
. She took back her old name of Intrépide
one year before being stricken from the navy list in 1891. She was scrapped soon afterwards.
The name Valmy
was later re-used for a Guépard
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...
, launched in 1927 and scuttled in 1942.
Sources and references dossiersmarine.free.fr