Bouvet (1896)

Bouvet in Toulon, c.1912. The tumblehome hull design is shown off well in this photo. Original photo by Agence Rol photo agency, now in the collection of the French National Library.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1893
Launched
1896
Commissioned
1898
AD/BC
AD
History

Laid down 16 January, 1893, in response to the British Royal Sovereign-class, Bouvet was commissioned into the French Navy in June, 1898. Her design was actually pretty decent, protected by an 18" armor belt, and with a top speed of 18 knots. Main armament was a pair each of 12" and 10.8" guns, each single mounted. She shrugged off an accidental ramming by the battleship Gaulois, during the fleet maneuvers in January, 1903, and otherwise had an unremarkable career until World War I. After escorting convoys between North Africa and France, Bouvet was assigned to the Gallipoli campaign. During a bombardment mission, Bouvet struck a mine on 18 March, 1915, capsizing before going down in two minutes with all but fifty of her 710-strong crew.