Océan (80)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Océan (80)

Origin and History

The ship was built at Toulon by Joseph Chapelle, starting in May 1753, and launched on June 20 1756.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • in August 1759: Captain Carné

The ship was burnt on August 19 1759 off Lagos.

Service during the War

In 1759, the ship was part of the fleet assembled at Toulon under de la Clue which was destined to reinforce the main French fleet at Brest for the planned invasion of Great Britain. By mid May, de la Clue's squadron was almost ready for sea when a British squadron under the command of Boscawen, conducting operations in the Mediterranean, appeared off Toulon and blockaded the harbour. At the beginning of July, Boscawen was compelled to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 5, de la Clue set sail from Toulon to make a junction with de Conflans' fleet at Brest. On August 17, de la Clue's fleet (10 ships of the line, 2 50-gun ships and 3 frigates) passed the straits of Gibraltar where it was sighted by the Gibraltar (20). Alarmed, Boscawen set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue. During the night of August 17 to 18, 5 of de la Clue's ships lost sight of his flagship and steered for Cadiz. On August 18, the ship took part in the battle of Lagos. During this battle, she carried the flag of Vice-admiral de la Clue. By about 4:30 PM, the ship was engaged by the Namur (90). At about 5:00 PM, after an engagement of about 30 minutes, the Namur (90), having lost her mizenmast and both topsail yards, was disabled and fell astern. The French squadron then tried to escape to fulfil its mission. However, at about 9:00 AM on August 19, the Océan (80) ran among the breakers. Boscawen thereupon sent the Intrepid (64) and America (60) to destroy the Océan (80) which, in taking the ground, had carried away all her masts. Captain Pratten had anchored and he failed to carry out the order. However, Captain Kirke, taking in the America (60) very close, discharged a few guns into the enemy at point-blank range and obliged her to strike. M. de la Clue, who had one leg broken and the other injured and who eventually died of his wounds at Lagos, had been landed about 30 minutes before. Captain Kirke took possession of the French flagship and having removed such officers and men as were found in her, he set her on fire, deeming it impossible to bring her off.

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 80
Lower gun deck 30 x 36-pdrs
Upper gun deck 32 x 18-pdrs
Quarterdeck and Forecastle 18 x 8-pdrs
Crew 800 men
Length at gundeck 56.84 m
Width 15.59 m
Depth 7.47 m
Displacement 1900 tons

References

Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.