Franco-Prussian War

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Franco-Prussian War Empty Franco-Prussian War

Post by kosovohp on Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:42 am

Richelieu was laid down at Toulon in 1869 and launched on 3 December 1873.[3] While the exact reason for such prolonged construction time is not known, the budget for the French Navy was cut after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and the French dockyards had not been reformed with working practices more suitable for the industrial age.[6] The ship began her sea trials on 12 April 1875, but did not begin her service with the Mediterranean Squadron, of which she became flagship, until 10 February 1876. She was placed in reserve on 3 December 1879.[3]
While in Toulon harbor on 29 December 1880, Richelieu caught fire and had to be scuttled to prevent her magazines from exploding. The ship capsized to port in 10.75|m|ft|1 of water; she lay on her barbettes almost at a 90° angle. All accessible guns, ammunition, masts, armor and movable decks were removed and the equivalent weight was placed in the ship's holds to lower her center of gravity. A sheer hulk was moved to her port side and cables were connected to Sibylle on the other side of Richelieu. 360 empty casks and 34 cubic meters (1,200 cu ft) of cork were attached to the starboard side to prevent the ship from rolling too far the other way. After an hour and a half of lifting, Richelieu had been righted to a 45° angle; a subsequent effort completed the job.[3]

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