French ship Valmy

French ship Valmy

"Valmy", named after the Battle of Valmy, was the largest three-decker of the French Navy. She was laid down at Brest 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,Fact|date=October 2007 when the British three-decker "Duke Of Wellington" (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 she had vertical sides, which increased significantly the space available for upper batteries, but reduced the stability of the ship; wooden stabilisers were added under the waterline to address the issue.

"Valmy" 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, 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".

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 was later re-used for a "Guépard" class destroyer, launched in 1927 and scuttled in 1942.

She was the largest tall ship ever built in France.

Auguste Mayer

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