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Gloire at anchor, 1860
|Laid down:||4 March 1858|
|Launched:||24 November 1859|
|Class and type:||Gloire-class ironclad|
|Displacement:||5,618 tonnes (5,529 long tons)|
|Length:||78.22 m (256 ft 8 in)|
|Beam:||17 m (55 ft 9 in)|
|Draught:||8.48 m (27 ft 10 in)|
|Depth of hold:||10.67 m (35 ft 0 in)|
|Sail plan:||Barquentine rigged|
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)|
|Range:||4,000 km (2,500 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)|
|Complement:||570 officers and enlisted men|
The French ironclad Gloire ("Glory") was the first ocean-going ironclad, launched in 1859. She was developed following the Crimean War, in response to new developments in naval gun technology, especially the Paixhans guns and rifled guns, which used explosive shells with increased destructive power against wooden ships, and followed the development of the ironclad floating batteries built by the British and French for the bombardment of Russian forts during the Crimean War.
She was designed by the French naval architect Henri Dupuy de Lôme as a 5,630-ton broadside ironclad with a wooden hull. Her 12 cm-thick (4.7 in) armour plates, backed with 43 cm (17 in) of timber, resisted the experimental firing of the strongest guns of the time (the French 50-pounder and the British 68-pounder) at full charge, at a distance of 20 metres (65 ft).
Her official top speed was 13.1 knots but other reports suggested no more than 11.75 knots had been reached and that 11 knots was the practical maximum.
As was common for the era, Gloire was constructed with sails as well as a steam-powered screw. The original rigging was a light barquentine rig providing 1,096 sq. m (11,800 sq. ft) of surface area. This was later increased to a full rig providing 2,508 sq. m (27,000 sq. ft) of surface.
Gloire was launched at the arsenal of Mourillon, Toulon, on 24 November 1859; and entered service in August 1860.
She was struck from the French fleet registry in 1879, and scrapped in 1883.
As the first ocean-going ironclad, Gloire rendered obsolete traditional unarmoured wooden ships-of-the-line, and all major navies had no choice but to build ironclads of their own. However Gloire was soon herself rendered obsolete by the launching in 1860 of the British HMS Warrior, the world's first iron-hulled ironclad warship.
Photograph of Gloire, circa 1860, at the Musée de la Marine, Paris
Couronne, near sister-ship of Gloire after she was rebuilt
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