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French ironclad Solférino
The French ironclad Solférino, of the Magenta class, the only two-decked broadside ironclad battleships ever built.
Career (France) Ensign of France.svg
Name: Solférino
Namesake: Battle of Solferino
Builder: Lorient
Laid down: 24 June 1859
Launched: 24 June 1861
Struck: 1882
General characteristics
Class & type: Magenta-class ironclad
Displacement: 7,129 tonnes 
Length: 85.98 m (282 ft 1 in)
Beam: 17.27 m (56 ft 8 in)
Draught: 8.43 m (27 ft 8 in)
Propulsion: Sail
1,000 hp (746 kW) steam engine, 8 boilers
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance: 3 months of food, 740 tonnes of coal
Complement: 681
  • As built:
  • 16 × 55-pounder smoothbore guns
  • 34 × 6.4 in (160 mm) Model 1860 BLM guns
  • 2 × 9.4 in (240 mm) RML howitzers
  • From 1868:
  • 14 × 240 mm (9.4 in) Model 1864/1866 BLM guns
Armour: Belt: 4.7 in (120 mm) wrought iron

Solférino was a broadside ironclad warship of the French Navy, the second unit of the Magenta class, designed by Dupuy de Lôme and launched in 1861. She was named in honour of the Battle of Solferino.

These two ironclads were the only two-decked broadside ironclad battleships ever built. They were also the first ships in the world to be equipped with a spur ram. They were somewhat of an enlarged version of the Gloire type armoured frigate, or the result of the same principle applied to a full-scale ship of the line.


  • de Balincourt, Captain; Vincent-Bréchignac, Captain (1974). "The French Navy of Yesterday: Ironclad Frigates, Pt. II". Akron, OH: F.P.D.S.. pp. 23–25. 
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4. 

External linksEdit

  • Plans of the Solférino (large TIF files) from the Atlas du génie maritime of the Service historique de la Défense" ("Historical services of the ministry of Defence")

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