In 1872 the French Navy began the construction of three Tonnerre class monitors to deal with the commissioned of coastal battleships with rotary turrets by the Royal Navy. This class was composed by the ships: Fulminant, Furieux and Tonnerre, which were provided with a spur and were classified as battering rams. The hull was entirely of iron and the armor descended from the bow to the spur, reinforcing it considerably. The main deck was only 40 cm from the sea, and above it was a redoubt almost 40 meters long that joined two not armored superstructures for the crew. In the bow was the main turret with two 274mm mle.1875 guns, and four 120mm guns installed in the four corners of the maneuvering bridge completed the armament. The main protection consisted of an armour plate that extended from the edge of the main deck to 1.50 meters below the waterline and which was 330mm thick in the center, reducing to 300mm in the bow and 250mm in the stern. Turret and sides of the redoubt had armoured plates of 300mm in thickness, and the roof of the redoubt and the armored deck had armoured plates of 50mm. All ships were decommissioned between 1905 and 1913.

TONNERRE class gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin



Arsenal de Lorient


Monitor – Ironclad turret ship

Entered service


Displacement, (full load)

5,584 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

75.60 x 17.60 x 6.50 meters

Armour, (maximum)

Iron: Belt: 330mm – Armoured deck: 50mm
Iron: Main turrets: 300mm


8 boilers – 1 x 2 cylinders horizontal engine

Power, (total)

4,165 shp

Shafts - Screws

1 shaft – 1 screw


14.7 knots (27 km/h)


270 tonnes of coal


1,400 n. miles (2,590 km) at 10 knots

Main guns

2 x 274mm Mle.1875 guns

Secondary guns

4 x 120mm guns


3 ships: Fulminant – Furieux – Tonnerre