Short list of losses of the French Navy since the 13th century

Some famous losses of the French Navy
(1270 - 1900)

by Pascal Kainic


When lost

Name of the Vessel & Commander

Where lost

How lost

1270 Saint Louis' squadron from which 18 nefs
Knight of Anjou
Sicily Part of the squadron was destroyed at Trapani, bringing back French troops which failed at Tunis, after Saint Louis' death
1380 Corvette Sibylle, Gilbert de Fretun English Channel Lost on a rock with all souls after an heroic fight against several English vessels
1533 Ship of the line (SOL) Philippe, Adm. Annebaut The Havre roads Accidental fire. The King François 1er, on board for inspection, is saved.
1565 3 nefs of war, Jean Ribaut Florida After being shipwrecked, a thousand of soldiers and crewmen are slaughtered by the Spaniards despite all rules of war
1625 SOL, La Vierge, Cdr. de Launay La Rochelle Protestant attacked by 4 catholic ships. Explosion together.
1641 SOL, Le Lion, Cdr. de Montade Naples  Burnt down in the battle, after taking the Admiral ship of the ennemies
1642 SOL, Le Galion de Guise, Adm. de Cancé Barcelona Accidentally burnt down after the battle
1662 Fleur de Lis, 400 tons, 30 cannons Chef de Baye Lost on Verdin Rocks
1664 Tigre, 400 tons, 30 cannons Sardinia Lost on the coast
1669 Galère, La Thérèse, Cdr. d'Hectot Candie (Greece) At the bombardment. Explosion with loss of all the crew
1670 Rouen, 850 tons, 52 cannons Le Havre Lost on the rocks of the Hoc
1671 Mazarin, 750 tons, 48 cannons Turtle Island Wrecked
1673 SOL, Le Jules, 700 tons, 38 cannons, Cdr. Reynier
Infante, 600 tons, 36 cannons
Bayonnais, 500 tons, 34 cannons
St Sébastien, 350 tons, 30 cannons
Porto Rico
Indian Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
All lost with her crew river Tage with diamonds
Lost on the coast
Lost at Tranquebar
Lost at Terceira
1674 Breton, 900 tons, 56 cannons Indies Lost on the coast at Sao Thome
1676 Fidèle, 1000 tons, 56 cannons Corsica Lost near Porto Vecchio
1677 Galere, L'Heureuse Civita Vecchia Explosion. All on board lost
1677 SOL, L'Intrépide, Cdr. Gabaret
SOL, Le Glorieux, Cdr. de l'Hézine
SOL, Le Précieux
Marquis, 750 tons, 46 cannons
Tobago These 4 ships burnt down and explode with 7 Dutch ships
1678 17 ships, squadron of the Antilles, Adm. d'Estrées
Dauphin Royal, 300 tons, 12 cannons
Sables d'Olonne
Lost on Aves rocks by fault of the pilots. Crew saved
Near Anse de Sauveterre
1679 SOL, Le Sans Pareil, Cdr. de Bérulles
SOL, Le Conquérant, 72 cannons, Cdr. de Villiers
Prince, 1200 tons, 66 cannons
Belle-Isle en Mer
Off Britanny
Lost in the storm with 1400 men on board
Lost in the storm
1680 Frigate, La Belle, Cdr de Quincé Saint Domingue Lost with all hands
1683 Trompeuse, 200 tons, 24 cannons Saint Thomas Lost by fire
1684 Marquis, 250 tons, 28 cannons
Caché, 350 tons, 34 cannons
Lost off Brest
Lost on the coast
1691 Oriflamme, 800 tons, 50 cannons Brittany Lost on the coast body and souls
1692 Frigate, La Serpente, Cdr Jean Doublet
, 950 tons, 56 cannons
Assuré, 800 tons, 60 cannons
Wrecked with a prize while entering Dunkirk. 101 men drowned
Lost at Ceuta during the storm
1694 Solide, 600 tons, 44 cannons Turtle Island Lost on the rocks - Cannons salvaged in 1701
1695 Hasardeux, 500 tons, 44 cannons Santo Domingo Lost on the coast
1697 SOL, Le Fougueux, Cdr. d'Amfreville Strait of Gibraltar Lost with all hands
1698 SOL, L'Adroit, Cdr. de Sève
Mary Rose, 800 tons, 50 cannons
English Channel
Explosion in company of an English
1702 Monmouth prize, 44 cannons Spain Lost on a rock in Vigo bay
1703 Adroit, 400 tons, 44 cannons Orcades Explosion with the Dutch Château d'Anvers - 444 men lost
1704 SOL, St Michel, Cdr. de Rybeyrette Raz of Sein (Brittany) Lost on a rock. only a few drowned
1705 Magnanime, 1550 tons, 80 cannons
Lis, 1800 tons, 88 cannons
Marbella Lost by fire
1707 Hermione, 400 tons, 34 cannons Saint Thomas Lost by fire
1708 SOL, Volante Santo domingo Lost on the coast
1709 SOL, Le Bristol, Cdr. de Sabrevois Ushant Ex-English vessel seized by the French in a fight, lost with all hands
1711 SOL, Le Magnanime, 72 c., Cdr. de Coursevac
SOL, Le Fidèle, 58 c., Cdr. de Coursevac
Off Azores Dugay-Trouin squadron coming back from thr ransom of Rio de Janeiro with immense treasures. Foundered with 1.600 men on board
1711 SOL, L'Acis, Cdr. la Boularderie Brest roads Capsize with several personalities of the city on board
1713 SOL, Le Fendant, Cdr. de Roquemador
Neptune, 1400 tons, 72 cannons
Central America
Lost with all hands en route
Near La Guayra
1714 Adelaïde, 400 tons, 44 cannons Cuba Lost during a cyclone off Cape Corrientes
1718 SOL, La Parfaite, 400 tons, 40 c., Cdr. de Nangis Cyprus Lost with all hands in Famagosta bay
1725 Corvette, Chameau, Cdr. de St James Louisburg Lost with all hands
1729 SOL, Eléphant Cdr. de Vaudreuil Quebec Wrecked on a shoal. All saved on board
1739 SOL, L'Atlas, Cdr. de Sorel Ushant Lost on the rocks. 80 drowned on 700 men
1741 SOL, Le Bourbon, Cdr. de Boulainvilliers Portugal Foundered with 560 men on board
1742 Corvette, Sibylle, Cdr. de Castillon Algeria Lost on a rockk and foundered with all on board but 39 men
1745 Corvette, Le Fleuron, Cdr. de Desgouttes
SOL, Eole, Cdr. de Julien
Brest roads
Aix island
Lost by accidental fire. 12 victims
Wrecked as 340 men are sick
1746 Frigate, Insulaire, Cdr. de la Baume
Frigate, Duc D'Orleans, Cdr. de Champlain
Frigate, Marie Gertrude
East Indies
Wrecked in the Ganges river with 192 men lost
Lost with all hands but 10 on 250
Lost with all hands
1759 SOL, Le Thésée, Cdr. de Kersaint
SOL, Le Juste, Cdr. de Saint-Allouarne
Quiberon Battle of Quiberon. Capsize with the loss of 530 men
 Lost on a shoal entrance of Loire river with 600 men
1762 SOL, Dragon, Cdr. du Dresnay des Roches Saint Domingue On a rock entering the Cap roads with 40 men drowned
1762 Frigate, Opale, Cdr. D'Oisy
Flute Barbue, Cdr. de Cramahé
Frigate, Zénobie, Cdr. Desages
Moganne Island
Penmarch pointe
English coast
Wrecked while passing by the Island. Everybody is saved
Lost on the rocks after her mast was broken by the storm
Lost body and souls
1773 SOL, Mars, Cdr. B. de Marigny Mauritius Island Lost by fire
1777 Flute, Hippopotame, Cdr. de Fayard
Flute, Laverdy, Cdr. de Trémigon
Reunion Island Lost through a big swell on the coast
1779 Cutter, L'Alerte, Cdr. de Capellis Carribean Lost body and souls
1780 Frigate, La Diane, Cdr. de Chambertrand
Frigate, La Charmante, Cdr. De Mingo
Brig, Combel, Cdr. De Goisbriant
SOL, Couronne
Sein Island
Lost body and souls
Lost body and souls - 200 men
Lost body and souls
Lost by fire in the roads
1781 SOL, Le Mesnil, Cdr. Duclos-Gayot
Frigate, Venus, Cdr. G. de Belizal
Frigate, L'Inconstante, Cdr. de Longueval
SOL, L'Intrépide, Cdr. Duplessis
SOL, Le César
Glénans Island
Santo Domingo
Dominica Island
Dashed to pieces by the rocks on the coast
All saved
Explosion with the greatest part of the crew
Explosion after being seized by the British with 400 prisonners
1782 SOL, Vigilant, Cdr. de Macarty
SOL, Scipion, Cdr. de Grimouard
Santo Domingo
Lost by the fault of a pilot
Lost on the rocks leaving the bay
1783 SOL, Bourgogne, Cdr. de Champmartin
Corvette, Dragon, Cdr. de L'Espine
Curaçao coast
Santo Domingo
Wrecked on the coast
Wrecked on the coast and burned down
1784 Flute, Adour, Cdr. du Clot
Gabare Sylphide, Cdr. d'Allemand
Ré Island
All saved
Lost on the rocks
1785 Corvette, Clairvoyant, Cdr. de Segonzac Audierne Lost on the rocks after a storm
1788 Frigate, Pénélope, Cdr. S. de Bras
Frigate, La Vénus, Cdr. de Thanouarn
South Pacific Seas
1 officers and 11 men lost
1788 Frigate, L'Astrolabe, Admiral de La Pérouse
Frigate, La Boussole, Admiral de La Pérouse
Vanikoro Lost body and souls - 500 drowned
1793 Frigate, Bellone, Cdr. Bien
SOL, Le Républicain, Cdr. Van Dongen
Brest roads
Lost on the rocks
Lost on the rocks Mingan
1794 SOL, Le Scipion, Cdr. de Goy Leghorn roads Lost by fire with 150 men
1795 SOL, Le 9 Thermidor, Cdr. Doré
SOL, Le Scipion, Cdr. Huguet
SOL, Le Superbe, Cdr. Colomb
SOL, Le Neptune, Cdr. Tiphaine
SOL, L'Alcide, Cdr. Leblond Saint Hilaire
Corvette, Assemblée Nationale, Cdr. Courouge
Frigate, Méduse, Cdr. Constantin
Atlantic Ocean
Brest squadron
Foundered with 50 men
Explosion while fighting
Wrecked on the coast
1796 Frigate, Impatiente, Cdr. Deniau
Frigate, Surveillante, Cdr. Bernard
Frigate, Andromaque, Cdr. Morel
SOL, Séduisant, Cdr. Dufossey
Bantry Bay, Ireland
Sein Island
Wrecked on the coast - Part of the crew taken prisonners
Wrecked on the coast to escape the English
Lost on a rock with her crew
1797 Corvette, Courageux, Cdr. Defraye
SOL, Les Droits de l'Homme, Cdr. Lacrosse
Audierne bay
Explosion while fighting
Foundered in the storm with 217 soldiers and crew
1798 Brig, Agile, Cdr. La Marillière
SOL, L'Orient, Cdr. Brueys
Ship, Anémone, Cdr. Garibou
Sprung a leak in a storm
Explosion during the battle with 900 men
10 men, including a General, are slaughtered by the Arabs
1799 Frigate, Preneuse, Cdr. L'Hermite
Ship, L'Italie, Cdr. Morandi
Corvette, Le Brûle-Gueule, Cdr. Fréland
Mauritius Island
Sein Island
Wrecked on the coast while fighting against the English
Explosion on the Nile while fighting against Arabs
Lost body and souls
1800 Frigate, Carmagnole, Cdr. Hubert Flessingue Lost body and souls
1802 SOL, Banel, Cdr. Callamand
Frigate, Fraternité, Cdr. Bernard
SOL, Desaix, Cdr. Christy-Palière
Atlantic Ocean
Santo Domingo
Lost at Cape Tenes - 500 are drowned or slaughtered by the Arabs
Lost body and souls
Wrecked on the coast to escape the English
1803 Corvette, Bayonnaise, Cdr. Plassan Cape Finisterre Wrecked on the cape and burned
1805 SOL, Achille, Cdr. Deniéport
SOL, L'Indomptable, Cdr. Hubert
Lost after the battle of Trafalgar
Lost on the rocks after the battle with 1200 men
1806 Corvette, Phaéton, Cdr. Sauls
SOL, Impérial, Cdr. Le Bigot
Warship, Dorothée, Cdr. Carteau
Corvette, Malicieuse, Cdr. Boissey
Santo Domingo
Wrecked with bad weather
Wrecked and burned down to escape from the English
Wrecked on the coast to escape from the English
1808 Frigate, Hermione, Cdr. Mahé
Corvette, Cygne, Cdr. Trobriant
Flute, Seine, Cdr. de Comorre
Mauritius Island
Wrecked on the coast through bad weather
1809 SOL, Tonnerre, Cdr. de la Roncière
SOL, Aquilon, Cdr. Manigon
SOL, Calcutta, Cdr. Lafond
Frigate, Indienne, Cdr. Epron
Frigate, Cybèle, Cdr. Cocault
Transport, Le Cerf, Cdr. Laporte
Mediterranean Sea
Story of "Brûlots de l'Ile d'Aix"
Wrecked on the coast after the battle
1812 Frigate, La Flore, Cdr. Lissilour
Frigate, La Danaé, Cdr. Villon
Trieste Roads
Lost body and souls
1816 Frigate, La Méduse, Cdr. de Chaumareys Arguin shoals Totally lost on the shoals - Cannibalism cases - Immortalized by Jericho
1817 Warship, Le Serein, Cdr. Chair
Ship, Alouette, Cdr. Rigodit
Flute, Caravane, Cdr. de Hergrist
Santo Domingo
Lost body and souls
Lost off Cap-Français
Lost on the coast during a cyclone
1820 Corvette, Uranie, Cdr.  de Freycinet Falkland Islands Lost on an unknown reef
1822 Frigate, Africaine, Cdr. Epron New Brunswick Lost on Sable Island in the fog
1823 Frigate, Cornaline, Cdr. Lettré
Brig, Levrette, Cdr. Lefèvre
Portuguse coast
Lost on Cape Las Roques in bad weather - 5 officers and 140 crew lost
1 officer and 10 crew perished
1827 Brig, La Lamproie, Bisson Mediterranean Sea Explosion to avoid being taken by the Turcs
1829 Brig, Turquoise, Cdr. Marion Reunion Island Lost body and souls
1830 Brig, Aventure, Cdr. d'Assigny
Brig, Silène, Cdr. Bruat
Algeria Wrecked because of the fog - Half of the men slaughtered by the Arabs
1832 Flute, Truite, Cdr. Tessain Levant Wrecked on rocks of Mandry port
1833 Frigate, Résolue, Cdr. Lemaitre
SOL, Superbe, Cdr. D'Oysonville
Ship, La Lilloise, Cdr. de Blosseville
Wrecked on the coast
Lost on the rocks of Paros
Lost without trace
1834 Brig, Marsouin, Cdr. de Clapernon
Brig, Rusé, Cdr. de Pierre
Hyeres Islands
Wrecked on the coast
Wrecked on the coast as well as 6 other merchant ships
1835 Corvette, Salamandre, Cdr. Duparc
Brig, Le Fabert, Cdr. Pardeilhan
Atlantic Ocean
Some of the crew wounded by the Arabs
Lost without trace
1836 Flute, Rhône, Cdr. Fournier Cette Wrecked on the coast
1840 Frigate, Magicienne, Cdr. Roy Philippines Lost on an uncharted rock
1841 Warship, La Vedette, Cdr. Huché de Cintré
Corvette, Algérie, Cdr. Gatier
Lost without trace
Lost with 60 men
1842 Brick, Le Dunois, Cdr. Vrignaud Atlantic Ocean Lost without trace
1845 Corvette, Groënland
Brick, Le Papin, Cdr. Fleuriot
Brick, Colibri, Cdr. Orcel
Several men are wounded by the Arabs
Lost with 80 men
Lost body and souls
1846 Corvette, Le Berceau, Cdr. Gout
Corvette, Seine, Cdr. Leconte
Warship, Eridan, Cdr. d'Alteyrac
Reunion Island
Lost during a cyclone
Lost while on the river of Cayenne
1847 Corvette, Caraïbe, Cdr. Cosnier
Corvette, Victorieuse, Cdr. Rigault de Genouilly
Frigate, Gloire, Cdr. Cosnier
23 men drowned
Wrecked on a reef of rocks
1848 Frigate, Cuvier, Cdr. Aubry-Bailleul Mediterraean Sea Lost by fire
1854 Warship, Pluto, Cdr. Fisquet
SOL, Henri IV, Cdr. Jehenne
Black Sea Wrecked on the coast during bad weather
1855 Frigate, La Semillante, Cdr. Jugan Bonifacio Strait Lost on the rocks with 700 drowned
1861 Warship, L'Etincelle, Cdr. Hamon China Lost without trace
1868 Corvette, Le Monge, Cdr. Charlemagne Annam Lost during a Typhoon
1869 Corvette, La Gorgone, Cdr. Mage Off Brest Lost on the rocks
1874 Warship, Magenta, Cdr. Galiber Toulon roads Explosion
1875 Warship, Forfait, Cdr. Vivielle Hyeres islands Foundered after a collision with the warship Reine-Blanche
1879 Warship, L'Arrogante Hyeres roads Lost on the coast during bad weather - 80 drowned
1884 Transport, Bièvre, Cdr. Adam Groix island Lost on the rocks
1885 Transport, Oise, Cdr. Thierry
Warship, Renard, Cdr. Laffon de Ladebat
Gulf of Aden
Lost on the coast during a cyclone
Lost body and souls during a cyclone
1889 Torpedo boat, N° 110, Cdr. Villers Moriamé Cape of Barfleur Lost during bad weather
1893 Warship, Labourdonnais, Cdr. Vuillaume Madagascar Lost on the coast during a cyclone
1895 Torpedo boat, N° 20, Sauviron Trousses roads Sprung a leak
1900 Transport, La Framée, Lt. de Mauduit du Plessis
Transport, La Caravane, Lt. Diacre
Cape Saint Vincent
Collision with the loss of 53 crew
Foundered after a collision with a Japanese transport


  • Treasures
    Hello thecityoflouisburg,

    Yes I do have sources... The French archives (Archives Nationales) in Paris and in the regions !

    You need time, patience and dedication to find the full reports of these events.
  • thecityoflouisburg
    • 2. thecityoflouisburg On 28/08/2010
    I enjoy reading your reasons for the loss in the right column, do you have any sources to read further into them ?
  • nicola
    • 3. nicola On 24/03/2010
    I am looking for a site or book to help with info for my school homework on shipwrecks in the Seychelles I have picked the Farquhar Islands. Particularly the following wrecks:
    'Heureuse' 1763 Providence

    british brigantine 'Aure' 1836

    french barque 'Federation' 1894

    british schooner 'Maggie Low' 1901

    british 'Endeavour' 1906

    Norweigan 'Jorgen Bank' 1906

    'Dagmar' 1907
    I am interested in types of vessel, routes, wreck circumstances etc. I hope you can help me many thanks.
  • Kerri Blum
    • 4. Kerri Blum On 08/10/2009
    i am looking for as much information as i can on french ships sunk around the dominican republic, is there a resource that you could recommend to a beginning researcher?
  • Pierre van den Boogaerde
    • 5. Pierre van den Boogaerde On 13/04/2009
    Thank you very much for this very complete list. Much appreciated. If you want some more info of the losses in Madagascar, you might be interested by my book on wreckages in Madagascar. Here is the link:
  • malcolm tuner
    • 6. malcolm tuner On 21/11/2008
    the alouette was wrecked at olifantsbos point on the cape peninsula on 6 june 1817 i found a bronze mug engraved with the name l,austerlitz an ocean class first rate french ship of the line on the wreck site, ??

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