FR Bouvet


Bouvet was a French dreadnought who had a quiet career until the outbreak of world war one. From August to November 1914 she escorted convoys transporting soldiers from North Africa to France. In the beginning of 1915 she was ordered to participate in the operation against the Dardanelles in Turkey. 18.March 1915 she participated in a larger assault against Ottoman fortresses in the Dardanelles. That same afternoon she hit a mine and sank within two minutes. Newly found historical  pictures raise questions that it might have been Ottoman artillery and not a mine that was the cause, its still debated. The wreck rest today in the narrows at Dardanelles on a depth of 48 to 60 meter southwest of Güzelyali.

Former names:
FR Bouvet

386,5 x 70,2 x 27,5 f
Tons: Built: Home Port:
12007 displ Lorient ( F ) 1896  ( F )

40° 1′ 15″ N, 26° 16′ 30″ E

Picture: Bouvet
Wikimedia Commons, Public domain

"In 18 March, Bouvet, along with Charlemagne, Suffren, and Gaulois, was to attack the Dardanelles fortresses. The plan called for six British pre-dreadnoughts to suppress the Turkish fortifications, after which the French battleships would attack those same fortifications at close range. The French fleet was commanded by Admiral Émile Guépratte; the acting Allied commander was Rear Admiral John de Robeck, who stood in for Admiral Sackville Carden. The Allied battleships were arranged in line abreast, in three rows; Bouvet was stationed in the center of the second row.The force entered the straits at 11:30 and bombarded the town of Çanakkale, before turning to the Fortress Hamidieh and other nearby fortifications at 13:30.For the first half-hour, the French and British battleships shelled the forts indiscriminately, before turning to attacking individual gun batteries. In the course of the attack on the fortresses, Bouvet sustained eight hits from Turkish artillery fire. Her forward turret was disabled after the propellant gas extractor broke down. One of the shells destroyed one of her masts. At around 15:15, Bouvet struck a mine with a 176-pound (80 kg) explosive charge, which detonated below the starboard 274 mm gun turret. These mines had been freshly laid a week before the attack, and were unknown to the Allies. Bouvet capsized and sank in about two minutes"

Last updated: June 2019