The French Fleet at Cherbourg 1904

My last post was a look at the Battle of Cherbourg game that we played a few weeks ago, I thought I'd take a look at the French fleet with this one. 

Myself and Ed share a love of the pre-dreadnought era, and I've always had a particularly fondness for the unique French ship designs with their tumblehome architecture. So when Ed contacted me and asked if I'd like to command the French fleet in a pre-dreadnought naval battle I said "absolument!" in an instant.

I set about researching the various French squadrons and divisions of the period to use as a basis for the shopping list, the Northern Squadron and the Reserves of the Mediterranean Squadron would form the core of my fleet, and headed to the WTJ Store to start buying. 

This is the second fleet that I've bought from them, the first being my US Great White Fleet (which I may redo someday) - although that was mostly pewter I opted for almost all resin this time round, and the level of detail in them is stunning. 

In terms of basing, for the US fleet I'd sculpted a sea surface on the bases, but found this drew attention from the the ships, so this time I tried flat bases with just a bit of depth shading - the ships definitely 'pop' more. So, without further ado, here's the fleet:- 

The five battleships sometimes referred to as Charles Martel-class, but really each was an individual demonstration ship. The way the ships were painted was transitioning at this point from tan to white/silver upper works so I tried to represent that on the miniatures.

L-R: The Charlemagne, the most modern battleship in the fleet, the three Gloire-class cruisers and the cruiser Jeanne d'Arc

The two coastal defence ships Amiral Trehouart and Bouvines, the basis for the battleship Henri IV, and my two favourites Dupleix and Kleber (both of the same class) - that never made it onto the board.

The destroyers and sea-going torpedo boats, never made it to the board either. Hastily painted, I treated these more as markers, but might  back and pick out a little more detail later.

That's it for now folks, thanks for reading. Keep an eye out for something completely different that you can get involved in, I hear the circus is in town. A Roman circus... 


  1. Formidable ! Vive La Republic !

  2. Lovely fleet indeed mate!

    I guess I can forgive your lot thoroughly buggering up my German naval assets... No idea how I'll explain this one to the Kaiser.

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