Charles Martel Class Battleship
Charles Martel and Brennus were two French ironclad battleships laid down in 1881-85, but cancelled in 1886, at an early stage of construction. They were slightly enlarged Marceaus, but with partial waterline belt armour. (The only large French armoured battleships completed in the 19th Century to have a partial armoured belt were the Dévastation class and the Masséna.)
- Charles Martel - may have been laid down in 1883, at Toulon.
- Brennus - ordered 25 November 1881, given the name Brennus on 7 December 1882, laid down December 1882 at L'Orient, (Brassey's Naval Annual says 1885).
The two ships were suspended in 1886, as a result of a change in naval policy due to the appointment in January 1886 of Admiral Hyacinthe-Laurent-Theóphile Aube as Minster of Marine. Aube was a leading member of the Jeune École school of thought. The new policy was that naval operations of the future would be directed not on battleships, but on the commerce of the enemy, using cruisers and torpedo boats (then high technology). The money that was spent on construction of battleships was applied to completing vessels in an advanced state of completion.
The battleship Brennus laid down in 1889, was built to entirely new plans, though it used "as much as possible of the material on hand for the original ship".
Read more about Charles Martel Class Battleship: British Reactions
... The Brennus and Charles Martel were first mentioned in the British Parliament in May 1886, when Conservative MP Lord Henry Lennox said that though the work on "the Hoche, the ... are about to lay down, two large iron-clads, one called the Brennus and the other the Charles Martel and not only that, but they are going to lay down eight ... England will have building and completing 11 first-class iron-clads whereas France will have 17 at the same period." The Brennus and Charles Martel were referred to as building when next mentioned in March 1884 ...
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