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'La Fama' Venetian Fregata Grossa/2nd Rate 1784 (with plans) (4th rate in game)

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Fama was the flagship of the last great Admiral of the Venetian Republic Angelo Emo, who captained the ship during his continuous missions hunting down Barbary pirate including the siege of Tunis in 1785. Angelo Praised Fama for her considerable speed and agility naming the ship as comfortably the best Venice had. The plans for Fama were drawn up in 1782 and 6 ships were laid, of which 5 were completed she was constructed in the Venetian Arsenal by Giovanni Domenico Giacomazzi, who was considered the best venetian shipwright in of his time and built accordingly the "ad ordinata doppia" system which was implement in 1780 by Angelo Emo who after studying the construction techniques used by the English and the French, hoped to match them or even surpass them. Fama herself spent most of her career in active service, either stationed off of Corfu with the main detachment of the Venetian navy, ready to face threats from threats to the mouth of the Adriatic by the Ottomans or other hostile nations or spent hunting Pirates over the Mediterranean or Barbary Coast. Fama was captured alongside the rest of the Venetian fleet by Napoleon in 1797 when she was briefly renamed Renomee and then renamed again to Du Blois a month later. After her capture she was sailed to Tulon where she was rearmed with slightly smaller guns to fit French standards to take part in Napoleon's Egyptian expedition where she unfortunately collided with the French flagship "L'Orient", suffering severe damage. Despite her damage she remained to Alexandria and was used as headquarters by General Kleber was later partially sunk to block the entrance into Alexandria, she was then captured by the British and sadly broken up without the French, nor British ever realising her potential as a swift and powerful shock ship or as a strong commerce escort and pirate hunter.

The Fama Class were given heavy armaments to match larger capital ships but maintaining the speed, versatility and agility of a frigate, thus the name Fregata Grossa came about, translating to Large Frigate, The ideas behind the Fregata Grossa rated ships were to hit hard and fast, able to set combat to their own advantage the theory was a cross between their contemporary super frigates and modern battlecruisers. They also contain similar thoughts used in the huge super frigates of the later 19th century but obviously without the steam engines to power them.

The 6 Ships of the Fama Class were:
Fama (1784)
Gloria Veneta (1794)
Le Stengel (1797)
Le Beyrand (1797)
Diamante (1797)
Unnamed (uncompleted)

Fama and Gloria Veneta both served under the Venetian Republic with considerable distinction. The other ships of the class were completed during the French and Austrian Occupation periods. Le Stengal and Beyrand both served briefly in the Napoleonic fleet and were then transferred to Austria as part of the peace deal. Diamante was badly damaged during the French Looting period and was patched up but sailed poorly, to deal with this she was armed from head to toe with 24lb guns and used as a floating battery, later she was repaired and served in the Austrian navy as a troop transport ship. A further Unnamed ship of the class was laid but damaged beyond salvation and was sadly broken up with parts being used to outfit other ships but mostly used as firewood.

Fama well represents the Venetian Naval doctrine of the time, Venice continuing to fight with a hybrid fleet of Galeass, Galleys and Frigates, due to the history and nature of what remained of the Venetian Empire. Her outfitting, speed and manoeuvrability made her a great shock ship with a strong punch, able to hunt down pirates and operate well in shallow waters and archipelagos with complex coastlines. She is also incredibly well suited for the calm waters of the Mediterranean and able to produce good speed no matter the wind conditions. She was praised for her sailworthiness by her captains and considered the jewel in the late Venetian Fleet.


Fama was considered a Secondo Rango Fregata Grossa within the Venetian Fleet, then after she was captured by the French she was reclassified as a 3rd rate, although if she were in the game she would likely be similarly placed as Agamemnon, among the 4th rates.

Her measurements are (peidi are the Venetian feet):
Total Length: 138 piedi or 48.00 meters
Keel: 122 piedi or 42.42 meters
Width: 37 piedi or 12.86 meters 
Draft: 17.5 piedi or 6.08 meters (when under French service: 16 fore, 18ft aft (5.2-5.85m))
Bilge Tip (height between the keel and deck): 28 piedi or 9.73m

She was crewed by around 450-500 men, depending on how many sailors Venice could muster at the time. The Venetian state had a continuous issue with raising the appropriate number of men to serve on her navies during the later years of the republic. Fama had similar crew numbers to her contemporary 64s by other navies, however due to her smaller size these men served in even more cramp conditions than was generally experienced by the worlds navies, her officers quarters were equally as confined, especially considering that she was used for most of her career as an admiral's flagship, although these close natured lodgings were something the Venetians were always used to back at home in Venice.

She sailed incredibly well and was praised for being hugely fast and agile, giving her the best ability to perform her main tasks, protecting merchant shipping and hunting down pirates. Her performance under sail is fairly well documented, receiving universal commendation from the officers who sailed her. I have not yet found any information about how she heeled, rolled and other similar specifics, as Venice had no sailing queries similar to the Royal Navy.


Fama Carried 66 Guns, and her four chasers, below is a make up of weight and armaments during both the French and Venetian outfitting. She also had the potential to point the two cannons nearest the bow on the main gun deck in a forwards direction to aid the 2 dedicated chase guns situated either side of the foremast and 2 rear facing guns.

During Venetian period by Venetian Weight

26 x 40lb  (26.5 British pounds) (12.04 kg)
26 x 30lb  (20 British pounds) (9.03 kg)
14 x 14lb  (9 British pounds) (4.21 kg)

2x 14lb (9 British lb) Bow Chasers (4.21 kg)
2x 14lb (9 British lb) Stern Chasers (4.21 kg)

Broadside Weight = 1008 Venetian Pounds (667.5 British Pounds) (303.4 kg)

French Period By French Weight (reduced to a 64)

26 x 24lb (11.74 kg)
26 x 18lb (8.8 kg)
12 x 6lb (2.93 kg)

2 x 6lb Bow Chasers (2.93 kg)
2 x 6lb Stern Chasers (2.93 kg)

Broadside Weight = 588 French Pound (634.75 British Pounds) (287.5kg)


The most true plans, showing the proper lines of of either La Fama or Gloria Veneta, as said below in a post stating the edit history of this thread. This is the only record showing the proper 66 broadside gun ports, although the plan below does miss her bow chasers. The other plans like with her sister ship Stengel show the correct lines, but sadly show incorrect positioning for the guns on the quarterdeck, the other plans show only 6 guns either side (12 in total) from when she was reduced to a 64 rather than the true build when she had 7 (14), which are shown correctly here.



This is a modern reproduction by Guido Ercole, there are a couple of minor mistakes where she is shown having 28 guns, not her proper 26 on both her gun decks, she is also missing a gun on her weather deck. The rest of the reproduction is still accurate, with the sail plan and also shows a nice idea of what she would have looked like painted.






Some less detailed plans, most likely showing Stengel, after she has one of her weather deck gun ports removed making her into a 64.


Rough Planking and Framing Methods used






Many Thanks go to Sella22 for letting me use some of his resources, I would really love to see this ship in the game, she would be a fantastic addition. Thank you for Reading. :)

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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The extract talking about Fama from my post about Angelo Emo, adding a bit of depth and information about the ship.

Angelo Emo was given the title of Grand Admiral, taken out of his role of administration and thrust into active combat, the Barbary Pirates had become a serious problem for Venetian shipping and Venice needed her most respected admiral to help in the conflict. Angelo was assigned to a fast Galleass and sent out to hunt down pirates with a small fleet. Based mainly out of Corfu and Malta, Emo continually patrolled the central Mediterranean off the southern coast of Italy with some success. While the active patrols helped dampen the issue of piracy, the effectiveness of the Venetian fleet was limited as the pirates had more nimble ships. After a year of largely ineffective campaigning the table turned as Fama was launched in march 1784. Fama, a ship that consolidated the advancements that Emo had overseen himself became his flagship almost instantly, a fast ship with more firepower allowed Emo to out pace the pirates and properly conduct his mission, Angelo assembled a small fleet, including his new flagship and another of his new ships, the frigate Palma. With his small but powerful fleet, Emo conducted a serious campaign against the Barbary states, raiding their coastline, hunting down and capturing pirates, while destroying their docks to replenish and repair. During the height of the campaign Angelo Emo besieged Tunis, forcing the Bey of Tunis to bring an end to state sponsored piracy. For this achievement he received a personal thanks from Louis XVI of France.

Emo continued his missions stamping out Piracy against Venetian trade, his achievements brought him great respect and fame in Venice, stories of his work as a pirate hunter aboard the great ship Fama spread throughout the streets and canals, Emo and Fama became as significant of a combination for Venetians as Nelson and Victory did for the British following Trafalgar. He joined joined the likes of other legendary Venetian Admirals like Vettor Pisani and Agostino Barbarigo.

Angelo died on March 1st 1792, he was moored in Malta aboard the flagship he became almost synonymous with. His body was sailed back to Venice aboard Fama, out of respect, giving him one last trip on the ship he loved most of any vessel. His body arrived on May 24th where he was given a state funeral and Buried in the Basilica of Saint Mark and given a commemorative monument by the sculptor Antonio Canova. A service only given to the highest regarded servants of the Republic.

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is there a known front/back view of the frames on this ships?





I.e, if someone wanted to recreate the hullshape.



You could use the lines of her sistership Stengel



Le Stengel

Venetian/French/Austrian 66 gun 2nd rate super frigate/3rd rate SOL.

Laid down 1782, completed 1797.

Armed with 26 18lb, 26 12lb and 12 6lb guns.




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Here are a better upload of pictures, with hopefully better lighting showing Stengel, there is still a tiny bit of page bending but much less than the original plans I posted, I also found some plans for the aquatic lines specifically.

The only difference between Stengel and Fama is that the guns are placed ever so slightly differently, Fama having a more compact main gun deck. The lines should be entirely the same as they were both laid in 1782 under Angelo Emo, the main differences are that Stengel wasn't completed until 1797 and then reduced to 64 guns by the Austrians in 1805.








Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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I have been doing a little more research on Fama and have come across that she was also permanently armed with 2x 9lb bow chasers pointing out of the hatches at the front either side of the bowsprit, and have updated the op accordingly, bearing in mind her main role as a large pirate hunter this isn't exactly surprising. I am fairly sure she was designed to have the potential to arm herself with 4 chasers but there is no record I have found as of yet that suggests this ever happened, she could also mount 2 guns either side of her rudder like many other ships in NA but again, I haven't found any records of this either.

Other than that I haven't stumbled across anything else new but have been thinking how much of a brutal kitten Fama is, she has roughly the same footprint as USS Essex with a slightly deeper draft similar to Agamemnon, but with 66 guns, she would truly be a ship to be reckoned with. I know I am pretty biased but i would give an arm and a leg to sail her in game :D

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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While doing a little bit of looking around I have found another source that states some potentially useful measurements when it comes to height and load, The source lists the bilge tip and another measurement for the draft. I will update the original post to add these as the draft seems a much more quoted figure than the one I wrote down originally, which looks to be a mistake where it has been improperly converted as a measurement from the piedi to the metre.

Bilge Tip (height between the keel and deck): 9.73m

Draft: 6.08m


I can also doubly confirm that the measurements and lines for the hull of Stengel are exactly the same as Fama as the source talks about Stengel too.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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I have corrected some inaccuracies with regards to the guns again. Being the eagle eyed person I am I hadn't noticed that the modern reproduction of Fama was too well armed, counting 68 guns, where as the plans for Stengel are listed at 64, after she had her armament reduced taking her down to a 64 by removing one of her guns from the weatherdeck.

The differences being that the modern reproduction of the plan shows her to be a ship armed with 28/28/12 (68), where as Stengel shows the somewhat more accurate 26/26/12 (64), the newest plan shows her gun arrangement as it is meant to be, 26/26/14 giving Fama and Gloria Veneta their proper armament of 66 guns as noted historically also boosting her broadside weight by a tiny fraction.

Having had a discussion this afternoon with Sella22, he helped me a lot and has shown me a high definition of a plan of what is most likely either Fama herself, or Gloria Veneta, the silhouette and plan itself are the same where as there are more contours shown on the Austrian plans for Stengel are at a higher density than those on the Venetian plan. The other notable difference is that the decorations are slightly more extravagant on the new plan.

I have again edited the original posting for this new information and showing the correct placement of the guns :)

New Plan posted below, thanks go to Sella22.


Thanks guys :)

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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Because of the small number of the Fama class ships I will be attempting over the next week or two to write up the rough history of each one of the ships, I will aim to do this over two posts in this thread, this one covering Fama and Gloria Veneta, the next Covering Stengel, Beyrand and Diamante. Hopefully this will give a bit more background to these ships and help people learn a little more about this fantastic class of ship that was very much the swan song of the Venetian Republic's shipbuilding ability. There is also a nice visible divide between the 2 ships that were completed under the Venetian republic, and the 3 that were finished under the French and Austrian occupation of Venice.

French Name: Dubois

The Fregata Grossa class, and nameship of her class Fama was laid down on the 8th of June 1782, she was drawn up by the shipwright Domenico Giacomazoo. She was constructed in the North East basin of the Venetian Arsenal known as the Novissima Grande the most modern part of the Arsenal, at this point frequently used for the main fighting ships of the late Venetian Fleet. She was constructed over a period of 2 years in dry dock 13, situated on the northern side of the basin itself. She was completed and launched on the 31st of March, 1784 with her intended armament of 26 x 40lb, 26 x 30lb, 14 x 14lb and 2 x 2 x 14lb Chasers (in Venetian lb, English conversion given above).

Fama was launched straight into a tumultuous time, Venice had very recently escalated to full hostilities with the Beylik of Tunis over his protective status of the Barbary Pirates on the Tunisian coastline who had been raiding Venetian shipping lanes. Her first stop was the Venetian port of Malamocco, an town situated just outside Venice on the island of Lido, here she was equipped and supplied, it was here she met her captain, Iseppo Stalimene. On May 19th, A month later, after her hold was packed, she was dispatched to join the majority of the Venetian fleet in their action against the Barbary pirates, at the time based in Malta. It was here that she caught the eye of the Venetian Grand Admiral, Angelo Emo, who had himself conducted the naval reforms that lead to her construction, incredibly pleased with how she turned out Fama was almost immediately made Emo's flagship, even taking priority over the larger 70 gun first rates due to her speed and great sailing capabilities. As the flagship of the Venetian fleet she took part in numerous roles such as coastal raiding, town bombardment chasing down, capturing and deterring pirates, who were mainly sailing ships like Xebecs, Schooners and Brigs. Stalimene and Emo, making the most of Fama as a fantastically versatile ship, able to use speed or firepower when it was most appropriate in a campaign conducted mostly through shock value.

The Tunisian campaign lasted 2 years, when the Beylik was brought to comparative terms after the siege of Tunis, and bombardment of several towns on the Tunisian coastline, Fama being used constantly, confidently and aggressively. After the terms were struck the Venetian fleet took a slightly more passive role, Fama was returned with the Fleet back to Malta, where general hostilities continued against the Tunisian Barbary pirates, Fama remained flagship for this time able to deliver the decisive firepower and speed needed to hunt and defeat the piratical threat. The hostilities finally ended with Angelo Emo's death on 3rd of March, 1792, and it was decided that it was appropriate for Fama to sail back to Venice carrying the body of the deceased Admiral, as Fama was so admired by Emo during his life. She arrived back in Venice on May 24th, where she was anchored in sight of Saint Mark's Square and took part in the state funeral proceedings for her be-smitten commander.

Following the Funeral she was then resupplied and sailed down to Corfu, the main strategic port controlled by Venice in order to guard shipping interests in Dalmatia and Greece, but also secure the mouth of the Adriatic Sea. She remained here until the winter of 1793/4, when she was sent back to Venice to receive some maintenance work in the Arsenal, before being dispatched back to corfu on the 12th of February 1794 under Captain Zuanne Millich. She would then remain based in Corfu until the fall of the Republic in 1797.

After the Venetian surrender to the Napoleon, Fama was still stationed in Corfu, where she was discovered alongside 7 other large ships, San Giorgio (70), Vulcano (66), Medea (70), Brillante (38), Palma (38), Cerere (32) and Pallade (24). Once she had been taken by the French fleet on their arrival to Corfu, she was then renamed Dubois, in memory of Major General Paul Alexis Dubois, who was killed in action during Napoleon's Italian campaign during 1796. The newly named Dubois was kept as part of the French fleet following the treaty of Campo Formio, which transferred most of the Venetian assets into the hands of Austria, Fama/Dubois was kept as part of the French Fleet.

Come the beginning of 1798 Dubois was sent to Toulon, here she was rearmed with more appropriate guns for service under the French, with her cannons being stripped away, melted down and replaced with the standardised French guns of the period. She was rearmed with 26 x 24lb, 26 x 18lb, 12 x 6lb on her broadsides, with 2 x 2 x 6lb chasers, these new guns, while different weren't a vast change from her original armaments, although her top decks saw a slight reduction, from what would have converted more cleanly to a French 9lb gun. During her refit she was also reduced to a 64, removing the 2 rearmost of the guns from her weatherdeck, surveyed and recorded.

After her brief refit and rearmament Dubois then joined the French Expedition to Egypt, serving as a warship in the Fleet, however her service was cut short by a signalling error which on the 2nd of July, 1798 caused her to collide in the port of Alexandria with the much larger 110 gun first rate L'Orient. The damage was great enough to knock her out of active service, so she remained in harbour, consequently missing the battle of the Nile, and likely capture by the British under Nelson. During her time she stuck in port she was put to good use and acted as the headquarters for famous French General Jean-Baptiste Kleber until March 1800, when thanks to 2 years of neglect and undersupply and British blockade as part of the fairly disastrous campaign she was disarmed and decreed irreparable, so the decision was made to scuttle her at the mouth of the harbour to create a barrier blocking the British Ottoman forces from entering Alexandria. After the British successfully sieged down Alexandria in 1801 and escape of Napoleon on the Venetian ship La Muiron (44), Dubois was captured in a semi sunken state, the decision was taken to demolish her, taking the good timbers to repair the British Fleet, and so after 17 years of esteemed service, Fama was carefully deconstructed and used to temporarily patch up the Royal Navy

Gloria Veneta
French Name: Banel

Gloria Veneta was the second ship of the Fama class both to be laid down and completed, she, like Fama herself was also set down on June 8th 1782, in the Novissima Grande, in the west side of the basin, known as the Novissimetta in the covered dockyard 22. Due to the scarce funding that the Venetian state had in its twilight, Gloria Veneta was slowly built over a 12 year period, which was at first overseen by the architect Andrea Chiribiri, but then later by Carlo Novello, who saw her through to her completion and launch on March 31st, 1794.

She was soon laden with supplies and a crew, captained by a Giuseppe Duodo and on the 31st of March 1794 she set sail to join the Venetian fleet stationed at Corfu where she stayed and operated alongside her sister ship Fama for a couple of years. In June 1796 Gloria Veneta was made part of a squadron of ships, alongside the larger ship Eolo (70) that was under the orders of Admiral Leonardo Correr was to return to Venice, due to the growing worry about French aggression in northern Italy. Despite Venetian neutrality to the conflict between Austria and France, the Venetian government was becoming increasingly agitated and wary, especially of Napoleon, who it was well known that he despised the hedonistic style of Venetian life. So under the Captaincy of Tommaso Condulmer, she returned to Venice, her mission was to enhance the defensive capabilities of Venice and the upper Adriatic sea, and so hopefully deter any possibility of French aggression towards Venice.

Gloria Veneta stayed in Venice up until the fall of the republic in 1797, where she played quite a significant part in the events over the short conflict between Napoleon and Venice. She was involved with the cannon fire upon and capture of the first 3 French ships that tried to enter into Venice on the 20th of April 1797, the first and most famous being the French Ketch Le Liberateur d'Italie, who was the first to try and force entry into the Venetian Lagoon. This naval skirmish was the only cause of loss of life in battle in the events leading up to the unconditional surrender of Venice on May 12th, 1797 as a result of the French artillery cores bombarding the city itself. Gloria Veneta was then taken as a prize by the French occupying forces following the death of the republic.

As soon as Venice had fallen she lead a convoy of French ships sailing under a false flag down the Adriatic sea to capture the Venetian island of Corfu, the site of one of the most significant strongholds of the Venetian republic, and one that had repelled multiple invasion forces time and time again thanks to its impressive fortification structures. The convoy was filled with French troops who successfully disembarked in the harbour and went on to quietly occupy the fortifications all without firing a single shot, successfully capturing the Ionian islands for Napoleon by ruse.

Now in French service, Gloria Veneta like Fama was renamed in honour of another French General, Pierre Banel, who had fallen in an attempt to take the castle of Cosserie on the 13th of April 1796. She was also, again like her sister ship taken back to Toulon, where she was repaired, refitted as a 64 and rearmed with French calibre guns. Her new armament was 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb, 12 x 6lb and 2 x 2 x 6lb chasers, again removing the rear most gun on the weatherdeck. After her refit, she became an escort ship protecting French shipping convoys and trade between the Southern French coastline and the towns of Corsica, where her speed and agility could be taken advantage of, protecting vulnerable merchant and supply ships against the powerful British navy.

Banel continued to serve in her protective role for 2 years until she was taken back to Toulon again in november 1800, to be refitted to a support ship, the work was completed and on January 2nd, 1802 Banel joined the French Fleet under the command of Admiral Ganteaume to serve her new purpose patrolling the eastern Atlantic and western Mediterranean off the French and Spanish coastlines. However, sadly soon after taking up her new role, while patrolling with Ganteaume's Fleet off the coast of Algeria a violent storm hit on 25th of January 1802, and unable to weather the harsh conditions, with a reasonably fresh and inexperienced crew, Banel was wrecked off the coast of Oran. Gloria Veneta, sinking only 5 months after Fama had been lost in Egypt, having served the Venetian and French navy for just under 8 years combined.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it. Like I said earlier I hope to do another post combining Le Stengel, Le Beyrand and Diamante, the 3 ships finished after the fall of the republic of Venice, and their history. Thank you for reading. Apologies its a big block of text with no pictures. :)


Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is as I promised the second half of the ship history for the rest of the Fama class, these are the 4 ships under construction after the fall of the Venetian republic to the French in 1797.


Diamante was like the other Fama class ships constructed in the Novissima Grande in dockyard 3. Her construction was overseen by the shipwright Piero Beltrame. When Venice surrendered to the French, Diamante was around half completed, still laid up in her covered dockyard, she was slightly damaged during the French looting period, where the French burnt or confiscated a large part of the Arsenal records and resources. The looting died down after approximately two weeks the French assumed control of the famous Venetian dockyards, deciding to leave her incomplete.

Following the Treaty of Campo Formio in late 1797, Austria took control of Venice, and for 6 more years Diamante was untouched in her dock, however late in 1803 the Austrians had come under some financial strain, but needed to support a larger navy so it was decided that Diamante would be completed. After her repair and completion she was launched in 1804 serving to protect Austrian interests in the Gulf of Venice and the upper Adriatic, never straying too far from Venice herself, she continued her local patrols maintaining control of the Austrian ports along the north of Italy and Istrian region.

Come 1806 The French resumed control of Venice and Diamante was set up as a permanent floating battery, protecting the French interests as they took a much greater interests in the productive capability of the Arsenal, when they started to launch numerous ships, most significantly the portion of the Pluton variant of the Temeraire class. This job of was crucial for the security of the French ship works at the Arsenal because during their occupation, the Austrians managed to survey and work out the protective shallows and channels of the Venetian lagoon, meaning the natural geography was no longer defence in itself. She continued working this important role as a floating battery until Venice came back under control of the Austrians in 1814, when she was found by her new owners, she continued being used as a battery for a further 11 years before she was demolished in the Arsenal in 1825 after her 22 years of service as the last of the Fama class.

Le Beyrand

Le Beyrand was laid down on the 8th of June, 1782, she was built in the Novissima Grande, dockyard 13. Her construction was overseen by Iseppo Livio, who saw her through from start to finish after being commissioned by the French Arsenal overseer to complete the project. She was launched on October 29th 1797, although designed as a 66 she was armed with 64 guns, 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb, 12 x 6lb. She was named after Brigadier General Martial Beyrand, who fell at the battle of Castiglione delle Stiviere (alongside General Frontin, who the Leon Trionfante ship Medea was renamed after), fought between France and Austria on the 5th of August 1796, during Napoleon's Italian campaign.

Le Beyrand left Venice on the 18th of December and was sailed to Ancona, where she was based for almost a year, when she was needed and co-opted into the French relief fleet, with the intention to break the blockade and siege of Corfu, the relief fleet left Ancona on November the 28th alongside Laharpe (A "1780") and Stengel, however they were spotted off the island of Lissa (Vis on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia) by a larger Russian Fleet, and on December 12th forced to turn back to the safety of Ancona where she was payed off.

Beyrand returned to service in the spring of 1799, when she was needed to deal with a severe Coalition threat to Ancona mainly comprised of Turks and Russians at sea, supported by Austrians on land. She was rigged up to form a floating battery in an attempt to protect the town's port and stop any landings by the enemy fleet. As a result of the military action on August 16th she was partially sunk and made useless for the rest of the engagement, the French surrendered the town on November 14th and Ancona came under the control of Austria. It was decided that an attempt to refloat Le Beyrand and the Austrians enlisted the Venetian naval architect and engineer Andrea Calvin, who thanks to centuries of Venetian maritime expertise of at sea repairs, managed to repair the ship and have her back afloat by the summer of 1800.

After being raised she was sent back to Venice, where she was kept as a close patrol ship until 1803, when it was noticed that her framing had suffered wear during her time submerged in Ancona, she was signed off as unseaworthy and potentially dangerous, so was taken into the Arsenal and then demolished.


The unnamed ship of the Fama class was set down in 1795, in Dockyard 17 of the Novissima Grande overseen by Gerolamo Manao . She wasn't far constructed by the time the French took over Venice, where she succumbed to considerable damage during the unrest and looting following the occupation and on September 27th 1797 she was deconstructed, with the majority of her timbers being used as firewood.

Le Stengel

Laid on June 8th 1782 in dockyard 13 of the Novissima Grande, her early construction was overseen by Giovanni Battista Gallina, and she was completed under the French occupation by Iseppo Cason on the 2nd of October 1797. Like Beyrand, although her design was as a 66, she was armed with with 64 guns, 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb and 12 x 6lb. Her name comes from the Cavalry General, Henri Christian Michel de Stengel, who was killed at the battle of Mondovi on april 21st 1796, the similar tribute as with the other ships of the class.

She was sailed to Ancona on November 17th 1797, alongside Laharpe where they were based before they took part in the expedition to relieve Corfu sailing on the 28th 1798. Following the pursuit by the Russian fleet off Lissa Stengel got separated from the main body of the expeditionary fleet and fled to the town of Calamotta, not far from Ancona where she anchored and was kept and used as a floating battery until the French surrender on the 14th of November 1799, when she was captured by the Austrians. After her capture she stayed in Calamotta until August 1800 when she was sailed to Ancona, where she finally joined back up with the main expeditionary fleet, now having been captured, where she took on supplies and was sent back to Venice in convoy alongside Laharpe.

After her return to Venice, she came under a sad state, and through general neglect ended up in a semi sunken state, due to her lack of seaworthiness she was then patched up and became a pontoon, where she remained unarmed for some time. However, in 1804 she was taken for a more substantial repair in the Arsenal where she was made into a floating battery to protect the main waterway into Venice but following the French reconquest she was transformed back into a pontoon in 1806 where she would stay. Hopes for Stengel were briefly raised in 1810, after she was deemed to be of significant military value thanks to the success of the Fama class, and their revered history, documented by the Venetian naval officers, now having been read and digested by the French admiralty in Paris. She was inspected and surveyed but sadly due to lack of love and attention had become of too much disrepair, and sadly the project was rejected due to the excessive cost.

Stengel remained as a pontoon until 1814, when the Austrians retook Venice, they found Stengel rotten and degraded, so in July 1814 it was decided that Stengel would take her final trip into the Arsenal to be demolished.


The Picture above is small portion of a large picture documenting the various ships in the construction in the Venetian Arsenal in May 1797, from left to right it shows; Carrere, an unnamed "1780" that was never completed, Le Stengel, an unnamed San Carlo Borromeo that was destroyed in 1803, and the unnamed Fama class ship. 

These last two posts give a nice broad history of each and every one of the 6 ships of the Fama class. Apologies if it got a little bit repetitive in places, but I hope you enjoyed reading it and it allows people to understand a little bit more about late Venetian naval history. As usual if anyone wants to know any more I would be more than Glad to try and dig out any more information if I can.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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  • 4 months later...

Its been a little while since I posted here, I have been very busy the past few months but I have finally sat down to look through Das Erb Serenissima, the book is full of fantastic information, although a little hard to deal with unless you speak german, the book also contains a fantastic set of large plans at almost a1 size, however they do come folded up and need careful handling, I have personally pressed them flat for about 2 months to help take away some of the fold lines, they are now safely stored in a large art portfolio folder and I hope to spend some time properly looking at them and potentially getting proper digital versions of the images myself.

Anyway onto the bits you guys actually might want to know about, the model itself is a reconstruction of a now fairly sad looking original from 1794 that was constructed to coincide with the launch of Gloria Veneta, the 2nd ship of the class. Interestingly the model wasn't taken back to Paris alongside many other historical maritime resources that were looted after the fall of the republic in 1797 but stayed as part of the Arsenal collection, likely so as Le Beyrand and Stengel could be completed properly. Following the Treaty of Campo Forno Venice came under Austrian hands and the model was then at some point taken back to Vienna in Austria and studied alongside the other Venetian resources as part of the real starting point for Austria's ability to field a worthwhile navy due to their territorial gains along the Italian coastline.

The reproduction of the model has been lovingly made from scratch, starting in 1983 by Dr. Karl Klaus Korner taking measurements from the original models and the plans available in the Austrian Archives and the Austrian Military Museum, thankfully for us he has presented his work in a fantastic book that not only goes into great detail on the model but also has some great resources on the legacy of the Venetian navy through its Austrian phoenix. The model is now proudly on display in the Austrian Military Museum in Vienna in the naval section for anyone to view, you can even catch a slight glimpse of it on the virtual tour of the museum (Here)

Here are the pictures, apologies for any graininess or page bending, I have done the best I can for you all to see. Please note that she is however missing her sternmost guns on the weatherdeck, although the model does beautifully show the positioning of her chasers.










There you go, I hope you enjoy seeing Fama Brought to life,

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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