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"1780" Venetian 3rd rate (With Plans)

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The "1780" Class ship was a 70/74 gun Venetian Primo Rango (1st Rate) designed in 1780 by the architects Andrea Paresi, Andrea Chiribiri, Andrea Spadon and Iseppo Fonda as part of Angelo Emo's naval reform program started the same year. The ship was drawn up as a replacement for both the previous 70 gun Leon Trionfante class and the smaller 66 gun San Carlo Borromeo class which the two designs had been in service 64 and 39 years respectively.

The "1780" was designed with the intention to being faster, more agile and tougher than its predecessors, in line with the contemporary naval thought under the Emo reforms which were focussed on modernising and changing the way the Venetian navy operated to best protect its mercantile interests, and to project Venetian naval power against its main threats from the Barbary States and Ottomans. The new "1780"s were the first major ship planned as part of these reforms, 4 were laid, however none were completed before Venice was occupied by France, then Austria.

The 4 ships of the "1780 class"
Laharpe, 70 guns, Laid in 1782, Completed by the French in 1797.
Unnamed, 74 guns, Laid in 1786, Damaged by the French looting in 1797, Demolished by the Austrians in 1804.
Unnamed, 74 guns Laid in 1790, Damaged by the French looting in 1797, Demolished by the Austrians in 1804.
Unnamed, 74 guns, Laid in 1790, Damaged by the French looting in 1797, Demolished by the Austrians in 1802.

Laharpe was named in honour of Amédée Emmanuel François Laharpe, a French Major General who was accidentally killed by a friendly fire mistake during Napoleon's Italian campaign in 1796 while he was pursuing Austrian forces in the town of Codogno. She was launched alongside the Fama class ship Stengel, as part of the French salvage programme launched in the Venetian Arsenal following their occupation in 1797, the design was modified slightly, taking away the poop deck and her 3 guns, while adding another gun port to the quarterdeck, leaving her as a 70 gun ship, instead of the originally intended 74.

Laharpe spent the majority of her early years stationed at the French base in Ancona alongside Stengel, ironically the two classes serving together as they were designed and intended for by Angelo Emo in the 1780s. They were soon joined by Beyrand, another Fama class ship where they were prepared and sent on an expedition to relieve the siege of Corfu against the Russo-Turkish aggressors, however the small navy were forced to turn back after being spotted by the Austrian navy. The Austrian navy gave chase in an attempt to capture the three ships but were no match for the speed of the Venetian designs and Laharpe, Beyrand and Stengel made it safely back to Ancona, where she would stay until 1799.

In 1799 Austrian Forces captured Ancona and Laharpe was taken back to Venice to help secure the Austrian occupation, she spent the next 3 years anchored in the Grand Canal, working as a floating outpost for the occupying Austrians, where she served as a powerful reminder and keeper of peace against the Venetian resistance. After her years serving as an outpost she was commanded by Karl Ludwig Johann Josef Lorenz (later Archduke Charles of Austria) to be converted into a prison ship, as the prisons of Venice were in a state of disrepair and prisoners were frequently escaping and so in december 1802 work began to refit Laharpe. After her refit, finishing in the spring of 1803 she was anchored in the San Marco Canal where she stayed until July 1804, where she underwent some maintenance, after which she was left anchored in the part of the Venetian Arsenal known as the "Novissima Grande", the largest basin of the complex until the second French occupation starting in 1806, she stayed in the Arsenal for a further 3 years and was eventually demolished there in 1809.

Below is A painting of of Laharpe serving as a prison ship.


Length of Keel, 139 piedi, (48.33m)
Length at Longest Point, 162 piedi, (56.33m)
Width at Widest Point, 39 piedi, (13.56m)

Armaments (Laharpe 70 Guns):
28 x 24lb (French pounds)
28 x 18lb (French pounds)
14 x 8lb (French pounds)




Reproduction by Guido Ercole.


Thanks For reading, :) I hope you enjoyed, as always let me know if anyone wants some more information.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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On 12/21/2016 at 8:24 AM, Haratik said:

She looks a bit flat in the front, much like a barge, no?


I quite like the teardrop shape of the hull, she looks elegant to me. The bow keel reminds me of the similarly shaped La Muiron, which seemingly had similar historic performance to like that of a a rocket ship.


7 hours ago, Wind said:

I like how compact it is. 

She is on that same thought process that brought the Fama class fregata grossa. Her displacement is around 2300 tonnes, which when you compare to the Pluton class ships built in the Arsenal by France during their occupation, there is considerable difference, the Pluton ships built in Venice having a displacement of 2966 tonnes. In comparison to the Pluton class she is around 7 metres shorter and over a metre thinner at the waist, but capable of being packed with the same kind of punch. The capabilities of the last few decades of Venetian shipbuilding really fascinates me.

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  • 9 months later...

I haven't revisited this ship nearly enough recently, she is a stunning creation sadly due to budgeting having spent the majority of her life mothballed on the slip in reserve, these are the modified plans from Austria from after she was reduced down from a 74 to a 70. Similarly to the other ships of her generation she makes a lovely point of being somewhat smaller than her contemporaries with more emphasis on agility and speed than even the French 74s.

These are the plans that almost come as a bonus to the Das Erbe der Serenissima book, which mostly focuses on a model of the Fama class and like the other plans from the book they are impressively massive, almost A1 paper size. again just like the Fama plans I think my favourite part is the last one, showing the ship and rigging in its entirity, there are also some interesting dimensional drawings that are somewhat unlike most plans I have come across. I strongly beleive she would make a lovely addition to the game as either the 74 as she was originally as a reserve ship and her service in the French Italian Navy, or as her reduced state of a 70 as she served Austria.







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