Zodiaque (74)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Zodiaque (74)

Origin and History

The ship was built by Jacques-Luc Coulomb at Brest from October 1755 and launched on November 19 1756.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • from 1757 to 1760: captain Jacques-Antoine de Gotho

The ship was condemned at Toulon in November 1782 and sold in 1784.

Service during the War

The ship was commissioned in February 1757 for an expedition in the East Indies.

On January 27 1758, the ship was the flagship of d'Aché's squadron which sailed from Île de France and made for the coast of Coromandel in India, transporting reinforcements under the command of Lally. Owing to the monsoon, it was much delayed. On April 28, the squadron arrived at daybreak into the roadstead of Fort St. David. The French squadron cut off the escape of the Bridgewater (24) and Triton (24) which were lying there and which, to save them from capture, were run ashore and burnt. On April 29, while Lally was disembarking his troops at Pondicherry (actual Puducherry), the ship was part of d'Aché's squadron who fought at the combat of Cuddalore where she occupied the centre of the French line. An explosion of powder aboard caused some confusion while the ship was engaged against the Yarmouth (64). On August 3, when Pocock made another attempt to dislodge the French squadron from Pondicherry, the ship took part to the combat of Negapatam as d'Aché's flagship. At the beginning of the engagement, she had her wheel carried away by a shot from the Yarmouth (64), her first antagonist. To repair it, she went under the lee of the Duc d'Orléans (54); but, as soon as she returned to the line, one of her lower-deck guns burst, and a fire broke out near her powder room. In the consequent confusion, her new steering gear gave way, so causing the ship to fall on board the Duc d'Orléans; and, while the two ships were entangled together, both were heavily cannonaded with impunity by the Yarmouth (64) and Tiger (60). When the ship finally disentangled from the Duc d'Orléans, d'Aché immediately bore away. During this engagement, the ship lost 183 killed or dangerously wounded.

On September 10 1759, the ship took part in the battle of Pondicherry, carrying the flag of the chef d'escadre d'Aché. Her captain was killed in action during this engagement.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762


Technical specifications
Guns 74
Lower gundeck 28 x 36-pdrs
Upper gundeck 30 x 18-pdrs
Quarterdeck 10 x 8-pdrs
Forecastle 6 x 8-pdrs
Crew 759
Length 168 ft (54.57 m) in French feet
Width 43 ft 6 in (14.02 m)
Depth 20 ft 6 in (6.66 m)
Displacement 1361 tons


Blasco, Manuel, French 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780

N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.