Source: Battleships.Spb.ru. Click for a larger image.
Built by the French in 1861 with partial armor on a wooden hull, the Magenta and her sister ship the Solferino were two decker ships-of-the-line mounting fifty guns in broadsides. They were the only two decker ironclads ever built. Designed by French naval architect Dupuy de Lôme, they were also the first ships to carry spur rams.
Pre-Dreadnought Preservation - The Magenta
The Magenta caught fire and exploded in Toulon harbor in 1875. At the time, she was flagship of the French Mediterranean fleet. The Magenta now survives as an underwater archaeological excavation 15 meters down. At the time of her loss, she was carrying antiquities from Carthage and thus her modern excavation came due to an interest in her cargo rather than from her status as an early ironclad. Excavations on the Magenta have been conducted by the Groupe de Recherche en Archéologie Navale (GRAN).
The Solferino (sister ship to the Magenta).
Source: Imperial War Musuem
If you come across any further information on the Internet about the Magenta's career, demise, or current excavation, please contact me at [email protected].
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Updated January 27, 2001
Copyright © 1999 - 2001 by Mark Howells