Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

French frigate Diane (1796)

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Name  Diane
Builder  Toulon
In service  March 1796
Construction started  July 1794
Length  48 m
Namesake  Diana
Laid down  July 1794
Captured  27 August 1800
Launched  10 February 1796
Draft  5.7 m

Diane was a 38-gun frigate of the French Navy, launched in 1796. She participated in the battle of the Nile, but in August 1800 the Royal Navy captured her. She was taken into British service as HMS Niobe, and broken up in 1816.


French career

She took part in the Battle of the Nile, managing to escape to Malta with the Justice. During the battle Rear-Admiral Denis Decrès was on board Diane in his capacity as commander of the frigate squadron. He would go on to become Napoleon's Minister of Marine.

In 1800, as she tried to escape from Malta, HMS Success, HMS Northumberland, and HMS Genereux captured her. At the time she had only 114 men on board, having left the remainder at Malta to assist in its defense.

British career

The Royal Navy commissioned her as HMS Niobe, there already being an HMS Diana in service.

On 28 March 1806, Niobe captured the 16-gun Néarque off Groix, which had just separated from Leduc's division.

On 13 November 1810, off Le Havre along with Diana, Niobe sighted the 40-gun Amazone and the 44-gun Elisa. HMS Donegal and HMS Revenge joined the chase, attacking the French squadron when it was anchored at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at the Action of 15 November 1810. Eventually, the Elisa was wrecked near La Hougue, while the Amazone escaped to Le Havre. Four months later at the Action of 24 March 1811, Niobe participated in the destruction of the French frigate Amazone near the Phare de Gatteville lighthouse, Normandy.

On 24 March 1811, she sailed with a squadron comprising HMS Berwick, Amelia, Goshawk, and Hawk again chased Amazone, which they trapped near Barfleur. Her crew scuttled Amazone to prevent her capture.


HMS Niobe was eventually sold on 31 July 1816.


French frigate Diane (1796) Wikipedia

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