The Trafalgar survivor that lasted until 1949 before being scuttled | Nostalgia

HMS Implacable was a 74-gun third rate of the Royal Navy.

By Deborah Croker
Sunday, 12th December 2021, 6:00 pm
HMS Implacable, formerly the French Duguay-Trouin, in Portsmouth Harbour in the 1930s. Picture: The News  PP688
HMS Implacable, formerly the French Duguay-Trouin, in Portsmouth Harbour in the 1930s. Picture: The News PP688

However, she was originally the French navy's Téméraire-class ship-of-the-line Duguay-Trouin, launched in 1800.

She survived the Battle of Trafalgar five years later only for the British to capture her at the subsequent Battle of Cape Ortegal.

Remarkably Implacable survived the Second World War. Still, the Admiralty scuttled her by an explosive charge on December 2, 1949.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Survivors. Jutland casualties from HMS Tiger on board HMS Plassy 1916. Picture: National Museum of the Royal Navy

A fireboat towed her from Portsmouth Harbour to a spot east of the Isle of Wight and she sank into Saint Catherine's Deep, about five miles from Ventnor.

A French warship was in attendance to render honours.

Implacable was by then the second oldest ship of the navy after HMS Victory, and there were heavy protests against her disposal.

However, given post-war austerity the government decided against restoring her, which was estimated at £150,000 with another £50,000 for re-rigging.

HMS Furious at Navy Days in Portsmouth, probably 1927.

Here she is pictured in Portsmouth Harbour in the 1930s.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.

Crowds around the bows of HMS Victory at Navy Days, probably 1928.
Just part of the huge crowd gathered at Gilkicker Point for the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review in June 1977. Picture: The News PP4995