D'Iberville class Torpedo Cruisers (1893)
Casabianca, Cassini, D'Iberville
The D'Iberville class in brief
The three ships of this class, Casabianca, Cassini and Iberville were put into service between 1894 and 1896. They came a few years after the two Lévrier 1891, but differed in all. Larger and nearly twice as heavy, they had a forecastle and raised poop, and a more consistent and better distributed artillery. The D'Iberville was the only one fitted with 6 Torpedo Tubes (TT), the other two having three, but in 1899, the first had them all disembarked, followed later by the others.
The Casabianca and Cassini were rebuilt in 1911-12 as minelayers, but showed little brillance in this role and were replaced by Pluto and Cerberus in 1913. Nonetheless the fleet kept them in service in 1914, for patrols. Casabianca struck a mine off Smyrna in June 1915 and the Cassini was torpedoed by a U-boat in February 1917 in the Strait of Bonifacio. The D'Iberville was on duty in the harbor of Penang, witnessed the destruction of Jemtchug by Emden but believing it was an accident she left the German cruiser unscaved, the latter being largely superior in all directions anyway. She then patrolled the Algerian coast until late 1917 but was withdrawn from service in 1922.
Casabianca in the 1900s. Shorter chimneys and masts, no TTs.