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The Jeune École In Office

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Chapter Summary

Théophile Aube was appointed Minister of Marine in a coalition government of opportunists and radicals, headed by the opportunist Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet, which took office on 7 January 1886. Aube stayed in office as Minister of Marine until the Goblet cabinet was replaced on 30 May 1887. Aube’s period in office was marked by his determination to impose both the strategic views of the jeune école and what he saw as necessary changes in tactics and the composition of the fleet. Predictably Aube stopped the construction of the four battleships of the Hoche and Magenta class that were begun in 1880. Aube concentrated on cheaper vessels, and forwarded a construction program that included six large and ten small cruisers, twenty large torpedo boats for use against other torpedo boats, fifty gunboats, 100 regular torpedo boats, and three armoured coastal defence ships for use as torpedo mother ships.

Keywords: Aube; Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet; jeune école; Théophile Aube



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