French Naval Intelligence during the Second Empire: Charles Pigeard Reporting on British and American Shipbuilding (1856-69)
This article covers the relatively unknown Charles Pigeard who was the first key informant (unofficially from 1856, officially from 1860) on British naval developments for French naval ministers and the chief constructor Dupuy de Lôme over a period of ten years. Some of his letters can be found in the private papers of rear-Admiral de la roncière le Noury, though a majority of his correspondences belong to the directorate of material. Pigeard provided information on the Warrior and other ships, and then travelled to America to report on the Civil War technological advances. Pigeard was party to the discussions of turret or casement protection of ships.