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The Largest Sailing Ship Ever Built, the Barque "France". The France was a huge five-masted barque built in 1911 in Bordeaux.

With a massive steel hull, and masts, yards, and booms of steel tubing, the France's fitout was softened with timber-lined decks and interior - including a gracious lounge, seven luxury passenger cabins, a library, darkroom, and even a seawater therapy facility.

The huge vessel's sailing days ended in July 1922 when, laden with chrome ore from the French territory of New Caledonia, she grounded on a reef after becoming becalmed. There was no loss of life as she was just 60 nautical miles from Noumea. However, owing to economic pressures of low cargo returns, her owners refused to pay for tug assistance and the big ship was left to the embrace of the sea.

In WWIl she was used for target practice by American military aircraft.