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Lieste

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  1. Carronade buff.

    You mean the battle where the US carronades were 'out of range', yet the US vessel was more shot up by 32lb shot than by 18lb from the British... If you read the wording it was that the carronades couldn't be brought to bear, and the Essex was cutting ports for the shifted 12lb ordnance (which were on carriages) to fire from her quarters. I don't know for certain, but carronades were typically on slides with the fixed portion built into the side, rather than on carriages. Either that, or the ineptness in managing sail and local politics was also present in gunnery training.
  2. Double shot (fired with second reduce) gave ballistic performance similar to a carronade of the same calibre, and recoil similar to the same gun firing single shot with the standard charge. Double shot with the first reduce gave recoil well above the normal level, and with the standard charge was dangerously high for the standard carriages in the confined spaces on board ships (or inside forts). Standard charges were 1/3rd of the (single and nominal) ball weight, and first and second reduce 1/4qtr & 1/6th respectively. Consistency was inevitably poor as the two balls would exit the muzzle with different velocity and with opposite orientation in the bore. Typically the two shots would not both strike home outside pistol shot, and the advantage of double was to increase the degree of injury by striking twice at close ranges, or by reducing overpenetration and increasing the size (if not number) of splinters and making the holes both more open and harder to patch. (A single ball fired at a normal side at typical ranges would pass cleanly through leaving a hole into which the fingers could not be pushed). When hits were obtained the larger natures (e.g. 32lb) would be effective with double to beyond 400 yds against the side of a 3rd rate. (reduced from ~1200 yds for the single shot). Smaller ordinance may fail to be very useful at all though - as most guns are smaller than the carronades which were considered effective (24lbs and up).
  3. bow- and sterntanking

    The thinking (and game treatment) of 'armour and structure' is probably the primary cause of 'tanking with the bow/stern'. If a timber vessel is struck by shot it will almost always be sufficiently firmly to penetrate to a half-ball depth and to lodge, if it doesn't strike iron fittings or penetrate completely through. When the shot lodges it will require a permanent 'void' equal to it's own diameter. During the recent Vasa/24lb gun testing there was only one (scissor) shot which lodged in the 18" sides despite powder charges reduced to simulate hits at all useful ranges (no information what that exactly means, but I'd guess at >700 yds), all other round and scissor shot passed clean through the sides (including at the knees) and travelled with barely diminished force hundreds of yards downrange. If a shot penetrated with high velocity (large, fast moving shot vs a 'thin' side) then the hole was 'closed' to the extent it was difficult to insert fingers into the timber in the line of shot, and there were a large number of fine splinters expelled at high velocity, which splinters were often turned aside by clothing of standard weight. The shot passing near the edge of a timber might tear off a single larger splinter but typically injury to the timber was minimal and the danger to crew and fittings was almost entirely from the shot. If a shot hit with less energy, or passed through more material on the way through the side (e.g. with oblique impacts striking multiple frames or frame and knees) it would shatter the interior planking/knee and leave more open shot holes on the interior, which were harder to plug or repair - there would be fewer splinters and they would be slower moving, but they would have significantly more mass. Far from more 'side' increasing protection it would often result in increasing the energy absorbed from received shot. The more solid sides would have more tolerance to damage, but would also take more injury from the more powerful natures (and loadings) of ordnance, while a thin side could be passed through with minimal injury. Unlike increasing thickness to obtain more structural presence and resistance to shot, the random variation in thickness at knees, and the oblique impact striking multiple frames - the damage increase is not met with a corresponding increase in the strength of the structure. In the case of angled impact, the resistance increases and causes more damage to sides not any more capable of staying intact. The same as a 'heavier' structure (or smaller shot) comes with some additional stiffness and structural redundancy. This is a complex interaction, but it is and needs to be treated differently to 'armour' and 'squishy stuff' which includes not only 'internals' such as ordnance and crew, but also the structure itself.
  4. Thickness Upgrades

    It was the fregate de 12 Sérieuse, which fired on the 74 gun Orion. She was reduced to a shambles by a single (double shotted) broadside under near perfect conditions, and drifted off over the shallows. She either sank later in the night, or was scuttled the next day - both results are claimed, and there may be little difference (a matter of hours, or what one counts as night/next day, and whether 'abandoning the attempt to save her' is very different from scuttling to avoid capture of a crippled and "in a sinking condition" vessel).
  5. Bungee, what 12lb are those? Look to be 9ft types. How would she look with guns more similar to those for RN or French frigates (the RN frigate 12lb was the 7.5ft one).
  6. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    Carronades were of good quality. They were solid cast and bored accurately with low windage. Carron company gun ordnance to the Armstrong pattern had some quality control issues and they nearly lost their contract to supply this ordnance, but this was at a time when an increased requirement for Ordnance had expanded the British manufacturing base and companies in the Midlands and Scotland were outcompeting those near to London in both cost and quantity/reliability of delivery. A few burst pieces in actions had resulted in a dramatic increase in the proofing requirements and a brief window in which fully 25% of all supplied ordnance from all manufacturers was rejected after failing proof. A modification (by Blomefield) to the distribution of metal was made and quality control rapidly improved, the proof standards relaxed slightly and the failure rate dropped to below that of the pre-expansion regime despite the proof standards still being somewhat stricter, and consistency of manufacture much higher. Ricochet fires were only relevant at ranges beyond those of the line of metal or of 'direct pointing' (or pointe en blanc) (roughly 700-750 yds for all natures of ordnance (including carronades)) - here on a smooth sea the inconsistency with random fires could be replaced by a more certain (if still inaccurate) fire with multiple grazes over 2000 yds of distance beyond the first graze. If fired in point blank, the first graze would typically be between 200-400 yds depending on the nature and height of mounting, this is fire with the bore level by the quarter sight and with the line of metal below the horizon. There is no need to discuss the depression limits of ordnance (but these were some 8-10 degrees both for depression and elevation before the muzzle wooded) when talking of ricochet fires. Whether this firing has a place in NA, where every ship handles like a speed boat is arguable, but they do certainly have a place in naval wargames, where the *realistic* portrayal of the capability of fleets and their weapons is desired. The approach speeds at Trafalgar in common with most battles were low - only some 2 knots or so for the faster sailing vessels, and slower for those of poor performance such as Britannia or Prince. Once battle was commenced, the effect of gunfire was noted as commonly causing a localised calm and stillness of the sea. Escape of outnumbered ships was on many occasions done by sweeps or kedging. Engagements between sailing vessels and gunboats were common, where the wind dropped and small vessels under sweeps and canvas would attempt to approach with small numbers of heavy ordnance while the ship was becalmed. Ricochet fire was used to discourage or damage these small vessels at ranges where random fire would be ineffective, but the heavy guns could be a threat to the safety of the ship or those she was escorting. The testing of ordnance was systematic. E.g. while testing the performances of conoidal shot, Bashforth was also careful to equally record that of spherical shot to demonstrate the actual improvement over the smoothbore ordnance. Equally the performance of direct fire were compared to that of ricochet fires to inform current best practice, not to experiment with wholly novel ideas, but to quantify the various theories held and to test and ultimately disprove certain stated assumptions (such as that increased preponderance of the Gover or Congreve was associated by higher velocity (suggested by Congreve because of higher point blank range) - this was determined to be because of violent recoil and 'jump' of the ordnance, and the lower velocity resulted in both lower penetration and lower maximum ranges as expected). That this testing was first *reliably* carried out in the mid C19th century is the result of the difficulty in accurately measuring events happening at thousands of yards distance and over the interval of only a few to 10 seconds. It was such devices as Basforth's chronograph and the tabulations he was able to make from accurate measurements of multiple parts of the same trajectory that advanced understanding of how to measure and decide between opposed concepts.
  7. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    In the 1750s line ships of the British navy were armed with 42 lb ordnance on the lower deck, they were armed with 32lb on the lower deck if the ship was not designed for 42lb or the scale of ordnance had been reduced. Frigates did indeed have 12lb or 18lb ordnance of a short pattern, but these will still perform in proportion to those of the ships of the line with a linear reduction in range and penetration depth in line with the bore of the ordnance. French line ships used 36 livre ordnance, which was approximately 39-40 lb in English calibre with a higher gauge and lower windage. French frigates used 18livre ordnance much earlier and more liberally than in English practice, and also experimented with 24 livre weapons. The English saw little positive benefit to these heavier guns for fighting against frigates where the 8ft 37.5cwt 18lb gun was seen to be more than sufficient. Even the early British 24lb experiments were reduced to 18lb ordnance for much of their service lives. Only after meeting frigates more heavily built than ships of the line, and carrying 24lb guns of 50cwt and 32 or 42lb carronades did the need for the heavier shot seem pressing, and even then it was deemed adequate to require a pair of 18b frigates to operate in concert. By the 1790s 32lb ordnance or heavier was commonplace on fifth and sixth rates, in the form of carronades, which while ranging less well than guns, are not as inferior in range nor penetration as are commonly portrayed, with carronades being more effective than the smaller ordnance they supplement at both very short and very long ranges in their particular merits (high injury to structure at short range, (relatively) high penetration at long range, and accuracy adequate at short and not falling far behind the diminished accuracy of guns at extended direct fire and random fire ranges). The failure to penetrate was against the lower side of a line ship. Small ordnance would remain effective against the upper works of all ships and the sides generally of unrated vessels to extended range. Hollow shot is discussed in the treatise and largely dismissed as it was newly suggested and considered to be a poor substitute for ordnance of full power firing with high charges. The table of results from the firings were almost exclusively reported for solid shot of nominal weight, except for the three types of shell gun in 10" and 8" natures.
  8. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    Nope. These are solid shot, fired with highest charge and from all smootbore ordnance, (albeit some 32lb natures are lighter and use a lower maximum charge from a reduced windage piece, giving approximately the same or slightly reduced maximum velocity to the 55.5cwt 32lb of the Bloomfield pattern with is included in the table). The only hollow shot noted in the table is that for the 10" and 8" shell guns, also both smoothbore ordnance of a low windage and low powder charge.
  9. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    Which part, because from all test results I have seen this is true. During the vasa test, they were unable to reduce velocity sufficiently to bring 24lb shot below the penetration threshold for the Vasa gundeck, except for one scissor shot which lodged deep in the side. Douglas noted that testing from HMS Excellent was hulling the test hulk in ricochet fire at 1200yds and would do so reliably at closer ranges with double. He also provides ranges and numbers of grazes for spherical iron shot fired in ricochet fire from a wide range of ordnance. Didion provided test results for penetration limits of spherical iron shot against oak, beech, elm, pine, earth, masonry and brick, and Bashforth measured the velocity and drag of spherical iron shot from smoothbores with his Chronograph. Applying these elements gives this result as a consistent picture. Where exactly are you getting your 'armoured ships and weak results from smoothbores' from?
  10. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    These are not armoured ships. The impact of iron shot on timbers is going to result in deep penetrations in almost all circumstances. The penetration channel may not be deep enough to enter the crewed areas near the waterline, but at the upper gundeck even a large first rate will be shot through at 1200yds by double shot from a 32lb gun and second rates or older first rates hulled at the water line. Against a brig or gunboat the penetration of 32lb shot is sufficient to hull at more than 3000yds - even where the velocity is reduced to that of carronade. Here firing with full charges in ricochet would be sufficient to threaten severe damage, at any range with a degree of certainty beyond that of random fire.
  11. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    It was a way to extend useful range against small and relatively fragile targets which are hard to hit with shots at first graze.
  12. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    The ricochet fire is low angle fire with solid shot and maximum charge with a first graze close to the shooting vessel and impact with the target well downrange from that point. The danger space of 32lb shot against a 30ft high screen at 1000 yds is around 270yds with full charge. (1000yds to 1271yds first graze corresponding to bottom and top of screen) The danger space of 32lb shot fired at a low angle in ricochet fire is 2900 yds or more under reasonably calm conditions according to the practice at HMS Excellent. The shot grazes some 30 or more times before it diverges sufficiently to make accuracy of practice of doubt. Yes. The shot has a reduced ability to penetrate compared to the impact at first graze, but not by as much as some imagine, and as at 1000yds it will hull a 3rd rate through and through, penetrating the near side of a lighter vessel with ricochet fires should be expected to succeed. Smaller ordnance on upper decks may be less effective, and ordnance mounted near to the water has a greater effect, with longer range and lower velocity loss - with the suggestion to haul in the un-engaged guns to lower the engaged ports to aid the practice made.
  13. Poll on limited use of repairs in battles

    Why even have 'one shot' repairs that instantly (or 'briskly' restore damage sustained over an extended period). Instead you could consider a damage control process, where a slow trickle of repair is available over the course of the battle.
  14. Cannonball skip emulating sniper shots

    The period treatises and a significant part of the C19th testing of gunnery performance were considering ricochet fire as a usable technique. It would be used against relatively light targets on calm water (such as boarding parties or gunboats approaching a becalmed fleet) and would eliminate the broad requirement to obtain range out to nearly 2000 yds. It did reduce downrange impulse and penetration compared to a hit at first graze, but against a suitably small and fragile target was considered extremely effective. Penetration of oak by shot was well in excess of that required to hull light constructions to extended ranges (which is not well represented in game) - the penetration limit for shot was according to the French testing of the 1850s in excess of that given by the standard tables, especially at lower velocity (the coefficients usually given provide a significantly lower low velocity penetration than either the materials property within the Poncelot equation or the coefficients calculated from testing by Didion, which are close to but not exactly the same as the material properties (essentially density and tensile strength).
  15. I recently got hold of a copy of Bashforth's published experimentation with his Chrongraph, which has refined certain of the parameters for transonic and supersonic drag and includes a set of penetration parameters derived by Didion at Metz. These are quite different from those commonly assigned to the Poncelot form, and result in higher penetrations for low velocity shot, higher penetration overall for reasonable C18th-C19th shot velocities, and includes values for Oak, Elm, Fir and Poplar as separate materials, with various earth, stone and brick fortifications as well. Poplar and fir, the common mast materials are very much less resistant to the passage of shot than the Oak, Beech or Elm sides are, so the inflation of resistance/ineffectiveness is even stranger than the inflation of size alone suggests. (Penetrations in Fir around 80% more than in Oak, Poplar a bit weaker again - Elm is 30% weaker than Oak.)
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