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Sir Hethwill the RedDuke

Questions for the Historians

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1 hour ago, Haratik said:

What was the difference between a squadron, a flotilla, and a fleet in the game's time period?

The difference is in that are the amount of ships used, the type of in that group and sometimes also the Flagship type,

Squadrons are primairly frigates and corvettes and other small ships. Although the English used squadrons to indicate a Combatgroup of a Mainly SoL group but it also slightly differs from the regions they were operating in

Flotilla's could be a combatgroup with a mix of frigates and SoL up to 2nd serving as a flagship

Fleet are groups of ships constitend of at least 20-25 ships with main SoL with a support group of frigates

the exact numbers of each type could vary between nations

Edited by pietjenoob
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In France we divide as follows:

A squadron is subdivided into three divisions bearing the color to which it is attached.

A detachment is attached to a division, the division is attached to a squadron, which is attached to a naval army.

So a group of ships and named according to the number of ships that compose it.

3 squadrons = a naval army
1 squadron = from 9 to 26 vessels
1 division = from 3 to 8
1 detachment = 2

The word "fleet" is used (always in France) for:

- a considerable number of merchant ships of the same nation
- if the fleet is escorted, it takes the name of convoy
- in the navy, the word "fleet" means all floating vessels, near to fight or can be near quickly.

We are talking about the "Mediterranean fleet", "fleet of the North", "fleet of the Pacific", etc.

Edited by Surcouf
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3 hours ago, Surcouf said:

 

well It would be nice to know what kind of( name) structure we use in naval action actually 

or just imaginary  : naval action structure 

 

Edited by Thonys

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On 2/12/2018 at 6:19 AM, Surcouf said:

In France we divide as follows:

A squadron is subdivided into three divisions bearing the color to which it is attached.

A detachment is attached to a division, the division is attached to a squadron, which is attached to a naval army.

So a group of ships and named according to the number of ships that compose it.

3 squadrons = a naval army
1 squadron = from 9 to 26 vessels
1 division = from 3 to 8
1 detachment = 2

The word "fleet" is used (always in France) for:

- a considerable number of merchant ships of the same nation
- if the fleet is escorted, it takes the name of convoy
- in the navy, the word "fleet" means all floating vessels, near to fight or can be near quickly.

We are talking about the "Mediterranean fleet", "fleet of the North", "fleet of the Pacific", etc.

Thanks for expanding on this Surcouf.  I've always had a general idea on what each was, but every nation has a different idea of what the composition is, and how much makes up each.

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Yes, it's just for France. In Germany, Spain, England, America, etc. it's different. The names and the number of vessels are not the same, but it gives a good idea of the differences.

I add that if a squadron or division is composed only of frigates, we speak of "light" squadron and "light" division. Same names if they are lower vessels than 74-gun ships.

There is also a color code (as in other nations). A naval army with three squadrons:

The 1st: white
2nd: white and blue
3rd: blue

It takes three divisions to make one squadron, each division has the same color as its squadron, but on different masts for the admirers.

Example:
The 1st squadron: white mark
- The 1st division: white mark on the mainmast
- The 2nd division: white mark on the foremast
- The 3rd division: white mark on the mizzen mast

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On 2/9/2018 at 5:44 AM, Hethwill said:

A new question (kind of related also with the game reality ).

 

- Why did powerful naval nations deploy long range chase frigates to cover the seas instead of more ships of the line ? What aspects made one the obvious choice over the other ? What made a frigate more suitable for that task ?

One reason was cost. Much less expensive to man and maintain a frigate than an SOL, in particular on a six month cruise. Same reason you don't send a battleship on convoy escort duty! They are needed in battle fleets scattered around the globe in the case of the RN. Another reason that is not apparent in NA has to do with weather. A frigate would be faster over time in a much broader range of wind and weather than an SOL for the most part. There is a reason frigates  were used as scouts - the eyes of the fleet as it were. 

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6 hours ago, DeRuyter said:

One reason was cost. Much less expensive to man and maintain a frigate than an SOL, in particular on a six month cruise. Same reason you don't send a battleship on convoy escort duty! They are needed in battle fleets scattered around the globe in the case of the RN. Another reason that is not apparent in NA has to do with weather. A frigate would be faster over time in a much broader range of wind and weather than an SOL for the most part. There is a reason frigates  were used as scouts - the eyes of the fleet as it were. 

Broadly speaking, this is correct, I would point out though that Frigates were the maids of all work in the Napoleonic era, with a range of roles that varied from close blockading, escort, message/mail running when Brigs, Sloops or Cutters were not available, to long range patrols and fleet reconnaissance. mainly these roles were suited to mid draught, low crew ships that were fast and well enough armed to counter their opposite numbers in the enemy fleet.

Battleships and Battlecruisers were regularly used on convoy duties particularly in Force 'H',  where H.M. Ships Hood (which was the  Flagship of Force 'H' during the controversial and tragic destruction of part of the French fleet  at Oran) , Renown, and Warspite escorted several convoys, H.M.S. Rodney was escorting a convoy to Halifax when diverted to hunt K.M.S. Bismark ,  H.M.S. Duke of York was providing distant convoy cover when she with the Cruisers Norfolk and Belfast intercepted and sank K.M.S Scharnhorst. 

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In France, it is not uncommon in wartime to protect convoys with corvettes or frigates.

A concrete example, when the frigate Hermione returned from her American campaign in Europe. She is sent to the Indian Ocean to join the Suffren fleet. The time to arrive and find Suffren, it is used for the protection of convoys.

Our corvettes are present in the protection of the convoys, but also in the coast guards.

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17 hours ago, Sir Lancelot Holland said:

Broadly speaking, this is correct, I would point out though that Frigates were the maids of all work in the Napoleonic era, with a range of roles that varied from close blockading, escort, message/mail running when Brigs, Sloops or Cutters were not available, to long range patrols and fleet reconnaissance. mainly these roles were suited to mid draught, low crew ships that were fast and well enough armed to counter their opposite numbers in the enemy fleet.

Battleships and Battlecruisers were regularly used on convoy duties particularly in Force 'H',  where H.M. Ships Hood (which was the  Flagship of Force 'H' during the controversial and tragic destruction of part of the French fleet  at Oran) , Renown, and Warspite escorted several convoys, H.M.S. Rodney was escorting a convoy to Halifax when diverted to hunt K.M.S. Bismark ,  H.M.S. Duke of York was providing distant convoy cover when she with the Cruisers Norfolk and Belfast intercepted and sank K.M.S Scharnhorst. 

I wouldn't compare WWII ships with Napoleonic sailing ships though. Having said that there were occasions were a squadron or fleet of SOL were used to protect a convoy. The Glorious 1st of June was fought because the French fleet was protecting an important grain convoy. However by and large you would see post ships or frigates on escort duty. 

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Something I'm curious about since the use of the white jack by the French navy prior to the fall of the monarchy in 1789 (and also during the Bourbon restoration between 1814-1830), how was it that French ships surrendered in actions?

Did they strike the white flag up the signal line or anything, if they did what happened if a de-masting situation meant that the rigging didn't support raising any flags?

I would greatly appreciate any information on the subject because I can't say its something that seems to be discussed as far as I have seen. Thank you in advance if anyone can help on this subject :)

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4 hours ago, Fluffy Fishy said:

Something I'm curious about since the use of the white jack by the French navy prior to the fall of the monarchy in 1789 (and also during the Bourbon restoration between 1814-1830), how was it that French ships surrendered in actions?

Did they strike the white flag up the signal line or anything, if they did what happened if a de-masting situation meant that the rigging didn't support raising any flags?

I would greatly appreciate any information on the subject because I can't say its something that seems to be discussed as far as I have seen. Thank you in advance if anyone can help on this subject :)

Isn't the white flag thing just from movies anyways? Or at least relatively modern.

Everyone surrendered the same, by lowering the flag to the deck.

I recall plenty of situations where an officer would row over to inquire whether they had surrendered, when a dismasted ship stopped returning fire for a while.

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3 hours ago, maturin said:

Isn't the white flag thing just from movies anyways? Or at least relatively modern.

As far as I can tell it dates back to the Roman era and was widely used as a symbol to want to arrange a ceasefire or surrender by the middle ages in Christian Europe at least. The idea seems to have a pretty consistent use throughout history since and then spreading around the world over time. As far as I can tell it seems fairly mixed whether it was a proper white flag or just a rag on a stick though, I guess most of the time it was just what was available. So It's  not just a modern/movie thing.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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As a general rule, the flag is lowered.
Indeed, at one time, the French flag was white. We fight with the flag (no matter the color of the nation), when we lose the battle we go down the flag.

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Amusingly enough there are still monarchists in france, they are divided between themselves ( bourbon, orleans and bonapartistes ), and the white flag with the lys can still be sometimes seen flying, not just on some remembrance days but also sometimes during the famous french strikes as a fringe group on the conservative religious Right.

648x415_hommage-royalistes-louis-xvi-par

 

 

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With l'Hermione in 2016, we hoisted the Royal Pavilion in Saint-Malo :rolleyes:

 

image.jpeg

Edited by Surcouf

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On 3/4/2018 at 6:11 PM, Fluffy Fishy said:

what happened if a de-masting situation meant that the rigging didn't support raising any flags?

If the rigging of a ship was so crippled a flag could not be raised anywhere, I imagine it was up to anyone of authority that noticed such things to find a suitable location to 'fly' their flag.  I believe I've seen images of ships draping flags over their sterns or from bow sprit.  

Bucentaure at Trafalgar, completely dismasted save her bow sprit.  Her tricolor can be seen flying from her bow sprit

image.png.1534fa41fac362523bbce84331649196.pngimage.png.c5c5fa679f54de6990e54695153b8595.png

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