Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum
maturin

Connie be-all end-all

Recommended Posts

Quote

The whole point of a super frigate was supposed to be as a cost effective way to give stronger support to the merchant marine, mainly in peacetime.

By the way, this mission for the Venician fregatta grossa lines up quite nicely with the role of the British two-decker cruising Fifth Rate. Which is the most similar foreign vessel, in terms of design. Naturally, the short-range Mediterranean vessel could economize on weight and storage capacity in favor of sailing qualities, especially compared to the most stolid and overly conservative of British designs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

La Forte, like her sister L' Égyptienne, was pierced for 30 guns on the upper deck.

Right, which is why Constitution seems more like a step up from a French heavy frigate, built with no compromises. The Swedish 24-pdr frigates were trying to be efficient. You wrote in another thread that the officer's cabin on the poop allowed the entire upper deck to be used for guns. In other words, they were making compromises to fit just 26 guns.

But of course, it helped them build a whole class of them.

 

Quote

Any certain ships in mind?

Mostly the Russians and Ottomans, but Venicians too, according to Fluffy Fishy's threads.

I shouldn't say overgunning, actually. Just carrying heavier calibers than the equivalent Atlantic vessels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I see 🙂 I initially thought you meant the baltic states. 

 

And what do you think is the main difference - except the building methods and materials - between La Forte and Constitution? Both carried 30*24-pounders on the upper deck and 20-something 12-pounders or their carronade equivalents on the weather deck. La Forte was 5 feet shorter, sure, but that's not the 'step up' you meant, isnt it?

edit: The more I think about it, the list with the 24-pounder frigates I made may have been a mistake, because it does make it look like there was a continous progression. . But more on that tomorrow - maybe :P

 

 

 

 

Edited by Malachi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Malachi said:

@_Masterviolin

If you want to know more about the impact of scientific developments -like the 'discovery' of the metacenter - in the 18th/early 19th on shipbuilding, I heartily recommend 'Ships and Science - The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution 1600 - 1800'. Great book! :)

Thanks, I will definitely check that out! I am a piss poor college student, so Christmas and birthdays are really only when I can get books :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Malachi said:

And what do you think is the main difference - except the building methods and materials - between La Forte and Constitution? Both carried 30*24-pounders on the upper deck and 20-something 12-pounders or their carronade equivalents on the weather deck. La Forte was 5 feet shorter, sure, but that's not the 'step up' you meant, isnt it?

I did say 'small step up', after all.

5 feet of length and 1000 tons bm represents 25% and 20% of the gap, respectively, between Constitution and the Hebe 18-pdr frigate that captured Forte in the first place.

With this thread I was fishing for more of a discussion of Constitution's drawbacks, not her novelty. For instance, many of Constitution's 'steps up' were a bit excessive and unsuited for other nations' purposes. Like the live oak and some of the buildings methods.

Main differences between Constitution and Forte:

  • SoL equivalent live oak scantlings with very small gaps between them
    • Of course much of this was incredibly expensive and impractical, but Constitution managed to be as fast as other 24-pdr frigates (or better, after the war), all despite her immense bulk. She had her cake and ate it too, while the French continued to build shallow frigates with skimpy fastenings and widely-spaced timbers. Unless Forte was an exception in this regard.
  • Uninterrupted weather deck protected by strong bulwarks
    • No one has mentioned the weather deck yet; I'm sure it wasn't completely novel, but did any other 24-pdr frigates have it?
    • French and British ships often had very thin barricades, vulnerable to grapeshot, including Leander and Newcastle
  • 'Double banked' armament concept.
    • As designed, she had far more firepower than La Forte. A mix of 30x 18-pdrs and 12-pdrs on the weather deck, then replaced with a full battery of 32-pdr carronades.
    • This wasn't very successful, of course, but it does show that the Americans were reaching for progress, not just copying past models. It gives a motive for the overbuilt hull.
    • And of course President carried 42-pdr carronades, superior to any howitzers Forte could have mounted.

 

Again, I made this thread with sailing qualities (and not design novelty) in mind, due to how I interpreted your vague post in the other forum. :)

But if we are going to talk more about novelty and innovation, there were far fewer antecedents for double-banked frigates, or am I wrong? After all, this is precisely the form that post-1812 heavy frigates took. The French built that was exclusively after the restoration, if I remember my Boudriot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

With this thread I was fishing for more of a discussion of Constitution's drawbacks, not her novelty

Constitution's main drawback, in my opinion? Her price. And I mean not just the building costs, but maintenance, too. And maintenance was a huge factor, it was usually 2 to 3 times the initial amount paid for construction over 25 years.

Quote

5 feet of length and 1000 tons bm represents 25% and 20% of the gap, respectively, between Constitution and the Hebe 18-pdr frigate that captured Forte in the first place.

That was Sybille, n'est-ce pas? If the British account of the battle is true, the French captain was areal idiot :P 

Quote

SoL equivalent live oak scantlings with very small gaps between them

  • Of course much of this was incredibly expensive and impractical, but Constitution managed to be as fast as other 24-pdr frigates (or better, after the war), all despite her immense bulk. She had her cake and ate it too, while the French continued to build shallow frigates with skimpy fastenings and widely-spaced timbers. Unless Forte was an exception in this regard.

I don´t know the exact dimensions of the frames and the gaps between them (we'll have to wait for Delacroix´s monograph about L' Égyptienne for that), but if the contemporary model of her is anything to go by then they don't look widely-spaced to me:

Untitled.thumb.jpg.7aa59998224979dc1008c7e2df0816e4.jpg

But then again, Caro had worked for the french East India Company before he designed the Forte and they might have done things differently. Her rather substantial draught of 21' (with no difference between fore and aft) isn't typically french either.

5 hours ago, maturin said:

Uninterrupted weather deck protected by strong bulwarks

  • No one has mentioned the weather deck yet; I'm sure it wasn't completely novel, but did any other 24-pdr frigates have it?
  • French and British ships often had very thin barricades, vulnerable to grapeshot, including Leander and Newcastle

 

La Forte and L' Égyptienne certainly had a weather deck like Constitution. L' Égyptienne's armament in 1801, shortly before her capture at Alexandria, consisted of 58 guns total. And if I remember correctly, a french source describes La Forte as armed between forecastle and quarterdeck while in the Indian Ocean, so I assume she had a gun count similar to that of her sister.

And pretty much all of Chapman's frigate had a continuous weather deck, from his privateers in the ANM to his Bellonas and the af Chapman. The only exceptions I can think of were the af Trolle, Sprengtporten and the tiny Ulla Fersen.

The danish Rota and Perlen also had a proper weather deck, the latter designed as 'dobbled fregat' (double-banked frigate) with 26 * 24-pounders on the upper deck and 12 12-pounders plus 12 24-pound carronades on the weather deck.

The russian Venera and Geroi also were double-banked, 28 24-pounders, 28 24-pound carronades.

As for the barricades, no idea. I´d have to measure it on the plans for the danish ships.

The poop bulwarks of the Bellonas were quite thick as they were designed sturdy enough to take a place in the line of battle next to the SoLs in case of an emergency.  And 'emergency' was pretty much the sole modus operandi of the swedish navy in the war with Russia, so they had to do it quite often.

 

Quote

But if we are going to talk more about novelty and innovation, there were far fewer antecedents for double-banked frigates, or am I wrong? After all, this is precisely the form that post-1812 heavy frigates took. The French built that was exclusively after the restoration, if I remember my Boudriot.

As designed? Then no, there aren´t any antecedents, at least as far as I can tell.  And you´re right about french, but didn´t the british surveyors (Seppings and Symonds, at least) continue building heavy frigates with no barricades/guns between forecastle and quarterdeck?

Edited by Malachi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moving away from the previous discussion because of things getting a bit unnecessarily overheated on both sides, its probably best for everyone involved here to draw the line there.

On 12/8/2017 at 2:26 PM, maturin said:

By the way, this mission for the Venician fregatta grossa lines up quite nicely with the role of the British two-decker cruising Fifth Rate. Which is the most similar foreign vessel, in terms of design. Naturally, the short-range Mediterranean vessel could economize on weight and storage capacity in favor of sailing qualities, especially compared to the most stolid and overly conservative of British designs.

Generally speaking the vast majority of the British 5th rate cruisers, tend to resemble the activities of Venetian 3rd rates. The Venetians having 4 standard ratings rather than 6 like the British while typically the Venetian counterparts were also a little more compact than those used by the Atlantic navies, with slightly lower gun counts and general poundage. Generally speaking there wasn't a huge amount of skimping done on weight or storage space in comparison to say France or Spain, only when you compare the ships to the overly bulbous British designs do they look more trimmed down, this is due to the fact if need be there was a deep awareness of the need to deal with long voyages in the hostile Eastern Mediterranean or even being forced to circumnavigate Africa to protect any trade interests in the red sea where Venice maintained their roles as the dominant trade powers of these regions despite them being fairly hostile waters.

When it comes to the point I did previously make about supporting peacetime activities of the merchant marine this is largely due to the prominence of the Barbary pirates, especially those from the Bey of Tunis, who would quite frequently operate fairly large 30-40 gun Xebec and Mistic style ships to prey on even the largest merchant vessels, something as far as I can make out that the US had some trouble with dealing with themselves. In a lot of ways the Fregata Grossa group of ships were a direct answer to these threats and as the Barbary threat grew over the 18th Century so did the number of Fregata Grossa to deal with them.

The peak of Barbary threat hit in the early 1780s as the French became more and more distracted by their internal problems in the run up to the revolution, meaning that the Barbary states lost a significant check to their power leaving the Venetians forced to eventually declare war on the Bey of Tunis, even at the risk of potentially upsetting the Ottomans, during the conflict the vast majority of these large pirate ships were hunted down by the Venetian navy and  their shipyards and docks were completely obliterated to the point the Ottomans forced the Venetians to begrudgingly pay a significant reparation sum during the peace negotiations as it had such a severe effect on the Tunisian economy, the Venetian Barbary War (1784-90) and its results pretty much set up the pieces for the later US Barbary wars, which perhaps might have a much different dynamic had these larger ships and the capacity to build them had not been dealt with a decade or so earlier. The Fregata Grossa being hugely important in peacetime convoy protection and in the conflict with the Barbary states due to their ability to both outsail and outgun their opponents especially when it comes to the largest of the Berber operated ships.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Barbary pirates, especially those from the Bey of Tunis, who would quite frequently operate fairly large 30-40 gun Xebec and Mistic style ships to prey on even the largest merchant vessels, something as far as I can make out that the US had some trouble with dealing with themselves. In a lot of ways the Fregata Grossa group of ships were a direct answer to these threats and as the Barbary threat grew over the 18th Century so did the number of Fregata Grossa to deal with them.

Well that's a very interesting--and unique--design rationale for the fregatta grossa, isn't it? Responding to a specific threat from an inferior naval power.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, maturin said:

Well that's a very interesting--and unique--design rationale for the fregatta grossa, isn't it? Responding to a specific threat from an inferior naval power.

Howcome? It seems perfectly rational with understating of the politics, economical and military situation presented.

Realistically Venice as a neutral nation enjoyed at least good relations with every European power for almost the entirety of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the point that realistically there are only 2 major hick-ups in this 200 year time period, one was the Uskok war, between 1615-18 where the Austrian sponsored Uskok mercenaries started committing acts of piracy along the Adriatic coast, however the war stayed as a small proxy war mainly between the Venetians and Uskok people with a little bit of foreign state sponsorship on both sides. The only other real issue involving potential envelopment in war with western states was during the start of the war of Spanish Succession, where for the first few months it looked incredibly likely that Venice would have been dragged in unwantingly, the threat continued to loom over Venice forcing them to tread incredibly carefully over the first few years of the war.

This leaves Venice in a fairly unique position, respected by Western powers their major threats were only really the Ottomans and their protectorates, the Barbary Nations, who continually badgered Venetian trade. The Fregata Grossa was basically born out of this situation, they had to be economical and swift enough to deal with the nimble ships of the Barbary states, but also powerful enough to deal with the potential threat of the Ottoman navy, especially as the surprise attack on Morea in 1714 was incredibly fresh in the minds of Venetian military leaders.

Lets also not downplay the huge issue that the Barbary states became, especially during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period as they more or less gained free reign over Mediterranean piracy to the point that it was the major deployment zone for the vast majority of the US navy between 1801-1812 and 1815-1824 including the deployment of all of the huge USS Independence Class warships, even after these periods the USA kept an incredibly strong hand in the region to try and dissuade the Barbary states from picking on US Merchant shipping with Delaware, Ohio and North Carolina all seeing prolonged service in the region.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×