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Everything posted by Lieste

  1. Lieste

    medium vs long cannons?

    Really the distinction shouldn't be between medium and long ordnance, but between medium and heavy ordnance. "Long guns" are heavily built, accept full charges and (with reduced charge) double shot as options. Lengths can vary significantly, for example the 6lb gun comes in lengths from 6ft to 8.5ft, the 9lb from 7ft to 9ft, but the weights are closer, with the heavy breech being common and only the chase being significantly different in length and having a much thinner wall. The medium gun is a much lighter construction, unsuited to double shot, and typically having a lower maximum charge. Lengths can be longer than the average 'long gun' - though it most commonly also at the shorter end of the 'heavy gun' construction range of lengths. (An example of a 'long' "medium" gun is the 10ft+ 24lb ordnance of the Vasa, which are around half the weight of a 9ft 24lb of the Armstrong/Blomefeld patterns, and also the shorter pattern later 'rebores' of 18lb guns to 32lb or 9lb to 18lb, and the various failed experiments with reduced weight guns, such as Congreve pattern guns). These all show less performance with worse recoil, and less flexibility in operation {the long guns can be used with reduced charges, and with double shot to span a far wider range of velocities than carronades (with which they share a common 'minimum' velocity), medium guns (which are middling in performance down to carronade level), and also have a higher velocity for flatter fire and performance out to extended ranges}.
  2. Lieste

    1800s RN Squadrons Fleets and Station Question

    Also as I understand it : a fleet or augmented squadron tends to have several 'divisions' acting or inactive (including at anchorage) together and a number of detachments finding things for them to potentially move against, while an active station or a 'basic' squadron is more commonly predominantly many detachments or single patrolling vessels, with little 'core' strength gathered in one place, or all of it's 'smaller' size acting together. Ultimately, over several centuries of practice and implementation across the globe you can probably find an example of just about anything. What ships you have available and your mission determines what you are expected to accomplish. The name of your grouping is often little more than a historical accident from the time this new structure was first dispatched... and your mission and resources have likely changed.
  3. Lieste

    1800s RN Squadrons Fleets and Station Question

    Well. That flies in the face of historical documents which clearly show a squadron of 70+ vessels in certain places and times... This describes the more modern usage, sure. But in period, squadron, fleet, station had similar functional purpose at time of high activity, and while only the fleets and to a lesser extent stations were preserved in peacetime at their 'peak' sizes, a squadron in active strategic or operational areas would absorb or be sent as whatever strength was needed for it's mission. A naval detachment is equivalent to a division (a smaller part of a larger body), the distinction being between being apart from and a part of this larger grouping. So the Van, Main Body and Rear of the fleet might form three divisions, along with a fourth (maybe) as scouts and liaision (light 4th rates or small 3rd rates, with frigates and sloops). Or alternatively you might form two columns, plus attachments (scouts, screen and liaisons).
  4. Nope. They have short pattern long guns on their main/upper deck, unarmed gundecks, and carronades only on the castles or spar deck. The 'weather deck' is a synonym for main/upper deck on frigates - the highest watertight continuous deck. Not a spar deck or separate fo'c'sle and quarter deck.
  5. Lieste

    1800s RN Squadrons Fleets and Station Question

    Not really. The names of Stations, Squadrons and Fleets are mostly historical quirks, and strength and composition of them changed with the strategic and operational requirements (of that station and it's competition). e.g. Western Squadron, has 52 vessels assigned to it in 1760 and 70 in 1800. as 'thin examples' in 1813 the channel fleet has 33 ships, including 16 of the line... but the Baltic squadron has 45 including 9 of the line, and Texel has 30, including 12 of the line. American stations have 57 and 11 ships, with a total of 12 of the line. Mediterranean Fleet is huge with 89 ships including 29 of the line. So, the difference is largely one of historical precedents and the immediate operational and strategic need as much as a firm and consistent regulation.
  6. Technically the gun crews were 14, 12, 5, 10 and 4... but each was responsible for a pair of ordnance one to port and one to starboard. Each crew also had to allocate a man or men to pump water, fight fires, boarding, hauling sails/rigging etc on demand. Men were allocated at 1 man per 500lb of nominal ordnance weight, permitting long term operation without undue fatigue. This is accomplished with the full crew, and fighting both sides together, or with parties detached would increase fatigue significantly. (Loading both sides could be done with only modest penalty by hauling guns out with all but vent man of the 'off' side being used to haul the 'on' side out, and then setting the majority of the gun crew to haul when the other side was loaded in it's turn. This is obviously a bit slower, but is not as hard on the crew.) If insufficient crew were available to man all the guns it was common to consolidate what men were around to man the midships guns densely and fully, rather than to attempt to work all guns with too few crew. Minimum crew for ordnance is 2. As no matter how light it is required for safety to cover the vent while worming, loading and running out.
  7. Do you mean hammock nets at the bulwarks?
  8. The problem is treating the vessel as 'armour' with structure behind it. If you use the wooden structure to resist penetration of iron shot it will be damaged. The more penetration you absorb (especially by angling) the more damage the side takes. This is *especially* obnoxious when considering the injury to masts, spars and yards, which are made from lighter timbers, notable for being less resistive than oak, beech or elm. Even a partial penetration which doesn't pass, should damage the timbers, the main difference with a penetration and a failure to penetrate is the generation of splinters behind, and the exit of the iron shot to strike other targets potentially using the residual velocity. It shouldn't really lose 'thickness' overall once damaged either, rather have a 'hole' which allows water in if submerged, and can offer a small chance of a strongly reduced or absent protection (and subsequent damage) when shot hits a holed area (in the same way as shots passing through or on the edge of constructed ports/scuttles/galleries).
  9. By tuned, I mean appropriate choice of powder charge, the use of double shot to suit the type of ordnance, the range and the target you are shooting. It means for example, using double shot with minimal powder charges in short 18s to deal with by penetration 'French built' frigates... but that fails when applied to the American heavy frigates. It can also be failed by using single shots and highest charges against the thinner sides close in (as noted in several shore bombardments, where little damage was received on frigates due to poor decisions from the fort gunners). It is written as a specific form as there are physical principles underlying the proposal, but in practice the behaviour is more organic. Also, carronades overlap with gun velocities, and thus with performance behaviour for the same shot size. A standard gun uses 1/3rd 1/4th and 1/6th charges, giving an effective charge ratio of 1/8th and 1/12th for double shot. Carronades use between 1/8th and 1/16th, with their standard charge 1/12th. With the greater windage of guns, and the inefficiency of double shot (period documents report 5/9th and 4/9th of the single shot performance for the same powder charge, which is lower than for a shot of double the weight), the 'bottom' shot from double will be significantly weaker than a carronade shot at standard charges, and top shot would be broadly comparable.
  10. I feel that more dynamic behaviour would give interesting results. At the moment you have "carronade" and "gun" shot as two very different things, across all ranges, and not in a way which makes sense physically. If instead you used shot size and weight (to allow for optional later use of hollow shot or lead filled shot), and impact velocity (dependent on range and muzzle velocity), then you can use something "along the lines of": pen_max = kA W/D^2 * LOG10 (1 + (Vi/kB)^2) pen_residual = pen_max - side / cos (alpha) Vres = (10^((pen_residual))*D^2/(kA W)-1)^0.5*kB Impulse transferred = W * (Vi-Vres) Impulse remaining = W*Vres This gives a maximum damage to the side at the point where the shot is *just* trickling through, at the expense of damage to the ordnance and other fittings and structure inside. Crew injury only comes from splintering if the side fails, but is closely tied to damage transfer to the side, plus a high energy threat by the shot itself. There is more damage to the structure from high velocity shot which is stopped by 'angling' the hull, but it is effective at preserving crew and ordnance inside. Non-perforations still cause significant damage to the side, with the whole of the available impulse being transferred. Penetration by ordnance at it's optimal distance will do around 50% more damage to the side than at middling distances, but little or no interior damage beyond splintering. Carronades and double shot (used with a reduced charge only) lie in the same general performance area, single shot can be tuned by using standard distance charges, or by using reduced charges. Larger ordnance does more damage than smaller types, but tuned well all 'standard' calibres can match the next larger at the same 'optimal' velocity of impact which favours the smaller type. Note that mostly shot holes are 'closed', and ships can take hundreds of calibre sized shot before you even damage enough of the side to equal the holes pierced for the gun ports, so in *most* cases damage internally to guns and other fittings and the crew should be more significant than damage to the structure.
  11. Lieste

    French Frigate L'Hermione

    Do you know the (nominal) dimension and weights of the Galliard pieces?
  12. Lieste

    36 and 42lb Cannons

    French/Spanish 36 livre was broadly equivalent to 40lb, partly differences in the lb and partly higher gauge... and not a world away from the 42lb gun.... It is certainly not 'like a 32lb'. Some other nations with a 'light' pound will differ.
  13. I would expect near identical reload times for 18lb and 9lb of 9ft length. Both are crewed at one man per ~500lbs, both have 'the same' bore length, both have sufficient crew for covering the vent and loading safely. The penetration at close range will be roughly 25% higher for the larger ordnance, and the range over which an identical proportion of this performance will be lost is also 25% longer. Damage done per shot somewhere between 25% more, linear 'cutting' of narrow structures/rigging - 60% more (areal damage - e.g. holing, splintering etc). - or 100% more (impulsive damage, e.g. the chance of unseating of ordnance if struck directly). If any improvement in loading time is seen with shorter ordnance it will be a minimal reduction in time to swab/ram, and a slightly shorter distance to bring the ordnance from loading to battery. Only in the ability to point the ordnance in train would smaller ordnance of lighter weight be a significant improvement though, especially with pivoted carriages, including carronades. Very heavy (large bore) ordnance has a fatigue limitation from the supply of shot over a long engagement - but this affects carronades more than guns of similar weight overall including stores.
  14. You have a photo of a model of a swan class sloop (18) of the late C18th and a text description of a C17th merchant/4th rate (46) One of these things is not like the other one.
  15. Lieste

    Bow guns for frigates without?

    The bridle port should usually give fire to the forward quarter. Few ships have specifically dedicated bow chase guns, most have either a choice of breeching points for a movable single gun (or carronade), or a port in the forward curve of the side which covers part of the forward arc as well as the direct broadside.
  16. Lieste

    'Eendracht' 1790 Dutch Ship (With Plans)

    (The Bofors firing included one recorded shot which passed through the 18" side, carried 500 metres further and went through a fairly substantial standing conifer, bounding further after this again)... Not something most museums can practically demonstrate
  17. Lieste

    'Eendracht' 1790 Dutch Ship (With Plans)

    That 12lb ordnance, was fired with less than a pound of powder, no shot (and you can see had no discernable recoil at all). Fired with shot and full charges it would make a much more 'crisp' firing signature and recoil some 10 feet or so if not restrained. See the vasa cannon firing for the 'real' thing, rather than a 'safe' museum demonstration. https://binged.it/2Sh09Ph
  18. Lieste

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    More... "less necessary, given the also relatively low speeds possible", rather than unnecessary.
  19. Lieste

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    M.33 6" Monitor in Portsmouth.
  20. Lieste

    World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

    Olympias was built and operated with seated thranite, sygite and thalamite rowers. With demonstrated performance with an inexperienced crew of 9+kts, and an estimated 2.5kts continuous with rowing in turns by partial crew. While I have little doubt that the later gunpowder era galleys (with multiple oarsmen per sweep) did work them standing, I am unconvinced that the classical trireme was designed for this - it is a fairly 'compact' arrangement of men and oars. I am open to persuasion, but it seems improbable given the height of the ship and it's draft to fit three banks of standing oarsmen, when the three banks of seated ones leave the lowest oar ports quite close to the waterline, and precious little headroom below the deck. And the Lenormant relief shows obviously seated oarsmen. If a trireme has seated rowers, then standing rowers in a bireme or pentaconter (the ancestors of it) are also questionable, particularly in the bireme form.
  21. Lieste

    World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

    Within reach is a few hours or days hopping between islands when weather is favourable, rather than extended voyages out of the sight of land for weeks or months at a time. It is also a preference, rather than a rule.
  22. Lieste

    World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

    Not at all sure about merchants, but Greek city states, the rowers were not slaves. Freemen, and an important part (perhaps the most important) of the weapon system, which also included the Hoplites on deck and the ship itself. Without well coordinated, skilled and strong oarsmen the whole ship (and the squadron of which it was a part) could be destroyed by failure to navigate treacherous waters or battle safely. Later Roman galleys did use slaves in some cases (but I'm not convinced universally) and had a reputation of relatively poor seamen - made up by excelling at boarding, with much larger galleys and equipment specifically aimed at the boarding fight.
  23. Lieste

    World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

    My understanding: Classical era ships were predominantly rowed. The courses were only useful with a very specific range of winds, while oars could be used to manoeuvre close inshore, and even on lee shores with little risk, allowing access to sheltered coves. They were relatively low freeboard, and fragile ships, so tended to stay within reach of the shore - being caught in open water during a strong storm could be disastrous. If you reached a sheltered beach you could draw the ship sternfirst onto the shore and wait out the bad weather. In the early classical period there was little difference between ships of war and trade, but later refinement of both drew them further apart, with additional banks of oars increasing the power and agility of the warships, and increased volume of the hull increased cargo capacity of the merchant vessels.
  24. Lieste


    Various notes and graphs relating to Gunfire
  25. Lieste


    From the album: Gunnery

    An estimate/calculation of momentum lost during penetration of 21" of Oak, using Short pattern (Frigate main battery) 9lb, 12lb, 18lb and 24lb guns, plus the 32lb gun seen as a pivot gun or the main battery of the heavier rated ships, as well as the longer pattern of carronades in the same calibres. All three acknowledged charges are displayed as well as the 'top' 5/9 shot from double shot for the lower two (the 'bottom' 4/9 shot isn't displayed. Carronades get their standard 1/12th charge, plus a higher 1/8th and lower 1/16th one. Note that for a fixed thickness/angle, the same calibre produces the same shaped curve, with the same maximum - only the range of each point is shifted by a fixed amount according to the muzzle velocity of each ordnance and charge ratio. Different calibres produce different curve shapes, but the forms are related. Drag curves and residual velocity are computed in a 'flat fire' approximation using NACA sphere drag data. Penetration is from Bashforth/Didion documents from the period, with their estimate of the Poncelot form penetration coefficients from chronograph measurements. In imperial measures this penetration is: 12*1.1513*W/(D^2*32.2*0.004328)*LOG10(1+(V/734)^2) An estimate of momentum loss is given by finding: P(max) from V(impact) P(residual) by finding the difference between P(max) and thickness(angle adjusted) If the shot won't perforate, then P(residual)=0 Find the velocity required to obtain P(residual). Velocity loss is then V(impact)-V(residual), and momentum loss is obtained directly. It can be seen that calibre is a dominant factor in transfer against any single target, but that if the target is much thinner, far less momentum can be transferred (but more remains to dismount carriages/guns and to strike the far side). Overly thick sides result in the maximum momentum transfer (which they *may* be more resistant to, but not in the case of a thin side, highly angled). Within one calibre, one target and angle, the optimal ordnance or mode of firing is a range based function, and there is a choice between an assured high impluse (slightly below ideal velocity, but a sometimes/often/always failed penetration) and an assured penetration (significantly above ideal velocity) with a lower transfer of impulse, exactly as described for carronade vs gun, but seen in it's full context. The degree of 'correctness' of any value used is open to question, and there may be some element of non-linearity and inexactitude of this form of assessment. It is however the best approximation I can find to this aspect. Note that in order to generate splinters a penetration (or a failure by only a very small amount is required), and that for a shot which lodges on exit of the second side will only deliver around 40% of the momentum to the first side and lose the remainder (60%) in just penetrating through the second. A shot which *just* perforates the first side will deliver around 50% more impulse, but less high velocity fragments than the 'fast' shot which is just passing the second.