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Frégates rasées / Cut-down frigates

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We all know that sometimes ships of the line were cut-down one deck and became razées, powerfull frigates. The most notable example of this kind of ships within the timeframe of NA most probably is the Indefatigable.


What´s probably less known is that a couple of frigates also had their quarterdeck and forecastle deck removed and were reclassed as sloops of war / corvettes.



A couple of examples of this pretty interesting ship type:



USS John Adams


Launched 1799 (armament 24 12-pounders + 2 12-pounder bow chasers, 6 24-pound carronades), cut down to a sloop in 1807-09 with 24 42-pound carronades and 2 12-pounder bow chasers.

I found plans for the John Adams as frigate (by our fellow captain Talos, by the way), but regretably none for the sloop.



La Circée (Armide-class)


Launched 1811, converted to a corvette sans gaillards in 1832. Armament: 24 long 18-pounders and 4 short 30-pounders.

Plans for La Circée as a sloop from the Atlas du Génie Maritime:




As the captain of La Circée after her conversion observed in his logbook, the vastly improved speed and maneuverabilty of his frégate rasée 'could do much harm to the enemy', but he raised concerns about the lack of sufficient space for the crew.


The 18-pounder frigates L'Aréthuse and La Cybèle (both Pallas-class) were also razeed in the early 1830s, the 40-gun frigates of the 1824 program, L'Arthémise and La Galathée, were converted while still in the docks, carrying 24 short 30-pounders and 6 18-pound carronades after launch.



Samarang (Atholl-class)


Designed as small 28-gun 'jack-ass' frigates, some ships of this class were cut down to sloops.

Class design:




Model of the Samarang after her conversion:




Armament as sloop: 18 32-pound carronades, 2 long 9-pounders





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I do need to finish working on John Adams stuff, like her later sloop of "jackass frigate" iterations. The latter meant she got her quarterdeck back, but no forecastle.


There were later, very powerful sloops made by cutting down frigates in the US Navy in the 1840-50s. A first example is Cumberland, which was a two-deck 44-gun "super frigate" cut down into an amazing sloop. Before she was armed with 32-pounders and 8" shell guns, but after being cut down she had a main armament of 9" Dahlgren cannons with a pair of 11" Dahlgren pivots fore and aft. When she was sunk at Hampton Roads, the stern one was likely fitted with a Dahlgren rifle. The whole ship was very successful and between the capabilities of the design and the advanced armament (because of the date), it wouldn't fit into the game at all.


The second is more interesting. The captured Lively-class Macedonian was worn out by the 1830s and it was decided to construct nominally a replica of it. This became the only 2nd-class frigate built by the US Navy after the War of 1812 (every other one was a Constitution-descended super frigate). She was given a clipper-inspired hullform with much finer ends and between that, the shift from 18 pounders on the gun deck and carronades on the spar to 32-pounders and 8" shell guns on both, and multiple tons of wood and iron reinforcement to the bow to allow it to break through Antarctic ice as flagship of the US Exploring Expedition (an honor that went to the sloop Vincennes instead), she was a poor, dull sailor. She was close enough to general layout that one of HMS Macedonian's old sailors, who was living in the US at the time and came on board to visit when she was in dock, thought she was the same ship, pointed out where he was standing in the battle where she was taken by the US, and was telling stories of the battle to her sailors.


Armament was reduced some, then later the entire upper deck was cut down to an unarmed spar deck (with 10" shell guns fore and aft on pivots), and the reinforcement in the bow was stripped leaving her an incredible sailor. As a biography on Macedonian put it, she went from a dull 2nd-class frigate to a brilliant 1st-class sloop that lived up to the designation. I'm attaching her plans as a frigate, and linking this picture of her in the Civil War as a sloop.




Both of those are later ships, there were proposals to cut down others besides John Adams earlier, a notable one being the captured Brazen-class post ship HMS Cyane. Instead they rated her as a 32-gun frigate and kept her like that until replacing her with a brand new, very sophisticated sloop in the 1830s. Because so few normal frigates survived the War of 1812 (or were in comission before it, several had been in ordinary for nearly 10 years), there were very few razees. At the time they certainly were't going to cut down one of the massive and expensive Brandywine or Guerriere-class 44-gunners. Adams (a different ship than John Adams) was both cut down and lengthened into a decent sloop. That's the only other one I can think of off the top of my head.


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Yeah, JA and the other subscription frigates were neat ones. We have plans for her, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Essex. They're mostly fairly small 32 and 36-gun ships.


As far as sloops, the cut-down JA is fun, as are the Wasp/Hornet of 1806 and the second Wasp-class from the war years. We have three different plans for that class, plus the 1806 plans. The next big class of sloops is the 1820s ones I detailed in the Lexington thread. Peacock or the original Wasp would be ideal.


And yeah, I know Cumberland and Macedonian are too late, that's why I pointed it out in the post. The only applicable ones I can think of in the US are John Adams and Adams, which were cut down before the War of 1812.







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