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Ned Loe

French Frigates (Book Research)

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*Note - all links provided are found online, so use it at your own risk. 

 

Hello Shipwrights. 

 

links might lead to some interesting information about French ships, but not guaranteed. So, open them at your own risk.  ;)

 

http://www.rwmilitarybooks.com/shop_image/product/4f468474d3e1db80c6f24c7efd5855a5.jpg

 

Feel free to go through these links and and learn history. Spend some time on plans and provide info about interesting ships that you like. 

 

Let's have some fun and happy reading. 

 

Dropbox link:

 

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What was the rating of the ships in "Master and Commander" with Russel Crow ??

5th rate Corvette. She was facing a much stronger enemy Frigate Acheron. Acheron could be considered a Super Frigate 5-4 rate. 

 

Here are some more detail about Acheron:

 

The Acheron is a french privateer originally built in the United States.
 
She closely resembles the USS Constitution. She has 44 guns, as well as a stronger-than-average hull, making her heavy, but fast.
 
In 1805, the ship was sent to the South Seas to harass the British whaling fleet. The Admiralty dispatched the HMS Surprise, Captain Jack Aubrey commanding, to intercept the Acheron, sink her, or take her a prize.
 
The vessels' only appearance is in the motion picture Master and Commander The Far Side of the World, where fills roughly the same role as the American frigate USS Norfolk in the novel The Far Side of the World.

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In the book she was, but in the movie they copied the design of Constitution for Acheron (I'm going to guess out of laziness on the producer's side), with Constitution being /the/ frigate everyone associates with the American navy and avoiding delving too deeply into researching alternatives. Heck, the original frigate USS Essex, the voyage of which the story in the book was based, on would have been more interesting, smaller but with an entire battery of 32-pdr carronades.

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He still says she is an 18 though in the first (foggy) engagement. She is unusual in being built with only primary frames, no filling frames used, but not a large 24.

Normal frigates would have a primary frame, three filling frames before the next primary frame (or sometimes 2 filling frames)

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Actually, they mention in the behind the scenes information that it's Constitution painted up like a French ship. Also when they have the "weather gauge" conversation shortly after the battle, they describe Acheron as a "heavy frigate" and then later, looking at the sailor-built model, she's described as a 44-gun frigate.

 

And when Jack says they are 18-pounders, Pullings does reply "At least, sir." ;)

 

Then again, Surprise in that one isn't a French corvette but a twenty-foot shorter English 6th rate! (HMS Rose)

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They'd know the French shot gauge from the ball that came aboard.

A 24lb would be significantly larger than an 18lb shot. (although French 18s are a little bigger than RN 18s (which Surprise carries as her QD ordnance in carronade form ~ they are at least similar. French 24 would be even larger (approximating 28lb or so).)

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I rewatched the scene last night before I posted. Jack said that in response to the amount of damage he was seeing, not the balls themselves. Pullings did comment "At least, sir" in response to it. It's always possible she was outfitted in Boston anyway and still carried the American guns.

 

Norfolk in the original book is the Essex (just looked it up in the book), a much smaller 32-gun frigate armed almost entirely with carronades and only four long guns.

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I rewatched the scene last night before I posted. Jack said that in response to the amount of damage he was seeing, not the balls themselves. Pullings did comment "At least, sir" in response to it. It's always possible she was outfitted in Boston anyway and still carried the American guns.

 

Norfolk in the original book is the Essex (just looked it up in the book), a much smaller 32-gun frigate armed almost entirely with carronades and only four long guns.

I've analyzed the images and this is what I got. Acheron is a Perfect copy of USS Constitution. 

 

 

aBhivAo.jpg

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Well... that is heading into "what is she" rather than "what is she supposed to be" territory...

Using an extant 24lb heavy frigate is expedient, compared to creating a proper 12livre or 18livre fregate, (or a more correct to the book/history 12lb US frigate (with armament changed to carronades in 32lb)

Just as using an extant 'not quite' copy of a 1757 20 gun post ship is more expedient than actually re-creating a French built corvette of 28 guns, modified in RN service to use more ordnance and that predominantly carronades. P'OB often makes odd choices and perpetuates utter rot about the throwing power of carronades among others (cannot reach to 1/4 mile at maximum elevation - while half maximum elevation is recorded as throwing to ~1100yds IRL)

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btw c. 1801, French ships armed with 28 12-pdrs guns are not Corvettes, but Frigates (see History of the French Frigates, p. 133).

 

French Corvettes at that time only carry 20 6-pdrs guns or 20, 22 or 24 guns of 8-pdrs (see Boudriot's La Créole).

One has to wait for 1827 to have a model of French Corvette with 32 caronades (beside the regular Corvettes with 18 or 24 guns). Not really a Corvette anymore in fact with her spardeck and length (42, 28 m).

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LeBoiteux is correct,  L’Unité was a 24-gun corvette firing 8-pounders. The British refitted her with 9-pounders and a mix of 10 x 4-pounders and 6 x 12-pounder carronades on her upper works.

 

I agree completely on the odd choices and perpetuating historical myths though, Lieste. All the authors are guilty of it to varying extents, like the carronades, or the marksmenship of smoothbore muskets in the Sharpe books.

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btw c. 1801, French ships armed with 28 12-pdrs guns are not Corvettes, but Frigates (see History of the French Frigates, p. 133).

 

French Corvettes at that time only carry 20 6-pdrs guns or 20, 22 or 24 guns of 8-pdrs (see Boudriot's La Créole).

One has to wait for 1827 to have a model of French Corvette with 32 caronades (beside the regular Corvettes with 18 or 24 guns). Not really a Corvette anymore in fact with her spardeck and length (42, 28 m).

28 guns are the 24 8livre and 4 4livre pieces on her QD. She was larger than most corvettes, but not as large as a fregate de 12. Having an armed QD she could be argued as not being a true corvette, but I believe she was so recorded when initially taken into French service - though it wavered between corvette and fregate de 8 over the class's service.

In RN service she was re-armed with 32lb main battery and 18lb QD carronades (24+10) and 4lb guns on the Fc'sle (2), and was always regarded as a 6th rate frigate. After 6 years she was sold out of service.

PO'B iirc gives her an ahistorical 12lb battery - presumably conflating her with the other L'Unite taken in 1796.

 

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LeBoiteux is correct,  L’Unité was a 24-gun corvette firing 8-pounders. The British refitted her with 9-pounders and a mix of 10 x 4-pounders and 6 x 12-pounder carronades on her upper works.

 

Those 24-gun corvettes are said to have been unappreciated by French captains. Btw only 5 were built.

 

The 20 gun 6-pdr corvette-aviso without quarterdeck and forecastle and based on the plan of La Diligente by Ozanne (1801) was much more appreciated (for her speed especially) and her plan will be reused in 1822-26 with 18 guns (http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/7682-french-corvettes-collection-6th-rates-with-plans/?p=153304).

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28 guns are the 24 8livre and 4 4livre pieces on her QD. She was larger than most corvettes, but not as large as a fregate de 12. Having an armed QD she could be argued as not being a true corvette, but I believe she was so recorded when initially taken into French service - though it wavered between corvette and fregate de 8 over the class's service

 

Those ships were larger than Corvettes, carried more guns than Corvettes and had armed QD unlike Corvettes... :)

Now some might have been recorded as Corvettes back in those days as you stated but that doesn't mean much (beside approximations in naming), does it ?

Boudriot classify those ships firing 24 guns of 8-pdrs + 4 guns of 4-pdrs (on QD) and whose length is 117'-126' as 8-pdr frigates (History of the French Frigate, p. 88). Call them light frigates. His first and main criteria when discriminating Corvettes and Frigates is the number of guns and their caliber (with unarmed QD when there's one). 

Terminology...

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So Boudriot - a 20th century academic classifies them as light frigates... while the C18th French navy bought them as corvettes. </shrug> but I'm going with the guys who placed the order.

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So Boudriot - a 20th century academic classifies them as light frigates... while the C18th French navy bought them as corvettes. </shrug> but I'm going with the guys who placed the order.

May I have the sources stating "the C18th French navy bought them as corvettes"  in the first place ?

I'm interested.

 

I'm going with scientific/archaeologic classifications as a classification helps understanding the world.

And a corvette is a corvette. A light frigate a frigate.

 

But words are not essential for a game.

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L'Unite isn't especially large. The RN dimensions are given as 126ft. The similar Bayonnaise is 38m long (also around 126ft). While the "20" gun Coquette (18 x 8livre) is 38.6m (127ft/ 119pied)

She is also narrower than a fregate de 8 usually is, and entirely consistent with the hull-form of a corvette.

That someone added some small pieces to the forward part of the QD before she was commissioned doesn't magically transform her design from a corvette to a frigate. (Any more than the Coquette class Badine (20 x 8livre) was a frigate because of the addition of her 4 4livre pieces 2 years after commission).

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I repeat  : "sources" stating "the C18th French navy bought them as corvettes" ?

 

You'd better watch the original French plans of XVIII-th century 8-pdr Frigates calling them... "Frégates" in Boudriot's book (see eg p. 71-73) accordingly to Boudriot's classification.

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A ship with 20 guns, not 28...

 

So let's refocus this conversation.

We were talking about XVIIIth century 28-gun ships with armed QD firing 8-pdrs.

And you stated that French Navy considered them as Corvettes.

I asked you for sources. I'm still waiting.

 

And I can wait for long because in France :

- till the war of American Independence, Frigates used 8-pdrs guns and some had armed QD but Corvettes used 4-pdrs and 6-pdrs and some had QD but unarmed.

- from that time on, Corvettes used that caliber (and others) ; some had QD but unarmed till the model of 1824 I've already mentioned. At that time, Frigates abandoned 8-pdrs and used bigger calibers.

 

No 28-gun French Corvette with armed QD firing 8-pdrs. Call her a "light frigate".

 

As long as you don't post the copy of an original plan of a 28-gun French ship with armed QD firing 8-pdrs entitled "Plan of a XVIIIth century French Corvette" (or an historical record of her), this conversation goes nowhere.

 

28 guns is just too much for a French Corvette till 1824. 

 

Number of guns on Corvettes :

- First half of the 18th century : 4-16 guns

- Second half : 12-20 guns

- 1793 : up to 24 guns

- French Revolution - 1st Empire : 20-24 guns

- 1827 : 18, 24, 32 guns

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