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is the Pickle under-gunned?

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When Pickle was brought into service around 1801-2 she carried 18 pounder carronades. A decision was made on 20th April, 1803 to change the 18 pounders for 12 pounders, to free them up for other ships. However, there is a little issue over the actual number of guns she really carried. She is mentioned in the master's log and in the Naval Chronical as carrying "14 guns". However, and I wish I could find the page in the damned book but it evades my search, Pickle's commander Lapenotiere preferred to ship a number of guns in the hull, so as to improve the trim. So at maximum armament she should carry 14 guns in total, as she is pierced for 7 a side (in the painting Loss of the Magnificent she is shown pierced for 6 on each side, whilst in another depiction of her, this time at Trafalgar, she is pierced for 7 on each side), but it is likely Lapenotiere mounted just four guns on each side, especially as Pickle's crew was often at 35 or so men.


All information in the above comes from Peter Hore's marvellous little book, HMS Pickle: The Swiftest Ship in Nelson's Trafalgar Fleet.


Loss of the Magnificent

At Trafalgar


Edited by Rikard Frederiksen
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