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Venetian/Italian Ship Collection (With Plans)

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5 hours ago, LeBoiteux said:

Thx for that long reply !!

In fact, the plan might be as well :

  • a abandonned project for the Venetian Navy
  • a first draft of a 18-C Corvette before finalisation
  • a plan from a published compilation of works, not necessary of built ships
  • or a plan for a customer country, right ?

About the gun "situated at the very rear of the quarterdeck", isn't it the lateral window (above a balcony) of the sculpted stern ?

It could be any of those things like you say, although I wouldn't place bets on it being an 18 gun corvette. It could just be a drawing done by an apprentice as part of his training in the Arsenal college. Its probably unlikely that it was kept from being a foreign purchase but there was quite often sales to other nations, especially smaller nations like the Papal states. The oar ports and hull date it at some point between about 1670-1750.

The other thing its got a fairly high chance in being is a ship built in a private shipyard as an armed ship to accompany merchant fleets on their trips, and has no history as a navy ship at all, although I would still hedge my my bets she is Abbondanza e Ricchezza/Ve Appoggio, although interestingly the Ve Appoggio translating to I support might be a big hint, sadly I think we will never know for certain.

When it comes to the hole at the very rear of the its an open deck, so there's no value in light there and knowing how other Venetian ships of the period have been armed its far more likely than not that they would stick a gun in the hole, its probably just an ornate gunport that looks a bit different as a chosen feature to compliment the carvings of quarterdeck.

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  • 3 months later...

2 interesting pictures I came across, its fairly obvious from the picture it shows the difference between how the various ships sit in the water, with a slightly bent but rough scale at the bottom, the original paper form shows it much better than it has come out in the photo sadly.

The ships Featured are:

  • Concordia (1772) Venetian 40 gun Transport ship
  • Dolphin (1781) British 44 gun 5th Rate
  • Grampus (1782) British 50 gun 4th Rate
  • Rättvisan (1783) Swedish 62 gun Third Rate
  • Fama (1784) Venetian 66 gun First Rate Fregata Grossa (3rd Rate French/Austrian ship)



The other Thing I have found is a comparison of standard riggings between Venetians, English and French warships, interestingly the Venetians seem to go for quite a different set up than their counterparts, with what looks like more steering coming from the more pronounced front foremast and bowsprit than the English and French, with a more subtle rear mizzen. Its also interesting to see that they place their masts slightly further forwards, with a much larger portion of their sails positioned on the mainmast. If you can't make out who's who in the picture, the solid sails belong to Venetians, the 2nd tallest generally belongs to the French, with the shortest and fattest rigging belonging to the Brits.


PS: I just updated the Fama thread to include some pictures of a model of her link below for anyone watching here who hasnt seen:


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  • 1 month later...

I have been browsing the internet and I came across a 3d render of the Galeass model made by Guido Ercole earlier in the thread, the viewing is pretty spectacular although sadly it doesn't seem to host the proper 3d model in its entirety, just a few little shots on youtube of the stunning creation, its some really top work if you ask my slightly biased opinion.


Also in recent times I have come across this nice little show from Carlo Beltrame, showing some really nice models and drawings of Venetian cannons, sadly though the specimens are too early for the game as far as I know


Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm just popping this here in case it gets lost off the original thread. Mainly because it took me forever to write, sorry for the copy and paste job.

The Tirar Bombe was came about as part of the bitter arms race between Venice and the Ottomans during the First Morean war (1784-99). The war is the first time both the Venetians and Ottomans are fighting line battles, with both sides pushing for dominance at sea, as a result both sides pushed themselves as hard as they could, seeing the Ottomans launch some particularly large and heavily armed ships while Venice was fielding slightly smaller more manoeuvrable offerings. Part of this arms race also involved a dramatic scramble for large calibre artillery, with the Ottomans pushing for more use of their largest naval guns, the 16 and 12 okka, which compared to being slightly larger than the British 40 and 32 pounders. The Ottomans also started to equip their ships with a number of 44 okka guns which fired stone projectiles, equivalent to 124 British pounds. The war also saw the Ottomans bringing some of their now ancient bombards back into action, although these old monsters were potentially capable of huge damage although their outdated technology didn't add any real tactical value as they were unhandy and inaccurate.

These large calibre weapons needed a response from the Venetian government or otherwise risked turning what was on the whole a successful conflict for Venice back in Ottoman favour. The response was assigned to the public gun founder (Fonditore Pubblico) at the time Sigismondo Alberghetti III. The Alberghetti family were a hugely prestigious family in the world of artillery and arguably the most important family in the history of the cannon, they had held the title of public gun founder more than any other bloodline in Venice thanks to their incredible talents for founding large ordinance. Sigismondo III was a genius even by Alberghetti standards, he mainly studied in Venice and England and was unparalleled during his time.

The gun itself was developed out of Venetian technology mainly centred on their mortars and obusiero (similar to howizers) with large parts of the inspiration coming from various experiments conducted by the English in the 1680s, his thoughts were also influenced by accounts of the French bombardment of Genoa during 1684, the experimental shells doing a terrifying amount of damage to the city. Sigismondo set about applying these new technologies for naval combat, something the English and French avoided due to safety concerns.

The initial design for the gun was a calibre of 120 libbre (equivalent to 212mm), it was to employ a spherical powder chamber similar to mortar technology of the time allowing for larger charges without increasing the thickness and weight of the gun. It was to fire a ball roughly the same weight as the Venetian 20 libbre, similar to an english 15lb. The style of the gun meant that it could be very lightly constructed and framed while still packing a huge punch. The projectiles themselves are somewhat distinctive too, the projectiles unlike standard round shot were to be made cylindrical, and would either be hollow iron shot filled with explosives, or solid stone shot, the cylindrical design was a hugely important part of the gun giving it more stability and accuracy in flight but also meant that there was no risk of the shot turning and causing itself to instantly detonate on firing.

Interestingly the first two guns were built in England, both at 120 libbre and 6 calibres long, weighing 3500 libbre grosse (1670kg). They were cast under Sigismondo's supervision in Ashburnham in Sussex at the Thomas Western foundry. However once they arrived in Venice they were put aside and half forgotten, mainly thanks to the Venetian fleet having a string of success and enjoying naval superiority. However the Ottoman fleet started to recover after 1693, leading to a narrow defeat of the Venetian navy at the battle of Chios in 1695 thanks to the effective use of their 44 okka stone cannons.

To respond to Turkish success the Venetian Senate reinvested in the Tirar Bombe project once more in 1696, leading Sigismondo to develop a second model of the gun, the 200 libbre, weighing 5000 libbre grosse (2385kg) and further adapting them for naval use on their ships of the line, mainly the San Lorenzo Zustinian class ships. Now however the guns were to be cast in the Venetian Arsenal itself out of Bronze, allowing to make use of the huge technological advantage Venice had in bronze casting, combined with the superior properties that bronze has as a material for casting guns. Testing then confirmed the incredible qualities of the gun to the point that it created a feud between the Sergente Generalre dell' Artiglieria Jacob Richards who endlessly doubted its capabilities. This feud would continue to strain on between Sigismondo and Richards resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two, even despite numerous tests and competitions confirming Sigismondo to be in the right Jacobs continued to claim the gun was dangerous, the ammunition was too expensive to produce and its construction too light. Despite these arguments the Venetian state immediately sent 33 guns to the Levant, however the continued objections from Richards meant that their ammunition was in short supply.

The guns now got their first real taste of combat under Sigismondo's Brother Carlo Alberghetti, a prominent Venetian naval commander. Despite the limited ammunition the new guns proved incredibly successful in some light skirmishes, they even proved to exceed their high expectations given by their testing on Lido. The first true test however was at the battle of Mitilenos, where the heavier Ottoman fleet outnumbered the Venetians significantly, the battle resulted in a decisive victory for Venice. The Tirar bombe received significant praise from the three Venetian admirals present, Daniele Dolfin, Pietro Duado and Fabio Bonvincini. Daniele Dolfin even presented Sigismondo with a certification of merit thanks to the crucial part the new guns played, praising the high rate of fire and great accuracy, however they all downplayed the innovative nature of the new weapons, partly as they had been unable to fire many explosive rounds, but also partially due to using them misunderstanding how the cannons were designed to be used. The tirar bombe was intended as a long range weapon, however the lack of range tables and explosive ordinance meant that at Mitilenos they were used much more like a carronade, fighting in a much more traditional close quarters combat, despite their incorrect usage eyewitnesses to the battle tell of a great many Turkish ships having to withdraw having suffered enormous holes in their hulls, thanks to these new weapons.

Peace resumed in 1699 and it was decided that these powerful weapons were of little use as part of the fleet, they were redeployed in the home batteries around the lagoon, providing security during the early parts of the war of Spanish succession. When it was clear Venice wouldn't be dragged into the Spanish conflict the guns were warehoused and then forgotten about, they were rediscovered on during the 2nd Morean war (1714-18), where the Venetian navy attempted to quickly redeploy them amongst the fleet. Ammunition was updated slightly and new trials were conducted, reconfirming the incredible properties the weapon had, these new trials were this time watched by multiple members of the Venetian Senate, these observers were highly impressed and attention was given to ensuring the guns were properly supplied with ammunition and range tables. Now properly supplied the gun played a crucial role in relieving the siege of Corfu, not only fending off the much larger Ottoman navy, but also creating mass casualties and panic amongst the encamped Turkish troops. The guns were even given dedicated thought in the design of the 60 gun second rate San Spiridion with the hope that the smaller cheaper ships could outmatch larger foes thanks to the incredible effectiveness of the tirar bombe, they again played a crucial role in the huge battle 3 day battle of Matapan helping the Allied fleet secure another decisive victory.

Following the end of the 2nd Morean war the guns continued to be mounted on Venetian ships into the 1740s, when it was eventually retired. Following their retirement a number of the guns were then kept in the Arsenal alongside other examples of exemplary Venetian ordinance, documenting the best made guns over the centuries, they were documented as part of Domenico Gasperoni's study of Venetian guns in the short text Artiglieria Veneta (1779) but the last surviving guns were melted down during the Napoleonic occupation, who overlooked the huge potential of the weapons. Despite being hugely successful as weapons they never really got used as they were designed to be, Sigismondo III died in 1701 leaving a legacy of fantastic gun founding, however his greatest creation was never fully realised the gun sinking into obscurity rather than leaving the potentially huge legacy it could have.

Looking at the gun itself, its statistics are wonderfully impressive. Both the 120 libbre and 200 libbre models of the gun had a range of about 5000m, with an extremely high degree of accuracy to around 3500m, firing in an easily predictable and stable path, partly thanks to the steady advances of Venetian rifling since the 1540s, and also the cylindrical shot. The calibre of the 120 libbre was 212mm, compared to the 200 libbre's 265mm. The windage of the two guns stands out at 2.9mm, compared to even the best English guns of the period at around 7.5mm, with even the mighty carronade only achieving at best 3.7mm. Perhaps most impressively though was the design of its frame, the design of which incorporated a constant aiming system, where by the gun was continually following its target, something that wouldn't be seen again until 1898 when it was re-discovered by the Englishman Percy Scott, this was especially devastating when combined with its high rate of fire. Its also important to remember this staggeringly forward thinking cannon was, all achieved almost 150 years before the Paixhan's Gun, and almost 200 years before the Dahlgren gun, both of which despite having all the advantages of all the technological advances made during the 18th and 19th Century were both inferior to the tirar bombe.


Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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(Sorry) Another repost for the sake of having everything in one place.

1 hour ago, Fluffy Fishy said:

While this isn't going to be a list of suggestions, this is a little warning to the devs a little like one of my previous posts on this thread just as a caution when looking at Venetian ships and the potential to put them in the game, this mostly comes from the prominence of the Venetians using models as the source of much later than the likes of the Atlantic nations, generally until various reforms undertaken in the mid to late 18th century by Venetians who studied shipbuilding in England and the Netherlands and until the 1770s it was really quite uncommon for ships to be planned out in the same fashion of western and northern Europe. Generally speaking Venetian ships were built using two references, The shipwright would build a model, and draw a picture, similar to concept drawings we see with modern architecture depending on where the shipwright studied would generally determine how extensive the concept drawing was and how complex/if they would include contours to show the shape of the hull so as to complement the models being used, you can see this in a respect by the post made by Leboiteux on the San Michael Arcangelo, however plans were usually more extensive when included with the Venetian 1st rates. This source issue adds to the other issue I mentioned earlier in the thread, the problem of the single hull construction.

As a list of visual sources as far as I am aware of broken down by main ratings of the Venetian navy:

  • 1st Rate:
    • Giove Fulminante (62 guns, 1667); Both the model and plans are lost, although some paintings exist.
    • San Lorenzo Zustinian (70 guns, 1691); Some surviving drawings, a modern reconstruction, model some paintings from the Morean wars exist.
    • Corona (74 guns, 1711); No plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Leon Trionfante (70 guns 1716); Many plans drawings and paintings, no model.
    • San Carlo Borromeo (66 guns, 1750), numerous plans exist alongside a model (I beleive the model is housed in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum)
    • "1780"/La Harpe (70/74, 1797 Completed by France, Double hulled); extensive plans, no model, a picture of her as a prison ship.
  • 2nd Rate:
    • Drago Volante (48 guns, 1674); No plans, No pictures, possible model housed in Boston Art Museum
    • San Marco Grande (56 guns, 1684); no model, no plans, no painting
    • Sant Andrea (60 guns, 1685); no plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Fede Guerriera (60 guns, 1693); no model, no plans, no paintings.
    • San Spiridion (58 guns,1717); No plans, some drawings, no paintings.
    • Sant Andrea II (40/56 guns, 1724 Fregata Grossa); possible drawings, possible paintings, no plans no model.
    • San Michiel Arcangelo (40/56 guns, 1749 Fregata Grossa); Nice drawings, basic plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Speranza (40/58 guns, 1757 Fregata Grossa); Basic drawings, no model, some paintings, no plans.
    • Vigilanza (40/56 guns, 1766 Fregata Grossa); Possible plans (unconfirmed),  no model, no plans, possible paintings.
    • Fama (66 guns, 1784 Fregata Grossa, Double hulled); extensive plans, extensive drawings, a model situated in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, some great paintings too.
  • 3rd Rate:
    • Madonna Della Salute (44 guns, 1675); no plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Sant Andtonio da Padova (44 guns, 1684); no plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Monton d'Oro (24 guns, 1688); Basic Drawings, no plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Scudo Delle Fede; (52 guns, 1715) no plans, no model, no paintings.
    • Costanza II (28 guns, 1757): Basic drawings, no plans, no model.
    • Palma (38 guns, 1784, Double hulled) : No Drawings, no model but there are likely plans out there in France due to their capture, Medusa and Bellona saw service under the french, medusa being renamed Leoben and Bellona being captured again by the British in 1811 becoming HMS Dover.
    • Pallade (24 guns, 1786, Double Hulled); Good plans, no model, no drawings, no paintings.
    • Cerere (32 guns, 1794, Double Hulled); Likely has plans out there, she saw french service under the name Mantoue, no paintings, no model.
    • "44 Cannoni"/Muiron (44 guns 1797 completed by France, Double Hulled). Good plans, Great model, some nice paintings too.

While this is a fairly extensive list this is just from my long time trying to match up ships to drawings and doing a fair amount of research into the Venetian navy, there are also a lot of other unnamed craft out there, some named some not but its a lot like wading through treacle thanks to the difficulty posed by the destructive nature of Napoleon's looting combined with the methods used in Venetian naval design. Despite the lack of visual evidence there are good records on the dimensions of the ships, with a very rough silhouette drawing in a similar way to the ww2 identification charts but in colour, these are housed in the Venetian Archives.


Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...
  • 5 months later...
On 11/12/2015 at 11:29 AM, Sella22 said:

Leon Trionfante



venetian 1st rate

70 or 80 guns








General characteristics:

Lenght: 140,5 piedi or 42,8 meters

Keel: 124 piedi or 37,8 meters

Width; 37 piedi or 11,3

Draft: 18,5 piedi or 5,64 meters


Guns(venetian pounds):

8x14pd on the poopdeck

2x200pd(!) on the forecastle

24x40pd in the corridor

30x20pd on the deck

6x120pd(!) in the corridor



Plans and info are from the books "Vascelli e fregate della Serenissima" 



and Navi veneziane-Venetian ships



and http://koti.mbnet.fi/felipe/html/ships_1667-1797.html

Err...Did you notice that there is a marked discrepancy between that reconstruction of the Leon Trionfante class (1st picture) and the following second and third pictures, apparently contemporary, which you seem to look upon as representations of the Leon Trionfante class was well?

Yes, in the reconstruction there are no stern galleries and just a single storey quarter gallery, while those contemporary pictures show a stern gallery and two storey quarter galleries...

In my opinion, different ship types, maybe,  but, definitely, different designs.

Could you comment on that?

Edited by Wagram
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4 minutes ago, Wagram said:

Err...Did you notice that there is a marked discrepancy between that reconstruction of the Leon Trionfante class (1st picture) and the following second and third pictures, apparently contemporary, which you seem to look upon as representations of the Leon Trionfante class was well?

Yes, in the reconstruction there are no stern galleries and just a single storey quarter gallery, while those contemporary pictures show a stern gallery and two storey quarter galleries...

In my opinion, different ship types.

What do you think?

There were four series of the same class. Possibly there was a stern rework in one of the later series? I can't really tell you since i don't own the books. You will have to ask @Fluffy Fishy about that. I honestly don't know. My knowledge is very limited on these kinds of matters i won't deny it. I just work with what i have and can understand :P I only tried to help in the French thread :D

The First Series:
Leon Trionfante, 70 guns (1716)
San Giacomo, 70 guns (1761)
Buon Consiglio, 70 guns (1761)
Fedelta, 70 guns (1770)
Forza, 70 guns (1774)

The Second Series:
Corriera Veneta, 70 guns (1770)
Diligenza, 70 guns (1774)
Fenice 2, 70 guns (1779)
Galatea, 70 guns (1779)

Third Series:
Vittoria 2, 70 guns (1785)
La Guerriera, 70 guns (1785)
Medea, 66 guns (1793)
Unnamed, 66 guns (1800) was transformed into a floating gunned pontoon by the Austrians

Fourth Series:
L'Eolo 1785
San Giorgio 1785
Unnamed, 66 guns (1800) was transformed into a gunned pontoon by the Austrians

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5 hours ago, Wagram said:

Err...Did you notice that there is a marked discrepancy between that reconstruction of the Leon Trionfante class (1st picture) and the following second and third pictures, apparently contemporary, which you seem to look upon as representations of the Leon Trionfante class was well?

Yes, in the reconstruction there are no stern galleries and just a single storey quarter gallery, while those contemporary pictures show a stern gallery and two storey quarter galleries...

In my opinion, different ship types, maybe,  but, definitely, different designs.

Could you comment on that?

The Leon Trionfante class was modified between each series to bring it up to date with the contemporary practices. There were various changes to the various structural elements of the class over the 80 odd years they were being produced. The most notable difference being the stern as you point out, with the older designs having 4 ports and much more decorative features while the more modern ships were cut for 2 stern ports and had much more modest and up to date practical features like stronger bulwarks, there were also various minor changes to the hold and the inner works of the ship to improve the sailing qualities.

There are even more noticeable changes and upgrades between the San Michele Arcangelo class if you check the differences between San Michele Arcangelo and Concordia, of which there are both pictures on this thread (1st and 7th pages). On a more general level ship classes aren't as heavily defined as people might think, ships frequently received upgrades and various minor refits where things like pumps were brought up to date with more modern versions similarly to system upgrades on modern warships today so as to prolong their lifespans, this thought path was also applied to general classes, especially classes that had such a long lifespan as the Leon Trionfante, with a class service history of over 100 years, something pretty rare for warships of the era, especially considering that they were active warships for the vast majority of that time too, rather than being confined to ordinary or used as hulks.

I wrote out a more fleshed out piece on the Leon Trionfante class to give her her own forum post a while back you might like to check out, I haven't really gone into much detail of the various modifications between the 4 different series though.

I hope that helps answer at least some of your questions. :)

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  • 4 years later...

I know this is a very old thread, but I am hoping that some of the contributors are still around and might talk with me privately as I am having a lot more trouble researching Italian ships then they seemed able. In particular, it seems both Fluffy Fishy and Stella could really put me on the right track, but anyone with historical information on Italian ships, particularly the late 17th century, would be extremely helpful.....

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  • 4 months later...


Sto cercando i piani di costruzione della nave 'Le Muiron' per mio padre, appassionato di velieri antichi, che vorrebbe costruirne un modello in scala. Cercando in internet ho trovato i seguenti testi:

Gaillard Barrot de : Construisez un modèle de la Frégate "Le Muiron"

Guido Ercole: Vascelli e fregate della Serenissima.

Ma entrambi non risultano disponibili. Vi chiedo pertanto se, gentilmente, potreste darmi qualche consiglio dove reperire questi piani.


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Good evening, you have shared wonderful ship plans!
For this I kindly ask you if you were able to share the plans of the frigate 'Le Muiron'. My father would like to make a scale model of it and can't find it.
Could you give me some advice on how to find them?
Thanks in advance and best regards.


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