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THE ROYAL WARSHIP VASA

The Royal Warship Vasa

Author(s)                 Bjorn Landstrom
Publisher Interpublishing
Date 1988
Pages 160
Format pdf
Size 73.2 Mb

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   During the greater part of the sixteenth century, marine warfare comprised actions at close quarters with, relatively small-calibre cannons, boarding and hand-to-hand combat. Only galleys, with their few but heavy cannon, could sink enemy vessels, but a galley was at a disadvantage if an action led to boarding. In very light winds or flat calms, when other vessels lacked steerage-way. galleys had an edge on their opponents. Their area of operations was principally the Mediterranean, and then only during the summers, when winds were light; the French had both Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and it is possible that they introduced galleys in actions in the English Channel. We know-that galleys were built in England in the mid-sixteenth century, but they never acquired any great importance in the windswept waters of north-west Europe. During the first half of the sixteenth century, carracks were the largest warships that still relied only on the wind as a motive force. Originally they were straightforward roundships that had gradually developed from the cargo vessels of antiquity; they differed from the small roundships of the Mediterranean and northern Europe primarily in size and armament. Before the middle of the century, however, in France and England, carracks that had been built round stemed were being built square rucked...

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