Victory vs Redoutable: Ships of the line at Trafalgar 1805 (Duel)
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Late in the morning on October 21, 1805, warships from the British and combined French and Spanish fleets clashed off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast. After a six month game of cat and mouse across the Atlantic, 27 British ships of the line engaged the Allied force of 33 ships of the line. This was a duel of skill, tenacity and bravery as captains and crews battled for mastery of the seas. This book is an opportunity to relive the action at Trafalgar - read the accounts of sailors who were there, and who experienced the sound of scraping cutlasses and bombarding cannons at one of the most important naval engagements of history. Understand how the guns were operated, learn about the training of crews and study the design and development of the incredible ships which dominated naval warfare of the period, as Gregory Fremont-Barnes reveals the revolutionary tactics used by Nelson to secure a victory that saved Britain from the threat of invasion and ensured British naval dominance for over a century.
discharge was directed towards the rear axletree to prevent the gun from overturning. Without its restraining ropes and tackles, a 32-pounder gun could recoil40-50ft across 28 the deck, crushing everything in its wake - hence the importance of controlling it. To reduce the effect of recoil, guns were often restrained by a heavy cord, known as a breeching rope, fastened around the breech (rear) of the gun, down through a ring on each side of the carriage and finally fixed to two ring-bolts
preference for firing when close upon the enemy: ... many of our men thought it hard that the firing should be all on one side [i.e. being unable ro return fire until their ships could be positioned athwart their opponents], and I' became impatient to return the compliment; but our captain had given orders not to fire until we got close in with them, so that all our shots might tell; indeed, these were his words: 'We shall want all our shot when we get close in; never mind their firing: when
the ship's whole frame shake, and had it taken a central direction it would have gone through the poop and added many to our list of sufferers. their yardarms touched, there was a wide space beyond, into which the Temerairesettled The quarterdeck of the herself, and then she came up on her lee side and delivered a broadside into us there. At Victory. on which Nelson lies But naval ammunition did more than simply damage ships: it caused the most the same time the Neptune, anothet latge
his crew lay wounded (incl uding himself) and collection) rigging hopelessly snarled with that of the Victory, sought to board by fastening the dying, the Temeraire took the Redoutable by boarding. Boarding was also possible if the rigging of two vessels became entangled or, as two ships together in more permanent fashion, a circumstance that made firing between the antagonists virtually impossible: The fate of the Redoutable bears witness to the fact that warships were nothing if not
opening up new horizons for naval engineers, such as the potential ofapplying armour plating to vessels while still rendering them seaworthy. Only a decade after Navarino, in the first year ofVictoria's reign, it was possible to travel almost the entire journey to India by virtue of steam power alone. Traditionalists naturally continued to cling to sail power, not least on financial grounds: the Admiralty feared that the application of steam power to warships would render obsolete the entire