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Friday, May 07, 2004

Privateers Bounty uses late 18th Century rates of fire

I was slow to think of this, but maybe part of the issue with the "feel" of Privateers Bounty being rather wrong with the First Anglo-Dutch War scenarios has to do with rates of fire. Especially during the First Anglo-Dutch War, warships were greatly undermanned by later standards. Even during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, they carried larger crews by a significant increment.

The manning issue is at least part of why rates of fire were much lower than in the late 18th and early 19th Century. It was also the case that there was little opportunity for training, in the mid-17th Century. The Dutch were probably better manned, in terms of quality, than the English, although they had a great deal of trouble manning ships, as so many sailors were far away, on mercantile voyages. The English solution was to just make sweeps through Southeast English towns, and press every man they could find. That had to be a factor in their performance.

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