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Saturday, March 27, 2010

How mismatched were the Shannon and Chesapeake?

My attention was taken to the fight between the British frigate Shannon and the American frigate Chesapeake, during the War of 1812. I wondered just how mismatched the two ships were. This is the data for the Shannon:
LGD: 150ft-1-1/2in
LK:  125ft-2-7/8in
B:    39ft-9in
D:    13ft-9in

Guns: 28-18pdr, 10-9pdr, 8-32pdr carronades

This is the data for the Chesapeake:
LGD: 151ft
LK:  126ft-7in
B:    40ft-11in
D:    13ft-9in

Guns: 28-18pdr, 2-9pdr, 16-32pdr carronades

On paper, they seem pretty well matched, although the Chesapeake had the disadvantage of so many carronades, so that an enemy might fight beyond their range. The Chesapeake was said to have a crew of new recruits, while the Shannon was commanded by Philip Broke, a premier British frigate captain.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Hollandsche Mercurius years are available in Google Book Search

A correspondent of mine pointed out that Google Book Search now has some Hollandsche Mercurius years available as full view items. I hope that they eventually will have full coverage. I happen to have the 17th Century publications for 1650-1658 and 1665-1671, although what I have lacks the nice Reinier Nooms illustrations of the original. The Hollandsche Mercurius is a useful source, although it does not replace what original archival sources that still exist. I would also like to see the Ontstelde-Zee (1654), by "Jodocus Hondius" (apparently a pseudonym) appear in Google Books. The James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota holds a copy. Copies may be more freely available in Europe than here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Amsterdam ship Zeeland in 1631

From the list of ships dated 4 July 1631 that I received recently, there is the ship Zeeland, commanded by Joris van Cats. This was a ship of 225 lasts, which might have been built to the standard 125ft x 31ft x 12ft x 7ft dimensions. The Zeeland had a crew of 95 men and was armed with the following guns:
4-bronze 18pdr
2-bronze 8pdr
6-iron 12pdr
10-iron 8pdr
4-iron 5pdr
2-bronze 3pdr bases

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