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"Naval mortars -- since when?" Topic

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Cursd Captain Inactive Member05 Aug 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

Hi friends,

Does anyone have a date for the first vessel with a built-in mortar, in Europe? Many thanks,

Curs'd Captain

Cursd Captain Inactive Member05 Aug 2017 8:19 a.m. PST

You know, I may have underestimated Wikipedia, which just told me that the first such ship was the galiote bombe circa 1680. That's about the date I expected -- but maybe someone here has an earlier date for a bomb / integral mortar ship.

keithbarker05 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

The first bomb vessel in the Royal Navy was Salamander in 1687 based on an earlier French design.

So a galiote bombe in 1680 sounds good to me.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

I have no references for this but I have a feeling that mortars were mounted on small(ish) boats during various siege operations during the 80 years war. The idea being to bring artillery closer to the defences over the flooded landscape.

Even if these did exist I'd doubt that you could be sure that something similar hadn't been done even earlier.

Mark Barker05 Aug 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

Wiki seems solid here. According to Boudriot, the idea was first suggested in 1680, with 5 ships being built in Dunkirk in 1681. Names and details in Ware: The Bomb Vessel in the Conway Ship Type series.

Mark Barker
The Inshore Squadron

attilathepun4705 Aug 2017 9:47 p.m. PST

According to Bjorn Landstrom in "The Ship: An Illustrated History (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1961 – page 170), the French built the first seagoing bomb ketch (or galiote a bombe in French) in 1679. Such vessels were first employed in action by Admiral Abraham Duquesne in 1682 during a bombardment of Algiers. Those pesky Barbary pirates just never seemed to learn their place.

Cursd Captain Inactive Member06 Aug 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

-- a bombardment to which the Algierians responded by firing the French consul. Wiki again link

Thanks everyone for your replies -- CC

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