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"Spanish Sailors Artillery Set " Topic


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289 hits since 12 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 11:40 a.m. PST

"During the medieval period warfare at sea had simply been an extension of warfare on land, where each side attempted to reach and then overpower an opponent by boarding and capturing their vessels. As on land this might be preceded by a shower of arrows or crossbow bolts, but the ultimate objective was to capture the ‘territory'. With some of the finest soldiers in the world, Spain was very happy with this method, but the world was changing, and advances in artillery technology during the 15th and 16th centuries were causing many nations, starting with the Portuguese, to realise that massed gunfire could cripple and subdue an opponent without the need for hand-to-hand combat. The Spanish largely refused to recognise this, and continued to build and deploy ships with plenty of space for soldiers while other countries increasingly built more manoeuvrable ships that could bring fire to bear on the Spaniards but avoid being caught by them. The Spanish use of artillery was twofold. First, it could be used to bombard shore installations, and second, their guns were loaded well in advance and fired just before the ships came together and the soldiers would board, hopefully disrupting the enemy as they were about to be attacked. As a result they were supposed to be one-shot weapons in a battle, but by avoiding contact their enemies frustrated this Spanish tactic…"

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