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"Battle of Cape St Vincent 1797" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2017 12:10 p.m. PST

"Ships and Armaments at the Battle of Cape St Vincent: Sailing warships of the 18th and 19th Century carried their main armaments in broadside batteries along the sides. Ships were classified according to the number of guns carried or the number of decks carrying batteries. The size of gun on the line of battle ship was up to 32 pounder, firing heavy iron balls or chain and link shot designed to wreck rigging.

Ships manoeuvred to deliver broadsides in the most destructive manner; the greatest effect being achieved by firing into an enemy's stern or bow, so that the cannon balls travelled the length of the ship wreaking havoc and destruction. The first broadside, loaded before action began and often double shotted, was always the most effective. To achieve greatest, impact the British ships held their fire until alongside the Spanish ships. In some instances, broadsides were fired at ranges of less than 10 metres.

Ships carried a variety of smaller weapons on the top deck and in the rigging, from swivel guns firing grape shot or cannister (bags of musket balls) to hand held muskets and pistols, each crew seeking to annihilate the enemy's officers and sailors on deck…."
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Blutarski29 Nov 2017 7:47 p.m. PST

The Spanish fleet engaged by Jervis at Cape St Vincent was not in any way threatening British hearths and homes. They were just trying to reach a protected port of refuge.

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