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"Dragon Ships" Topic

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Rotundo19 Dec 2020 11:16 a.m. PST

Ok, so we all know of the Danes, Norse, and Swedes ships. Alfred commishioned a navy, The Franks also… I am lost as to a starting point on the look of these ships. Were they Cogs? I could use a good book on this, or an online article. I have six Viking ships and I would like to make a match for them of Saxson and Frankish ships. Help! Help!

williamb19 Dec 2020 11:58 a.m. PST

This Roman Seas set has models of the barbarian ships
There is also a free catalog which may show images of them
There is also book that has a drawing of them

williamb19 Dec 2020 12:09 p.m. PST

Here is a link to the now defunct Roman Seas webpage via the wayback machine click on the Saxon photos button then click on the next photo button several times to see different photos of what the Saxon ships looked like

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2020 6:40 p.m. PST

My guess, and it's a guess, is that they would be long ships. It would be too early for cogs and the Normans used dragon/long ships in 1066.


williamb20 Dec 2020 9:53 a.m. PST

Longships were developed several centuries later than the Saxon raids on England.
Link to an article on Saxon ships with a diagram.
and another article on Saxon ships

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2020 1:38 p.m. PST

From the very limited descriptions we have Alfred's ships were higher in the water than contemporary Norse ships and probably beamier too. This may just have been the largest ships though, smaller craft may have been roughly similar to Norse ships of similar size.

Saxon crews at the time were said (at least by the Saxon chroniclers) to be well trained and there is evidence that they were successful in reducing the Viking threat and striking back in places the Vikings though them selves safe.

Williamb does have a point – you haven't made it clear which period you are considering. Mentioning Saxons & Franks could imply anywhen from 5th C to 11th. Naval technology had changed a fair bit over that timespan.

Forget Cogs, they were medieval ships; even their antecedents hadn't appeared in Alfred's time and only began late in the Viking period.

Rotundo20 Dec 2020 2:42 p.m. PST

Williamb, Thank you for your help. I will make use of these pages and I will get the book after the holidays. You gave me what I needed, a starting point! I can drill down from here.

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