September 17, 2003

I Love The History Channel

I was just watching a show about British warships. It wasn't about any specific thing, mostly general information and contrast between the old 'sail' navy and todays modern version. Among the interesting stuff I learned:

Admiral Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar was the HMS Victory. Her main foresail from that battle was discovered in a forgotten sail locker 150 years later. It had 90 cannonball holes in it.

One of the most effective battle maneuvers was called crossing the ‘T’, where your ship would pass directly in front or behind the enemy. This allowed you to rake him, firing your guns down the length of his deck without him being able to respond. The HMS Victory raked a French ship at Trafalgar, and with one shot of a carronade (a type of anti-personnel cannon), put 25 enemy cannon out of commision and killed or wounded 300 sailors.

When a new captain took command of a ship, one of his first tasks was to have the ship’s carpenter build him a box that was hung as the captain’s hammock. It would be decorated with drapes and tapestries made by his wife or mistress. If the captain died, they’d nail on a lid and bury him at sea in it.

The British threw their dead overboard during battle to keep the decks clear. The French took theirs below and buried them amid the ballast after the battle, because a Catholic French widow could not remarry without proof of her husbands’ death. Imagine the smell.

The best of the furniture aboard would be bagged in canvas and put aboard the ships boats before battle. The boats would then be towed along behind the ship. The Portuguese, French and British navies had a gentleman’s agreement not to target each others furniture.

Jennifer posted a list of naval punishments, most being lashings with the whip. In the British navy, the person wielding the cat-o-nine-tails was required to clean the whip between each stroke because blood and flayed flesh would cause the tails to clump together, reducing the effectiveness of the lash.

Posted by Ted at September 17, 2003 12:31 PM
Category: History

Admiral Nelson wasn't buried at sea. :-)

Posted by: Jennifer at September 17, 2003 06:41 PM

Jimmy Hoffa knows where...

Posted by: Ted at September 17, 2003 08:52 PM

If you like this try Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin novel series. Great stuff.

Posted by: Velociman at September 18, 2003 04:06 PM

Cool Velociman, Thanks! I have a couple from Alexander Kent as well (the Bolitho series). I've read 'em all, but don't often find them in the used book stores.

Posted by: Ted at September 18, 2003 05:49 PM

If  Designer replica handbags are indeniably the most popular choice of modern women, other leading brands continuously experience huge demand. Also, our Louis Vuitton Handbags, associating sophistication and tradition, attract the eye of tasteful women... Also, to satisfy the tastes of each woman, we carry a very wide range of replica handbags, including copies of bags by Chanel handbags, Fendi handbags,  Mulberry handbags,Marc Jacobs handbags,Gucci handbags,Yves Saint Laurent handbags, Balanciaga handbags, Miu Miu handbags, Thomas Wylde handbags, Mulberry handbags, Prada handbags ,Coach handbags,and Hermes handbags...We are continually updating and adding more and more products from famous brand such as LV,Marc Jacobs handbags , Gucci,Dior, Chanel,Chloe handbags,Fendi, Balenciaga ,Coach handbags and more!Such as,all Fendi handbags of the materials are exactly the same as the genuine and all the products are produced with elaborate technique. . . Al

Posted by: gag at July 3, 2009 02:22 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter