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Encyclopedia > Ship of the line
Rating system of the Royal Navy
Ships of the line
Frigates
  • Fifth-rate
  • Sixth-rate
Unrated
HMS Victory in 1884, the only surviving example of a ship-of-the-line.
HMS Victory in 1884, the only surviving example of a ship-of-the-line.

A ship-of-the-line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th century through the mid-19th century, the culmination of a naval tactic known as the line-of-battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural state of progression was to build the largest, most powerful sailing vessels at the time. The rating system of the Royal Navy was used by the Royal Navy between the 1670s and early 19th century to categorise sailing warships according to their ability to stand in a line of battle and according to their number of guns. ... Download high resolution version (604x728, 34 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This is one of six ratings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... In the British Royal Navy, a second-rate was a ship of the line mounting 90 to 98 guns, typically built with three gun decks. ... This is one of six ratings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... This is one of six ratings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... For the bird, see Frigatebird. ... In the British Royal Navy, a fifth-rate was a sailing frigate mounting 32 to 40 guns on a single deck. ... This is one of six ratings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... USS Constellation, a United States Navy sloop-of-war. ... Download high resolution version (604x728, 34 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (604x728, 34 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... HMS Victory is a 104-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built between 1759 and 1765. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... British and Danish ships in line of battle at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801). ...


From the end of the 1840s the introduction of steam power led to the construction of screw-driven but wooden-hulled ships-of the line, and a number of pure sail-driven ships were converted to a similar layout. However, the introduction of the ironclad frigate in about 1859 led swiftly to the decline of the steam-assisted ships-of-the-line, with the ironclad warship becoming the ancestors of the battleship. For other uses, see Battleship (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Origins

Great ships, carracks and galleons

The great ship Mary Rose depicted on the Anthony Roll, a survey of Henry VIII's navy, completed in 1546
The great ship Henri Grace a Dieu, from the Anthony Roll
The great ship Henri Grace a Dieu, from the Anthony Roll
HMS Sovereign of the Seas, a contemporaneous engraving by J.Payne.
HMS Sovereign of the Seas, a contemporaneous engraving by J.Payne.

The origin of the ship-of-the-line can be found in the great ships built by the English in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the similar large carracks built by other European nations at the same time. These vessels, developed from the cogs, which traded in the North Sea and the Baltic, had an advantage over galleys because they had raised platforms called "castles" at bow and stern which could be occupied by archers, who fired down on enemy ships. Over time these castles became higher and larger, and eventually started to be built into the structure of the ship, increasing overall strength. Image File history File links Maryrose. ... Image File history File links Maryrose. ... The Tudor era was a critical one in the development of the Royal Navy. ... “Henry VIII” redirects here. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Tudor era was a critical one in the development of the Royal Navy. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Name often given to English military carracks from 1400 onwards, particularly as built by Henry VIII. Examples of his include:- Mary Rose Henri Grâce à Dieu Also Grace Dieu (ship), flagship of Henry V The phrase was also used of the RMS Titanic in the song It Was Sad When... The Santa Maria at anchor by Andries van Eertvelt, painted c. ... Excavated cog from 1380 Cogs or rather cog-built vessels came into existence around 12th century AD. They were cheracterized by flush-laid flat bottom at midships but gradually shifted to overlapped strakes near the posts. ... A French galley and Dutch men-of-war off a port by Abraham Willaerts, painted 17th century. ...


Mary Rose was an English carrack and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons, being well equipped with 78 guns (91 after a 1536 upgrade). Built in Portsmouth, England (15091510) she was thought to be named after King Henry VIII's sister Mary and the rose, the Tudor emblem. She was one of the earliest purpose-built warships to serve in the English Navy; it is thought that she never served as a merchant ship. She displaced 500 tons (700 tons after 1536), was 38.5 m long and 11.7 m abeam and her crew consisted of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers, and 30 gunners. Although she was the pride of the English fleet she was accidentally sunk in an engagement with the French July 19th 1545. Mary Rose depicted on the Anthony Roll, a survey of Henry VIIIs navy, completed in 1546 The Mary Rose was an English Tudor warship of the carrack type and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons. ... USS Iowa Broadside (1984) A broadside is the side of a ship; the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their simultaneous (or near simultaneous) fire in naval warfare. ... For other uses, see Cannon (disambiguation). ... For other places with the same name, see Portsmouth (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... 1509 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1510 (MDX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... “Henry VIII” redirects here. ... A sketch of Mary during her brief period as Queen of France Mary Tudor (March 18, 1496 – June 25, 1533) was the younger sister of Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France due to her marriage to Louis XII. Mary was the fifth child of Henry VII of... For other uses, see Rose (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Tudor (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship that carries goods and materials from one port to another. ... In fluid mechanics, displacement occurs when an object is immersed in a fluid, pushing it out of the way and taking its place. ... The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point, or a point alongside the ship at the mid-point of its length. ...


Henri Grâce à Dieu (French, "Henry Grace of God"), nicknamed "Great Harry", was an English great ship of the 16th century. Contemporary with Mary Rose, Henri Grâce à Dieu was 165 feet (50 m) long, weighing 1,000–1,500 tons and having a complement of 700–1,000. It is said that she was ordered by Henry VIII in response to the Scottish ship Michael, launched in 1511. She was originally built at Woolwich Dockyard from 1512 to 1514 and was one of the first vessels to feature gunports and had twenty of the new heavy bronze cannon, allowing for a broadside. In all she mounted 43 heavy guns and 141 light guns. She was the first English two-decker and when launched she was the largest and most powerful warship in Europe, but she saw little action. She was present at the Battle of the Solent against Francis I of France in 1545 (in which Mary Rose sank) but appears to have been more of a diplomatic vessel, sailing on occasion with sails of gold cloth. Indeed, the great ships were almost as well known for their ornamental design (some ships, like the Vasa, were gilded on its stern scrollwork) as they were for the power they possessed. Henri Grace a Dieu, from the Anthony Roll. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... A long ton is the name used in the US for the unit called the ton in the avoirdupois or Imperial system of measurements, as used (alongside the metric system) in the United Kingdom and to some extent in other Commonwealth countries. ... “Henry VIII” redirects here. ... A model of Great Michael in the Royal Museum Great Michael was a carrack of the Royal Scottish Navy. ... Woolwich Dockyard was an English naval dockyard founded by King Henry VIII in 1512 to build his flagship Henri Grace a Dieu (Great Harry), the largest ship of its day. ... Year 1512 (MDXII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... 1514 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... USS Iowa Broadside (1984) A broadside is the side of a ship; the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their simultaneous (or near simultaneous) fire in naval warfare. ... A two-decker is a sail warship which carried her guns on two fully-armed decks. ... Combatants France England Commanders Admiral Claude dAnnebault Admiral John Dudley, Viscount Lisle Strength 30,000 soldiers in more than 200 ships 12,000 soldiers in 80 ships The naval Battle of the Solent took place on 18 and 19 July 1545 during the Italian Wars, fought between the fleets... Francis I (François Ier in French) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Events February 27 - Battle of Ancrum Moor - Scots victory over superior English forces December 13 - Official opening of the Council of Trent (closed 1563) Battle of Kawagoe - between two branches of Uesugi families and the late Hojo clan in Japan. ...


These ships were the first used in experiments with carrying large-caliber guns aboard. Because of their higher construction and greater load-bearing ability, this type of vessel was better suited to gunpowder weapons than the galley. Because of their development from Atlantic seagoing vessels, the great ships were more weatherly than galleys and better suited to open waters. The lack of oars meant that large crews were unnecessary, making long journeys more feasible. Their disadvantage was that they were entirely reliant on the wind for mobility. Galleys could still overwhelm great ships, especially when there was little wind and they had a numerical advantage, but as great ships increased in size, galleys became less and less useful.


Another detriment was the high forecastle, which interfered with the sailing qualities of the ship; the bow would be forced low into the water while sailing before the wind. But as guns were introduced and gunfire replaced boarding as the primary means of naval combat during the 16th century, the medieval forecastle was no longer needed, and later ships such as the galleon had only a low, one-deck high forecastle. By the time of the 1637 launching of Britain's powerful Sovereign of the Seas, the high forecastle was gone altogether. forecastle with figurehead Grand Turk Focsle of the Prince William, a modern square rigged ship, in the North Sea. ... A Spanish galleon. ... For other ships of the same name, see Sovereign of the Seas. ...


From the 16th to 18th century, the great ship and carrack evolved into the galleon, a longer, more maneuverable type of ship, with all the advantages of the great ship. The opposing British and Spanish fleets of the 1588 Spanish Armada were both largely composed of galleons. A Spanish galleon. ... For the modern navy of Spain, see Armada Española. ...


With the growing importance of colonies and exploration and the need to maintain trade routes across stormy oceans, galleys and galleasses (a larger, higher type of galley with side-mounted guns, but lower than a galleon) were used less and less, and by about 1750 had little impact upon naval battles. By the 1710s every major naval power was building ships like these. A French galley and Dutch men-of-war off a port by Abraham Willaerts, painted 17th century. ...


Large sailing junks of the Chinese Empire, described by various travelers to the East such as Marco Polo and Niccolò Da Conti, and used during the travels of Admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century, were contemporaries of such European vessels, but China never developed them into such advanced fighting ships, and when European interests overtook China the remnants of these sailing junk fleets were vastly outclassed. The Junk is a Chinese sailing vessel. ... China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ... Marco Polo (September 15, 1254 – January 8, 1324) was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione (The Million or The Travels of Marco Polo). ... Niccolò Da Conti (also Nicolò de Conti) (1395–1469) was a Venetian merchant and explorer, born in Chioggia, who traveled to India and Southeast Asia during the early 15th century. ... A modern illustration of Zheng He, by an unidentified artist. ...


Adoption of the line-of-battle

In the early to mid 17th century, new fighting techniques came to be used by several navies, in particular those of England and the Netherlands. Previously battles had usually been fought by great fleets of ships closing with each other and fighting it out in whatever arrangement they found themselves, often using boarding. However, the further development of guns and the adoption of broadside arrangements of guns required a change of tactics. With the broadside the decisive weapon, tactics evolved to ensure as many ships could fire broadside as possible. The line-of-battle tactic required ships to form long single-file lines, and close with the enemy fleet on the same tack, battering the other fleet until one side had had enough and retreated. Any maneouvres would be carried out with the ships remaining in line for mutual protection. Ships considered powerful enough to take a place in the line were known as ships-of-the-line or line-of-battle-ships. Ships too small for the line were stationed out of range of the enemy's guns, to act as scouts and to relay signals between the flagship and the rest of the fleet since, from the flagship, only a small part of the line would be in clear sight. USS Iowa Broadside (1984) A broadside is the side of a ship; the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their simultaneous (or near simultaneous) fire in naval warfare. ... British and Danish ships in line of battle at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801). ... A flagship is the ship used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships. ...


The adoption of line of battle tactics had consequences for ship design. The height advantage given by the castles fore and aft was reduced, now that hand-to-hand combat was less essential. The need to maneuver in battle made the top-weight of the castles more of a disadvantage. So they shrank, making the ship-of-the-line lighter and more maneuverable than its forebears for the same combat power. As an added consequence, the hull itself grew larger, allowing the size and number of guns to increase as well.


Evolution of design in the 17th and 18th centuries

Mahmudiye (1829), ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and built by the Imperial Naval Arsenal on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, was for many years the largest warship in the world. The 62x17x7m ship-of-the-line was armed with 128 cannons on 3 decks. She participated in many important naval battles, including the Siege of Sevastopol (1854-1855) during the Crimean War (1854-1856). She was decommissioned in 1875.

In the 17th century fleets could consist of almost a hundred ships of various sizes, but by the mid 18th century, ship-of-the-line design had settled on a few standard types: older two-deckers (i.e. with two complete decks of guns firing through side ports) of 50 guns (which were too weak for the battle-line but could be used to escort convoys), two-deckers of between 64 and 90 guns which formed the main part of the fleet, and larger three- or even four-deckers with 98 – 140 guns which were used as admirals' command ships. Fleets consisting of perhaps 10 – 25 of these ships, with their attendant supply ships and scouting and messenger frigates kept control of the sea-lanes for major European naval powers whilst restricting sea-borne trade of enemies. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... “Ottoman” redirects here. ... The stylized signature of Mahmud II was written in an expressive calligraphy. ... View of Golden Horn from Eyup Sultan Cemetery The Golden Horn (in Turkish Haliç, in Greek Khrysokeras or Chrysoceras or Χρυσοκερας) is an estuary dividing the city of Istanbul. ... Istanbul (Turkish: , Greek: , historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see other names) is Turkeys most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. ... Combatants Second French Empire, United Kingdom Russian Empire Commanders General François Canrobert (later replaced by General Pélissier) Lord Raglen Admiral Kornilov (later replaced by Admiral Pavel Nakhimov) Lt. ... Combatants Allies: Second French Empire British Empire Ottoman Empire Kingdom of Sardinia Russian Empire Bulgarian volunteers Casualties 90,000 French 35,000 Turkish 17,500 British 2,194 Sardinian killed, wounded and died of disease ~134,000 killed, wounded and died of disease The Crimean War (1853–1856) was fought... A rare occurance of a 5-country multinational fleet, during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Oman Sea. ... A two-decker is a sail warship which carried her guns on two fully-armed decks. ... A convoy is a group of vehicles traveling together for mutual support. ... Triple decker apartment house in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts A triple-decker or three-decker is a three-family apartment building, usually of frame construction, in which all three apartment units are stacked on top of one another. ...


The most common size of sail battleship was the "74" (so named for having 74 guns), originally developed by France in the 1730s, and later adopted by all battleship navies. Until this time the British had 6 sizes of battleship, and they found that their smaller 50- and 60-gun ships were becoming too small for the battle-line, while their 80s and over were 3-deckers and therefore unwieldy and unstable in heavy seas. Their best were 70-gun 2-deckers of about 150ft long on the gundeck, while the new French 74s were around 170ft, and after Britain captured a few of these French ships in the War of Austrian Succession in the 1740s, Britain's new naval designers from 1755, the joint Surveyors Thomas Slade and William Bately, was able to break away from the past and design several classes of 168ft-170ft 74s, starting with the Dublin and Bellona classes, while their successors gradually improved handling and size through the 1780s. Other navies ended up building 74s also as they had the right balance between offensive power, cost, and manoeuverability. Eventually around half of Britain's ships of the line were 74s. Larger vessels were still built, as command ships, but they were more useful only if they could definitely get close to an enemy, rather than in a battle involving chasing or manoeuvering. The 74 remained the favoured ship until 1811, when Seppings's method of construction enabled bigger ships to be built with more stability. The Redoutable being fired upon by the Temeraire at Trafalgar, on the 21th of October 1805, after having fought for more than two hours against Nelsons Victory The Seventy-four was a two-decked sailing ship of the line nominally carrying 74 guns. ... The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). ... Sir Thomas Slade was an English naval architect, most famous for designing the HMS Victory, Lord Nelsons flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. ... Sir Robert Seppings (1767 - September 25, 1840) was an English naval architect. ...

The French Valmy (1847), the largest ship-of-the-line ever built
The French Valmy (1847), the largest ship-of-the-line ever built

In a few ships the design was altered long after the ship was launched and in service. In the Royal Navy smaller two-deck 74 or 64 gun ships-of-the-line which could not be used safely in fleet actions had their upper decks removed (or razed), resulting in a very-stout, single gun-deck warship which was called a razee. The resulting razeed ship could be classed as a frigate and was still much stronger. The most successful razeed ship in the Royal Navy was HMS Indefatigable which was commanded by Sir Edward Pellew. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x625, 105 KB) visite de lImpératrice Eugénie à bord du Borda (ex-Valmy) le 26 juillet 1867 Auguste Mayer (1805-1890) File links The following pages link to this file: French ship Valmy ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x625, 105 KB) visite de lImpératrice Eugénie à bord du Borda (ex-Valmy) le 26 juillet 1867 Auguste Mayer (1805-1890) File links The following pages link to this file: French ship Valmy ... The Valmy, named after the Battle of Valmy, was the largest and last of the three-deckers of the French Navy ever constructed. ... A razee is a sailing ship that has been cut down (razeed) to one with fewer decks. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... HMS Indefatigable was originally built as a 64-gun two-decked ship of the line for the British Royal Navy. ... Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth (April 9, 1757 – January 23, 1833) was a British naval officer. ...

Weight growth of RN first rate ships of the line 1630-1861, including for comparison the large early ironclads. Note the way steam allowed an increase in the rate of growth.

The largest sailing three-decker battleship ever built was the French Valmy, launched in 1847. She had right sides, which increased significantly the space available for upper batteries, but pejorated the stability of the ship; wooden stabilizers were added under the waterline to address the issue. Valmy was thought to be the largest sort of sailing ship possible, as larger dimensions made the maneuver of riggings impractical with mere manpower. She participated to the Crimean War, and after her return to France later housed the French Naval Academy under the name Borda from 1864 to 1890. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Valmy, named after the Battle of Valmy, was the largest and last of the three-deckers of the French Navy ever constructed. ... The École Navale is the French Navy Academy in charge of the education of the officers of the French Navy. ...


Combat with ships of the line

Although Spain, the Netherlands and France built huge fleets, and in France's case with better ships, they were rarely able to match the skill of British naval crews. British crews excelled, in part, because they spent much more time at sea, were generally better fed, were well trained in gunnery (allowing a faster rate of fire), and were generally more competent as the Royal Navy based promotion much more on merit rather than purchase. Traditionally neglecting the British Army, which, historically, has usually been smaller than the armies of comparably prominent continental countries, Britain devoted more resources to her prized navy. This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ...


In the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean the fleets of Great Britain, The Netherlands, France and Spain fought numerous battles in support of their land armies, and to deny the enemy access to trade routes. In the Baltic Sea, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia did likewise, while in the Mediterranean Sea Russia, Ottoman Turkey, Venice, Portugal, Britain and France battled for its control. The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the coasts of Norway and Denmark in the east, the coast of the British Isles in the west, and the German, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts in the south. ... For other uses, see Atlantic (disambiguation) The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one-fifth of its surface. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ... Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ... “Ottoman” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ...


During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain defeated Europe's major naval powers at battles such as at Copenhagen, Cape St. Vincent, Aboukir ("The Nile") and Trafalgar, allowing the Royal Navy to establish itself as the world's primary naval power. Spain, Denmark and Portugal largely stopped building battleships during this time under duress from the British. Britain emerged from the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 with the largest and most professional navy in the world, composed of hundreds of wooden, sail-powered ships of all sizes and classes. The Royal Navy had complete naval supremacy across the world following the Napoleonic Wars, and demonstrated this superiority during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Combatants Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Sicily  Spain[3]  Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Holland Italy Naples [5] Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[6] Saxony[7] Denmark-Norway [8] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack von Leiberich João Francisco de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun Gebhard von... The Battle of Copenhagen The Battle of Copenhagen (Danish: Slaget på Reden) was a naval battle fought on 2 April 1801 by a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, against a Danish fleet anchored just off Copenhagen. ... Four naval battles have taken place near Cape St. ... The Battle of Abukir or Aboukir refers to three battles fought near Egypt: For the naval battle fought in 1798, sometimes known as Battle of Aboukir Bay, see Battle of the Nile. ... Combatants United Kingdom First French Empire Kingdom of Spain Commanders Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson † Pierre Charles Silvestre de Villeneuve Strength 27 ships of the line and 6 others. ... Combatants Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Sicily  Spain[3]  Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Holland Italy Naples [5] Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[6] Saxony[7] Denmark-Norway [8] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack von Leiberich João Francisco de Saldanha Oliveira e Daun Gebhard von... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Combatants Allies: Second French Empire British Empire Ottoman Empire Kingdom of Sardinia Russian Empire Bulgarian volunteers Casualties 90,000 French 35,000 Turkish 17,500 British 2,194 Sardinian killed, wounded and died of disease ~134,000 killed, wounded and died of disease The Crimean War (1853–1856) was fought...


Nonetheless, the Napoleonic Wars, as well as the American War of 1812 had illustrated the shortcomings of ships-of-the-line when an enemy resorted to tactics including the large scale use of privateers. Both the French and the Americans had demonstrated what a menace small, lightly-armed, but fast, nimble, and, most-especially, numerous vessels like sloops and schooners could be when they spread across the wide oceans, operating singly or in small groups. Targeting the merchant shipping that was Britain's economic lifeblood, ships-of-the-line were too few, too slow, and too clumsy to be employed against them. Overwhelming firepower was of no use if it could not be brought to bear (the Royal Navy's initial response to Napoleon's privateers, which operated from French New World territories, was to buy Bermuda sloops). Similarly the East India Company's merchant vessels became lightly armed and quite competent in combat during this period, operating a convoy system under an armed merchantman. This article is about the U.S. – U.K. war. ... A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a countrys government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping. ... A sloop-rigged J-24 sailboat A sloop (From Dutch sloep) in sailing, is a vessel with a fore-and-aft rig. ... Two-masted fishing schooner A schooner is a type of sailing ship characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. ... Frontispiece of Peter Martyr dAnghieras De orbe novo (On the New World). Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, 1722. ... 1831 painting of a three-masted Bermuda sloop of the Royal Navy, entering a West Indies port. ... The British East India Company, sometimes referred to as John Company, was the first joint-stock company (the Dutch East India Company was the first to issue public stock). ...


Steam power

The first major change to the ship-of-the-line concept was the introduction of steam power as an auxiliary propulsion system. The first military uses of steamships came in the 1810s, and in the 1820s a number of navies experimented with paddle steamer warships. Their use spread in the 1830s, with paddle-steamer warships participating in conflicts like the First Opium War alongside ships-of-the-line and frigates.[1] A paddle steamer, paddleboat, or paddlewheeler is a ship or boat propelled by one or more paddle wheels driven by a steam engine. ... Combatants Qing China British East India Company Commanders Daoguang Emperor Charles Elliot, Anthony Blaxland Stransham The First Opium War or the First Anglo-Chinese War was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Empire in China from 1839 to 1842 with the aim of forcing China to import British...


Paddle steamers, however, had major disadvantages. The paddle-wheel above the waterline was exposed to enemy fire, while itself preventing the ship for firing broadside effectively. During the 1840s, the screw propeller emerged as the most likely method of steam propulsion, with both Britain and the USA launching screw-propelled warships in 1843. Through the 1840s, the British and French navies launched increasingly larger and more powerful screw ships, alongside sail-powered ships of the line. In 1845, Viscount Palmerston gave an indication of the role of the new steamships in tense Anglo-French relations, describing the English Channel as a "steam bridge", rather than a barrier to French invasion. It was partly because of the fear of war with France that the Royal Navy converted several old 74-gun ships-of-the-line into 60-gun steam-powered defensive harbour batteries, called blockships, starting in 1845.[2] Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC (20 October 1784 – 18 October 1865) was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century. ... A blockship is a ship deliberately sunk to prevent a river, channel, or canal from being used. ...

Le Napoléon (1850), the first steam battleship
Le Napoléon (1850), the first steam battleship

The French Navy, however, developed the first purpose-built steam battleship, with the 90-gun Le Napoléon in 1850.[3] She is also considered the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever.[4] Napoleon was armed as a conventional ship-of-the-line, but her steam engines could give her a speed of 12 knots, regardless of the wind conditions: a potentially decisive advantage in a naval engagement. Image File history File linksMetadata Napoleon(1850). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Napoleon(1850). ... Le Napoléon was a battleship of the French Navy, and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world [1]. She is also considered as the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever [2]. Launched in 1850, she was the lead ship of a class of... The French Navy, officially called the National Navy (French: Marine Nationale) is the maritime arm of the French military. ... Le Napoléon was a battleship of the French Navy, and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world [1]. She is also considered as the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever [2]. Launched in 1850, she was the lead ship of a class of...


Eight sister-ships to Le Napoléon were built in France over a period of ten years, as the United Kingdom soon managed to take the lead in production, in number of both purpose-built and converted units. Altogether, France built 10 new wooden steam battleships and converted 28 from older battleship units, while the United Kingdom built 18 and converted 41.[5]


In the end, France and Britain were the only two countries to develop fleets of wooden steam screw battleships, although several other navies made some use of a mixture of screw battleships and paddle-steamer frigates. These included Russia, Turkey, Sweden, Naples, Prussia, Denmark and Austria.[6] For other uses, see Naples (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Prussia (disambiguation). ...


Decline

The Fighting Temeraire, hero of Trafalgar, ignominiously towed to the breakers by a little steamship.
The Fighting Temeraire, hero of Trafalgar, ignominiously towed to the breakers by a little steamship.

During the mid 19th-century the ship-of-the-line was made obsolete by the ironclad warship, a vessel armoured in iron plate and propelled by the steam engine which enabled it to better choose its placement in battle. New guns would simultaneously appear as well, and be carried by both wooden and ironclad ships, but the obsolescence of the ship-of-the-line, indeed of all wooden warships, was not fully realized until March 8, 1862 during the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, when two powerful wooden warships were sunk and destroyed outright by the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. However, the power implied by the ship-of-the-line would find its way into the ironclad, which would develop during the next few decades into the concept of the modern battleship. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x742, 509 KB) The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken by J. M. W. Turner, 1838, Watercolour, 91 x 122 cm. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x742, 509 KB) The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken by J. M. W. Turner, 1838, Watercolour, 91 x 122 cm. ... J.M.W. Turner. ... Ironclad (and broadside ironclad) redirects here. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John L. Worden Franklin Buchanan Catesby R. Jones Strength 1 ironclad, 3 wooden warships 1 ironclad, 2 wooden warships, 1 gunboat, 2 tenders Casualties 2 wooden warships sunk, 1 wooden warship damaged 261 killed 108 wounded 1 ironclad damaged 7...


Today

The only original ship-of-the-line remaining today is HMS Victory, preserved as a museum just as she was while under Admiral Horatio Nelson at Trafalgar. Although Victory is in drydock, she is still a fully-commissioned warship in the Royal Navy, and has the honour of being the oldest commissioned warship in any navy world-wide. HMS Victory is a 104-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built between 1759 and 1765. ... Lord Nelson Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (September 29, 1758 – October 21, 1805) was a British admiral who won fame as a leading naval commander. ...


The Regalskeppet Vasa sank in the Baltic in 1628 and was lost until 1956. She was then raised intact, in remarkably good condition in 1961, and is presently on display at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. At the time she was the largest Swedish warship ever built. Today the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Sweden. Regalskeppet Vasa (also Wasa) is a Swedish 64-gun ship of the line built for King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden of the House of Vasa, between 1626 and 1628. ... The Vasa Museum (Vasa Museet), located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden, is a maritime museum that displays the worlds only surviving 17th century ship, HMS Wasa. ... Stockholm [, ] is the capital and the largest City of Sweden. ...


The remains of the Mary Rose were raised in 1982 and are on display in Portsmouth, England. Although Mary Rose consists of only half of a ship, it is a remarkable example of ship construction from Tudor England, and like Vasa, it contained a wealth of artifacts which told of the daily lives of those onboard. Mary Rose depicted on the Anthony Roll, a survey of Henry VIIIs navy, completed in 1546 The Mary Rose was an English Tudor warship of the carrack type and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons. ...


Also on display in Portsmouth is a sail and steam powered ship HMS Warrior, built in 1860. Warrior was the world’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship powered by steam as well as sail and constructed of wrought iron. The only surviving member of Queen Victoria's Black Battle Fleet, Warrior was used for 50 years as an oil jetty at Milford Haven before being restored to her former glory.


In 1997 a project to rebuild a famous French frigate was able to lay the keel in a dry dock in Rochefort. The frigate "L'Hermione" was the ship that carried La Fayette to the US during the American revolutionary war. The original l'Hermione was sunk in 1793 off the French coast and her wreck was rediscovered in 1992. Fortunately the British had captured her sister ship in the Napoleonic wars and had recorded her construction in great detail which was then available for the reconstruction. The replica is faithful in almost every way to the original. The ship is 56 metres long and carries 26 x 12 pounder armament. She is planned for launch in Summer 2008. The project site is in French but contains many very interesting photos of her construction, a site for the book to accompany her build and launch (in English) gives some summary details.


In fiction

The novels of Patrick O'Brian, C.S. Forester, Alexander Kent and Douglas Reeman, set during the age of sail, deal extensively with ships of the line. Patrick OBrian (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000; born as Richard Patrick Russ) was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centered on the friendship of Captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish... Cecil Scott Forester is the pen name of Cecil Smith (August 27, 1899 - April 2, 1966), an English novelist whose rose to fame with tales of adventure with military themes, notably the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series (being filmed with Ioan Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower) about naval warfare during the... Douglas Edward Reeman (born 15 October 1924, Thames Ditton) is a British author who has written many historical fiction books on the Royal Navy, many set during World War II or during the Napoleonic Wars. ...


In science fiction, the term is sometimes extended to space vessels, as in Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Gene Roddenberry's TV series Andromeda. In David Weber's Honorverse, the concept of the ship of the line is extended into three dimensions as the ship of the wall, a spaceship designed to fight in a series of lines stacked on top of each other to form a plane or "wall". Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American Jewish author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... Hari Seldons holographic image, pictured on a paperback edition of Foundation, appears at various times in the First Foundations history, to guide it through the social and economic crises that befall it. ... Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda is an American science fiction television series, based on unused material by Gene Roddenberry developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and produced posthumously by his widow, Majel Roddenberry. ... Honor Harrington from Honor Among Enemies cover, by David Mattingly. ... Map of the Honorverse. ... This article is about the different types of spacecraft which appear in the Honorverse, a series of military science-fiction novels written by American author David Weber, which feature Honor Harrington as its main character. ...


See also

Naval tactics in the Age of Sail were used from the early 1600s when sailing ships replaced oared galleys to the 1860s when steam-powered ironclad warships rendered sailing line of battle ships obsolete. ... This is a list of Dutch (Republic of the United Netherlands) sail battleships: Armament could vary over time. ... Regalskeppet Vasa (also Wasa) is a Swedish 64-gun ship of the line built for King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden of the House of Vasa, between 1626 and 1628. ... A man of war (also man-of-war, man-o-war or simply man) is an armed naval vessel. ...

References

  1. ^ Sondhaus, L. Naval Warfare, 1815-1914
  2. ^ Sondhaus, L. Naval Warfare, 1815-1914
  3. ^ "Napoleon (90 guns), the first purpose-designed screw line of battleships", Steam, Steel and Shellfire, Conway's History of the Ship (p39)
  4. ^ "Hastened to completion Le Napoleon was launched on 16 May 1850, to become the world's first true steam battleship", Steam, Steel and Shellfire, Conway's History of the Ship (p39)
  5. ^ Steam, Steel and Shellfire, Conway's History of the Ship (p.41)
  6. ^ Sondhaus, L. Naval Warfare, 1815-1914
  • Lavery, Brian. The Ship of the Line, Volume 1: The Development of the Battlefleet, 1650–1850. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1983. ISBN 0870216317.
  • Lavery, Brian. The Ship of the Line, Volume 2: Design, Construction and Fittings. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1984. ISBN 0870219537.
  • Winfield, Rif. The 50-Gun Ship. London: Caxton Editions, 1997. ISBN 1840673656, ISBN 1861760256.

External links

  • Ship of the Line from battleships-cruisers.co.uk - History of the Ship of the Line of the Royal Navy
  • Reconstruction of Ship of the Line 'Delft' (1783 - 1797) - Rotterdam (Delfshaven) The Netherlands

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ship of the line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (403 words)
Ships of the line were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-rated ships in the rating system of the Royal Navy.
In the age of sail, after the development of the line of battle tactic in the mid 17th century, and up to the mid 19th century, a ship of the line (of battle) was a warship powerful enough to take a place in the battle line.
Ship of the Line from battleships-cruisers.co.uk - History of the Ship of the Line of the Royal Navy from the galleons of 1650 to the First Rate 120 gun Ship of the Line of 1845, including Caledonia Class, Queen Charlotte, Trafalgar, Victory, Leviathan, Royal Sovereign, Vengeur and Black Prince Class.
Ship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2605 words)
One can measure ships in terms of overall length, length of the waterline, beam (breadth), depth (distance between the crown of the weather deck and the top of the keelson), draft (distance between the highest waterline and the bottom of the ship) and tonnage.
Until the application of the steam engine to ships in the early 19th century, oars propelled galleys or the wind propelled sailing ships.
Ship of the line A sailing warship of first, second or third rate.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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