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T1, R1, Prng 1: Minoan Crete Galley vs Egyptian Galley

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  • warmoviebuff
    I'm going with the Egyptian. I teach that the Minoans were pacifists and I will stick with that shallow analysis.

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  • panther3485
    I went for the Minoans, based on the notion of them being among the foremost pioneers in adapting ships for war.

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  • Pruitt


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  • T1, R1, Prng 1: Minoan Crete Galley vs Egyptian Galley

    1. Minoan Crete Galley c 1450BC
    2. Egyptian Galley 1200-1150BC

    The poll is expired.

    In your opinion, which of these two warship types was most significant, influential and/or effective?
    Feel free to apply those criteria as you please, along with any others you think appropriate.
    Note: Suggestions for some additional criteria are at the foot of this post.

    According to the criteria as you see and apply them, please vote for your preferred candidate in the attached poll.
    If your chosen criteria are significantly different from those suggested, telling us what they are and why you used them would be helpful.

    1. Minoan Crete Galley, c 1450-1100BC

    The earliest warships or "fighting boats" were based on, or adapted from, regular ships/boats used for trade & commerce.
    This first one is a museum reconstruction of an early Minoan Crete vessel.
    Although many types of boats and ships of this period employed sail to good effect, the use of oars was very often a primary means of propulsion.
    This became particularly true for most ancient warships; especially when the wind was down; or the required direction of sailing was such that wind could not be effectively employed.
    Naturally, it would also apply when maneuvering & engaging in combat, prior to which the sail would usually be reefed (partially or mostly pulled in/up to reduce area) or furled (stowed).
    The vessel type shown here could be used for trade or, in a pinch when required, for combat & support.

    The drawing shown below illustrates an early Minoan Crete galley as per the title.
    It has 15 oars per side - total 30 oarsmen - which was a very commonly used "size" for this period particularly; but also for some time afterwards even when much larger warships became common.
    (As we work our way through the Ancient period, it will be seen that the number of oarsmen, and the way they were arranged, dictated ship size & layout to a great extent).
    In addition to the crew - who, once engaged at close quarters might also have to fight, a number of armed troops would normally be carried.
    The vessel shown here dates from before the time that "ramming" became a standardized method of attack; and as you can see, it has no ram as such.
    The paddle-like things at the back are for steering (sometimes referred to as "steering oars") and were manned by one or two "steersmen".
    At this early stage in ship development, proper rudders were some way off yet!

    This third picture shows a somewhat later, as well as larger and more highly developed Minoan fighting galley engaging a pirate vessel.

    2. Egyptian Galley, 1200-1150BC

    Our first drawing of an Egyptian Galley is based on artwork dating from the time of Ramses III.
    This vessel also has 30 oarsmen; common for that time although other sizes/arrangements were also in use.
    The gunwales (upper sides of the vessel) have screens for some protection from arrows etc.
    The bow has an extension ending in the figure of a lionesses head.
    It is considerably higher than rams commonly used later in the Ancient period, which typically sat on or just below the waterline.
    However, it might have been used to cave in the upper side of an enemy vessel and even as a short "platform" to assist in boarding.
    Grapples could also be employed to draw an enemy ship closer, for boarding and assault.

    Another Egyptian galley from the same general period.
    In this case, the bow extension is somewhat lower and perhaps a little more effective if used as a ram.

    I do like this illustration of an Egyptian galley (in the foreground; physically similar to the first type shown above).
    It is engaging a Sea Peoples' warship at close range; well within the throw of a spear.
    The action would normally be decided even closer than this; when the crew of one ship would board and assault the other.
    Engagement from greater distances could of course commence with archery and, later in the ancient period, with more sophisticated projectile weapons.
    Notice that both vessels have prepared themselves by having their sails reefed, so as not to become a liability in close combat.

    Well then, my friends ... what say you?
    Which of these deserves your vote?

    Suggested additional criteria you might wish to consider, along with any others you deem appropriate.
    (Note: Some of these could be considered already covered by Significant, Influential and Effective)

    Which warship type ...
    • was the best?
    • was the greatest?
    • was the most widely used?
    • had the greatest longevity in service?
    • was the most versatile?
    • represented the best value for the cost/effort invested ("bang for the buck" in today's language)?
    • was the easiest to operate?

    Any other criteria you have applied (please tell us what they were).
    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Aug 17, 02:45.

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