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T1, R1, Prng 9: Byzantine Dromon vs Cham & Khmer War Canoes

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  • T1, R1, Prng 9: Byzantine Dromon vs Cham & Khmer War Canoes

    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.





    16. Byzantine Dromon, 7th-9th Centuries


    The Byzantine ships shown here are those of the Byzantine Empire, also sometimes referred to as the "Eastern Roman Empire".
    (It was a continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, following the fall of the "main" or Western Roman Empire in the late 5th Century AD.)
    The Byzantine capital was Constantinople (today's Istanbul); originally founded as Byzantium, a Greek colony; around 657BC.
    The Byzantine Empire lasted until it eventually fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
    For most of its existence, it was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in the region.

    The illustration below shows an early, medium-to-large sized Byzantine Dromon, of a bireme type but with a single mast and one large lateen sail.
    It has a "crows nest" atop the mast and a small fighting platform in the bow behind the stem post.
    The pointed spur sat just above the waterline and was designed to help the galley ride up and over the oars of an opposing ship.





    The next picture shows how the "Greek Fire" weapon is believed to have worked.
    The possession of this weapon was a significant advantage to the Byzantines for most of this period; being a carefully guarded secret.
    Eventually as inevitably happens, the Arabs did get their hands on it but not until about the mid 9th Century.

    Key:
    1. Sealed tank containing incendiary liquid.
    2. Brazier for heating the liquid.
    3. Bellows (for boosting brazier heat output).
    4. Two-handed pump, for pressurization of the heated liquid.
    5. Release valve.
    6. Hand-bar for aiming/adjusting direction of fire.
    7. Wick lamp (to ignite liquid upon release).
    8. Siphon nozzle.




    This drawing shows a later and (again) larger Byzantine Dromon from around the late 9th Century.







    19. Cham & Khmer War Canoes, 10th - 13th Centuries


    The Chams are one of the peoples inhabiting an area that includes much of present-day Vietnam. The Khmers are from the general region of present-day Cambodia.
    The Chams and Khmers have a long history of conflict against each other, going back to medieval times at least.
    During the period above and for some time afterwards, the main "weapon of decision" on the many inland waterways was the war canoe, which both sides used.
    These war canoes were also sometimes employed in river estuaries and coastal waters close to land, when conditions permitted, if the situation demanded.
    Much of the information we have today comes from carved stone reliefs.
    These show that the canoes were not simply used to convey troops so they could fight on land. They were also frequently used for boat-to-boat battles.
    Grappling hooks could be employed to provide closer engagement and to prevent escape.

    Our first illustration is a drawing based on one of the reliefs and below it, we can see the original artwork.
    The examples provided here are Khmer but plenty of this kind of relief artwork also exists for the Chams.





    This carved relief and many others like it can be seen today, on the walls around or on some historic buildings, such as temples, in Cambodia.
    Similar reliefs exist to depict Vietnamese history also.





    In this picture, we see a Khmer war canoe (left) and its Cham adversary (right) commencing a close engagement.
    The date is 1181, during the revolt of Jayavarman VII.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayavarman_VII
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jayavarman-VII







    OK, my friends; consider carefully ...
    Which of these will you vote for?


    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).
    39
    16. Byzantine Dromon 7th - 11th Centuries AD
    94.87%
    37
    19. Cham & Khmer War Canoes 10th - 13th Centuries AD
    5.13%
    2

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Aug 17, 03:39.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    Dromon is more advanced.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      For the particular riverine and estuarine environment in which the Cham & Khmer war canoes operated, they were probably ideal.
      However, the Byzantine Dromon was a much more potent and IMO more effective fighting vessel overall, with "more of everything".
      "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

      Comment

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