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T2, R1, Prng 40: Swedish Galley & Pojama vs Venetian Galleon

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  • T2, R1, Prng 40: Swedish Galley & Pojama vs Venetian Galleon

    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.

    91: Swedish Galley & Pojama 1701-1860

    As noted above, galleys continued to be rather important in the Baltic region for some time after they had fallen out of favor with many other naval powers.
    The nature of Baltic waters has already received a brief mention above. To expand:

    Galleys could often be a near-perfect warship type for employment in these waters and having oars as a primary means of propulsion allowed them to function very well even with no wind at all.
    Also, they had a relatively shallow draft, even when compared with the Baltic equivalents of conventional sailing ship types.
    While galleys would usually struggle to successfully engage sailing warships in an open ocean environment, they really came into their own in many parts of the Baltic. Much of the coastlines in this region consists of large numbers of small islands and inlets, with relatively narrow and - typically - very shallow waters in between.

    Also, the Swedes, who already had a well developed navy, set up another fleet for their army; made up with galleys as their primary warship type.

    Although the Russians ultimately won the Great Northern war, it seems that the Swedes tended to be somewhat more innovative and forward-thinking regarding variations of galley design.
    They continued to experiment with a wide range of alternative design ideas throughout the 18th century; with mixed results.

    The first image shows a model of a conventional Swedish galley, dating from about 1715.
    In this case as we can see, it's a slightly smaller galley with two masts.
    As we would expect, all of the main armament is concentrated at the front of the vessel, to fire forward.
    Also although not readily apparent here, there would have been provision for at least a few secondary weapons; usually swivel guns.

    Galley 1715 1.jpg

    Next is this photo of a museum model, representing a galley named Sparre, launched in 1731.
    It offers a more clear view, not only of the set-up for the main armament but also the positions for swivel guns, with mountings to fire both from the front and the sides.
    These secondary guns were mainly used to kill enemy crews and/or to repel enemy boarding attempts when they got to close quarters.
    Sparre carries mountings to allow for up to six swivel guns per side (in between rowing ports) and five for the front, on a small superstructure over the top of the main guns.

    Galley Sparre 1731 1.jpg

    In this photo, we can clearly see models of two quite different galley variants but the one I want to talk about here is in the foreground.
    (The one behind it is VERY interesting but will be dealt with in another pairing. )
    Anyway, the foremost vessel is a Pojama, a galley sub-type developed by the Swedes in an attempt to provide better all-round firepower.
    These pojamas were not all exactly alike and certain variations in design and gun layout were tested. The one shown here was named Brynhilda and was launched in 1776.
    You will see that Brynhilda had heavy guns set up not only at the front, but also at the rear. In addition, she had smaller secondary cannon or slightly larger swivel guns set up to fire from the sides.
    The basic type seems to have been used with some (varied) success; but apparently, not enough to prompt large-scale production as only four were built.

    Pojama Brynhilda 1776 1.jpg

    95: Venetian Galleon 1601-1700

    During the early 1500's, the Venetians had developed an early type of galleon that was intended to be used in the fight against piracy. It was multi-decked and carried broadsides of guns on a gun deck. The concept was adopted and developed further by other European powers, and then later re-adopted by Venice for use as a general warship. Initial variants were "hybridized" with the provision for rowing, but this didn't last very long. By the early-to-mid 1600's the Venetians had adopted galleons as a substantial portion of their naval force; but also continued with galleys as these were still considered very useful in the Mediterranean area.

    Our first picture is part of a painting that depicts a stage in the naval battle of Focchies, 12 May 1649, fought between Venetian and Ottoman Turkish fleets in the Bay of Foja.
    Focchies (or Phocaea) is near Smyrna in western Turkey. This battle was part of the Ottoman-Venetian war over Crete; otherwise known as the Cretan War or War of Candia, 1645-1669.

    The Ottoman fleet of more than 90 vessels - mostly galleys or galleasses - was caught in its anchorage and defeated by a Venetian fleet of 19 ships, mostly galleons, commanded by Giacomo Riva.
    Nevertheless, despite this victory the Venetians were unable to prevent the Ottoman armada from eventually reaching Crete.

    Venetian galleon Madonna della Vigna 1649, 28 guns nominal, Bay of Foja 1649

    Galleon Madonna della Vigna 1649 Bay of Foja cropped.jpg

    Zoomed out view, showing most of the original painting and more of the action.

    Galleon Madonna della Vigna 1649 Bay of Foja 1.jpg

    Venetian galleon of 30 guns (nominal), under sail in the Mediterranean; probably around the mid/late 1600's.
    The painting is titled "Return from the Levant" and to my eye at least, it offers a very pleasing view of this general type so I couldn't resist including it.

    Return from the Levant - 30 gun vessel.jpg

    So, time to make a decision:
    Will your vote go to the Swedish galley variants or the Venetian galleons?

    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).
    Swedish Galley & Pojama 1701-1860
    Venetian Galleon 1601-1700
    Last edited by panther3485; 27 Aug 18, 10:42.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

  • #2
    Both Sweden and Venice were very influential naval powers in their respective regions. However, Venetian galleons represented the future of the warship more than Swedish galleys. So I voted for the Venetians; even though Venice - as a maritime power in its own right - would cease to exist considerably sooner.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.


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