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T2, R1, Prng 32: American Brig & Sloop vs Barbary Xebec & Polacca

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  • #16
    Just finished reading a book regarding US (fledgeling) Navy vs. Barbary pirates. US brigs and sloops were able to fend off most attacks by xebecs/polacca merely by engaging at long range. US naval cannon had greater range and better handling than those of the Barbary states.
    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
      Just finished reading a book regarding US (fledgeling) Navy vs. Barbary pirates. US brigs and sloops were able to fend off most attacks by xebecs/polacca merely by engaging at long range. US naval cannon had greater range and better handling than those of the Barbary states.
      The RN and the USN had the advantage because
      • pirates tended to be biased towards boarding thus protecting the saleable value of the vessel and its crew that would be taken and sold into slavery
      • British and American captains would feel pangs in the wallet region when battering a potential prize. However given their prize rules (US ones were copied from the British) they couldn't flog off the surviving enemy crew to the highest bidder (although British ones might try and illegally impress some into RN service).
      • Xebecs needed a larger proportion of the crew for sail handling which left fewer for fighting the ship and again encouraged the adoption of boarding tactics
      • The USN and the RN trained their crews in gunnery rather than boarding
      There would be little if any difference in the range of naval cannon calibre for calibre
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #18
        Voted for the American ships. To my mind, these represent the beginning of what would become a truly great, globally potent maritime power. The Barbary pirates/corsairs, though enormously influential in their region, were by this stage beginning to decline.
        "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!)

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