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T2, R2, Prng 65: American Armed Schooner vs Swedish Hemmema, Turuma & Udema

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  • panther3485
    Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
    The American armed schooner, even the smaller-sized HANNAH would probably be able to sail rings around any one of the more delicate looking Swedish boats, Given the fact that the American "schooner-brig" rig morphed eventually into the topsail schooner, the most renowned being the famed "Baltimore clippers" of the 1830s the armed schooner could weather a heavier sea better than the low-freeboard Swedish craft.
    Inclined to agree. Also, I would consider the American vessels to have become more important overall, by the early 1800's.

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  • Jose50
    The American armed schooner, even the smaller-sized HANNAH would probably be able to sail rings around any one of the more delicate looking Swedish boats, Given the fact that the American "schooner-brig" rig morphed eventually into the topsail schooner, the most renowned being the famed "Baltimore clippers" of the 1830s the armed schooner could weather a heavier sea better than the low-freeboard Swedish craft.

    Leave a comment:

  • T2, R2, Prng 65: American Armed Schooner vs Swedish Hemmema, Turuma & Udema

    36 - American Armed Schooner
    92 - Swedish Hemmema, Turuma & Udema

    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.

    36: American Armed Schooner 1775-1815

    A schooner is a sailing vessel with two or more masts and its sails rigged fore-and-aft, rather than being square-rigged ("sideways"). However, larger schooners with multiple sails on each mast sometimes had square-rigged sails above the main (lower) fore-and-aft sails. These could be referred to as "square topsail schooners". Here for more information:

    As with most other types of sailing ship, schooners - even small ones - could be and at times were used for warfare. Our first example is Hannah, hired into service of the Continental Army at the beginning of September in 1775. In her short career, Hannah did not achieve a great deal but her main significance is that she was the first armed American naval vessel of the Revolutionary War. As such, she has been claimed to be (in spirit at least) the founding vessel of what was to become the United States Navy.

    Hannah was indeed a small schooner, displacing a mere 78 tons and armed with 4 x 4pdr guns. Her commander, Nicholson Broughton, was ordered to (quote):
    "Cruise against such vessels as may be found ... bound inward and outward to and from Boston, in the service of the British army, and to take and seize all such vessels, laden with soldiers, arms, ammunition or provisions ... which you shall have good reason to suspect are in such service."
    In accordance with her orders, Hannah set sail from Beverley, Massachusetts early in the same month but within a couple of days, had to flee to the harbour in Gloucester to escape from two British warships on patrol in the area, one of which was the sloop HMS Lively.

    A couple of days later once this threat had cleared, she resumed her patrol and was soon able to capture HMS Unity, a British cargo ship.
    Hannah's brief active career ended in October 1775, during an action involving the British sloop Nautilus, near Beverley. There was a confrontation lasting about four hours, during which Nautilus mainly engaged American forces on the nearby shore. Hannah was not destroyed but she did run aground. Not long after this, she was decommissioned.

    Schooner Hannah 1775, evading British sloop HMS Lively (20 guns)

    Schooner Hannah 1775 evading HMS Lively 20guns Boston Bay Sep 5 1775.jpg

    Model of Hannah showing some details of the deck and the positioning of her four guns. She was very much at the smaller end of the size range for an armed schooner.

    Schooner Hannah 1775 model 1.jpg

    Our second subject is the American schooner-brig* Nautilus. (Not to be confused with the British sloop of the same name mentioned above. *The designation "schooner brig" arises from the fact that she started out as a schooner when launched in 1799 but was re-rigged as a brig in 1810. The name Nautilus had been applied at the time of her purchase by the Navy in May 1803.)

    Nautilus displaced 213 tons and initially carried 12 x 6pdr long guns.
    From 1811 this was upgraded to 12 x 18pdr carronades + 2 x 6pdr long guns.
    Her crew was 103 officers and enlisted men.
    Nautilus served in the First Barbary War, 1801-1805. She was involved in a number of engagements, among the most significant of which were:
    • Aug-Sep 1804, particpated in the siege of Tripoli, seeing action in five general attacks.
    • April 1805, participated in the attack, capture and occupation of Derna, Libya. She remained until the following month, providing cover for friendly forces there.
    Following her conversion to a brig in 1810, she was re-commissioned in 1811 and subsequently joined Stephen Decatur's squadron in the war of 1812 but was captured by the British in July of that year.

    Schooner-Brig Nautilus, near Gibraltar

    Schooner - Brig Nautilus 1803 Gibraltar in foreground served in first barbary war.jpeg

    92: Swedish Hemmema, Turuma & Udema 1701-1860

    The hemmema was a type of warship built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The basic design was conceived by the Swedish naval architect Fredrik Henrif af Chapman; a scientist, shipbuilder and officer in the Swedish Navy. He worked in collaboration with Augustin Ehrensvard, an artillery officer who would later become commander of the Swedish Archipelago Fleet. This design was specialized for use in the shallow and narrow waterways around the countless small islands between the Swedish capital, Stockholm, and the Gulf of Finland.
    During the second half of the 18th century, hemmemas began to supplement the galleys that made up the greater part of the Archipelago Fleet.

    Compared to galleys, hemmemas had a somewhat deeper draft and were slower under oars. However, they had a more effective sailing rig. They also provided superior crew accommodation, were able to carry more stores, were considerably more seaworthy and could accommodate substantially greater gun-power than an equivalent sized galley. Being three-masted and square-rigged, they bore a passing resemblance to a small frigate or perhaps a large corvette. Nevertheless, they were of sufficiently compact size to operate effectively within the confines of home waters, as mentioned above. The Russians captured three hemmemas in 1808. They were very impressed with them and followed by building a further six of their own over the following 15 years.

    The Swedish hemmema Styrbjorn, launched in 1790, is representative of the type. Her hull was 141ft long and 29ft wide. She carried 36pdr guns on her main deck and a small number of 12pdr guns at the rear of the upper deck.

    Model of Styrbjorn


    The turuma represented another Swedish attempt, to combine the best possible firepower with compact vessel size and the ability to maneuver well in confined and relatively shallow waters. In this case, the result was a quite unconventional re-design of the galley concept to optimize firepower. The first two examples were mainly developmental, with the third vessel - launched in 1771 and named Lodbrok - setting the general configuration for the type. Altogether, about 15 turumas were built. They had three masts and to start with, a fairly conventional lateen fore-and-aft sail plan; similar to most galleys. This was later changed to a square rig.
    Lodbrok's hull was 35m (about 126ft) long and 8m (26.5ft) wide, with a draft of 3.3m (11ft). Armament for this type was considerably greater than that of a regular galley, with one full lower deck of 22 - 24 12pdr guns firing through regular gun-ports. There was also provision for another row of lighter guns to be set on the upper deck, either side of the files of oarsmen. Further to this, in the conventional galley arrangement, were two 18pdr guns set to fire forward. This very substantial main armament was supplemented by varying numbers of swivel guns for close combat.
    There was provision for 19 files of oarsmen; the rowing benches being able to accommodate up to 4 rowers per side. It must have been highly desirable to have at least 3 men per oar, as the fulcrum was set relatively high from the water, meaning that leverage for effective rowing was quite poor. As a result, even with a full crew the maximum attainable rowing speeds were lower than most other oared vessels. This could be considered the least desirable attribute of turuma design and it effectively placed greater dependence on the sails and therefore on the availability of adequate winds. This would certainly have been a major disadvantage at times.

    A nice museum model of Lodbrok


    For our final Swedish example, we have the udema. This type represented another experimental re-arrangement of the conventional galley layout. The main armament was mounted along the length of the gun deck, down the center-line and in between the rows of oarsmen. As clever as this idea might have seemed at first, it proved to be impractical in combat and as a result, only three udemas were built, with some variation of features. The third one was Ingeborg. Her center-line armament consisted of 8 x 12pdr guns. She also had two 18pdr guns facing forward in the bow and two 6pdr chase guns at the stern. There was provision for the mounting of a number of swivel guns.
    The udemas, like their turuma sisters, started off with a conventional fore-and-aft galley sailing rig and were later converted to a square rig.

    Another nice model; Ingeborg, 1776


    OK folks, decision time:
    Is it going to be the American schooners or the Swedish trio?

    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).

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