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T2, R2, Prng 78: French 2-Decker vs Venetian Galleon

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  • T2, R2, Prng 78: French 2-Decker 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.






    72: French 2-Decker 1701-1800



    "Two-decker" sailing warships in the age of sail are generally regarded as those having two full decks of guns and in many cases they also had at least a few more guns - usually smaller ones - on quarter-decks, poop decks and forecastles (where these structures existed).
    By the mid-to-late 1700's two-deckers of sufficient size and gunpower could still, if need be, function as ships of the line and be designated as such but the larger ones generally no higher than 3rd rate, more commonly 4th; and medium-sized vessels - if so employed - 5th or 6th rate. Otherwise, they were often used for roles and duties similar or equivalent to a frigate.

    The French, in common with many of the other navies of this period had already been using two-deckers for at least a century (give or take a bit). They were considerably cheaper to build and operate, as well as being more versatile and useful overall than a 3-deck ship of the line. Eventually, we do see 2-deckers - as a type - beginning to lose favour in some navies as heavy frigates with a single main deck came into service. (More on this elsewhere in these polls.)

    Our first example is one of the smaller French 2-deckers, Louis Le Grand, from the early 1700's. She was rated to carry 50 guns (nominal).
    This fine model is in the Musee de la Marine, in Paris, and is 1/12 scale. Apparently, it dates back to that century. If so, it has been kept in remarkably good condition but of course, is likely to have been restored or repaired a number of times. Still impressive, though. The model itself is said to have been used to assist in the training of naval officer students in Rochefort.


    Model of Louis Le Grand in Paris

    2dckr Louis le Grand 1701 50gun 1.jpg



    Louis le Grand model, closer view from bow.
    The intricacy of the rigging is very well shown here.

    2dckr Louis le Grand 1701 50gun 2.jpg



    Our final example in this pairing is Neptune, launched in early 1778. She displaced 1,500 tonnes and was designed for a nominal armament of 74 guns; putting her definitely at the large end of the range for a 2-decker. As with many warships of her time she could carry a few extra guns and 78 was her usual total. With that number, her armament was distributed as follows:
    • Lower gundeck - 28 x 36pdr long guns
    • Upper gundeck - 30 x 24pdr long guns
    • Forecastle & quarterdeck - 16 x 8pdr long guns and 4 x 36pdr carronades
    Neptune got her career off to a good start almost immediately. In October 1778 under the command of Captain Latouche, she captured the 30-gun British privateer Hercules. In 1782, she was one of the ships in a squadron led by de Grasse at the Battle of the Saintes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Saintes

    The French lost the battle but the crew of Neptune had fought well enough, engaging both HMS Repulse and HMS Candia and surviving to fight in later battles. These included the Bataille du 13 prairial an 2 (better known as Glorious First of June) and Croisiere du Grand Hiver.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_First_of_June
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croisi...du_Grand_Hiver

    When Neptune's end came, it was by accident. She ran aground and was destroyed in December 1794, with the loss of 50 of her crew.


    Model of Neptune 1778

    2dckr Neptune 1778 74 guns.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







    Which of these candidates most deserves to make Round 3?
    The French 1700's 2-decker or the Venetian 1600's galleon?


    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).
    15
    72 - French 2-Decker
    86.67%
    13
    95 - Venetian Galleon
    13.33%
    2
    Last edited by panther3485; 21 Oct 18, 11:08.
    "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
    Well, other than the facts that the Venetian galleon was outgunned, outmanned, slower and of a vastly older design than the French 2 decker, the Venetians probably had fancier uniforms...
    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
      Well, other than the facts that the Venetian galleon was outgunned, outmanned, slower and of a vastly older design than the French 2 decker, the Venetians probably had fancier uniforms...
      Fair comment, they come from different periods of warship development.
      In a match like this, I try not to look too much at the relative technical attributes; instead preferring to consider which was most important in its particular time.
      This is one of the reasons I give near complete leeway for members to decide on the criteria they think best in each case.
      In a tournament covering two and a half centuries of relatively rapid development, it was a foregone conclusion that we would end up with at least a few pairings where there is disparity either of type or of period.
      "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


      • #4
        Even taking into account that these two types are from different eras and represent technical progress accordingly, I still think the French 2-decker was more important overall; especially in the global context.
        "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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