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T2, R4, Prng 91: French Corvette & Brig vs French Frigate

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  • slick24
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Thanks John.

    The next intended warships campaign will cover the age of the ironclads. Essentially, from the mid 1800's through to the age of the Dreadnoughts in the early 1900's.
    A few members have indicated that they are really looking forward to that. It would, of course, cover the ironclads of the American Civil War among others.

    Thing is, the numbers participating in this current campaign have been barely enough to encourage me to make further efforts. Honestly, it is questionable.
    If there is not enough support from the membership, then far from gaining more historical campaigns and polls we could easily lose the few we are getting.

    When I began this current campaign, I kept within my head a minimum number of participants that would be enough to encourage me to continue with more in the future. We have just barely met that number.
    So I have to ask myself some serious questions about what else I could be doing in my life, with the time I put into these campaigns.
    Please understand that this is not meant in any way to be negative or trying to "prod" anyone. Of course, people should always be free to choose whether or not to participate in something. That is a given.

    It is simply an honest statement of my current feelings.

    OK, whinge session over!
    I'll get on with the job.
    I have enjoyed it. Thanks for your hard work

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Thanks John.

    The next intended warships campaign will cover the age of the ironclads. Essentially, from the mid 1800's through to the age of the Dreadnoughts in the early 1900's.
    A few members have indicated that they are really looking forward to that. It would, of course, cover the ironclads of the American Civil War among others.

    Thing is, the numbers participating in this current campaign have been barely enough to encourage me to make further efforts. Honestly, it is questionable.
    If there is not enough support from the membership, then far from gaining more historical campaigns and polls we could easily lose the few we are getting.

    When I began this current campaign, I kept within my head a minimum number of participants that would be enough to encourage me to continue with more in the future. We have just barely met that number.
    So I have to ask myself some serious questions about what else I could be doing in my life, with the time I put into these campaigns.
    Please understand that this is not meant in any way to be negative or trying to "prod" anyone. Of course, people should always be free to choose whether or not to participate in something. That is a given.

    It is simply an honest statement of my current feelings.

    OK, whinge session over!
    I'll get on with the job.

    Leave a comment:


  • Half Pint John
    replied
    Only concern is that we don't have enough of them. You know that I've been on of the big supporters of all the time an effort that you have given to make them succesful, interesting and a teacher of history. My highest compliment

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
    PAUL.............THANK YOU< THANK YOU THANK YOU for getting some history back in the Forum and getting us out of the endless cesspool created by some.
    My pleasure, John.
    Trying to keep the focus on past history, rather than current events (history in the making) is of course only one of my motives but I like to think it's a good one.
    CE are interesting and I participate occasionally but they rarely capture my interest in the same way.
    Still, each to their own, I guess.
    John, I would be both greatly pleased and honored if you would join us in these polls.

    PM me if you have any questions or concerns. It's not too late.

    Leave a comment:


  • Half Pint John
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post

    Well, here I have to strongly disagree. The US frigate were more than a match and I'm sure you know that the RN ordered their own frigates not to engage alone.
    John, that's not exactly what I meant. The French were leading the field in frigate design close to half a century before there were any American frigates at all.
    I agree that the later American heavy frigates were World-beaters; but much of what had been learned before was pioneered by the French. Essentially, the most significant advances in sailing frigate design were such that all subsequent successful frigate designs - including the American heavy frigates - were based upon them. That said, I'd agree that these later American heavies were the ultimate sailing frigates of all time (IMHO).
    Last edited by panther3485; 30 Nov 18, 06:43.

    Leave a comment:


  • Half Pint John
    replied
    PAUL.............THANK YOU< THANK YOU THANK YOU for getting some history back in the Forum and getting us out of the endless cesspool created by some.

    Leave a comment:


  • Half Pint John
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Agreed. I would add that the French led the field in frigate design during this period.
    I also regard the frigate as having greater overall usefulness for a global naval power such as France.
    Well, here I have to strongly disagree. The US frigate were more than a match and I'm sure you know that the RN ordered their own frigates not to engage alone.

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
    The frigate has an advantage in size, sea keeping, sail area, ordnance, length of service. The corvette/brig has an advantage in maneuverability, speed, shallow draft. I picked the frigate.
    Agreed. I would add that the French led the field in frigate design during this period.
    I also regard the frigate as having greater overall usefulness for a global naval power such as France.
    Last edited by panther3485; 30 Nov 18, 06:42.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jose50
    replied
    The frigate has an advantage in size, sea keeping, sail area, ordnance, length of service. The corvette/brig has an advantage in maneuverability, speed, shallow draft. I picked the frigate.

    Leave a comment:


  • T2, R4, Prng 91: French Corvette & Brig vs French Frigate

    11
    70 - French Corvette & Brig
    9.09%
    1
    71 - French Frigate
    90.91%
    10

    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.






    70: French Corvette and Brig 1701-1860



    The first known reference to "corvettes" is in the Marine Nationale (French Navy) during the 1670's. Sailing corvettes of this period were quite similar to sloops, being warships with a single deck of guns and smaller than a frigate. Corvettes usually had three masts; the larger ones being generally somewhat bigger and having a greater displacement than the largest sloops, with up to about 28 guns. Nevertheless, either way across the leading navies of this time, they shared the general position of the sloop in representing a warship being "next size down" from a frigate. As with the sloops, sailing corvettes were fast and agile warships that proved extremely useful and could fulfill a considerable variety of tasks.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvette

    Our first example is Bayonnaise, launched in 1793. Her displacement was about 580 tons. She was rated for 24 guns as her "nominal" main armament; beginning her career armed with 28 (24 x 8pdr & 4 x 4pdr).
    Later, this was changed to 24 x 8pdr, 2 x 32pdr carronades and the option for an additional 6 x 8pdr guns. With both arrangements, provision was also made for a number of swivel guns. Her complement varied from time to time but would usually not have been less than 220 officers and men.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French...onnaise_(1793)

    Her first major action was in the Croisiere du grand Hiver (Campaign of the Great Winter) in December 1794; an unsuccessful operation but for reasons that were no fault of Bayonnaise and her crew, who presumably did their duty.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croisi...du_Grand_Hiver


    Coppering of a Ship's Hull

    In 1795, Bayonnaise was kept in dock for a time to have her bottom "coppered"; a process that began to be favored in a number navies during this period. The British had been the first to introduce the method. It consisted of a coating of many small thin copper plates, being fixed to the portion of the hull below the waterline. The purpose was to inhibit salt-water corrosion and the growth and destructive effects of various forms of marine life that invariably attached themselves to the hulls of ships. Given sufficient time, these could not only gradually weaken a wooden hull (some creatures, notably a type of marine worm, could bore into the timber); but the encrustations of general marine growth would also gradually make the ship slower and slower in the water, due to the "drag" they created when the ship was under way.

    Recognition of this problem and efforts to deal with it were far from new. Prior to the advent of coppering, some navies - and a few going back to ancient times - experimented with other solutions such as an extra layer of outer planking (that could be removed and replaced); and covering with thin lead sheets. However, in particular the excessive weight of lead was a performance killer. Other solutions included regular in-dock maintenance cleaning - if and when the opportunity arose - combined with re-coatings of various inhibitive substances and paints.
    However, it was discovered that copper plating worked far better and for substantially longer. Not only did it effectively prevent creatures boring into the hull but also, it had a considerable inhibiting effect on most forms of life attaching themselves to the hull to begin with. Therefore, the build-up of encrustation in itself was much slower. Although coppering was unquestionably expensive, in the long run it not only saved maintenance costs but also helped to preserve performance in the water for much longer than previous treatments. As little as one or two extra knots could mean the difference between defeat and victory in a moving engagement and the advantage could sometimes be considerably more than that; depending on factors such as the state of one's opponent's hull.

    Of course, there is far more to all of this than the very cursory coverage I've given here. For those starting out as I recently did (i.e. knowing almost nothing) and looking for a bit more detail, the wiki article is one possible starting point:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_sheathing


    Bayonnaise's most famous action

    This French corvette became famous when she reluctantly engaged and captured the larger and much more heavily armed 32-gun British frigate Ambuscade, off the West coast of France near the Gironde estuary. The British frigate, commanded by Captain Henry Higgins, was commencing blockade duty at the time. Initially the French captain, Jean-Baptiste-Édmond Richer, felt that discretion was the best option and began to withdraw from the area. However, as soon as this became apparent Ambuscade gave chase and eventually came within cannon range.
    After an exchange of fire lasting almost an hour, Bayonnaise had gotten the worst of it and was looking as if she would go down. However, while Ambuscade was maneuvering to Bayonnaise's stern in order to rake her, one of the British ship's guns burst. In the ensuing confusion, Bayonnaise attempted to make good her escape. However, Ambuscade soon resumed the chase and caught Bayonnaise a second time. With the British ship drawing alongside to port, to resume the exchange of gunfire, Richer finally decided that a desperate situation called for desperate measures. He ordered his ship to "back sail" and to turn towards the British and ram them. Bayonnaise's bowsprit broke the British ship's mizzen and the two vessels became locked together. Both ships then fired their last broadside and prepared for close-quarter combat!
    Under fire of some of the smaller guns and the exchange of musketry, grapples were used to bring the two ships closer together and an intense exchange of fire and melee lasting about 30 minutes, ensued. The French managed to gain the upper hand and eventually, the only British officer left standing - William Beaumont Murray - surrendered his ship.
    Both ships had been severely damaged but of the two, the captured Ambuscade was the more seaworthy so she was used to tow Bayonnaise back to a French port. Both ships were repaired and Ambuscade became Embuscade in French service.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action..._December_1798


    French corvette Bayonnaise ramming British frigate Ambuscade, December 1798

    Corvette Bayonnaise 1793 vs Ambuscade Dec 1798.jpg



    My chosen example of a French brig is Cygne of the Abeille class, launched in 1806. She displaced about 350 tons and was armed with 16 guns; 14 x 24pdr carronades and 2 x 6pdr chasers, having a crew of 84.


    Model of brig Cygne 1806

    Brig-Corvette Cygne 1806 model.jpg



    Cygne had a short career with a few successful engagements, under the command of her captain Menouvrier Defresne. Her final battle was a "last stand" against a British squadron in the Caribbean, in December 1808. The action took place over a couple of days, with repeated attempts to capture Cygne being repulsed and some British prisoners being taken. A brief opportunity for Cygne to escape came to nothing when she ran aground. With the British ships closing in, Defresne ordered her to be abandoned and destroyed by fire.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_brig_Cygne_(1806)


    Painting illustrating a moment during the 1808 battle. Cygne is to the left, with assault boats from the British ships attempting to capture her intact.

    Brig-Corvette Cygne 1806 vs Brit ships 1808 by Mayer.jpg





    71: French Frigate 1701-1800



    As mentioned in Round 1, the French in the mid 1700's are regarded as having made a significant step forward in the development and refinement of the frigate concept. Indeed, from my own reading it seems quite reasonable to expand this: When it came to both the design and the construction of good quality warships, the French were leaders rather than followers during this general period.
    To give relevant parts of a quote from Dr James Pritchard, Associate Professor of History at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada:

    "Eighteenth-century naval officers thought that French warships were the finest in the World. Perceptive observers remarked on their attributes as early as the War of the Spanish Succession, when inferior French forces proved almost impossible to intercept. At the end of the century, French warships continued to display innovations that revealed their builders to be still in the forefront of naval ship design and construction. ... "
    " ... A recent scholar goes so far as to claim that French warships were not only the best on the seas then, but probably as good as any produced before the advent of steam. But the surest proof of the high quality of French ships lay in the British practice of sometimes converting prizes into flagships and designating particular vessels as models on drafts of English ships. ... "
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of...ish_Succession
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3105474...n_tab_contents

    Of course, as we very well know victory at sea depends on a great deal more than just the build quality or design refinements of one's warships. Nevertheless, I thought this a reasonable consideration to raise before we look at a couple of French frigates.


    The first of our two French examples is Hermione, a Concorde class frigate launched in 1779. Hermione was of substantial size, displacing about 1160 tons. She was rated to carry 32 guns and had a crew of 255 officers and men. Nevertheless, she was designated as a "light" frigate; presumably based on the size of her guns, which were 12-pounders. She became famous when she ferried General Lafayette to the United States in 1780, to support the Americans in their Revolutionary War.
    In June 1780, Hermione, under command of Lieutenant de Latouche, was involved in a fierce engagement against the 32-gun British frigate HMS Iris, commanded by James Hawker. The engagement was indecisive, with both captains claiming that the other's ship and crew had got the worst of it; both ships having suffered substantial damage. However, Hermione was repaired and continued to render good service for well over a decade after this engagement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_7_June_1780

    Hermione's career came to an end when she ran aground in September 1793.

    Construction of a sailing replica commenced in the late 1990's.


    Replica of the frigate Hermione 1779.
    Among her voyages was a goodwill trip to the USA in 2015.

    Frigate Hermione 1779 replica 1998 5.jpg



    Our second French example is Cleopatre, a Venus class frigate launched in 1781.
    Cleopatre displaced about 1,080 tons and, like Hermione, was rated to carry 32 guns. This began as 18 x 12pdr and 14 x 6pdr long guns.
    A couple of years later, the 12pdr guns were exchanged for 18pdr weapons.
    Finally by 1793, the fit was 36 guns comprising 26 x 12pdr and 10 x 6pdr.
    Cleopatre's crew was between 250 and 260.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French...C3%A2tre_(1781)

    Cleopatre fought well in a number of engagements, including naval support for the taking of Cuddalore in India, in 1782.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuddalore


    Cleopatre 1781

    Frigate Cleopatre 1781 36gun p20 duel52.jpg



    However, Cleopatre's hardest fight was her final one against the British frigate HMS Nymphe in June 1793, commanded by Captain Edward Pellew, near the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. After a short but exceptionally ferocious battle, during which both crews fought with remarkable courage and tenacity, the British mounted a determined assault and captured her. The French captain, Lieutenant de vasseau Mullon, had suffered mortal wounds during the battle.
    The British repaired Cleopatre and brought her into service as HMS Oiseau. She served her "new owners" quite well indeed for more than a decade after this.


    Artist's impression of the desperate situation aboard Cleopatre not long before her capture.

    Frigate Cleopatre quarterdeck view 1793 p56 duel52.jpg






    OK, so which of these French types is it going to be?
    The Corvettes & Brigs or the Frigates?


    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).
    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Nov 18, 08:08.

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