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Author Topic: Canons for the Queen  (Read 1789 times)

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Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Canons for the Queen
« on: February 21, 2009, 03:54:06 PM »
Naval history is always interesting when you are a maritime nation.  Here is history being found, recreated, tested...  Elizabeth's navy was at least 50 years ahead of its rivals: http://www.bbc.co.uk/timewatch

I just watched this episode this evening.  Dangerous stuff, in more ways than one.

Offline Carl Heinz

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Re: Canons for the Queen
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 06:10:27 PM »
Unfortunately, I get a not available in your area message when attempting to play it.
Carl Heinz
Guild of St Cuthbert

Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: Canons for the Queen
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 05:09:57 AM »
Bums!  Sorry about that...

They dug the cannons out of the wreak just off Alderney, in some of the most dangerous diving waters in the world.  Unfortunately one man lost his life the week before this particular 3 day dive, and the program is dedicated to his memory.

These were the second and third canons brought up, and exactly match the first one.  They are marked with FW for Frances Walsingham: commissioned by him for the ship, a Pinnace sent in support of an expedition to Brittany to deny deep water harbours to the Spanish, after the Armada.  This is the first time a ship has been found with matching cannons, all designed for sea use.  They are quite small cannon, but could penetrate the side of a ship easily, and come out the other side going almost as fast!  The muzzle velocity is almost the speed of sound!

Once the canons were lifted and conserved, the Royal Armoury in Yorkshire cast a canon to test it.  They added impurities to the iron to mimic the impurities of the period, and the army helped to fire it, and photographed the results.  Really quite scary...  Remarkably accurate, too.

They also lifted and replicated an intact musket and fired that.  Beautiful piece of work, that easily penetrated the steel plate representing the armour of the day.

The dig and discoveries pushes the known use of this technology back at least 50 years, and explains why the English were so dominant at sea for so long.  To put it in perspective:  the Mary Rose was Henry's flagship, and used a miss-matched collection of cannon made with wrought iron bars held together with strapping rings.  Some of those cannon were built for land use, and never intended for ships.  This small pinnace had matched canon, and was armed also with muskets.  Henry's ship was designed to disable the enemy for boarding, at which point hand-to-hand fighting like a land battle decided who won.  Elizabeth's ship was designed to destroy the enemy ship from a safe distance.

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section: maybe somewhere more appropriate could be found.  I thought the arms folk would be interested in the history.

Offline escherblacksmith

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Re: Canons for the Queen
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 09:11:02 AM »
perfectly fine place for this . . . eventually it will be on youtube . . . ;-)}
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Offline Carl Heinz

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Re: Canons for the Queen
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 10:48:09 AM »
perfectly fine place for this . . . eventually it will be on youtube . . . ;-)}
The testing segment is already available.  Please see :
http://www.renaissancefestival.com/forums/index.php?topic=5963.0
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 10:50:16 AM by Carl Heinz »
Carl Heinz
Guild of St Cuthbert

 

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