First use of standardized munitions at sea

    Back in the Age of Sail ships tended to carry many different types of cannons. The weapons mix was determined by the Captains preferences and what was available in the navel shipyard when the ship was being outfitted. Each cannon was crewed by the same set of men so they knew what had to be done to get the best out of it. Marine archaeologists
    300Px-Loutherbourg-Spanish Armada
    have discovered that the cannons on a English warship wreckage, dating back to the time of the famous defeat of the Spanish Armada, carried only one sized cannon ball and two of the recovered cannons both had the same bore size. The BBC reports:

    “This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war,” says naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.

    “The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn’t before.”

    The new research follows the discovery of the first wreck of an Elizabethan fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands, thought to date from around 1592, just four years after the Spanish Armada.

    The ship was a pinnace, a small ship carrying 12 guns, two of which have been recovered.

    The BBC article has a lot of hype calling them “superguns”. I am an avid reader of novels set in that period and have read a lot of the period history, I can’t see anything impressive about the gun itself, rather how it was used and its superior logistics.

    The BBC article more info and a video of a replica cannon modeled on those found in the wreckage.

    Hat Tip: Slashdot

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!