Ship of the Line
Ship of the Line
Background[edit | edit source]
Battleships intended for conquering and domination at sea were the heart of the navy from the mid-17th century onwards. They featured the most powerful weapons and the highest degree of manoeuvrability.
European ships with rectangular rigging were unusually fast for sailing ships. Thanks to their high sides, these ships could withstand heavy weather. However, they were strongly dependent on wind. In time, their rigging was improved and their displacement increased. The improved vessels were armed with artillery placed at the sides. Before a battle, ships would form a line which crumbled in combat, turning the battle into a chaotic scramble. Artillery was used inefficiently and vessels often prevented each other from firing. Small ships packed full with explosives and inflammables drifted down wind to their targets. Amazingly, some battles were actually won thanks to them.
By the mid-17th century, vessels were grouped in strict columns, which made them much more efficient. However, for a fleet to be really strong, the column had to consist of many similar vessels. Otherwise the enemy would always find a weak spot and breach the formation. This was how battleships appeared. Gunsmiths established standard calibre cannon in repeatable work and made it possible to rank vessels according to the number of cannon they carried. In 1653, the British Admiralty divided ships into six ranks: 1st - more than 90 cannon, 2nd - more than 80 cannon, 3rd - more than 50, 4th - more than 38, 5th - more than 18, and 6th - more than 6 cannon. This classification determined the number of decks and the size of a ship. The first three classes comprised battleships. A fine example of their features is given by the following specifications of the English battleship "Royal Sovereign", built in 1637 by Finneas Pett: Battery deck length - 53 m (174 ft); keel length - 47.2 m (155 ft); displacement - 2,000 tons; width - 15.3 m (50 ft); hold depth - 6,1 m (20 ft); 30 cannon on the lower and the middle deck, 26 cannon on the upper deck, 14 under the forecastle and 12 under the poop, adding up to a total of 82 cannon.
The ship was ornate. Its sculptures were reproductions of sketches by famous painter Van Dyck. The front sculpture depicted English King Edward mounted on a horse and trampling the seven lords - the enemies of the Albion. The vessel was a flagship of the British fleet and took part in many sea battles. Unfortunately, an absurd accident led to the ship's destruction. In 1696, the "Royal Sovereign" burned down in a fire caused by a fallen candle. The English used to say that the "Royal Sovereign" cost King Charles his head: In order to achieve his dream of a sea campaign, Charles raised taxes in his country and thus caused the downfall of his government and, ultimately, his own decapitation. It was Cardinal Richelieu - a great political figure and military reformer - who created the French navy. In 1626, the battleship "Saint Louis" was built.
In Russia, Tsar Peter I created the battleship navy. Thanks to his great vessels, Russia managed to strengthen its hold on the sea and sea trade.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
- High tier warship.
- High rate of fire and firepower.
- Requires a lot gold for upkeep.
- Low consumption of coal and iron.
- Low movement speed.
Upgrades[edit | edit source]
|Design new rib system and new hulls||Battleship construction||32300||---||6800||9000||12800|
|Train carpenters||Shipbuilding speed +50%||2300||42700||1150||---||---|
Strategies[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
This unit used to be a mercenary back in Cossacks: European wars