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Date Posted: 11:11:44 07/18/16 Mon
Author: Albert Parker
Subject: Re: Navíos de la Real Armada 1700-1860
In reply to: Manu Blasco 's message, "Re: Navíos de la Real Armada 1700-1860" on 01:45:55 07/15/16 Fri

It probably reflects a combination of Sr. Torralba-Pérez' interests and the existing documentation, but Navíos de la real armada is very much about Spanish ships of the line as ships and not as fighting machines. It's a lot like a book about tanks that goes into great detail about their engines, drive trains, tread width and articulation, perhaps even the turret rotation linkages and bearings, without saying much about their raison d'etre: their weapons. Of course, mechanical details had tactical implications, for speed, range, reliability, the types of terrain they could negotiate, etc., just as dimensions, proportions, and construction techniques did for sailing ships (substitute weather for terrain).

There is some armament information, but I will have to take advantage of Manu's offer to try to find out more for my period. Because it was much easier to swap out cannon of one size for those of another or to land (or not bring on board at fitting out) some of the establishment artillery, there is much more uncertainty about the armament of sail warships than there is about 20th-century warships, where, for instance, the replacement of 15 × 16" by 10 × 8" guns in the Japanese Mogami class of cruisers is well although not universally known.

In concentrating on construction details, Navíos differs from Boudriot, Le vaisseau de 74 canons, which does have armament and detailed equipment (including the chaplain's sacramental vessels!) information—in four volumes and only for one class of ship at one point in time.

Usefully, there is an explanation of Spanish naval shipbuilding and general nautical terminology, all in Spanish, but not something you can expect to find in your Spanish-{Your language} dictionary.

There is, as far as I can tell, no information about the employment of Spanish ships of the line, but most operational and tactical accounts that mention names and gun-count ratings don't go beyond that. If it ever gets published, my book will be weird for going beyond names and gun counts for the ships involved in actual battles, although not for most operations that in the end involved no combat.

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