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  1. Hey Evan, 

    Thanks so much for liking my post. I have been greatly influenced by your Constitution build log. And I hope to see more of it. 

  2. Great to see all of this insight… I think the comment about NAM Rodgers suggesting that the more powerful frigate generally won is more telling than we realize. In fact, it goes to the core of what rocked the Royal Navy in the initial stanza of the naval war. They were used to WINNING single ship actions where the opponent was oftentimes more powerful. Their annals are full of French and Spanish frigates yielding to less powerful British opponents during the Napoleonic era. The Royal Navy fully expected to win when an American heavy frigate hove into view. Captain Dacres of the
  3. Mark - Yes - the Royal Navy was feeling the pinch of economizing as war expenditures escalated across years of battling Bonoparte and Captains were restricted in using powder and ball for training. They exercised at the guns to a limited extent, but almost never used powder. Some were wealthy enough to spend their own money to cover the costs for live ammo training, but others had modest backgrounds and had to fudge things. I'm sure there was some creative accounting done with the books by the pursers to hide any powder expended in live training. The majority followed orders and
  4. Great to see the entirety of James’ overview laid out here… I’ve always been a bit confused with William James and his perspective on the Guerriere battle. He seems to be at odds with Captain Brenton as well as the exultant and often distorted versions of the battle provided in the American press. To counter these views, he throws in everything he can to reshape the narrative and bring some honor to Dacres and his crew. But he does seem contradictory as he goes along… He points out, for example, that the Americans had the advantage of hand picked crews (including British citizen
  5. Hello Mark! The timing of your note is impeccable... I've just now started to pull everything out to assess how to restart my project. I've left off exactly where you last saw an update, so there is much yet to do. Apologies to yourself and others who've been looking for new updates... My health has been fine and the family is good (thanks to those who've asked in the background) - it is the other culprit to blame for the project downtime - Work. The company I work for was acquired almost exactly a year ago in a very public transaction involving gazillions of dollars.
  6. The Trafalgar Companion by Mark Adkin will fit your requirement. Look no further! Evan
  7. Frolic - I think you well know my own opinion regarding Tyrone Martin's revisionist version of the battle. Stated plainly, I have serious doubts about his use of facts and interpretation. Regarding the overview provided by sailor Moses...The prodigious amounts of ammunition used would rightly raise eyebrows. But Tyrone Martin seems to have overlooked the simplest and most obvious explanation for this remarkable output of iron and lead. The truth is that the Constitution fired every broadside - every discharge – with two round shot. Every. One. I think your own valuable research
  8. Mark - Guerriere was actually en route to Halifax for refit. She was detached from Broke's squadron as part of a regular rotation for each ship. She was certainly worn down, but that was the typical status of so many ships in the RN that were under manned and overused. I think you're right that her condition was not considered an issue for her captain and crew until after they lost the battle. Likewise it was a convenient defense to imply that the American ships were well crewed because they were largely manned by RN deserters. There is some truth to the assertion - many Americans had
  9. It is so interesting to see all of this testimony laid out end to end... Thanks Frolic for sharing this. I know folks find it bizarre that I could call out the discrepancy in Dacres' testimony, but it goes to the heart of how accounts of this battle have been dissected and/or manipulated over the years. Notice how the witnesses differ on the commencement of the close action in each account: Lt. Kent: "At 5 she closed within half pistol shot, on our larboard beam, both keeping up a heavy fire and steering free, his intention, evidently, being to cross our bows. At 5.20 the mizenmast
  10. Frolic - Can you verify the statement from Captain Dacres: "On the starboard side there were about thirty shots, which had taken effect about five sheets of copper down..." Alfred Mahan cites that Dacres testimony as "On the LARBOARD side there were about thirty shots.." Curious Evan
  11. Jud Careful about signing on to sail into battle with Commodore Bainbridge... Put delicately, hè was not Well liked by his crew. In fact, there was à naar mutiny when Isaac Hull resigned And Bainbridge assumed command of Constitution. Bainbridge didnt hide his disdain of common sailors And treated them with almost no respect. Hè cut à deal with THE crew - if they would give HIM à chance, hè would ease Up on harsh discipline. it worked out in THE end!
  12. I think as far as Constitution keeping away for quite some time before engaging... Bainbridge claimed that he wanted to draw his opponent farther off shore before turning on her. There seemed to be some indication, however, that Bainbridge mistakenly thought Java was a heavier ship at first - perhaps a small ship of the line...
  13. We should also remember that Java was in position to stern rake Constitution TWICE during that fight. The American 44s were generally handled very well during their engagements, but the reality was that they were not nearly as nimble as their smaller opponents. The Java, in particular, was very well handled (helped in part by extra hands on board for transit to a far off station) and leveraged her maneuverability to give the Constitution everything she could handle. The loss of Java's headgear was clearly the turning point of the battle and the Constitution took every advantage. Likely tha
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