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G. Delacroix

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    Toulouse - France

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  1. Hello, Concerning the calibers, at least in the French navy, to make it simple and in fact, without mentioning the aborted proposals: The denomination of a traditional gun until the arrival of howitzers is done by the weight of the ball it is capable of firing. For a 36pdr cannon for example, the ball weighed 36 French pounds (old pounds of 0.489 g) thus a weight of 17.60 kg. The gun is thus called: "canon de 36 livres, term shortened to "canon de 36" or abusively "canon de calibre 36", abusively because the true caliber concerns the diameter of the bore which is never mentioned. The classical calibers were 36, 24, 18 for the "big" calibers and 12, 8, 6 and 4 for the "small" calibers. The 48 is exceptional and very rare, the very small calibers of 3 and 2 are used by the civil navy. For the carronades it's identical, a 36pdr carronade fired at the beginning, in the 1780's and then named "obusier de vaisseau", shells of the same diameter as the 36 cannonballs, then, in front of the difficulty of implementation of the shells not very advanced at the time, the shooting was limited to the real 36 cannonballs and to the grapeshot. The carronades are declined in several calibers, 36, 24, 18 and some 12 caliber in the civil navy and the privateers. When the howitzers were admitted in the navy in 1827, they were named by the diameter of the bore to simplify the terms, first in inches ("canon obusier de 80 : 8 French inches bore) then in cm (canon obusier de 22 : 22 cm bore). The howitzers will then be declined in several calibers and named according to the diameter of their bore (canon obusier de 16 ou 27...) with variations according to their shape. Several proposals, tests and full-scale trials were of course practical, but in reality, the navy's artillery was basically summed up in this quotation. So, to answer the question : 36pdr carronade = carronade of the calibre 36 = carronade of the calibre #6.5 inches, the last denomination is not used. And I remind that the 48pdr carronades have never been admitted in the French Navy, which confirms that the text quoting Paixhans published above is indeed a proposal resumed without follow-up. GD
  2. These are only proposals that were to lead to new fabrications to arm the ships.
  3. @ Lieste Obviously, we are not talking about the same things. @ Thanasis The text concerning the French naval artillery is a theoretical proposal by Lafay, a proposal which, like many others in the navy, was not followed up. As far as I know, there were never any 48 carronades in the French navy, at best only a few 50pdr guns in 1849.
  4. We are not talking about the same period because the discussion concerned the very first howitzers. At the time of Lafay, that is to say thirty years later, the artillery had made great progress.
  5. It is unlikely because the balls of 22 cm dont exist, the largest current balls are the 36pdr which measure 17 cm (rare 48pdr: 19,4 cm) and the design of the gun is not adapted.
  6. Hello The most common howitzer, that of 22 cm of bore, fires shells of 25,7 kg (shell + powder included in the shell which is a hollow ball) thanks to a load of 3,5 kg of powder (large load) or 2 Kg (small load) according to the distance of the goal. We are far from the 36pdr guns which, with 18 kg cannonballs, require charges of one third, i.e. 6 kg of powder. The result is also incomparable, the full ball at best crosses the wall of the ship whereas the shell crosses then explodes causing terrible damages in the batteries.
  7. Hello, Napoleon had 48pdr cannons sunk in Antwerp but these cannons did not fire traditional cannonballs but hollow explosive cannonballs that we will call "shells". At that time, these shells or bombs were fired with a mortar and therefore had a curved trajectory. These guns fired these shells in a straight line, something that was not practiced yet. JH Paixhans invented the gun adapted to launch these shells and standardized the calibers in the navy. The cannons used were called "canon-obusiers" (howitzers) and from 1827 onwards they were used on ships, at first with some reluctance (only 8 on a 100-gun ship) and then in a general way. The howitzers, by their efficiency, will made the wooden hulls disappear in favor of the first ironclads. The largest carronades in the French Navy were 36pdr. GD
  8. Hello, If you are looking for the plan of a 48pdr (which are very rare), there is one, with informations, on my website. GD
  9. Hello, As an indication, on this bad picture, here is how the inner rings of the lids are used. An handspike is placed across the porthole and then a rope is tightly clamped between the rings and the handspike to close the porthole to the sea. This is the French method but I imagine the English did the same. GD
  10. The origin of the name and this instrument is much older than Louis Renard. It comes from a board game, "The fox and his hens", where, on a grid board, pawns represent the hens which must escape from the fox. The method is similar to the game "Solitaire" with pawns to move on the board. The traverse-board (renard) uses the same principle by adapting the board, the pawns are placed to trace the route of the ship.
  11. Hello, As it was said, the translation of "renard de navigation" is "traverse-board". GD
  12. Hello, This way of working the upper end of the stays is correct as it is quoted in Costé's treatise which serves as your reference. It should be noted, however, that Costé specifies that coherence is required and if the upper stays use this type of mooring, it should be practised for all the stays. For the mooring at the bottom, depending on the stay, they are fixed either on the bars as you have shown, or on the stay next to it after passing through a thimble or a block (depending on their diameter) fitted on a bolt behind the cap or even more simply by tying it to this bolt. Here is the mizzen top stay of La Créole where you can see how it is worked with two branches, i.e. without mouse.
  13. Hello, This drawing comes from the excavation report of the Villefranche ship, which can be consulted here: https://www.persee.fr/doc/nauti_0154-1854_1989_mon_9_1 On page 93. @Sandra: traduire est une chose, connaître en est une autre, à chacun son domaine (Translating is one thing, knowing is another, to each his own ) GD
  14. Hello, Sorry, I thought I posted in English. The riders are internal reinforcements comparable to frames but placed on the ceiling. Example of a rider on Le Gros-Ventre:
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