Columbus-Frigate - History

Columbus-Frigate - History

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Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the discoverer of America.

The capital city of Ohio.

(Ship: t. 200; cpl. 220; a. 18 3-pdr., 10 6-pdr.)

The first Columbus, a 24-gun armed ship, was built at Philadelphia in 1774 as Sally purchased for the Continental Navy in November 1776, Captain A. Whipple in command.

Between 17 February and 8 April 1776, in company with the other ships of Commodore E. Hopkins' squadron, Columbus took part in the expedition to New Providence, Bahamas, where the first Navy-Marine amphibious operation seized essential military supplies. On the return passage, the squadron captured the British schooner, Hawk, on 4 April, and brig. Bolton on the 5th. On 6 April the squadron engaged HMS Glasgow (20). After 3 hours the action was broken off and Glasgow escaped, leaving her tender to be captured. Later in 1776 Columbus cruised off the New England coast taking five prizes. Chased ashore on Point Judith, R.I., 27 March 1778 by a British squadron, Columbus was stripped of her sails, most of her rigging, and other usable material by her crew before being abandoned. She was burned by the enemy.


In June, 1494, as Christopher Columbus was exploring the western Caribbean in the hope of finding an Asian passage, chaos broke out at Isabela on Espanola as three additional ships arrived from Spain. Relations between the indigenous Taino and the settlers were boiling over and a group loyal to Captain Pere Margarit became so disciplined and unruly that they boarded one of the three newly arrived ships under the command of Columbus's brother Bartholomew and immediately set sail for Spain.

On June 1, 1521, Conquistador Hernan Cortés' brigantine fleet, constructed on the coast by master shipwright Martin Lopez, dismantled, carried over land by thousands of indigenous retainers and reconstructed on Lake Tenochtitlan, launched against a large contingent of Aztec war canoes on Lake Tenochtitlan. Averaging about 50 feet with some as long as 65 feet, these single and double masted flat bottomed ships were designed to carry up to 30 soldiers armed with an iron cannon and crossbows, the Aztecs were no match for the Spanish as Cortés and his Spaniards easily plowed through the indigenous defense though Cortés experienced a brief boarding of his flagship, rescued by his shipwright Lopez. Following his rescue, he pushed into the Ixtapalpa causeway near Tenochtitlan. It would take nearly two months for Cortés to push beyond the causeway at the cost of thousands of indigenous allies and hundreds of Spaniards to eventually plant the Spanish flag atop the highest pyramid in Tenochtitlan.

In June, 1525, as Conquistador Francisco Pizarro convalesced at Cochambra in the Pearl Islands after having suffered serious wounds from an indigenous battle at Puerto Quemado, Pizarro's second in command Diego de Almagro returned to Panama City to report their encounter. Pizarro, having reached present day Candelaria, Peru in a ship and two large canoes along the southern coast of the Pacific from Panama City with 110 men and some horses and second in command Diego de Almagro aboard a later expedition after having encamped on the coast at the mouth of the Biru River to await resupply by Captain Montenegro from the Pearl Islands, had careened a vessel at Puerto Quemado. Pizarro had led an expedition of 60 men inland where the encountered fierce resistance from indigenous forces who killed 16 Spaniards. Pizarro was wounded numerous times with his wounds cauterized with boiling oil, forcing the expedition to retreat back to Chochama in the Pearl. Almagro's expedition didn't make contact with Pizarro fleeing north, likewise encountering the same hostile indigenous force shortly thereafter, during which Almagro lost an eye but his forces instead pressed south to the mouth of the San Juan River where he, too, reversed course and joined the convalescing Pizarro at Chochama before reporting his findings to Governor Davila who promoted him to Co-Captain of the expedition and ordered him to return to the Pearl Islands with 110 men to face the Piru (a misspelling of Biru).

In early June, 1527, Conquistador Francisco Pizarro and his Co-Captain Diego de Almagro along with pilot Batholome Ruiz, having established a base on Gallo Island off the Ecuadorian coast after having to flee the mainland when confronted by an overwhelming indigenous force, dispatched Almagro back to Panama to seek reinforcements to launch a large land campaign.

In 1579, the Union of Utrecht was promulgated initially with Netherlands provinces of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht later joined by Gelderland and Friesland and the free cities Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, and Ypres as a rejection of the Spanish Monarchy. Primarily Catholic, Netherlands remained loyal to Spain and the other provinces in the Union supported one another and the union maintained ancient rights and privileges, including religious freedom. The success of the rebellious movement must, in large measure, be attributed to the actions of the vehemently anti-catholic Watergeuzen, aka sea-beggars, the pirate collective, and to the return of the protestant exiles, who collectively formed the hard core of the resistance (to the bitter end) against the tyranny of the Duke of Alva. The majority of the Holland regents were not only able to maintain themselves in office but they were also able to strengthen their position of power in the county considerably, especially after they had succeeded, with the assistance of the prince of Orange, in bringing the recalcitrant sea-beggars within the legitimate provincial jurisdiction.

On June 1, 1586, it was reported that Ralph Lane, who had settled Roanoke Island with 106 men of military and construction backgrounds the prior September, "were at open war with the Indians." After nearly 10 months in the "New World," Lane's men met the king of the Chowanoac Indian tribe, Menatonon, and took him prisoner, reportedly for three days, before releasing him. Shortly after, members of Lane's group, possibly he himself, killed another Indian, Wingina, according to historical documentation, as the colonists believed Wingina was plotting to destroy the white men. Feeling pressure of retaliation, Lane asked Sir Francis Drake, who had arrived at Sir Walter Raleigh's colony at Roanoke with additional supplies and people- including African slaves- after carrying out a series of deadly assaults against Spanish New World colonies, for a ship in which the Roanoke colonists might return to England. Drake was willing to offer enough supplies and ships for the colonists to last another month to prepare for their return to England. Ten days after Drake's arrival and shortly after Lane accepted Drake's offer, Lane wrote, "There arose such an unwonted storm . this storm having continued from the 13 to the 16 of the month, and thus my bark put away as aforesaid, the general coming ashore made a new proffer unto me which was a ship of 170 tons." Records show the ship was the bark Bonner.

In June, 1665, Louis XIV of France appointed Buccaneer Bertrand d'Ogeron as Royal Governor of Tortuga and Saint Dominigue. D'Ogeron had led the life of a buccaneer on the north-west coast of Santo Domingo , at Petit-Goave, and as a tobacco planter at Leogane and Port-Margot. His efforts contributed to the settlement of Santo Domingo, which then did not have a governor, ensuring the transport of hundreds of indentured servants (called 36 months, the duration of their contract), from Nantes and La Rochelle, to Port Margot first and then Tortuga. He worked to organize the colony, giving commissions to pirates to attack the Spaniards. But when he launched the colonization of Cap-Français, he unleashed a revolt by the buccaneers against him.

On June 1, 1666, the Four Days Battle began, one of the longest, largest, and bloodiest naval engagements in history, taking place during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Among the combatants was Sir Christopher Myngs (pictured below on the left), a British Privateer who had just returned from successful raids against Spanish objectives in the Caribbean including the Battle of Campeche. Though fighting with distinction throughout the war, Myngs was shot in the cheek and shoulders and succumbed to his wounds days later.

In June, 1678, French pirate Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier" (pictured below on the right) captured San Carlos fortification which guarded the entrance of the Lake of Maracaibo.

In June, 1704, pirate John Quelch was tried for piracy in Massachusetts. Eleven months prior, Governor Joseph Dudley of Boston sent out Captain Daniel Plowman of the Charles with a Privateering license to attack French and Spanish ships off the coast of Newfoundland and Arcadia. John Quelch was Plowman's lieutenant. Before leaving Marblehead, Massachusetts, the Charles's crew under Quartermaster Anthony Holding mutinied and locked the ailing Plowman in his cabin. The crew elected Quelch the captain, who turned the Charles south. Plowman was thrown overboard, although it was never established whether he was dead or alive at that moment. The crew plundered nine Portuguese ships off the coast of Brazil and gained a large sum of money, even though England and Portugal were at peace at the time. When the Charles returned to Marblehead 10 months later, the crewmen scattered with their plunder. Some of the crew sailed with pirate and former privateer Thomas Larimore, who was also captured shortly afterward. Within a week, Quelch was in jail, because the Portuguese were not in his letter of marque and more importantly, Queen Anne and the King of Portugal had just became allies. He and others of his crew were taken to Boston to be tried. Three of the crew turned Queen's evidence and escaped severe prosecution while Quelch and six others from his crew were hanged June 30. This was the first admiralty trial outside England. It was called by one historian "the first case of judicial murder in America."

In June, 1718, Captain Edward Thatch, aka Blackbeard, fresh off of his blockade of Charles Town and saddled with more men and ships than he wanted or needed, intentionally ran his flagship Anne's Revenge aground at Beaufort Inlet. Convincing Stede Bonnet to take a small crew to Bath Town to petition Governor Charles Eden for the pardon, he and a hand selected party of compatriots seized control over the masses and put them ashore and the remainder of Bonnet's men on a sand bar a few miles away, transferred the valuables from the Queen Anne's Revenge into the much smaller revenge, and sailed away before Bonnet returned to discover his betrayal and the marooning of his men, upon which he swore revenge.

On June 1, 1813, the HMS Shannon defeated the USS Chesapeake at the Battle of Boston Harbor. The Chesapeake was captured in a brief but intense action in which over 80 men were killed. This was the only frigate action of the war in which there was no preponderance of force on either side. Captain James Lawrence was fatally wounded. His dying command, "Don't give up the ship!" was immortalized in American military lore.

In June, 1926, the League of Nation’s Committee of Experts for the Progressive Codification of International Law published its Draft Provisions for the Suppression of Piracy.

On June 1, 2010, USS San Jacinto (CG 56) sent a boarding team with U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and San Jacinto Sailors to search a pirate skiff with nine pirates aboard, which had failed to comply with Proud Warrior 433's order to stop the prior day. The boarding team quickly took control of the vessel and searched the skiff and pirates, who had previously thrown their weapons, ammunition, and pirate paraphernalia overboard. The pirates were released in the skiff after the boarding team confiscated one engine and several gallons of fuel, ensuring they could reach shore while limiting their ability to continue piracy attempts.

On June 1, 2014, the hijacked Thai-flagged oil tanker MT Orapin 4, which had been captured by armed pirates five days earlier near Bintan Island, suffered severe damage to its communications systems aboard the ship, had all it cargo stolen but the vessel itself was left without harming the crew, was found by the Royal Thai Navy in Chon Buri province and safely returned to Sriracha port.

On June 1, 2017, suspected pirates in a skiff attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker, MT NAVIG8 Providence, in the Gulf of Oman. driven off by the ship's security, the European Naval Force said. "There was an exchange of small arms fire between the suspected pirates and the maritime security team on board the tanker," the maritime force, known as EU NAVFOR, said in a statement. The guards aboard the tanker reported seeing a ladder in the skiff. EU NAVFOR said anti-piracy forces in the area were jointly responding to the attack by searching for the skiff.

And, since we make our home at the precipice of the Graveyard of the Atlantic, here are this day's list of shipwrecks of the Outer Banks:

June 1718 — Queen Anne's Revenge, frigate, pirate ship/privateer belonging to Blackbeard, ran aground in Beaufort Inlet
June 1837 — Aurora, schooner, lost off Ocracoke
June 1851 — Jane, schooner, lost off Hatteras
June 1868 — Istria, bark, lost off Diamond Shoals 23 killed
June 1, 1921 — Laura A. Barnes, schooner, sank near Bodie Island


The July 20th, 1944 bomb plot against Adolf Hitler worked. The Fuehrer is dead, and Erwin Rommel is the Nazi successor. The Germans immediately sued for peace with the Americans and the British, purged the SS, Gestapo members, Nazi top brass who supported the Holocaust and Hitler, and removed the concentration camps. In 1946, they gave the Jews back their equal citizenship. Anyone who resisted against the Jews were shot. Germany willingly gave up it's captured territories as reparations.

The US and UK appreciated the strength and courage of now Fuehrer Erwin Rommel and Deputy Fuehrer Erich Raeder to stop the war and bring in peace. But the war was not yet over. The Allies and Germany had stopped fighting. But the USSR kept on rolling. Poland was almost taken, and there was no sign of stopping. Something had to be done.

In 1948, the Wehrmacht was almost finished. The Red Army had grinded against the defensive line for four years. Realizing the Soviet predicament in the west, the Japanese military charged north through Manchuria and struck the Soviet southern border. Hundreds of miles they took of unprotected land. Stalin was outraged. He immediately diverted a majority of his western front army to the east to fight the Japanese. Realizing the opportunity, a combined German, American, and British force thrusted east toward Moscow. The Soviets, though possessing the largest military force in the world, could not fight on two massive fronts. Cities crumbled and armies collapsed. Moscow was atomic bombed into submission, leaving the city flattened. Stalin and his communist party were executed, and Russia was freed from the terrible communist regime. Japan was then atomic bombed until they surrendered.

On December 9th, 2017, the Republic of SimpleLandia was formed by Strikefighter04, and the Constitution written by Strikefighter04, MyMessage, MrAspy, and Crashfighter05. The country was made up of two islands, the Wright Islands and Krakabloa. They were formerly owned by the United States. Located in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, just north of Hawaii, SimpleLandia is a picture perfect paradise. With beautiful, tan beaches, and towering mountain ranges, SimpleLandia is a true home.

Soon after the country was organized, SimpleLandia had to build up a sufficient military force, in order to protect themselves from other rogue nations. Immediately, production started on the Lykins FA-3 Spartan-A, a multirole strike jet, to join the old Panavia Tornados that were still in service. Around this time, the SL Department of Defense started to order weapons for the military. The first completed Spartan was sent to the Air Force in January 2018. Immediately it’s many flaws were recognized. Design started on the Lykins FA-3 Spartan-B, an updated variant.

By February 2018, SimpleLandia had been through lots of experience as a young nation. Many departments and organizations had been established and founded, and added to the Republic, such as the Department of Nuclear Defense and Development, dedicated to the production and use of nuclear power and weapons. Many people became citizens, and helped the economy thrive. But, some people didn’t like SimpleLandia. Lots of people criticized the nation, claiming it as power hungry, and “land hogs”. Undeterred, SimpleLandia and her citizens continued to prosper.

But in March 2018, things took a sudden turn for the worst. On March 26th, multiple bombings occurred in Basin City, the capital of SL, and multiple cities in the Croftin Democracy, SL’s neighboring ally. Multiple hundred lives were lost. SimpleLandian SWAT and Military Police drove and flew to the bombing sites to investigate. They discovered that the suicide bombers were members of the terrorist organization Cobra, a former ally of SL.

Within 6 hours, SImpleLandia and the Croftin Democracy (CD) declared war on Cobra. SL and CD military units were put into active duty, and each country blockaded their ocean borders, and grounded all commercial flights into and out of the countries. This was a state of emergency. The home front was in full force already, producing more weapons than ever before, including nuclear weapons. The Cobra War had begun.

It was later revealed from recon flights that parts of Maywar, owned by The People’s Banana Republic, was the main Cobra base, not Afghanistan, as many people thought. More recon flights were taken, revealing that Cobra had over 100 nuclear warhead capable ICBMs, and jet aircraft capable of reaching the SimpleLandian mainland. President Strikfighter04 of SL authorized heavy bombing attacks on Maywar. Cobra responded by launching bombing attacks on Basin City.

After many SL bombings, nothing was seeming to work. The CD Department of Defense realized that Cobra had a hidden lifeline. The Croftin Democracy Air Force (CDAF) started to patrol the ocean around SL, the CD, and the People’s Banana Republic. The second day of patrolling, two CDAF strike fighters saw a cargo freighter on the horizon. Contact could not be made. The strike fighters attacked, and sunk the ship. It was later to be discovered from SL spies in The Republic of Avlanchia on Snowstone, that Snowstone rebels were stealing from Avlanchian military depots and shipping the stolen equipment illegally into Maywar, evading Banana Republic Customs Enforcement, giving the stolen equipment and weapons, and sailing back to Avlanchia for more shipping runs.

The newly formed Allies (SimpleLandia, Croftin Democracy, The People’s Banana Republic, and the Republic of Merso) alerted Avlanchia to the danger of the rebels. Avlanchia immediately went on emergency lockdown, joined the Allies, and started the search around the country for the rebels, assisted by Banana reconnaissance planes. They eventually found what they thought was just a small outpost, but it turns out it was an entire iceberg full of Cobra troops and rebels, and many vehicles and equipment. At this time, the Allies had grown to almost full force, including the original allies, plus ARC, Tinland, Elsweyr, and The Holy Kingdom of Krakabloa.

Around this time, a rebel fleet of WWII-era ships attacked Krakabloa. SL Tornadoes were scrambled, resulting in the crippled fleet retreating, but one Tornado was shot down by heavy flak.


The word Frigate doesn't really have much meaning on its own, as it could apply to any ship that agreed to its qualifications. It was formerly a term for any ship that was lightly armed, full-masted, and had quick maneuverability, and primarily intended for interception duty and patrol work while holding on to some degree of firepower, in comparison to multi-decked ships of the line which were meant to perform fleet actions. However, advancements in ballistics, engineering and nautical science eventually resulted in the construction of vessels (through chance or design) which had an armament and constitution well in excess of these requirements, and frigates were well considered medium- to heavy-strength naval assets at the close of the Napoleonic Wars in the mid 1810s CE.

Like the galleon, the frigate has its origins in a variant of Mediterranean galley called a galleass. Whereas the galleon was primarily a galleass built taller and higher for sea combat and with a full rig of sails, the frigate was based off a lighter variant of the galleass known in Italian as a fregata (literally, "sneaker" or "raider"). The fregata or "frigate galley" was slightly taller than most galleys of its day, yet had broadside guns, a more extensive sailplan (early modern western galleys used the triangular lateen more extensively than the square rig), and could be rowed if needed should the ship be becalmed or in a crisis, ie battle.

Even so, it was not until the mid-18th century when the frigate fully evolved from its mediaeval origins as the classic tall ship with the French warship Medée in the 1740s CE. This was a ship with a less pronounced profile (because boarding and melee actions were no longer seen as important as naval gunnery), but packed a more advanced sailplan and was dedicated primarily to the task of waging war. In addition, severely damaged galleons and ships of the line could sometimes be "repaired" and became a variant of frigate known as a razée (French for "cut down", "razed" or "shaved") because a multideck vessel could be renovated, losing all but its lowest gun deck (assuming it was still intact), and the resulting warship would be lighter, yet perhaps larger and stronger than other frigates.

The height of frigate construction came in the 19th century with the emergence of USS Constitution, one of the first warships ever to be fully designed in the United States. One of six frigates commissioned by the fledgling United States under the designation of heavy frigate, Constitution was very revolutionary for her time, as the United States had intended to build a war vessel that was heavily armed and strong, yet fast enough to outrun the stronger but slower armed vessels hosted by European navies of its time. Although today's frigates now are metal-hulled vessels, they exmplify the traits asked of Constitution — they are mostly used for escort purposes for merchant ships entering contested waters, yet enjoy an immense payload of firepower when the need should arise.

BOOK REVIEW – The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship Models

By Robert Gardiner, Seaforth Publishing (distributed by Naval Institute Press in the United States), (2013).

Robert Gardiner’s latest book, The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship Models, illustrates why he is so highly-regarded. He has previously written three other books about that cover frigate development from the 1740s through the end of the Napoleonic Era frigates (all worth having for those interested in frigate development). This latest work covers the whole of frigate history, presenting the history of frigate development from 1600 through 1850.

Gardiner takes a different approach in this book than in his earlier works. Rather than presenting plans, draughts and paintings, the development of the frigate is illustrated exclusively through photographs of models. Most photographs are in color, and the vast majority are taken from models built contemporaneously with the period illustrated.

The book traces the development of the frigate chronologically. The first chapters cover frigate predecessors, rather than true frigates. Gardiner uses these ships to trace the evolution of the cruising warship from the small two-deckers of the seventeenth century to the proto-frigates. (These ships called demi-batteries by the French, and built between 1689 and the 1740s, retained some guns in the lower gun deck.)

The final chapters describe the evolution of the true frigate, with its main guns on the upper gun deck, the lower gun deck used exclusively for habitation, and guns on the forecastle and quarterdeck. These chapters cover the period from the true frigate’s introduction in 1748 until the end of the sailing frigate in the 1850s.

Using contemporary models proves an excellent method of illustration changes in ship design and construction. Differences between the Sheerness model of 1660 and the Warrior of 1860 are obvious. The strength of Gardiner’s book is that it demonstrates the evolutionary process yielding those differences, and the effects of technological change on ship appearance over those two centuries.

Particularly useful are pages which illustrate comparative differences or show development of a particular feature of a frigate with a series of photos of different models. Two-page sidebars abound. Each focuses on different aspects of frigate development using annotated photos highlighting points of interest.

Some illustrate changes in rigging, hull structure, and construction techniques. Others illustrate distinguishing characteristics of frigates at different time periods. Several show the evolution of parts of the frigate (head, the stern, and waist, for example) with six to eight detail photos each captioned to explain the differences.

The book focuses on British frigate development. The few models of foreign-built frigates come from prizes, captured by the Royal Navy. This is understandable, given Gardiner’s focus on ships of the Royal Navy. The publisher states The Sailing Frigate is the first in a series. Readers can hope a similar volume gets published for at least the frigates of the Marine nationale, and possibly those of the United States Navy.

For those interested in warships of the sailing era, The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship Models is a book worth acquiring. It offers an outstanding introduction to the history of that era’s most storied sailing warship.

A Good Commander Could Make a War Ship Legendary

If there was a real strength to the Royal Navy in general and the frigates in particular, it was the quality of their captains. Although a bad commander could make a warship almost ineffective with cruelty and excessive punishment, a good one could make the same ship legendary. Unlike most navies, Britain built its officer corps from the bottom, starting most as teenaged midshipmen apprenticed to a particular ship’s captain. From the start the midshipmen would undergo a rigorous series of lessons and examinations, leading them up through qualification to the lieutenant rank. Eventually, these officers would be considered for command of a minor 6th Rate vessel such as a sloop or armed merchantman. Only after a decade or more of honorable and effective service would an officer even be considered for frigate or higher command.

There was a strict system of seniority within the Royal Navy, which had a huge influence on promotions and appointments. Nevertheless, this seniority system was offset by the ability of senior admirals and overseas squadron commanders to make appointments for command through patronage or influence. This combination of policies had the positive effect of offsetting each other and helping create the finest pool of commanding officers (known as “Post Captains”) of the period. It was the best and brightest of these that the Royal Navy gave duty as frigate captains.

Most of the British frigate captains were young, often in their late 20s and early 30s, fully a decade younger than their contemporaries on ships of the line. There were good reasons for this beyond the simple energy and stamina of youth. Frigate captains spent most of their time away from the battle fleet or home bases, ranging across the globe to serve the interests and objectives of the Royal Navy. This independence of command was something such officers needed to embrace and celebrate if they were to meet the expectations of their king and nation. They also required aggressiveness and intelligence, with an eye for seeing opportunity and taking calculated risks.

Despite this, there was also a need for British frigate commanders to avoid recklessness and indelicacy. One day might see an English frigate captain conducting himself at a diplomatic reception with some small and obscure monarch, and the next raiding the harbors of a neighboring state. Clearly this meant that such officers required a strong sense of situational awareness and judgment in matters ranging from politics and protocol to tactics and martitime law. It was, to say the least, a unique balance of personality traits that made for a successful frigate captain. Add to this the need for leadership and management skills to man and operate his ship, along with the seamanship to sail and fight the vessel, and you get some idea of the qualities of such men.

Age of steam [ edit | edit source ]

French paddle frigate Descartes

Vessels classed as frigates continued to play a great role in navies with the adoption of steam power in the 19th century. In the 1830s navies experimented with large paddle steamers equipped with large guns mounted on one deck, which were termed "paddle frigates". From the mid-1840s frigates which more closely resembled the traditional sailing frigate were built with steam engines and screw propellers. These "screw frigates", built first of wood and later of iron, continued to perform the traditional role of the frigate until late in the 19th century.

Armoured frigate [ edit | edit source ]

From 1859, armour was added to ships based on existing frigate and ship of the line designs. The additional weight of the armour on these first ironclad warships meant that they could have only one gun deck, and they were technically frigates, even though they were more powerful than existing ships-of-the-line and occupied the same strategic role. The phrase "armoured frigate" remained in use for some time to denote a sail-equipped, broadside-firing type of ironclad.

After 1875, the term "frigate" fell out of use. Vessels with armoured sides were designated as "battleships" or "armoured cruisers", while "protected cruisers" only possessed an armoured deck, and unarmoured vessels, including frigates and sloops, were classified as "unprotected cruisers".

In Preservation [ edit | edit source ]

  • On display in Portsmouth is HMS Warrior, built in 1860. Warrior, constructed of wrought iron, was the world’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship powered by steam as well as sail. She and her sister ship, HMS Black Prince, were the sole members of the Warrior class ironclads: Queen Victoria's "Black Battle Fleet." Warrior was used for 50 years as an oil jetty at Milford Haven before being restored to her former glory.
  • On Display in Ebeltoft, Denmark is the Danish steam frigate Jylland launched in 1860.

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How USS Constitution Became ‘Old Ironsides’

Around 2 p.m. on the afternoon of August 19, 1812, a lookout aboard USS Constitution spied a sail against the cloudy southern horizon. The newsflash brought the frigate’s commanding officer, Captain Isaac Hull, and his charges 𠇏locking up like pigeons from a net bed,” according to one crewman.

It was HMS Guerriere again. The same frigate that Hull had skillfully eluded a month earlier near New York by taking evasive actions that included dumping 10 tons of drinking water overboard. The same warship that had been notorious for stopping American merchant vessels at sea and impressing their sailors, a practice that partly led to the declaration of war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812.

Now, two months later, Constitution and Guerriere, a French ship that had been captured by the Royal Navy in 1806, closed in on each other 400 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. Constitution was the larger frigate, boasting a larger crew, a thicker hull and six more guns. What’s more, it had an unblemished combat record since being launched in 1797. Even if the commander of Guerriere, Captain James Dacres, knew he was outgunned and outmanned, he was still eager for a fight, telling others on board that if he became the first British captain to capture an American vessel, he would � made for life.” The Royal Navy, after all, had a sterling record in ship-to-ship combat against more formidable opponents than the Americans.

Isaac Hull, captain of USS Constitution. (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

Considering it unjust to compel Americans to fire on their countrymen, Dacres granted the 10 impressed sailors aboard Guerriere permission to stay below deck during the battle. Then, around 5 p.m., he ordered the crew to hoist two English ensigns and a Union Jack. In turn, Hull ordered four American ensigns, including the Stars and Stripes, raised on Constitution.

Guerriere opened fire but missed wildly. Constitution launched occasional shots, but Hull, to the unease of his crew, ordered them to hold most of their fire until they engaged the enemy in extremely close action. Around 6 p.m., the two ships drew alongside about 25 yards apart. Constitution rocked Guerriere with a full broadside. Hull, eager to get a better view of the action, split his dress breeches as he leapt atop an arms chest.

To the amazement of Dacres and his crew, the 18-pound iron cannonballs launched by Guerriere bounced harmlessly off the American frigate’s 24-inch triple-layered hull, which was made of white oak and live oak sheathed in copper forged by Paul Revere. One British sailor supposedly yelled out, “Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!” Thus, Constitution was christened “Old Ironsides.”

After 15 minutes of intense bombardment, the mizzenmast fell over the starboard side of the staggered Guerriere and impaired its ability to maneuver. Within minutes, Guerriere’s bowsprit became entangled with Constitution’s mizzen rigging, and the two interlocked ships rotated clockwise. As both ships prepared boarding parties, sharpshooters in the mast tops rained down musket fire on their enemies. Dacres was wounded in the back, and on the deck of Constitution a musket ball fatally felled Lieutenant William Bush, who became the first U.S. Marine Corps officer to die in combat.

During the mayhem, the ships tore free of each other. Fifteen minutes after Guerriere’s mizzenmast fell, its foremast snapped like a matchstick and carried the mainmast with it. The mighty British warship was now a crippled hulk with 30 holes smashed in its side and body parts strewn on its blood-splattered deck. Constitution sported pockmarks on its sails, but Old Glory still flapped in the wind, and its mighty hull, of course, remained intact.

As the Guerriere crew threw the dead overboard, Dacres ordered a shot to be fired from the leeward side in surrender. Hull, unclear of the sign in the growing darkness, dispatched a lieutenant over to the enemy ship. 𠇌ommodore Hull’s compliments and wishes to know if you have struck your flag,” said the lieutenant. Dacres responded with dry British wit, “Well, I don’t know. Our mizzenmast is gone, our mainmast is gone𠅊nd upon the whole, you may say we have struck our flag.”

Through the night, prisoners were removed by boat. Surgeons amputated arms and legs. Seven Americans had been killed and seven wounded. On the British side, 13 were dead and 62 wounded. By daylight, it was clear that Guerriere, with four feet of water in the hold, could not be salvaged as a prize to bring back to America. That afternoon, the Americans lit the hulk on fire, and a huge explosion showered the Atlantic with Guerriere’s tattered remains.

The battle wasn’t critical to the outcome of the war, but it was an important statement of American naval power and a boost to Yankee morale. Even without Guerriere, Constitution arrived triumphantly in Boston on August 30. Crowds thronged rooftops and wharves and exclaimed hearty cheers. The frigate had left Boston 28 days earlier as USS Constitution. It had returned as “Old Ironsides,” an American icon.

Characteristics [ edit | edit source ]

A Victory II-class frigate over Yavin IV.

Its design was reminiscent of large command ships like the Super Star Destroyer Vengeance, due to the large wing-like extension on each side of the ship's rear, as well as its slim profile. Its armament included several twin autoturrets and it was powered by three large ion engines.

It also roughly resembled Vindicator-class heavy cruisers in shape and size, and had a small, slim bridge-section quite like the Acclamator-class assault ship.

Watch the video: History vs. Christopher Columbus - Alex Gendler (May 2022).


  1. Lonnell


  2. Nardo

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  3. Malakus

    there are many variations

  4. Maukazahn

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