Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re^2: Must have been heavily damaged

Bob Bridges

You seem to be talking about the butcher's bill; I'm asking about damage to the prize herself.  If you think the damage to the hull was light, why did she need such a large prize crew?  200 seems unnecessary to take a 34-gun ship in to harbor somewhere.  Or am I to think that the ship joined the fleet as a fighting vessel immediately? I guess that would make sense.

On Sat Sep 23, Don Seltzer wrote
>Different sources cited by Wikipedia put the loss at only 70, Spanish prize crew and British prisoners combined.

>Spanish naval battles of that era were mostly boarding actions by soldiers carried on board.  Ships cannons did little damage to opposing ships, they were primarily anti-personnel weapons.  

>On Thu Sep 21, Bob Bridges wrote
>>Says here:

....a 34-gun ship of 441 tons, launched at Deptford in 1577....fought her last fight, which lasted for fifteen hours, against overwhelming odds. When there was no further hope of fighting her, Grenville ordered her to be sunk. However, his surviving officers would not agree to this and terms of surrender were made with the Spaniards on the understanding that the lives and liberties of the ship's company should be spared....Five days after the battle the [vessel] foundered in a storm, taking with her 200 Spaniards who had been put on board.

>>Two hundred men as a prize crew for a 34-gun ship?  Seems to me she must have been badly hurt to need that many; was she close to sinking, then?

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