Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: Must have been heavily damaged

Don Seltzer

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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