Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum


Re^3: Must have been heavily damaged

Don Seltzer


On Thu Sep 28, Bob Bridges wrote
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>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.


No, I was questioning whether there really were 200 Spaniards in the prize crew.  Other sources claim only 70 aboard, comprised of prize crew and British prisoners.  

My other comment about Spanish naval tactics was meant to suggest that the battle was unlikely to have caused serious damage to the British ship.  The Spanish strategy was generally to close quickly, grapple, and board with overwhelming numbers of soldiers. A lot of hand to hand combat and small arms fire, but not much ship-battering from a distance.


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