ship-of-the-line love



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  • Jensen's description of the Danish ship-of-the-line Christian the Eighth running aground in Eckernforde Fjord and being knocked to pieces by a German shore battery transcends anything Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about wooden ships and iron men.

    Book review: Carsten Jensen's 'We, the Drowned'

  • But amid the havoc, when the powder magazines of the ship-of-the-line explode, something extraordinary happens.

    Going to Sea Once More

  • Furthermore, they would have to do so in a combat arm infantry,artillery, etc. in the Army or Marines, ship-of-the-line in the Navy, etc.

    Firedoglake » Late Nite FDL: Fear and Loathing in the Nuttersphere

  • There are two entrances to the port of Mogador; one from the south, which is quite open; the other from the north-west, which is only a narrow passage, with scarcely room to admit a ship-of-the-line.

    Travels in Morocco

  • Yet many other states—Corinth, Syracuse, and Corcyra, among others—had powerful navies and, like Athens, their ship-of-the-line was the trireme.


  • Lucy had learned her way around a massive seventy-four-gun ship-of-the-line almost before she'd learned to walk, but the design of this modest schooner confounded her almost as badly as its captain did.

    Thief Of Hearts

  • Without a single ship-of-the-line and with only five frigates, there existed no possibility of actually fighting the British navy.

    The Wars Between England and America

  • American merchant knew, that military and naval considerations weighed fully as heavily with England as mercantile needs, and that a country which had neither a ship-of-the-line, nor a single army corps in existence, commanded, in an age of world warfare, very slight respect.

    The Wars Between England and America

  • Nine men for the spar-deck of a ship-of-the-line of two decks, or for the main deck of a ship-of-the line of three decks.

    Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy. 1866. Fourth edition.

  • And ten men for the spar-deck of a ship-of-the-line of three decks.

    Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy. 1866. Fourth edition.


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  • Also (perhaps more commonly) spelled ship of the line.

    October 10, 2008

  • Great stuff, c_b. I love this term, too. :-)

    October 29, 2007

  • I came across this term in some texts dealing with the 1781 siege of Yorktown, Virginia. Many sources listed Admiral de Grasse's fleet as having 28 ships of the line (it wasn't hyphenated though...?), and that of his British counterpart, Thomas Graves, having only 14. These both sound like pretty big fleets, when you try to imagine them occupying the same small spot of ocean at the same time.

    Then I found a text that explained that naval fleets were routinely described according to the number of ships of the line, but those were only the biggest warships in a fleet. The number (28 or 14) did not count all the transports and supply ships and what have you. Counting those vessels, de Grasse's fleet must have been closer to 100 ships. Hard to picture in the mind's eye.

    The 28 ships of the line carried 2,078 guns and 18,138 crew members.

    De Grasse's flagship, La Ville de Paris, carried 104 guns, and 1,165 officers and men. That's a floating city, is what that is.

    EDIT: I just looked it up again. De Grasse's fleet included 28 ships of the line, and 47 other vessels (total), including:

    14 "vaisseaux"

    10 frigates

    4 corvettes

    2 cutters

    And presumably 17 ships of indeterminate type. (Supplies?)

    "Vaisseaux" (I don't speak French) translates to "vessels," but presumably these are warships of some type, or they wouldn't be enumerated separately.

    Seventy-five ships total. Wow.

    There's a neat article about ships of the line at Wikipedia.

    October 29, 2007