American light and medium frigates, 1794-1836 by Mark Lardas

By Mark Lardas

The ‘Original Six’ frigates have been commissioned by means of the new-born US military at a fabulous fee of approximately $700,000.
Designed to be gentle and quickly, those warships enabled the United States to venture its energy around the globe.
Among the ships Mark Lardas examines is USS Constellation: the 1st send to be commissioned by way of the USA Navy.

Alongside stirring debts of engagements throughout the Barbary Wars, the writer explores the layout and improvement
of those frigates, explaining the shortcomings that ended in their alternative via higher, heavier 44-gun versions through 1800.
Packed with modern illustrations people frigates and their British and French competitors, this booklet follows
the escalation of the naval ‘arms race’ in the course of the 18th century.

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But Constantine, whose father Constantius Chlorus had taught him about naval matters when he was facing the revolt of the Classis Britannica under Carausius, gave a new strong input to the building of a new fleet, mainly based on moneres types. After having established Thessaloniki (Greece) as a military harbour, he pushed on the building of 200 triakonteres and several penteconteres. He faced Licinius with a fleet on the south-west corner of the Dardanelles, and he owed his victory to the employment of the new light moneres that surpassed the heavy old triremes of Licinius.

According to him, the Emperor Julianus attacked the Germans within their territory by night with such boats: And having been brought together when night was well advanced, all were embarked whom 40 scouting boats [lusoriae naves – as many as were available at the time] would hold, and ordered to go downstream so quietly that they were even to keep their oars lifted for fear that the sound of the waters might arouse the savages; and while the enemy were watching our campfires, the soldiers were ordered with nimbleness of mind and body to force the opposite bank.

The aspect of these liburnae can be seen on the mosaic of the naval battle of Cirta: decked (cataphracta) to protect the rowers – maybe more from the weather and swell than from the enemy – with a high prow and a late shape of boxing for the oarsmen. The less elaborate liburnae-biremes were similar in shape to the type shown in the Notitia Dignitatum manuscript, the so-called invincibilis liburna, which represents an evolution of those on the Trajan Column. Model of a river liburna, in bronze, third century AD.

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