What was the royal navy like

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  • What was the royal navy like
    • Ships
      • The fleet
        • In 1793 the Navy had 125 ships in operation keeping 20,000 officers and men busy
        • After 1780s Britain was the only European nation to maintain a large Navy
        • pre 1780 Ships were built of wood and were powered by sails
          • During the 80s ships were coppered
      • Types of ship
        • These were in constant use patrolling etc.
        • Frigates were smaller and faster ships with 28-36 guns
          • These were in constant use patrolling etc.
        • Smaller ships such as sloops and gunboats were primarily used for convoys and blockades
    • Guns
      • Ability
        • Since 1745 daily gunnery practice was required on all ships
        • Battles were decided by speed of fire and the Navy was capable of a broadside every 90 seconds, far faster than others
      • Inventory
        • Guns weight 3 tons and could fire 32 pound rounds
        • 1 gun required 7 men, mostly for repositioning after recoil
        • 1780s Carronade invented -light swivel gun at the front and back
          • Could be fired rapidly
          • Worked close range and with a grapeshot it worked like a giant shot gun
          • The French had no equivalent
        • Gunlocks replaced matches as a firing mechanism in the 1780s
          • This led to an increased firing sped
            • Ability
              • Since 1745 daily gunnery practice was required on all ships
              • Battles were decided by speed of fire and the Navy was capable of a broadside every 90 seconds, far faster than others
      • Regulation
        • In 1780s new rules meant guns had to be fired 30 times before fitting

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