Postcard - Russian Half Galley

TheCollectioner

Le Teich, France

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If the great galleys inspired by the Genoese and Venetian models had some success, the models of galleys by far the most widespread in the Russian navy were the “half galleys”. Inspired by Mediterranean galiots and half-galleys, the latter simply presented themselves as shortened galleys, with fewer rowers (on average three men per bench, and from 18 to 25 oars per board, or a maximum of 150 rowers). They had only two masts and large lateen sails. Their fellows seemed more important in proportion, and these ships had a modest artillery, limited to three pieces in chase, 6 and 18 pounders. But what seemed to be a weakness was counterbalanced by great maneuverability, which was lacking in larger models. With a maximum of 30 meters long by 5 wide, these half-galleys sneaked more easily and could interfere with the maneuvers of the opponent. They inspired a model of galley proper to Russia, even more modest, the famous <strong>Skampaveyas</strong>. The latter won many battles against the Swedes during the first Baltic War. The half galleys were still considered the spearhead of the navy of Catherine II of Russia in 1780.

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galley russia russian catherine

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