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Thread: Whalers

  1. #1
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    Default Whalers

    I have been trying to figure out if whalers of this time period were armed. Since the crew took their earnings from the cargo, there is a strong case for them to want to defend it.

    When I get home in the Spring, I may have to make a whaler from a Sloop of War. It seems that 300 tons was about the right size.

    If anyone has any information on armaments for whalers, I'd love to hear about it.

  2. #2

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    Other than small weapons such as swivels, probably not. Larger artillery would require trained crews, would take u significant space and weight that would otherwise accommodate payload.

  3. #3
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    There is a section on the use of whalers in wartime in the Wikipedia article on whalers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaler

    "In wartime
    The crews of whaling vessels fought small skirmishes for the control of the Spitsbergen whale fishery between 1613 and 1638.

    In the late 18th and early 19th century, the owners of whalerships frequently armed their vessels with cannons to enable the vessels to protect themselves against pirates, and in wartime, privateers. Weapons were also carried on vessels visiting Pacific islands for food, water and wood in order to defend themselves from the sometimes hostile natives. At the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, British privateers captured several French whaleships, among them Necker and Deux Amis, and Anne. Dutch privateers captured Port de Paix and Penn. At the time, many French whaleships transferred to the American flag, the United States being neutral in the Anglo-French war.

    Some whaleships also carried letters of marque that authorized them to take enemy vessels should the opportunity arise. In July 1793 the British armed whaleship Liverpool, of 20 guns, captured the French whaleship Chardon. However, Chardon's crew succeeded in retaking their vessel.

    In 1793, an armed British whaleship captured the French whaleship Hébé in Walvis Bay.

    During the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy captured two British whaleships, Atlantic and Seringapatam, and used them as warships.

    During World War II, the Norwegian and later British Royal Navies hired a number of whalers for use in a variety of functions such as minesweeping, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. Ten Allied vessels categorized as whalers were lost in the war."

  4. #4
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    Thanks David! I checked the New Bedford Whaling Museum's website, and a whaling database website, but good old Wikipedia comes through again!

  5. #5
    2nd Lieutenant
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    I imagine they must have been armed with carronades due to the low crew numbers.

  6. #6

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    Clearly my info was bobbins :)

    This might be worth mining for useful info.....

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/...77618909504564

    This also (which indeed mentions the use of carronades on a particular vessel)

    https://wikivividly.com/wiki/Phoenix_(1809_ship)
    Last edited by David Manley; 11-17-2018 at 13:41.

  7. #7
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    I would have thought whalers would typically be a bit larger, but that's complete conjecture on my part.

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