Wednesday, 25 November 2009

RAM BAM AND CONSTERNATION

Just a thought about ramming. The proembolon is often cited as a device to grip an opposing ship once the boarding tactic has become prevalent. It is odd that most illustrated do not seem to have any obvious gripping characteristics. A ram is specially formed to cut and shear, should ancient technicians have not set their minds to this gripping problem too ?

I think the upper fitting is not a ram at all but a defence for the rammer against damaging his stem-post. As a ship is rammed it does not just jump away from the rammer, it must also rotate towards him because the centre of gravity of the target is above the point of impact. Water behind the target cannot jump out of the way instantly, also.

In addition, as ships become more built-out , with parados and heavier outriggers the attacker must reach -in under this construction to impact the target hull. The likelihood of being hit by the rotating target becomes greater.

Probably wrong, but anyone got a reference to sort this out ?

(p.s. trad jazz fans may recognize the heading's inspiration)

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