Tuesday, 10 November 2009

RAMMING

Ramming should be deadly to the target if executed correctly. A wooden ship with a large hole on the waterline will become unmanageable and sink down to the waterline if not heaily loaded .
The result of a ramming attack should be generally successful or not with no intermediate result.

A Rhodian hemiolia scythes in towards an Athenian 3

The resistance of the target to a ram will be dependant upon the relative masses of the ships and their collision speed. Lighter ships will come off worse usually. Armoured or thickened wales will be a significant defence according to Shaw et al. Acute angles of attack require higher speeds to be effective.
The rams is external to the ship structure and it may be lost in extreme collisions but that will not usually hole the owner. In 373BC Iphicrates cut off the beaks of captured triremes and then towed them off as trophies - obviously no sinking occurred there.

A good crew will be better able to rapidly extract their ram from the target.

High rams designed to get to grips with the enemy and low rams designed to sink the target.

A ram is fitted outside the ship's structure and its loss will not hole a ship necessarily.

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