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War at Sea: Northern Cog

Discussion in 'Research' started by Aldarion, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

    Thought about sending it here for publishing, but decided to publish it on blog since it is not strictly about fantasy.

    A lot of authors - Tolkien, Martin - like to populate their oceanic fleets with galleys. Which is not that good idea: while it may make sense in context of Dark Ages, and even then it is a stretch, something like pseudo-Rennaissance ASoIaF should definitely not be utilizing galleys as their primary warships. For such a setting, a carrack, carravel or a cog makes much more sense. This is a look at cog as a warship. Longer version is on the link, but to sum up: height is a massive advantage in pre-gunpowder naval combat. That is why ancient warships often mounted towers on them (as can be seen on reliefs of Roman galleys, e.g. here). But rowing warship is limited in height by the need to utilize oars, whereas sailing ship can afford a much greater freeboard. As a result, as soon as ramming stopped being primary naval tactic, sailing ships overtook rowing warships. And in Northern Europe, they already had a very good sailing ship: a cog.

    War at Sea – Northern Cog

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