Military Review

Royal Armada of Spain in 1808 year

30
Earlier, I had already published articles in which I briefly talked about the organization of the Royal Army, the Royal Guard and the military industry of Spain for 1808, when the destructive Iberian War began. But the whole cycle as a result was incomplete without information about another component of the armed forces of Spain at that time - the Royal Armada. Will be considered the state of Spanish fleet throughout the Napoleonic Wars until 1808, and will be given a description of its strengths and weaknesses. The main force of the fleet will be considered, of course, battleships, for the fate of the war at sea at that time was decided by them alone.


Real armada Española


Build a battleship of Armada. Lead ship - "Santisima Trinidad"


It is generally accepted that after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Spain proper ceased to be a serious force at sea. This, to put it mildly, is not so - without strong naval forces, Spain would not have been able to maintain contact with the colonies and protect them, and she did this for more than two hundred years after the defeat of the Armada. It would be appropriate to say that Spain has ceased to be a uniquely dominant force at sea, but the power of its fleet was more than enough to remain among the leading maritime powers of Europe. However, like any other fleet, the Armada experienced an ups and downs at different times. The next rise of the fleet was outlined at the beginning of the 18th century.

With the coming to power in Spain of the Bourbons, under Philip V, the active fleet Bernardo Tinahera became Secretary of the fleet, and the famous Spanish engineer José Antonio Gastanieta was operating in the shipyards for several years. For shipbuilding Spain at that time was characterized by a large number of small shipyards [1] and complete chaos in terms of the organization of the construction, which made the construction more expensive and complicated it considerably. The gastanetus, with the support of the King and the Registrar of the Navy, published his work Proporciones más esenciales para la fábrica de navíos y fragatas in 1720, recommending how the construction of a modern navy should be organized - how to store wood, how to use it, what design features of ships contribute to their speed or structural strength, etc. This led to the emergence in the Spanish shipbuilding of the so-called “Gastanieta System”, which determined the development of the fleet in the first half of the 18th century. Although Gastanieta soon died, ships were already being built according to his system. The largest brainchild of his theory was the “Royal Felipe”, armed with 114 guns. However, it was impossible to call this ship successful: launched in 1732, it was scrapped already in 1750, and absolutely not because of the poor quality of construction (although there were complaints about this).

From the middle of the 18th century, the English shipbuilding school began to gain popularity among Spanish shipbuilders, which gained recognition at the beginning of the reign of King Carlos III. Its main supporter was the Spanish engineer Jorge Juan. Together with the construction of new shipyards, English specialists were invited, who, in collaboration with Spanish engineers, began to build ships according to the “English” system, also called the Jorge Juan system. These ships were characterized by heavy, but strong hulls with relatively low maneuverability. Among these ships belonged to the famous "Santisima Trinidad". Simultaneously with the English school in Spain, the French also became established. It was distributed thanks to the French engineer Gautier, who worked in Spain from 1765 and studied the system Jorge Juan - he pointed out the critical shortcomings of methods for harvesting and processing wood, and also compiled a list of recommendations for improving the design of ships. The main drawbacks of the “English” system, he called the low speed and maneuverability, as well as the low location of the battery deck, because of which, at the slightest agitation, the cannon porticas were flooded with water. According to his recommendations, a number of ships were built, including the San Juan Nepomuseno, which was noted in the Battle of Trafalgar.

But the top of the Spanish shipbuilding industry was the shipbuilding system, compiled by the engineers Romero de Lando and Martin de Retamos. They combined all the best aspects of the three methods - Gastanet, Jorge Juan and Gautier. The series of seven ships of the “Idelfonso” type became quite a good type of ships that combined strong armament, good speed and maneuverability, and excellent seaworthiness. The three ships of the Montagnes type became the development of the San Idelfonso, and were rightfully considered one of the best 74-gun ships in the world - possessing a strong hull and powerful armament, they were extremely fast and maneuverable, exceeding all modern ones on the 2-4 battleships and sailing no worse than a frigate. Finally, a significant achievement of the Spanish shipbuilding became battleships of the type “Santa Ana”, armed with 112-120 guns and built in the number of 8 units [2]. These ships also featured good maneuverability and impressive seaworthiness even in stormy weather. It was about these last battleships of Spain that Sir Horatio Nelson spoke, calling them superb. In addition, close to the San Ana "San Jose" after the capture of the British during the battle of San Vicente for quite a long time served as the flagship of the English Admiral Dakvorte, which is also evidence of the high characteristics of the Spanish ships.

Since the end of the 17th century and until the beginning of the 19th century, more than two hundred ships of the line were built. [3]. The year 1794 is considered to be the date of the maximum flowering of the Armada Espanyol - then it included 76 battleships and the 51 frigate; by 1805, the Armada’s strength was reduced to 54 battleships and 37 frigates. At the same time, the ships built under Carlos III and shortly after his death became the last ships of the times when Spain was still something at sea. The title of the last battleship of the empire belongs to the Argonauta launched in Ferrol, 1794, in the year. After that, Spain, ruled by the king-rag, the lustful queen and her lover Godoy, completely forgot about shipbuilding, which already lacked funds, and the Pyrenean war sentenced Spain to death as a maritime state for a long time.

Shipyards and artillery

Royal Armada of Spain in 1808 year

"Santa Ana" - one of the best representatives of the three-deck battleship of its time


At the beginning of the XVIII century Spanish shipbuilding consisted of a large number of small Royal shipyards, scattered around the coast. The exact list of them, alas, is not known to me, because I did not dig so deeply, but from what I found, we can distinguish the shipyards Reales Astilleros de Falgote, Real Astillero de Santoña, Real Astillero de Guarnizo, Reales Astilleros de Esteiro, Real Carenero and the totality shipyards in the territory of the present city of Bilbao. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, even under the Habsburgs in Spain, ships were built centrally, with fairly high standardization and unification, which should have been cheaper and simpler to build, but those times are long gone. Contracts were transferred to private firms, work in the shipyards was done carelessly, slowly and poorly, while the cost of construction remained quite high. The initial reorganization of the existing shipbuilding under Philip V did not help either - small enterprises could not jump higher than their heads. Powerful shipbuilding centers were required, combining all the necessary infrastructure not only for building ships, but also for timber harvesting, ship repair, upgrades, fleet maintenance, etc. - in simple terms, it was required to build full shipbuilding arsenals.

The first such complex in Spain was the grandiose Cartagena Arsenal, whose construction took as many 50 years - from 1732 to 1782 years. Prisoners' labor was actively used in its construction, and slaves were even brought from America - although slavery was long forbidden in the metropolitan area (from the time of Isabella the Catholic). Despite the fact that general work was completed only after 50 years after construction began, the first major ship here was laid in the 1751 year (the “Septentrion”). The second arsenal, the famous La Carraca near Cadiz, began to be built in 1752 on the basis of stunted local enterprises, and very quickly became a large industrial complex - the first ship of the line was laid at the same time as the construction began. Finally, Ferrolsky, which was also built on the basis of local small shipbuilding enterprises, became the third arsenal. The first major ship here was laid in the 1751 year. In all three arsenals, the organization of production met high standards, the construction of ships proceeded fairly quickly, cheaply and, above all, qualitatively. Before that, Spain had to build ships in the colonies, or even order them abroad - from the middle of the 18th century, the Spanish fleet had completely switched to the self-maintenance of the metropolis. By the end of the reign of King Carlos III, the power of Spanish shipbuilding became such that the arsenals of Ferrol or Cartagena could build a frigate six weeks from the time the order was issued - a great result for that time!

The armament of the Spanish fleet was supplied by the famous La Cavada, which I have already mentioned in the previous article. The main armament of the Spanish ships to the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars were guns and carronades caliber 36, 24, 12 and 8 pounds, as well as howitzers caliber from 24 to 48 pounds. The popularity of the carronades in the Spanish fleet was rather small - as far as I know, they were put on ships in fairly limited quantities, although there is unreliable information that the Santa Anu before the Battle of Trafalgar was completely rearmed into these short-barreled guns. In general, the ship's artillery in Spain was quite good, but in one it was seriously inferior to the English - if the Spaniards continued to use wick locks, then the inhabitants of Albion had already completely switched to flint shock, which were more reliable and simple. However, with the same wick gun locks, the French ships of the time also went into battle. Another disadvantage is the low saturation of the Spanish ships with carronades, which is why the overall rate of fire, which is already low, fell even lower.

Little about the effectiveness of artillery


Modern reconstruction of the "Santinima Trinidad", or rather a small part of it in the section. Clearly visible design of the sides


About the arming of ships and its effectiveness at that time it is worth telling separately, although all further reasoning will be more of a divan analytics than a truth in the first instance. The fact is that with regard to the effectiveness of naval artillery of the Napoleonic wars there are two diametrically opposite points of view: that heavy guns were firing through ships, and that they did not break through thick wooden plating at all. According to my impression, after studying statistics and some sources, an impression can be concluded that both sides are wrong, and at the same time both are right in some way.

The fact is that according to Spanish sources, the 36-pound gun when firing a full charge of gunpowder, in ideal conditions and for some average statistical purpose (wooden board made of ordinary wood, in a single layer, with an average spacing of the frames) penetrated 65cm side plating from a distance of a kilometer and 130cm from the pistol shot distance. Meanwhile, such ideal conditions in the battle between battleships were most often absent - high quality material up to mahogany, lining in several layers, its constructive reinforcement with additional inner linings or even the simplest angles of the projectile as a result of maneuvering could reduce penetration of 36-pounders in two, three or more times. But the plating of the battleships of that time could have been very, very thick! So, at Santisima Trinidad, only the thickness of the outer skin of very strong mahogany wood reached 60, which, together with the inner skin, which was separated from the outside at some distance, gave the effect of exploded protection. As a result - for the "Santisime" in the Battle of Trafalgar, SEVEN British battleships were practicing for several hours, but the ship did not sink, but was taken to the boarding. From the received holes in the waterline area, the battleship took on water, but only the storm that began began finally sentencing him to death, otherwise the British would be able to tow it to Gibraltar.

Of course, this is an extreme case, and the survivability of wooden battleships at that era was somewhat lower, but if you look at the general statistics of losses in more or less large sea battles of that time between battleships and compare the numbers of sweats and captures, it turns out that for each dead in the classic battle, the ship accounted for 10-12 captured after the destruction of the upper decks, where the skin was usually somewhat weaker, and the demolition of all masts, which deprived the ship of the ability to move. In such cases, usually the crew of the captured ship previously suffered noticeable losses due to flying in all directions on the upper decks of wooden chips, which acted no worse than fragments. It is much more useful. weapons for such purposes, various carronades became available - they were enough to penetrate the sides on the upper decks, and the high rate of fire allowed us to literally throw an enemy with nuclei or a canister. The active rate of the British Navy on the carronades during the Napoleonic wars was probably another reason for their victory at Trafalgar.

Personnel


Federico Gravina and Cosme Churruka


Naval traditions in Spain were among the oldest in Europe, and the training of sailors, in particular naval officers, was put on stream from ancient times. For example, in Spain for a long time there were naval academies where officers were trained, the largest of which was Academia de Guardias Marinas, located from 1769, in San Fernando, near Cadiz. All Spanish naval officers had a regular maritime practice, as had those sailors who had been on permanent naval service for many years. In this regard, the personnel of the Royal Armada was not inferior to the leading naval powers of the world, although it is traditionally considered that its quality was at best below average. Especially these high standards concerned officers who, in addition to professional selection, also underwent a “natural selection” when promoted - people who did not know how to earn the respect of a team simply did not admit to high positions. However, there were certain drawbacks - in some cases, inexperienced people could simply be in command of the position; in some way they received a position: there were no restrictions on increasing the length of service in the Royal Armada.

Speaking about the quality of the commanding staff of the Royal Armada of Spain, it is impossible not to recall her two outstanding officers - Federico Gravina and Cosme de Churruck. In general, both of these people are worthy of a separate article, because the scale of their personality, military abilities and popularity among sailors significantly exceeded all that is usually attributed to the Spanish admirals of the time. So, Gravin very highly appreciated Napoleon, considering him to be the best commander than Villeneuve, and expressly pointing out that if he commanded the allied squadron under Finisterre, they would have won the victory. He was an experienced officer who had gone through more than one war and had an important talent for the commander - organizational: he managed to organize large squadrons and transform them at the very least, but an interacting set of ships, which was even noted by King Carlos IV. Churruka was a bird of a slightly different flight, of something even higher - his scientific activity in America before the Napoleonic Wars was so successful and popular that the French and the British recognized his highest qualities. But what can I say - in his time Napoleon spoke with him personally, who responded well to the Spaniard after that! But it was not only this that Churruk was strong - like Gravin, he was distinguished by outstanding organizational skills. After the end of his career as a researcher, he entered the navy, and his ships quickly turned from rashlyannyh to exemplary. Based on his own experience with the teams, Churruk made plans for modernizing the Armada - to improve the skills of personnel, to create an adequate system of combat training, to create a unified system of armament of battleships, to improve ship discipline, which the Spaniards traditionally limped ....

The battle of Trafalgar was the decline of the Spanish Armada, and the fate of its two best officers was very tragic. Both Gravina and Churruka opposed the withdrawal of the allied squadron from Cadiz, but Villeneuve insisted on his own, and the Spaniards had to come to terms with his decision. During the battle, Gravina was on the 112-gun "Principe de Asturias", was seriously wounded, but brought his ship and some others from the battle, when it became clear that he had been lost. Gravina did not calm down on this, and having quickly repaired his ships, he sent them after the British to beat off the captured Spanish battleships. Alas, the impulse turned out to be almost fruitless - only one Santa Ana managed to be repulsed, the beginning storm prevented further actions. Cosme de Churruk commanded the "San Juan Nepomuseno", who had a chance to grapple with six British ships. Churruk’s actions in the battle were brave, and his team probably acted better than the rest of all the Spanish ships thanks to the talent of his commander, who trained the necessary qualities of his crew. But in the midst of the battle, the brave basque (Churruk was from Basque) was blown off by a leg, and he soon died from blood loss. The surviving members of the ship instantly lost heart, and soon surrendered when the ship was already badly beaten and lost the opportunity to continue resistance. It was not only the allies who mourned him, but also the enemies - it was a man of such magnitude. But shortly before the Battle of Trafalgar, Churruk married for the first time .... Federico Gravina briefly survived him, having died from the effects of the wound received at Trafalgar. The names of these two naval officers are revered in Spain so far.

Beginning for health, we finish for the rest


"Montanes" in the open sea. The lead ship of the series was built with donations from the people of Asturias, thanks to which it was named after them ("Montanes" in Spanish means "Highlander")


Unfortunately, all the above mentioned good sides of the Armada overlapped with weighty flaws. The biggest problem was the general low quality of training sailors - in wartime, the vast majority of them on ships turned out to be inexperienced recruits or random people in general. The reasons for this situation are closely intertwined with other reasons for the decline of Armada, as a result of which four large points can be distinguished, which the Spanish fleet was sentenced.

Cost savings. The fact is that under the Bourbons in the XVIII century, there was a redistribution of expenditures of the treasury - if at the Habsburgs huge sums were spent on the maintenance of armies or third-party expenses, then under the Bourbons finance began to be invested in domestic development. However, to get out of a long decline, and even begin to develop, it required an extremely large amount of money - and it was decided to save on the armed forces. If in the land forces of that time the states of peace and wartime differed little (in Russia the difference was about 200 people per regiment, or around 10%), then in Spain the staff of the peacetime and wartime regiment differed 2,2 times! Replenishment of the regiment was due to the recruitment of recruits and veterans, previously dismissed from the service - but the adequate deployment and training of these people took considerable time. A similar situation developed in the fleet - peacetime states were very different from the military states, with the result that in the event of war professional sailors "dissolved" against the background of a large number of recruits that were required for the full functioning of warships. This system still somehow functioned under Carlos III, but every year under Carlos IV and Manuel Godoy, the savings were only exacerbated - the Spanish treasury could not withstand both military spending and the huge subsidies that it pledged to France. For example, before the Battle of Trafalgar, many officers had not been paid their salaries for many months, although they had received money regularly before. Not only that - there is evidence that some captains had to pay out of their own wallet to put ships in order before the battle (meaning painting), since for the same reason many first-class battleships were already rotting at the walls, left without crews! The talentless leaders and the alliance with France ruined the economy of Spain, and this could not but affect its fleet.

Low quality recruits. Judging by the information that I have seen on the Internet, the quality of recruits who fell into the Armada was quite low. Some blame geography for this - they say, most of the recruits were recruited in the countryside and were illiterate, but the same alignment with the recruits did not prevent the Russian Imperial fleet from having well-trained personnel. Most likely, the reason was different - in the event of war, the best people were taken to the army, a significant number of volunteers went there (including — not to get into the fleet, because the army even paid regularly), and the fleet had to deal with the remnants , and these were most often various tramps, criminals and other low-quality human material. It cannot be said that, for example, the situation was better in the UK navy - there was also rowing everyone there, but Great Britain did not have such a large army that competed with the fleet for human resources, in peacetime the crews did not shrink to the very minimum, and they still did better combat training of personnel there - which brings us to the next point.

Insufficient level of combat training. If the British Navy used its crews to complete (with rare exceptions), then combat training in the Spanish Navy seemed to be reduced to a minimum in wartime. But what is there - even in peacetime, the Spanish professional sailors could really be masters of their craft in maritime navigation, but practically had no experience in handling ship artillery. This was aggravated even more by diluting this professional unit with recruits in the event of war, which led to a truly catastrophic result - in the Battle of Trafalgar for every shot of the Spanish 36-pound cannon the British could respond with two or three guns of the same caliber [4]. The Spanish naval officers also understood this, but due to the inertia of the headquarters’s thinking and the economy in the navy, the plan of combat shooting aimed at improving the quality of training of cannon servants, proposed by Churruka, was adopted only in 1803 year, but it wasn’t carried out before the Trafalgar battle! There were also problems of rafting - in peacetime, the main service of the ships took place in proud solitude, rarely in small units. When for the big war it was necessary to act as part of numerous squadrons, almost any command maneuver turned into an insurmountable task, and the Spanish ships as a result "went in some kind of herd." Churruk also pointed to this shortcoming, but who was listening to him in 1803-1805 for years ...

"Mess on the ship". In the process of studying the organization of the army and navy of Spain in the XVIII - early XIX century, you very quickly start to get confused and surprised, because where in Russia, Prussia or France there was a clear structure, in Spain there was real chaos, albeit organized as much as possible. It was expressed in different ways, and could be closely connected with the peculiarities of the Spanish mentality - so, the Spanish soldiers and sailors were always sensitive to the quality of the commanders: if the commander did not enjoy their respect, the discipline fell below the baseboard, as did the fighting ability. But with proper motivation and the commander from the category of “servant to the king, father to the soldiers”, the same Spanish soldiers and sailors could work wonders of courage and resilience. Discipline in general was a problem place for the Spaniards - here, perhaps, the features of the Spaniards mentality also affected. The salary situation did not at all contribute to raising this discipline - sailors on ships were paid less than soldiers in the regiments, which also caused the problem of desertion from the fleet of people, including experienced professionals. Bardak also dealt with organizational issues - thus, there was a practice in the event of a shortage of artillery maids on a ship to remove artillerymen from coastal batteries, or even to “borrow” them from the army in the field. Needless to say, being on an unfamiliar ship and unfamiliar cannons, these people could not be compared with the English professionals, even if these Spanish gunners were masters of their craft on land?

Of course, these are only the most general estimates, but in sum, they would give exactly the effect that was obtained in reality - first of all, bad wartime cadres wouldn’t allow realizing the good sides of the Royal Armada, and other reasons, to which one can also add embellishment in The rear structures, especially developed under Carlos IV, only aggravated the situation. As a result of all this, Spain, despite all the efforts under Carlos III, still lost its sea power. After the Battle of Trafalgar, the fleet in Spain was completely forgotten, and during the years of the Pyrenean War, it was simply not up to him - and 20 years after the famous battle in which Nelson, Gravina and Churruk died, the Armada almost disappeared from the seas and oceans.

Notes

1) I found references to at least five royal shipyards on the shores of Biscay, Asturias and Galicia; thus, the theses expressed by some about the absence of shipbuilding in Spain itself are unfounded.

2) Some sources call the digit 9, but most likely it is erroneous.

3) For comparison: in the UK, the force of large shipyards during the same time built the 261 battleship.

4) However, the secret of the British high rate of fire also lies in the accumulation of gunpowder and nuclei for the first shots at the beginning of the battle - this increased the ship’s risk of taking off into the air or at least incur serious losses from the explosion of the “first shots” stock, but on the other hand it significantly reduced reloading time for guns due to the absence of the need to carry ammunition from the cellars.
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Articles from this series:
Organization of the Spanish Army in 1808
Organization of the Royal Guard of Spain in 1808
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  1. Olgovich
    Olgovich 2 May 2018 06: 04
    +6
    After the Battle of Trafalgar, the fleet in Spain was completely forgotten, and during the years of the Iberian War it was simply not up to him - and 20 years after the famous battle in which Nelson, Gravina and Churruka died, Armada almost disappeared from the seas and oceans.
    The Armada disappeared simultaneously with the disappearance of the colonies of Spain in Latin America. Spain could not resist the independence of the colonies ...

    The article is interesting and detailed, thanks.
    1. Cat
      Cat 2 May 2018 06: 29
      +7
      Interesting fact!
      Following the results of the Napoleonic Wars, the Russian Empire transferred several battleships to Spain to replenish the fleet of the latter!
      Many thanks to the author! More such "side" results.
      1. arturpraetor
        2 May 2018 10: 36
        +2
        Quote: Kotischa
        More such "side" results.

        While everything is with them for a while, I can only write articles about Gravina, Churruca and other Spanish naval officers. And then a little exhausted, and the main project should be given time laughing
        1. Korsar4
          Korsar4 3 May 2018 06: 53
          0
          It is reasonable. True, Khayyam also wrote something in the fields. They say it worked out well.
          1. Weyland
            Weyland 3 May 2018 12: 51
            0
            Quote: Korsar4
            True, Khayyam also wrote something in the fields. They say it worked out well.

            Pierre Fermat also wrote something in the fields. For more than three and a half centuries the descendants had to suffer because of his habit lol
    2. arturpraetor
      2 May 2018 10: 35
      +3
      Quote: Olgovich
      The Armada disappeared simultaneously with the disappearance of the colonies of Spain in Latin America.

      In fact. the end was predetermined from the mid-1790's when the Godoy government stopped building ships because of the need to transfer huge amounts of money to France. After that, the Armada was replenished only with foreign ships. The dynamics of the composition of the Armada are as follows: 77 battleships in 1796, 66 in 1800, 39 in 1806, 21 in 1814, 7 in 1823 and 3 in 1833. Many ships simply rotted during the Iberian War, since there were no resources even to keep them in reserve normally. After Trafalgar, Armada practically did not go to sea, and only in 1815-1816 was there an episode of increased activity. Its revival in an adequate (plus or minus) form began only in the second half of the 19th century.
      Quote: Olgovich
      The article is interesting and detailed, thanks.

      Thank you!
  2. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 2 May 2018 06: 54
    +4
    Oops belay ...
    Article plus !!!! good
    1. avt
      avt 2 May 2018 11: 04
      +4
      Quote: Rurikovich
      Article plus !!!!

      Yes. good Gishpan people really did well then ships.
      So, for “Santisima Trinidad” only the thickness of the outer skin of very strong mahogany species reached 60 cm, which, together with the inner skin,
      practically armored sailboat however. In general, this battleship was a masterpiece of architecture and quite a war machine .... BUT in the hands of an experienced crew and under the command of a competent commander. Leaving Cadiz with Villeneuve's fear of Bonya was a really irrevocable step towards the defeat of the combined fleet. Actually, the figure of Villeneuve as a commander causes at least bewilderment, and at most - conspiracy theories wassat This naval commander at least did not comply with Boni's legendary rule, well, when, according to legend, some general was praised, he - ,, To hell! Tell me - is he lucky? "
      1. arturpraetor
        2 May 2018 11: 18
        +4
        Quote: avt
        In general, this battleship was a masterpiece of architecture and quite a war machine .... BUT in the hands of an experienced crew and under the command of a competent commander.

        Not really. He was heavy and clumsy even before the superstructure of the fourth deck; as part of a squadron of ships like "Santa Ana" and "Montanes", he would constantly be "blunt" with the execution of orders for others. As an individual ship, he is, yes, quite good - but with actions in the squadron it is rather a headache. The Spaniards did not just refuse to duplicate this monster.
        Quote: avt
        Leaving Cadiz with Villeneuve's fear of Bonya was a really irrevocable step towards the defeat of the combined fleet. Actually, the figure of Villeneuve as a commander causes at least bewilderment, and at most - conspiracy theories

        Villeneuve was recommended by the Minister of Marine of France, and so they appointed him. And how he began to work miracles - they began to pull the tires to the last, although there was a really great way to solve the command issue, putting Gravina or Churruk at the head of the allied squadron, or taking Masarredo out of the nest egg, i.e. using spanish shots. These officers were brought up under the “old school” of Carlos III, were very experienced and competent, and categorically opposed the launch of ships at sea in such a situation, offering their own action plan - fortunately, Gravina was one of those who caused the British problems with the blockade of Cadiz a few years earlier, and the British really indirect actions could be patted so that they would howl. But Villeneuve was against activity, and as soon as he found out that they were being dismissed, he hastened into battle as if stung. This moment is perfectly described in the book of Perez-Reverte "Trafalgar", including how the Spanish commanders were "bred" on the way out. But no - only the French admiral was to command the allied squadron, and the point ...
        1. avt
          avt 2 May 2018 12: 04
          0
          Quote: arturpraetor
          The Spaniards did not just refuse to duplicate this monster.

          Too expensive pleasure, sculpt from mahogany. Well, about
          Quote: arturpraetor
          He was heavy and clumsy even before the superstructure of the fourth deck; as part of a squadron of ships like "Santa Ana" and "Montanes" he would constantly "goof off" with the execution of orders for others.

          So in fact the fate of all ships for 100 guns. It seemed like 130 did. Not for nothing that the main units in the sailing fleet were ships up to 80 guns, in fact the best option for, cost-effectiveness
          1. arturpraetor
            2 May 2018 12: 21
            +1
            Quote: avt
            Too expensive fun to sculpt in mahogany.

            Yes, how can I say ... If you believe the price tags I found on Spanish ships of that time, then Santisima (300-450 thousand reais, probably without artillery) cost less than San Ildefonso (3,3 million reais, but with artillery). But these can be generally completely erroneous figures. Plus, from mahogany in Spain, not only Santisima was built, but all the ships built by the Havana arsenal.
            Quote: avt
            So in fact the fate of all ships for 100 guns.

            Not really - the English “Victoria” and the Spanish “Santa Ana” were noticeably more maneuverable.
        2. populist
          populist 2 May 2018 22: 02
          0
          arturpraetor (Artem)
          Villeneuve was recommended by the Minister of Marine of France, and so they appointed him. And how he began to work miracles - they began to pull the tires to the last, although there was a really great way to solve the command issue, putting at the head of the allied squadron the same Gravina, or Churruk, or taking Masarredo from the nest egg, i.e. using spanish shots.

          Just one battle and a completely lost company. An interesting question arises; and Napoleon was well versed in frames (people)? It seems to be necessary for the head of state.
          1. arturpraetor
            2 May 2018 22: 10
            +3
            In land - well understood. In the sea ... In fact, all of Napoleon's undertakings in terms of the fleet were a failure. He did not know the specifics of the sea, did not know the requirements for naval officers, and so he transferred the decision to a person whom he trusted - i.e. to the Minister of the Sea (I forgot how it was there). But the choice was unsuccessful, and not the fact that the admiral who would have been sent to replace Gravina would have been better - the French had naval personnel in Napoleonica ... Well, not so bad, but not good for sure. Well, a purely ideological oddity of Napoleon - the Frenchman should command the fleet, and that’s the point! After the Battle of Finisterre, it never crossed his mind to immediately remove Villeneuve from command and appoint Gravina, whom Napoleon himself praised to the full for that battle ("if Villeneuve had the qualities of Gravina, we would have won the battle"). One overlapped with the other - that’s the result. Although it remains a mystery to itself why it was so dragged out with the removal of Villeneuve, it became clear to him even before Finisterre that this admiral was worthless, remaining a good captain of the ship.
            1. populist
              populist 2 May 2018 22: 46
              +1
              Thanks for the instant and thorough answer.
              arturpraetor (Artem)
              In land - well understood

              This is by profession. The summary begs: who else to understand ground personnel, if not Napoleon.
              In the sea ... In fact, all of Napoleon's undertakings in terms of the fleet were a failure

              With the sea, too, everything is clear.
              Around Napoleon there were a huge number of people - officials, scientists, diplomats (spy Talleyrand), heads of state (Byzantine Alexander), etc. It is interesting how Napoleon understood them. Maybe he made an unsuccessful exception in the list of great leaders in the category of experts on people.
      2. Weyland
        Weyland 3 May 2018 13: 02
        0
        Quote: avt
        Actually, the figure of Villeneuve as a commander causes at least bewilderment, and at most - conspiracy theories

        Especially given his behavior in the battle of Abukir. It’s very significant - for a long time I ignored Napoleon’s orders to go to the Mediterranean Sea, but immediately intensified when I found out that Bonya was going to him ... no, not to guillotine and not even demoralize, but only to remove him from command of the squadron!
        1. arturpraetor
          3 May 2018 13: 33
          0
          Quote: Weyland
          when he found out that Bonya was going to ... not to guillotine or even demoralize him, but to remove him from command of the squadron!

          Yes, how can I say ... The information at the level of the OCS is of course, but I read that Villeneuve’s reaction was due either to the fact that Napoleon was really going to bring the unfortunate admiral to the guillotine, or the admiral himself decided so, realizing all the disadvantages of his own activities. At least the fact that Villeneuve on their return from Spain was expected on the carpet to the emperor - that's for sure.
  3. Knizhnik
    Knizhnik 2 May 2018 09: 39
    +2
    Regarding recruitment versus the UK; the latter, being then a sea power, was nevertheless in a better position, since there was a large resource of merchant marine sailors, who were taken in the first place. Of course, a percentage of those who were not at sea inevitably fell into the crew, but he was quickly re-educated by a team with non-commissioned officers at the head.
    1. arturpraetor
      2 May 2018 10: 45
      +4
      The Spaniards also had a fairly large merchant fleet. Of course, he was smaller than the British ... But still, there was something. And Armada got some shots from there, but during the time of Napoleonics, most of them preferred to desert from the ship due to non-payment of salaries. I read about a case in point - one such sailor was waiting until the 1820's for the payment of a salary that the kingdom owed him since the 1790's, and died without receiving anything. According to the rules of that time, the unpaid salary should have been received by the family of this sailor, but the state only paid for his funeral, and that’s all (a small part of the debt). And so it was often after Godoy killed the economy. But under the Marquis de la Ensenade and later, already in the late reign of Carlos III, this was not, although there was enough mess ...
      1. Knizhnik
        Knizhnik 2 May 2018 10: 56
        0
        It is believed that the Spanish fleet of trade with the possessions of the New World diverted many resources, including human resources, while the military crews of the English navy shamelessly used the resources of their merchant. What do you think about this?
        1. arturpraetor
          2 May 2018 11: 05
          +3
          I think that if this is true, then only partially. The British would never do too much damage to their merchant fleet, since without trade England was far from being the most powerful state. Most likely, they wouldn’t do that even in wartime - but this is so, general estimates. I don’t know much from the English fleet.
  4. arturpraetor
    2 May 2018 10: 50
    +2
    By the way, again I did not have time to correct the annoying typo: correctly, "San Yiicefonso "and not" san anddelfonso. "Noticed just now request
  5. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 2 May 2018 13: 49
    +3
    It is generally accepted that after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, in fact, Spain ceased to constitute any serious force at sea

    This is our domestic maximalism - either the first or no one :)))))
    The first such complex in Spain was the grandiose Cartagena arsenal, whose construction took as long as 50 years

    The guys were clearly in no hurry.
    During its construction, the labor of prisoners was actively used, and slaves were even brought from America - although slavery was long banned in the metropolitan area

    Everything is as always - if you can’t, but really want to ... I wonder what happened to these slaves later. Although, for 50 years ... On the other hand, they probably had descendants. I hope that at least they weren’t driven back then at the most reasonable price? Or maybe some Spicy Spaniards drove some thread.
    it is impossible not to recall her two outstanding officers - Federico Gravina and Cosme de Churruka

    What is surprising - I do not remember a single Spanish ship with such names. But this is the best way to perpetuate the names of worthy sailors.
    A similar situation existed in the navy - peacetime states were very different from military states, as a result of which, in the event of war, professional sailors “dissolved” against the background of a large number of recruits, which were required for the full functioning of warships.

    Apparently, the legs of the bike are growing from here, that professional Spanish sailors were below average. They were higher, but when everyone needed to puff not only for themselves, but also for that 1,2 guy ...
    Great article, dear Arthur Praetor!
    1. arturpraetor
      2 May 2018 14: 11
      +3
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      This is our domestic maximalism - either the first or no one :))))

      Where without him laughing Although Spain in general, after this point, it is customary to belittle much, not only in terms of the fleet. And if after the Pyrenees War this is true, then under Carlos III somehow ...
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      The guys were clearly in no hurry.

      In fairness, it must be said that the main infrastructure was completed in 15-20 years, after which the arsenal was brought to a complete set due to the fact that it was already in other places, which means that it was not in a hurry specifically in Cartagena. And the complex turned out to be, it must be said, very, very impressive, but alas - still 20, and its capacities were not in demand.
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      Interestingly, with these slaves it became later.

      This is without a clue, and it is not known how many of them were brought there. Considering that there were once or twice slaves in the Spanish colonies, I suspect that a very small number of them were brought to Spain.
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      What is surprising - I do not remember a single Spanish ship with such names. But this is the best way to perpetuate the names of worthy sailors.

      So the Spaniards then had few ships laughing There were destroyers Gravina and Churruka, built under the Franco. And the rest of the time there weren’t enough ships, and others preferred names, including for political reasons, plus a higher priority to more modern names - in honor of the king, queen, infanta, some regions or glorious victories. And Gravina and Churruka, although they were good officers, did not win under Trafalgar ...
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      Apparently, the legs of the bike are growing from here, that professional Spanish sailors were below average. They were higher, but when everyone needed to puff not only for themselves, but also for that 1,2 guy ...

      Exactly. Professional sailors in Spain were no worse than English due to the efforts of their predecessors, but when the number of recently recruited ranged from 30 to 70 percent of the entire crew ...
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      Great article, dear Arthur Praetor!

      Thank you, dear colleague! hi
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 2 May 2018 17: 15
        +3
        Quote: arturpraetor
        And Gravina and Churruka, although they were good officers, did not win under Trafalgar ...

        Yes, this is just not a problem :))) We have Kuznetsov, as it were, too ... I didn’t win under Trafalgar :)))) And now - a whole TAKR :)))
    2. Weyland
      Weyland 3 May 2018 13: 32
      +1
      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
      What is surprising - I do not remember a single Spanish ship with such names. But this is the best way to perpetuate the names of worthy sailors.

      “Paris loves winners” - and Madrid, it seems, too. And especially the conquistadors - the frigate Mendes Nunez (Balboa), the tank landing ships Hernan Cortes and Pizarro. Of the pioneers, only Columbus and Elcano "got their way" (which is very characteristic - there is Elcano, but there is no Magellan!). Of those who defended their homeland - only Blaz de Leso hi , and, surprisingly, Alvaro de Bazan "their" frigates were honored. Well, de Bazan, probably in pure contrast with Medina-Sidonia - they say, if he hadn’t died so late, we would have thrust these arrogant Saxons at 1588m!
  6. DimanC
    DimanC 2 May 2018 18: 08
    +1
    Point 4) is very indicative: the citizens, apparently, so worked out for themselves the need for a quick supply of charges to the gun that only Jutland stopped them ...
    1. arturpraetor
      2 May 2018 18: 15
      +1
      In fact, this is a fairly common practice in cases where the supply of shells and charges greatly slows down the shooting. They did it ... Yes, a lot of people, and at different times. For the Japanese, the first shots often accumulated in the RVE and six-inch casemates, and on ships like the Fuji in the towers there was a niche for the first shots (EMNIP only charges). And this often happened. Apparently, it began with the British.
  7. DimanC
    DimanC 2 May 2018 18: 11
    +1
    Quote: arturpraetor
    Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
    Great article, dear Arthur Praetor!

    Thank you, dear colleague!

    I would like to timidly inquire, but about the Russian fleet there are similar materials on the VO?
    1. arturpraetor
      2 May 2018 18: 16
      +1
      Oh, I don’t even know. I didn’t "smoke" the Russian fleet since the sail, there I have armor and steam closer.
      1. DimanC
        DimanC 2 May 2018 18: 24
        0
        There really is a taste and color smile
        We'll have to rummage through these our Internet smile