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history
military history
Fireship: The Terror Weapon of the Age of Sail
 
 
Author
Peter Kirsch.
Publisher Naval Institute  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 11.6 x 9.95 x 0.8 inches
ISBN 9781591142706
Pages/Publication Date 256/2009
Daedalus Item Code 38381
This item is not available.
Description
The fireship was the guided missile of the age of sail; packed with incendiary or explosive material, it was steered toward the enemy's highly flammable wooden ships by volunteers who jumped out at the last moment. It often missed its target, yet the panic that it caused (among crews who generally could not swim or safely abandon ship) did the job. It was famously used at Gravelines in 1588—as the author of The Galleon explains in this vividly illustrated book—when an English fireship led to the rout of the Spanish Armada. Peter Kirsch describes the increasingly sophisticated fireworks designed for specially built fireships, and reveals the full impact of this much used but little understood weapon on naval history.
 
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