The Guns of Lepanto

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The Guns of Lepanto

Niccolo Capponi's study of the Battle of Lepanto, "Victory of the West," has very useful information about the armament of ships at Lepanto, including a listing of all the guns carried by the six galleasses used by the Holy League. These ranged from 60-pounder culverins to 1-pounder light guns, and none of the ships even closely resembled another for armament. Using the GoW draft rules, I calculated roughly how much weight  each ship had in cannon, and how many crew it would need to use them all simultaneously (short answer: a lot!). One weapon they used that isn't quite covered in the rules is the early pedrero, a stone-throwing artillery piece that fired like a cannon, rather than a mortar. To simulate these, I used the mortar statistics except for range and weight. Range was given the same x30 modifier as cannon, and weight was x6 because of a note in the Park Service's "Artillery Through the Ages" that a pedrero weighed half as much as an equivalent culverin.

And now, the various ships, their armaments, and the weight and crew:

 

The Galleass of Captain Duodo

2 50-pounder culverin, 2 20-pounder culverin, 6 14-pounder culverin, 2 30-pounder cannon, 6 20-pounder cannon, 2 3-pounder falcons, 8 3-pounder pedreros

Weight of metal: 81,860 pounds

Crew needed: 268

 

 

The Galleass of Captain Guoro

2 60-pounder culverin, 2 30-pounder culverin, 4 14-pounder culverin, 4 30-pounder cannon, 6 20-pounder cannin, 5 3-pounder pedreros

Weight of metal: 88,550 pounds

Crew needed: 265

 

The Galleass of Captain Pesaro

2 20-pounder culverin, 2 50-pounder cannon, 8 20-pounder cannon, 4 12-pounder sakers, 2 30-pounder pedreros, 8 3-pounder pedreros

Weight of metal: 61,500 pounds

Crew needed: 258

 

The Galleass of Captain An. Bragadin

2 50-pounder culverin, 2 30-pounder culverin, 4 14-pounder culverin, 2 30-pounder cannon, 4 20-pounder cannon, 1 16-pounder cannon, 2 6-pounder falcons, 6 3-pounder falconets, 4 3-pounder pedreros, 6 1-pounders

Weight of Metal: 83,580 pounds

Crew needed: 263

 

The Galleass of Captain Am. Bragadin

2 50-pounder culverin, 2 30-pounder culverin, 4 14-pounder culverin, 4 30-pounder cannon, 4 20-pounder cannon, 2 16-pounder cannon, 2 6-pounder falcons, 12 3-pounder falconets, 8 1-pounders

Weight of Metal: 97,860 pounds

Crew needed: 316

 

The Galleass of Captain Pisani

2 50-pounder culverins, 2 30-pounder culverins, 4 14-pounder culverins, 4 30-pounder cannon, 4 20-pounder cannon, 2 16-pounder cannon, 3 6-pounder falcons, 2 3-pounder pedreros, 12 1-pounders

Weight of Metal: 91,200 pounds

Crew needed: 303

 

 

Note that these ships had 162 rowers, and were expected to fight as floating batteries, so the rowers theoretically could have served as cannon crew. They also probably didn't fully staff every gun (similar to Age of Sail warships, where gun crews would augment each other as needed). Pesaro's ship seems oddly undergunned; since these were conversions from merchant galleys, it's possible his ship was either smaller or in worse shape than the others. However, Am Bragadin's ship carrying almost 10,000 stone of artillery, not including crew, gunpowder, or ammunition, shows just how much these ships could tote around; they're easily into Large Sailing Ship or Large Troop Transport size for cargo capacity.

CharlesDM
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Very interesting -- thank you for sharing!

Hardrada
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Great stuff.