The Ships of the American Navy in the War of 1812

By H I Chapelle, published August 1932


The American navy had been neglected, so there were few ships available to it at the outbreak of war. The author gives a list of these, then discusses in detail their readiness for action, dimensions, armament, and complement. The sailing quality of several smaller ships was spoilt by overloading. American heavy frigate design appears to be based on a French frigate acquired in the early 1780s. American losses were considerable but, as the war continued, they built or acquired more ships and captured a few. For comparing the size of American warships with their British counterparts, dimensions, rather than tonnage, are used. The difference between the British and American ways of measuring the length of frigates is explained.

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Filed under: Atlantic | War of 1812
Subjects include: Navies

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