Reply To: HMS Victory – handling of shot to the guns

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#13830
Malcolm Lewis
Participant

    Thanks Ian. I suppose shot could have been hoisted by tackles from the hold via the hatches on each deck. Having personally attempted lifting only an 18 Pound shot it would have been a demanding task especially when Victory initially had 42pdr cannon on the lower deck.
    It is possible that in a close engagement when continuous broadsides were fired at a maximum rate of say two shots a minute a fifty-gun broadside from three decks of Victory (50 guns) could add up to 6000 shots an hour. Keeping up supply of shot to the guns would have been heavy work.
    Supplying the 68 pdr Carronades on the exposed focs’le must have presented problems too.
    Very little is recorded about replenishing the fleet away from home ports with heavy shot and highly dangerous gunpowder. In home anchorages, red painted powder hoys did the task but one would assume such obvious vessels could not be used to supply ships, say, blockading the French and Spanish Mediterranean ports.
    Were special supply ships used for this purpose?