Bomb Vessels

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    Anthony Bruce

      I am looking for information on how shells and powder were transferred from the dockyard or accompanying tender to the bomb vessel. Any information or references would be helpful.

      Malcolm Lewis

        Brian Lavery in his book Nelson’ Navy Page 313 Amphibious Operations, writes: “Because of the danger of a premature explosion of the shells, firing was conducted with great care. Most of the shells were kept aboard a tender anchored close to the bomb ketch and were ferried aboard by a ship’s boat. When the shells were aboard the bomb vessel they were carefully stowed in racks under the mortars and brought up only when immediately needed. The bomb vessels were operated at anchor in calm weather so they could be aimed accurately.”
        As operations involving bomb ketches were undertaken overseas the ketches would have had to have been loaded either in England or an overseas base. I cannot find any reference to bomb ketches being based abroad but no doubt they were.
        Powder hoys were specially designed to carry gunpowder and shells having copper or brass fixings and fittings. Copper mooring buoys were often used in fleet anchorages for powder hoys.

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