Chainshot Barshot, etc.
Posted by Bob Whitworth on July 23, 1998 at 00:39:28:
In response to Chainshot, barshot, and topsails, written by Caroline on July 07, 1998 at 23:06:44
Chainshot and barshot were used primarily in naval actions. Their purpose was to destroy the sails and rigging of a ship, and were not fired at a long distance, therefore their trajectory was not a factor. Generally, because of the proximity, their trajectory was straight on.
Chainshot could be made from an iron chain with two cannonballs attached
at either end, or could be made from one ball split in two, and each half attached to the end of a chain. Expanding barshot were also used; i.e.
a sliding link was used to join two halves of a cannonball and when fired,
the centrifugal force caused the shot link to expand, allowing the shot to cut a wider swath. Sometimes both chain shot and barshot were heated before firing, to effectively set the sails on fire.
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