Talk:Sailing ship tactics

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Against a Merge[edit]

I'm strongly against merging 'the line of battle' into this article for the simple reason that the line of battle does not belong exclusively to the Age of Sail and the information of the origional article would have to be needlessly recreated in several different articles, which is pointless, unweildy and a waste of space. (Also could whoever suggested the merge actually give their reasons for it here? It'd be helpful) 10:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC) Elmo

That'd be me. At present we have two articles with large blocks of text that discuss exactly the same thing. Most of the information included in Naval tactics in the Age of Sail and that in Line of battle is duplicated, needlessly recreated in two different articles. When information has not been duplicated it would be worthwhile doing so; for instance, the inclusion of specific battles which occured during the period of developing the line to illustrate the implementation of the tactic, as seen in Line of battle, would be worthwhile (sourced and possibly rewritten) in Naval tactics in the Age of Sail.
What'd I'd suggest is making Line of Battle a disambig(ish?) page with a short description along the lines of the current Naval tactics article. Linking to Naval tactics in the Age of Sail and Naval tactics in the Age of Steam. I would also sugggest merging Crossing the T into Naval tacitcs in the Age of Steam (since it is enabled by the advent of steam). The overall result would be to put all the pertinent info into the parent 'Naval tactics in the Age of X' articles.
An alternative solution would be to improve the Line of Battle page, reduce the information in the Developing the Line of Battle section of Naval tactics in the Age of Sail to a single overreaching paragraph and refer to the Line of Battle article for more information.Inane Imp 10:56, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Line of Battle should cover both sail and steam, and the section on it here should be stubified. The Land 08:21, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Land, I'm right in thinking you agree to my "Alternative Solution"?Inane Imp 08:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

WPMILHIST Assessment[edit]

Wow. A beautiful article, with lots of detail, and seemingly, upon a quick glance, very pertinent, accurate, and to-the-point analysis. However, I do believe the introduction could use some work. Rather than being such an empty and over-generalized overview of the article, it should introduce the subject, perhaps by explaining briefly any or all of the following (a) the period defined as the Age of Sail, and the reasoning behind the dates given, (b) the most significant elements of tactics in this period, particularly those that are markedly different from what came before or after, (c) key examples of battles or engagements in which concepts of naval tactics were keenly represented. Thanks for all your hard work, to everyone who's contributed here. LordAmeth 21:51, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Battle of Lissa (1811)[edit]

I am not sure I see the point being made by this reference. It seems that the (First) Battle of Lissa is being used to illustrate the ineffectiveness of British Admiral's tactics, yet this is widely considered to be the most briliant frigate action of the time (& did not involve any admirals). Am I missing something, or could this be clarified?--Streona (talk) 19:08, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Dubious Content?[edit]

There seems to be a lot of remarks on this page of dubious repute, such as this passage: "It has sometimes been argued that the tactics of these British admirals were rash and would have proved disastrous if tried against more skilful opponents. But this is one of those criticisms which are of value only against those who think that there can be a magic efficacy in any particular attack, which makes its success infallible." It's almost as if some military buff went through injecting baseless rebuttles to all of the content he disagreed with —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, a couple passages seem like out-of-place editorializing. Ex: "But that must be always the case, and victory is never the fruit of a skilful movement alone, but of that superiority of skill or of moral strength which enables one combatant to forestall or to crush another by more rapid movement or greater force of blow." (talk) 08:13, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Weather Gage[edit]

It seems that a lot of the discussion of the Weather Gage (or gauge or other spellings) may be in error. Rather extensive debunking here[1]. --RhoOphuichi (talk) 02:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

It looks like someone has added some of that since your comment. I fixed the spelling in this article. (talk) 01:56, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Technical innovations[edit]

The article currently claims without citation that "Flintlocks enabled a higher rate of fire and greater accuracy as the gun captain could choose the exact moment of firing." Now, contrary to what 20th century cartoons might have one believe, slow match was not actually placed in the touch holes of cannon/great guns as though they were grenadoes but rather kept burning on the side, to be touched to the priming and set fire to it exactly as the spark from a properly working flint would do. See and the books cited as references there for a start, as well as pp. 173-75 of Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organization, 1793-1815 by Brian Lavery, which last suggests gunlocks' real advantage lay in avoiding an open flame kept close to hand. (Those pages, amongst others, are currently available for preview through Google Books[1].) (talk) 05:36, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Comments on move[edit]

The idea of tactics in the "Age of Sail" just wasn't working. It appears to be entirely based on an outdated 1911 article in Encyclopedia Britannica. The periodization for this is not properly defined and I don't see that it has any support among modern naval historians. And, quite illogically, it excludes any sailing ship tactics that happened to exist before c. 1600. I've already moved naval tactics in the Age of Galleys (a period not recognized by any historians) to galley tactics and it seems prudent to do something similar here.

Peter Isotalo 12:42, 24 April 2014 (UTC)