FRIDAY FOTO (August 31, 2018)

August 31, 2018 at 1:53 pm 1 comment

Prepare to Repel Boarders.

180815-N-SM577-0033

(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Casey Scoular)

OK, this is not your standard Navy drill — anymore. But in the Age of Sail, these long, spear-like poles with sharpened points on the end were a good way to discourage enemy sailors (or pirates) from trying to force their way aboard your ship.

Boarding in the Age of Sail was more difficult and dangerous than in previous eras of open-decked sailing vessels. Defenders could seek cover in “closed quarters” in the ship’s roundhouse or foredeck, shooting through small loopholes at the exposed boarders.  If not in closed quarters, defenders sometimes resorted to the boarding pike, trying to kill or wound boarders while keeping them at a distance, and of course might use any of the weapons that the boarders themselves used, according to a Wikipedia article on naval boarding.

These sailors, assigned to the historic USS Constitution, are conducting War of 1812-era boarding pike drills during weekly heritage training in Boston, near Old Ironsides’ berth at the Charlestown, Massachusetts Navy Yard. Launched in 1797, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world still afloat.

Entry filed under: FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, Navy, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, Traditions, Uncategorized, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. GP Cox  |  August 31, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Those old ships were so majestic.

    Reply

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