Venice Campaign - Idea

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Kamilow, Feb 22, 2017.


Do you want to see Venetian Campaign and new units for this faction?

Poll closed Nov 8, 2017.
  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
  3. I don't know

    1 vote(s)
  1. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Venice had quite the string of foreign commanders, without the time to properly look them up tonight the two main ones who come to mind are Otto Wilhelm Konigsmarck and Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, having a quick nip to Wikipedia also uncovers Bajo Pivljanin, who apparently lead Hajduk irregular guerrilla fighters against the Ottomans in the Cretan and first Morean war. He and the Hajduks have quite extensive wikipedia articles about them, how true or accurate they are I can't confirm but they sound quite legitimate, they are quite interesting reads too.

    Ragusa had quite an interesting relationship with Venice, having come under Venetian rule just after the fourth crusade. The already rich city grew in wealth as a hugely important part of the Venetian trade network while maintaining a large part of its autonomy. Venetian rule was maintained for around 150 years until the city gained its independence in a war supported by the kingdom of Hungary. Ragusa then enjoyed an interesting relationship with Venice, the two were business partners and rivals, enjoying trading with each other but also forming strong competition for Adriatic wealth. The city enjoyed some fantastic trade rights with its independence supported by Hungary allowing it to expand its commercial ties with a great deal of security. Things changed quite significantly around 100 years after Ragusa gained its independence, finding itself forced to pay tribute towards the quickly expanding Ottomans, then not long after it was diplomatically forced into becoming an Ottoman client state.

    Interestingly over the time period where Ragusa was linked to the Ottomans Venice became less economically hostile, the two were often on good terms, Ragusa maintained a strong independence from their Ottoman overlordship and Venice knew that manipulating Ottoman trade towards Ragusa would draw a somewhat significant amount of wealth and power out of Istanbul. This was partially due to the fact that the Ottomans uniquely gave preferential trading rights unavailable to Europe to the Ragusans, especially in the black sea, Venice knew that this meant they could not only get better prices on good terms with Ragusa but also Venice would be able to press a large degree of control over Ragusa as it was always Venice who really controlled the Adriatic sea. The two would stay on cordial terms even while Venice and the Ottomans were fighting, the influence of Ragusa as the doorway to the Ottoman world was in a large respect a huge part of allowing wealth to continue to flow both into Venice and Turkey helping allow the two states to batter chunks out of each other.

    The later history of the two cities past around 1500 is somewhat linked to similar circumstance, the Portuguese navigation of the horn of Africa rendered both Venice and Ragusa much less relevant the two commercial hubs of the Adriatic started to cooperate much more tightly, Ragusa still being a somewhat important city for Hungarian and Ottoman trade but in reality Venice weathered the new Indian trade routes much better due to their stronger position of control in the area. The two remained on good terms for the rest of their time, Ragusa carefully and diplomatically balancing itself between Venice and the Ottomans, almost operating neutrally during wars and eventually both found themselves taken off the map by Napoleon.

    Venice didn't really have, or at least I am unaware of any special enlistment systems beyond the rights they gave the Stradioti where land was exchanged for military service. The language barrier wasn't really there either, thanks to the long history of Venetian trade and dominion there were plenty of Venetians who spoke Greek and Slavic languages, alternatively the long history of Venetian rule also meant that there was a large degree of locals who would speak at least basic Venetian. The common tongues actually meant it wasn't at all particularly difficult to operate an effective combat force, in comparison it was no worse than Nato is today.
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  2. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    Thanks for beautiful informations Fluffy.
  3. Francesco_Cavalli

    Francesco_Cavalli Active Member

    In the 17th Century most people dealing with foreigners would have spoken Sabir, a mix of Italian and Turkish that merchants used to communicate
  4. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    I was reading Ospray's The Venetian Empire 1200-1670 earlier and something I noticed is that the web link I critiqued in my last post seemed almost entirely based on the 48 page booklet, the source itself is somewhat poor and vaguely gives some information regarding what was going on, it frequently contradicts nearly all the sources I have read and there are quite a few parts of the book that are simply wrong, for example they talk about how the Venetian Stradioti were effective against the french cavalry in 1516, despite Venice fighting alongside France in the later parts of the War of the League of Cambrai. The book itself is quite poorly laid out casually hopping around between dates in a way that actually makes it quite confusing to read. The redeeming quality is the really nicely detailed colour plates, however since it was first published in 1989 these plates have mostly found their way into the public domain, which Burak has proved. Thankfully I also have some nice sources (although sadly they are often in italian) to work with.
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  5. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    This is the main resource for Venice army.(Italian language) Italian resources maybe can tell a different story for Venice army.According to me, Fluffy, if you write a book for Venice. I want to read this book. You have enough knowledge to write a book. That's my opinion. I think Venice army needs more resources for uniforms and other things. I prefer English one which is well-designed and enquired. Maybe we can find this Italian resource Italian military museum or libraries.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    I should really get that book, it looks fantastic, looks difficult to buy though... heres a list of the books I use to look specifically at the Military of Venice which contain either diagrams, pictures or plates.
    • The Venetian Empire 1200-1670 (General history)
    • Navi Veneziane (Naval plans and drawings)
    • Ships and Guns: the sea ordnance in Venice and Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries (Artillery)
    • Vascelli e Fregate della Serenissima - Navi di linea della marina veneziana 1652 - 1797 (Italian) (Naval, with some general history)
    • Galeazze – Un sogno veneziano (Italian) (Naval)
    • Le Galee Mediterranee - 5000 anni di storia, yecnica e documenti (Italian) (Naval)
    • Duri i Banchi! - Le navi della Serenissima – 421/1797 (Italian) (Naval)
    • Venezia '800: Bufera in Arsenale - La Marina veneziana nel ventennio napoleonico (1796-1815) (Italian) (Naval)
    • Das Erbe der Serenissima (German) (Naval)
    • La guerra di Candia 1645-1669. Vol. 1: Assedi e operations. (Italian) (Land Warfare)
    • La guerra di Candia 1645-1669. Vol. 2: Le campagne sul mare. (Italian) (Naval)
    • Sotto le bandiere di San Marco. Le armate della Serenissima nel '600 (Italian) (Land warfare)
    • L' ultima vittoria della Serenissima. 1716. L'assedio di Corfù (Italian) (Land Warfare)
    • I Cannoni di Venezia. Artiglierie della Serenissima da relitti e collezioni in Italia, Israele, Malta e Spagna (Italian) (Artillery)
    • I Cannoni di Venezia. Artiglierie della Serenissima da fortezze e relitti (Italian) (Artillery)
    Update, I have just ordered the book, alongside "Le mura di Bergamo e la guarnigione veneta fra '500 e '600.", hopefully these will add some interesting extra little snippets to my knowledge, thanks for the help finding the book Burak.
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  7. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    If I find more books I'll add your list Fluffy. Good work.
  8. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    Fluffy, Have you heard this magazine? Look at the link:
    Previous no:0,1,2,3,4 related to Venetian armies. You should look at. But if you look at you must buy. This is another Italian resource:)) I think one number(whatever you choose )is free.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  9. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    I will have to look into that a little bit more, I do like Bruno Mugnai, he illustrated the two "La guerra di Candia 1645-1669" books I have mentioned before, I'm a bit cautious with the magazine though, mainly because I don't really enjoy e-reading and that I likely have most if not all the uniforms in paper form already.

    I thought I might also share a few of the things I have posted elsewhere on the internet, its mostly navy based but you guys here might be interested, I will do them as articles where I have cut and pasted so they may not work perfectly, they also might not be quite written how I would write them now as they have been stuff I have worked on over a fairly long period of time, some I have also redressed where as others I haven't too, I will also try and include the pictures, some might be poor quality or hard to see because I'm fairly sure they are on imgur.
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  10. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Fregata Grossa

    The term Fregata first appearing in Italy during the 1600s, mainly being used on the west coast to describe medium size vessels as a casual, however the term became popular and spread throughout Italy and was adopted by the Venetians during the 1720s as they began a program that was to result in a class of ships they named Fregata Grossa a phrase that literally translates to Big Frigate, while it's something that can be a little perpendicular towards the naval trends of the developing atlantic powers it is no real surprise to those with an understanding of Venetian naval history, it also represents a similar system that started to be adopted by the changes in naval architecture of the super frigates brought on by the advances of the American Navy.

    The background of this stems from the 17th century, Venice was in an interesting position intellectually with regards to naval design, the majority of its navy was still based off long ships, Venice producing the finest Galleys in the world, with some very notable advances happening around the birth of modern science which sparked to life from various investigations by an intellectual elite centred in the Venetian Arsenal, even attracting the greatest mind of his age, Galileo Galilei, who completed his apprenticeship in Naval Architecture in the Arsenal around the turn of 1600. This period of enlightenment spawned the first scientifically designed ships, huge Galleasses, on the contrary to this there was little research being done into round ships, despite having done so previously, with the development of ships like the Galleon, and the experimental ship Galleone Grande, a hulking 138 gun super galleon in the mid 1500s. The majority of round ships were designed and produced by family firms, these families mostly basing their operations on the Island of Lido at the edge of the Venetian lagoon and were only merchant vessels, which could occasionally be requisitioned to the Venetian state in times of war.

    By the mid to late 17th century however, it became very clear how naval warfare was starting to develop, and it became a case of catch up or be caught out so in the 1660s work began to research and design warships similar to that of France, Spain and Britain, The the results were new construction methods and an order of Man o’war style ships, the first being the Giove Fulminate class, first launched in 1667 armed with 62 guns. Gradually over time these ships progressed and the rating system grew to Venetians using 70 guns on their largest ships, they briefly experimented with a 74 but this type of ship was deemed too expensive in construction and manpower. As part of this they developed a rating system based on 4 ratings, Primo, Secondo, Terzo and Quarto Rango which was to be used most notably between 1666 until around 1730.

    These man o’war style ships saw considerable test in combat, this period saw the end of the Cretan war (1645-69), Morean War (1684-99) and the Second Morean War (1714-18) and during this time period it became more apparent that these new ships were powerful in a combat situation but were often avoided by the Ottoman fleets, they also struggled to compliment the Venetian naval doctrine and stock of world leading Galleys, calls were starting to be made for ships of a different kind to be constructed, vessels that properly worked to the strengths of Venetian capabilities and so after the recovery period following the Second Morean War, the Venetian state started to invest in a new range of ships and the term Fregata Grossa was adopted in Venice. The early use of the word was complimented by Fregata and Fregatine but the words evolved over time to encompass Fregata Leggera, Fregata Corvetta and Sciabecco.

    The first ship of this new class system was the Sant’ Andrea 2 launched in 1724, built fitting into the current naval rating system as a secondo rango but noted for being different from it, and from this point the new style of ships began to replace the secondo, terzo and quatro rating system, while the primo rango ships were still maintained, due to their different use as heavy battleships. The new fregata range operated more similarly to modern ships, the Fregata Grossa working as Battle Cruisers, whereas the Fregata Leggera operated similarly to cruisers, with smaller ships such as the Fregata Corvetta and Fregatines working similar roles to modern destroyers.

    The Fregata ships were a huge advancement for venice, leaping them forwards as they could now much more efficiently make use of their scientific achievements based off of years of developments in Galleys, the new Fregata range took much better advantage of various breakthroughs in centuries of investigations into the mathematics of basic fluid dynamics, hull shapes and trims for how to shave and improve rowing speed or sailing profiles aimed at making the most out of smaller more nimble ships, while research into larger ships was relatively stagnant apart from investment into various models of Galleass, which formed the backbone of heavy ships for the last 200 years. They were also much cheaper to man, but packed a similar punch to slightly larger ships such as the increasingly common 74s, The Fregata Grossa especially, which was seen as the pinnacle of technology, being as the venetians saw it, the perfect mix of speed and sailing capabilities matched with the firepower of larger ships, whilst still being able to properly support Galleys.

    The Fregata Grossa class was comparable in size to the footprints of the large and super frigate period, their sizes being between 38-40m apart from the Fama class, which was 42m in length while carrying much more firepower. The Fregata Grossa classes did react to some of the same inflationary pressures as with all frigates and ships of the line, the earliest having been 56 guns, the last 66, although interestingly there was very little growth in length or girth over this inflationary period as designs became more intricate and the naval designers and shipwrights learnt to take more advantage of arranging the ship and use the considerable experiences of archived data looking at how to load and arrange galleys with their notably higher restrictions on use of space and understanding how to better apply what they knew to the Fregata Classes without compromising the hull strength, again something they had learned from the vast data collected with galleys and positioning rowing ports with regards to framing. There were also some advances into how to arrange crew, something that had been on the minds of Venetians for half a millenia, again these advancements came from applying advancements to galleys and how to arrange rowing benches and crew space to allow for the huge crews, such as those seen on the Lepanto Galleass in 1571, ships which could carry 1600 men, these age old technologies were applied to squash men in as efficiently as possible.

    While in comparison to other navies at the time surprisingly few ships were built, mainly due to pressures on the Venetian finances during the last century of the republic they were well regarded by those who sailed them, the Fama class is considered the real swan song of the Venetian shipbuilding industry. In all there were 5 generations of Fregata Grossa:

    Sant’ Andrea 2
    Sant’ Andrea 2 (1724)
    San Vincenzo (1730)
    Cervo d’Oro (1743)

    San Michiel Archangelo
    San Michiel Archangelo (1743)
    Giglio d’Oro (1749)
    Cervo d’Oro (Refitted from previous class)
    Concordia (1773)
    Minerva (1773)

    Speranza (1752)
    San Vincenzo Ferrer (1757)

    Vigilanza (1757)
    Ercole (1761)
    Sirena (1778)

    Fama (1784)
    Gloria Veneta (1794)
    Le Stengel (1797)
    Le Beyrand (1797)
    2 ships never completed.
  11. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Fama Class Fregata Grossa


    Fama was the flagship of the last great Admiral of the Venetian Republic Angelo Emo, who captained the ship during his continuous missions hunting down Barbary pirate including the siege of Tunis in 1785. Angelo Praised Fama for her considerable speed and agility naming the ship as comfortably the best Venice had. The plans for Fama were drawn up in 1782 and 6 ships were laid, of which 5 were completed she was constructed in the Venetian Arsenal by Giovanni Domenico Giacomazzi, who was considered the best venetian shipwright in of his time and built accordingly the "ad ordinata doppia" system which was implement in 1780 by Angelo Emo who after studying the construction techniques used by the English and the French, hoped to match them or even surpass them. Fama herself spent most of her career in active service, either stationed off of Corfu with the main detachment of the Venetian navy, ready to face threats from threats to the mouth of the Adriatic by the Ottomans or other hostile nations or spent hunting Pirates over the Mediterranean or Barbary Coast. Fama was captured alongside the rest of the Venetian fleet by Napoleon in 1797 when she was briefly renamed Renomee and then renamed again to Du Blois a month later. After her capture she was sailed to Tulon where she was rearmed with slightly smaller guns to fit French standards to take part in Napoleon's Egyptian expedition where she unfortunately collided with the French flagship "L'Orient", suffering severe damage. Despite her damage she remained to Alexandria and was used as headquarters by General Kleber was later partially sunk to block the entrance into Alexandria, she was then captured by the British and sadly broken up without the French, nor British ever realising her potential as a swift and powerful shock ship or as a strong commerce escort and pirate hunter.

    The Fama Class were given heavy armaments to match larger capital ships but maintaining the speed, versatility and agility of a frigate, thus the name Fregata Grossa came about, translating to Large Frigate, The ideas behind the Fregata Grossa rated ships were to hit hard and fast, able to set combat to their own advantage the theory was a cross between their contemporary super frigates and modern battlecruisers. They also contain similar thoughts used in the huge super frigates of the later 19th century but obviously without the steam engines to power them.

    The 6 Ships of the Fama Class were:
    Fama (1784)
    Gloria Veneta (1794)
    Le Stengel (1797)
    Le Beyrand (1797)
    Diamante (1797)
    Unnamed (uncompleted)

    Fama and Gloria Veneta both served under the Venetian Republic with considerable distinction. The other ships of the class were completed during the French and Austrian Occupation periods. Le Stengal and Beyrand both served briefly in the Napoleonic fleet and were then transferred to Austria as part of the peace deal. Diamante was badly damaged during the French Looting period and was patched up but sailed poorly, to deal with this she was armed from head to toe with 24lb guns and used as a floating battery, later she was repaired and served in the Austrian navy as a troop transport ship. A further Unnamed ship of the class was laid but damaged beyond salvation and was sadly broken up with parts being used to outfit other ships but mostly used as firewood.|

    Fama well represents the Venetian Naval doctrine of the time, Venice continuing to fight with a hybrid fleet of Galeass, Galleys and Frigates, due to the history and nature of what remained of the Venetian Empire. Her outfitting, speed and manoeuvrability made her a great shock ship with a strong punch, able to hunt down pirates and operate well in shallow waters and archipelagos with complex coastlines. She is also incredibly well suited for the calm waters of the Mediterranean and able to produce good speed no matter the wind conditions. She was praised for her sailworthiness by her captains and considered the jewel in the late Venetian Fleet.


    Fama was considered a Secondo Rango Fregata Grossa within the Venetian Fleet, then after she was captured by the French she was reclassified as a 3rd rate, although if she were in the game she would likely be similarly placed as Agamemnon, among the 4th rates.

    Her measurements are (peidi are the Venetian feet):
    Length:138 piedi or 42.42 meters
    Keel: 122 piedi or 37.2 meters
    Width:37 piedi or 11.3 meters
    Draft: 17.5 piedi or 6.08 meters (when under French service: 16 fore, 18ft aft (5.2-5.85m))
    Bilge Tip (height between the keel and deck): 28 piedi or 9.73m

    She was crewed by around 450-500 men, depending on how many sailors Venice could muster at the time. The Venetian state had a continuous issue with raising the appropriate number of men to serve on her navies during the later years of the republic. Fama had similar crew numbers to her contemporary 64s by other navies, however due to her smaller size these men served in even more cramp conditions than was generally experienced by the worlds navies, her officers quarters were equally as confined, especially considering that she was used for most of her career as an admiral's flagship, although these close natured lodgings were something the Venetians were always used to back at home in Venice.

    She sailed incredibly well and was praised for being hugely fast and agile, giving her the best ability to perform her main tasks, protecting merchant shipping and hunting down pirates. Her performance under sail is fairly well documented, receiving universal commendation from the officers who sailed her. I have not yet found any information about how she heeled, rolled and other similar specifics, as Venice had no sailing queries similar to the Royal Navy.


    Fama Carried 66 Guns, and her four chasers, below is a make up of weight and armaments during both the French and Venetian outfitting. She also had the potential to point the two cannons nearest the bow on the main gun deck in a forwards direction to aid the 2 dedicated chase guns situated either side of the foremast and 2 rear facing guns.

    During Venetian period by Venetian Weight

    26 x 40lb (26.5 British pounds)
    26 x 30lb (20 British pounds)
    14 x 14lb (9 British pounds)

    2x 14lb (9 British lb) Bow Chasers
    2x 14lb (9 British lb) Stern Chasers

    Broadside Weight = 1008 Venetian Pounds (667.5 British Pounds)

    French Period By French Weight (reduced to a 64)

    26 x 24lb
    26 x 18lb
    12 x 6lb

    2 x 6lb Bow Chasers
    2 x 6lb Stern Chasers

    Broadside Weight = 588 French Pound


    The true plans, showing the proper lines of of either La Fama or Gloria Veneta, as said below in a post stating the edit history of this thread. This is the only record showing the proper 66 gun ports, the other plans like with her sister ship Stengel show the correct lines, but sadly show incorrect positioning for the guns, mainly the weather deck, where other plans show only 12 guns when she had 14, which are shown correctly here.


    This is a modern reproduction by Guido Ercole, there are a couple of minor mistakes where she is shown having 28 guns, not her proper 26 on both her gun decks, she is also missing a gun on her weather deck. The rest of the reproduction is still accurate, with the sail plan and also shows a nice idea of what she would have looked like painted.




    Some less detailed plans, most likely showing Stengel, after she has one of her weather deck gun ports removed making her into a 64.




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  12. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Fama Continued

    The Fregata Grossa class, and nameship of her class Fama was laid down on the 8th of June 1782, she was drawn up by the shipwright Domenico Giacomazoo. She was constructed in the North East basin of the Venetian Arsenal known as the Novissima Grande the most modern part of the Arsenal, at this point frequently used for the main fighting ships of the late Venetian Fleet. She was constructed over a period of 2 years in dry dock 13, situated on the northern side of the basin itself. She was completed and launched on the 31st of March, 1784 with her intended armament of 26 x 40lb, 26 x 30lb, 14 x 14lb and 2 x 2 x 14lb Chasers (in Venetian lb, English conversion given above).

    Fama was launched straight into a tumultuous time, Venice had very recently escalated to full hostilities with the Beylik of Tunis over his protective status of the Barbary Pirates on the Tunisian coastline who had been raiding Venetian shipping lanes. Her first stop was the Venetian port of Malamocco, an town situated just outside Venice on the island of Lido, here she was equipped and supplied, it was here she met her captain, Iseppo Stalimene. On May 19th, A month later, after her hold was packed, she was dispatched to join the majority of the Venetian fleet in their action against the Barbary pirates, at the time based in Malta. It was here that she caught the eye of the Venetian Grand Admiral, Angelo Emo, who had himself conducted the naval reforms that lead to her construction, incredibly pleased with how she turned out Fama was almost immediately made Emo's flagship, even taking priority over the larger 70 gun first rates due to her speed and great sailing capabilities. As the flagship of the Venetian fleet she took part in numerous roles such as coastal raiding, town bombardment chasing down, capturing and deterring pirates, who were mainly sailing ships like Xebecs, Schooners and Brigs. Stalimene and Emo, making the most of Fama as a fantastically versatile ship, able to use speed or firepower when it was most appropriate in a campaign conducted mostly through shock value.

    The Tunisian campaign lasted 2 years, when the Beylik was brought to comparative terms after the siege of Tunis, and bombardment of several towns on the Tunisian coastline, Fama being used constantly, confidently and aggressively. After the terms were struck the Venetian fleet took a slightly more passive role, Fama was returned with the Fleet back to Malta, where general hostilities continued against the Tunisian Barbary pirates, Fama remained flagship for this time able to deliver the decisive firepower and speed needed to hunt and defeat the piratical threat. The hostilities finally ended with Angelo Emo's death on 3rd of March, 1792, and it was decided that it was appropriate for Fama to sail back to Venice carrying the body of the deceased Admiral, as Fama was so admired by Emo during his life. She arrived back in Venice on May 24th, where she was anchored in sight of Saint Mark's Square and took part in the state funeral proceedings for her be-smitten commander.

    Following the Funeral she was then resupplied and sailed down to Corfu, the main strategic port controlled by Venice in order to guard shipping interests in Dalmatia and Greece, but also secure the mouth of the Adriatic Sea. She remained here until the winter of 1793/4, when she was sent back to Venice to receive some maintenance work in the Arsenal, before being dispatched back to corfu on the 12th of February 1794 under Captain Zuanne Millich. She would then remain based in Corfu until the fall of the Republic in 1797.

    After the Venetian surrender to the Napoleon, Fama was still stationed in Corfu, where she was discovered alongside 7 other large ships, San Giorgio (70), Vulcano (66), Medea (70), Brillante (38), Palma (38), Cerere (32) and Pallade (24). Once she had been taken by the French fleet on their arrival to Corfu, she was then renamed Dubois, in memory of Major General Paul Alexis Dubois, who was killed in action during Napoleon's Italian campaign during 1796. The newly named Dubois was kept as part of the French fleet following the treaty of Campo Formio, which transferred most of the Venetian assets into the hands of Austria, Fama/Dubois was kept as part of the French Fleet.

    Come the beginning of 1798 Dubois was sent to Toulon, here she was rearmed with more appropriate guns for service under the French, with her cannons being stripped away, melted down and replaced with the standardised French guns of the period. She was rearmed with 26 x 24lb, 26 x 18lb, 12 x 6lb on her broadsides, with 2 x 2 x 6lb chasers, these new guns, while different weren't a vast change from her original armaments, although her top decks saw a slight reduction, from what would have converted more cleanly to a French 9lb gun. During her refit she was also reduced to a 64, removing the 2 rearmost of the guns from her weatherdeck, surveyed and recorded.

    After her brief refit and rearmament Dubois then joined the French Expedition to Egypt, serving as a warship in the Fleet, however her service was cut short by a signalling error which on the 2nd of July, 1798 caused her to collide in the port of Alexandria with the much larger 110 gun first rate L'Orient. The damage was great enough to knock her out of active service, so she remained in harbour, consequently missing the battle of the Nile, and likely capture by the British under Nelson. During her time she stuck in port she was put to good use and acted as the headquarters for famous French General Jean-Baptiste Kleber until March 1800, when thanks to 2 years of neglect and undersupply and British blockade as part of the fairly disastrous campaign she was disarmed and decreed irreparable, so the decision was made to scuttle her at the mouth of the harbour to create a barrier blocking the British Ottoman forces from entering Alexandria. After the British successfully sieged down Alexandria in 1801 and escape of Napoleon on the Venetian ship La Muiron (44), Dubois was captured in a semi sunken state, the decision was taken to demolish her, taking the good timbers to repair the British Fleet, and so after 17 years of esteemed service, Fama was carefully deconstructed and used to temporarily patch up the Royal Navy

    Gloria Veneta

    Gloria Veneta was the second ship of the Fama class both to be laid down and completed, she, like Fama herself was also set down on June 8th 1782, in the Novissima Grande, in the west side of the basin, known as the Novissimetta in the covered dockyard 22. Due to the scarce funding that the Venetian state had in its twilight, Gloria Veneta was slowly built over a 12 year period, which was at first overseen by the architect Andrea Chiribiri, but then later by Carlo Novello, who saw her through to her completion and launch on March 31st, 1794.

    She was soon laden with supplies and a crew, captained by a Giuseppe Duodo and on the 31st of March 1794 she set sail to join the Venetian fleet stationed at Corfu where she stayed and operated alongside her sister ship Fama for a couple of years. In June 1796 Gloria Veneta was made part of a squadron of ships, alongside the larger ship Eolo (70) that was under the orders of Admiral Leonardo Correr was to return to Venice, due to the growing worry about French aggression in northern Italy. Despite Venetian neutrality to the conflict between Austria and France, the Venetian government was becoming increasingly agitated and wary, especially of Napoleon, who it was well known that he despised the hedonistic style of Venetian life. So under the Captaincy of Tommaso Condulmer, she returned to Venice, her mission was to enhance the defensive capabilities of Venice and the upper Adriatic sea, and so hopefully deter any possibility of French aggression towards Venice.

    Gloria Veneta stayed in Venice up until the fall of the republic in 1797, where she played quite a significant part in the events over the short conflict between Napoleon and Venice. She was involved with the cannon fire upon and capture of the first 3 French ships that tried to enter into Venice on the 20th of April 1797, the first and most famous being the French Ketch Le Liberateur d'Italie, who was the first to try and force entry into the Venetian Lagoon. This naval skirmish was the only cause of loss of life in battle in the events leading up to the unconditional surrender of Venice on May 12th, 1797 as a result of the French artillery cores bombarding the city itself. Gloria Veneta was then taken as a prize by the French occupying forces following the death of the republic.

    Now in French service, Gloria Veneta was, like Fama renamed in honour of another French General, Pierre Banel, who had fallen in an attempt to take the castle of Cosserie on the 13th of April 1796. She was also, again like her sister ship taken back to Toulon, where she was repaired, refitted as a 64 and rearmed with French calibre guns. Her new armament was 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb, 12 x 6lb and 2 x 2 x 6lb chasers, again removing the rear most gun on the weatherdeck. After her refit, she became an escort ship protecting French shipping convoys and trade between the Southern French coastline and the towns of Corsica, where her speed and agility could be taken advantage of, protecting vulnerable merchant and supply ships against the powerful British navy.

    Banel continued to serve in her protective role for 2 years until she was taken back to Toulon again in november 1800, to be refitted to a support ship, the work was completed and on January 2nd, 1802 Banel joined the French Fleet under the command of Admiral Ganteaume to serve her new purpose patrolling the eastern Atlantic and western Mediterranean off the French and Spanish coastlines. However, sadly soon after taking up her new role, while patrolling with Ganteaume's Fleet off the coast of Algeria a violent storm hit on 25th of January 1802, and unable to weather the harsh conditions, with a reasonably fresh and inexperienced crew, Banel was wrecked off the coast of Oran. Gloria Veneta, sinking only 5 months after Fama had been lost in Egypt, having served the Venetian and French navy for just under 8 years combined.

    Diamante was like the other Fama class ships constructed in the Novissima Grande in dockyard 3. Her construction was overseen by the shipwright Piero Beltrame. When Venice surrendered to the French, Diamante was around half completed, still laid up in her covered dockyard, she was slightly damaged during the French looting period, where the French burnt or confiscated a large part of the Arsenal records and resources. The looting died down after approximately two weeks the French assumed control of the famous Venetian dockyards, deciding to leave her incomplete.

    Following the Treaty of Campo Formio in late 1797, Austria took control of Venice, and for 6 more years Diamante was untouched in her dock, however late in 1803 the Austrians had come under some financial strain, but needed to support a larger navy so it was decided that Diamante would be completed. After her repair and completion she was launched in 1804 serving to protect Austrian interests in the Gulf of Venice and the upper Adriatic, never straying too far from Venice herself, she continued her local patrols maintaining control of the Austrian ports along the north of Italy and Istrian region.

    Come 1806 The French resumed control of Venice and Diamante was set up as a permanent floating battery, protecting the French interests as they took a much greater interests in the productive capability of the Arsenal, when they started to launch numerous ships, most significantly the portion of the Pluton variant of the Temeraire class. This job of was crucial for the security of the French ship works at the Arsenal because during their occupation, the Austrians managed to survey and work out the protective shallows and channels of the Venetian lagoon, meaning the natural geography was no longer defence in itself. She continued working this important role as a floating battery until Venice came back under control of the Austrians in 1814, when she was found by her new owners, she continued being used as a battery for a further 11 years before she was demolished in the Arsenal in 1825 after her 22 years of service as the last of the Fama class.

    Le Beyrand
    Le Beyrand was laid down on the 8th of June, 1782, she was built in the Novissima Grande, dockyard 13. Her construction was overseen by Iseppo Livio, who saw her through from start to finish after being commissioned by the French Arsenal overseer to complete the project. She was launched on October 29th 1797, although designed as a 66 she was armed with 64 guns, 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb, 12 x 6lb. She was named after Brigadier General Martial Beyrand, who fell at the battle of Castiglione delle Stiviere (alongside General Frontin, who the Leon Trionfante ship Medea was renamed after), fought between France and Austria on the 5th of August 1796, during Napoleon's Italian campaign.

    Le Beyrand left Venice on the 18th of December and was sailed to Ancona, where she was based for almost a year, when she was needed and co-opted into the French relief fleet, with the intention to break the blockade and siege of Corfu, the relief fleet left Ancona on November the 28th alongside Laharpe (A "1780") and Stengel, however they were spotted off the island of Lissa (Vis on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia) by a larger Russian Fleet, and on December 12th forced to turn back to the safety of Ancona where she was payed off.

    Beyrand returned to service in the spring of 1799, when she was needed to deal with a severe Coalition threat to Ancona mainly comprised of Turks and Russians at sea, supported by Austrians on land. She was rigged up to form a floating battery in an attempt to protect the town's port and stop any landings by the enemy fleet. As a result of the military action on August 16th she was partially sunk and made useless for the rest of the engagement, the French surrendered the town on November 14th and Ancona came under the control of Austria. It was decided that an attempt to refloat Le Beyrand and the Austrians enlisted the Venetian naval architect and engineer Andrea Calvin, who thanks to centuries of Venetian maritime expertise of at sea repairs, managed to repair the ship and have her back afloat by the summer of 1800.

    After being raised she was sent back to Venice, where she was kept as a close patrol ship until 1803, when it was noticed that her framing had suffered wear during her time submerged in Ancona, she was signed off as unseaworthy and potentially dangerous, so was taken into the Arsenal and then demolished.

    The unnamed ship of the Fama class was set down in 1795, in Dockyard 17 of the Novissima Grande overseen by Gerolamo Manao . She wasn't far constructed by the time the French took over Venice, where she succumbed to considerable damage during the unrest and looting following the occupation and on September 27th 1797 she was deconstructed, with the majority of her timbers being used as firewood.

    Le Stengel
    Laid on June 8th 1782 in dockyard 13 of the Novissima Grande, her early construction was overseen by Giovanni Battista Gallina, and she was completed under the French occupation by Iseppo Cason on the 2nd of October 1797. Like Beyrand, although her design was as a 66, she was armed with with 64 guns, 26 x 18lb, 26 x 12lb and 12 x 6lb. Her name comes from the Cavalry General, Henri Christian Michel de Stengel, who was killed at the battle of Mondovi on april 21st 1796, the similar tribute as with the other ships of the class.

    She was sailed to Ancona on November 17th 1797, alongside Laharpe where they were based before they took part in the expedition to relieve Corfu sailing on the 28th 1798. Following the pursuit by the Russian fleet off Lissa Stengel got separated from the main body of the expeditionary fleet and fled to the town of Calamotta, not far from Ancona where she anchored and was kept and used as a floating battery until the French surrender on the 14th of November 1799, when she was captured by the Austrians. After her capture she stayed in Calamotta until August 1800 when she was sailed to Ancona, where she finally joined back up with the main expeditionary fleet, now having been captured, where she took on supplies and was sent back to Venice in convoy alongside Laharpe.

    After her return to Venice, she came under a sad state, and through general neglect ended up in a semi sunken state, due to her lack of seaworthiness she was then patched up and became a pontoon, where she remained unarmed for some time. However, in 1804 she was taken for a more substantial repair in the Arsenal where she was made into a floating battery to protect the main waterway into Venice but following the French reconquest she was transformed back into a pontoon in 1806 where she would stay. Hopes for Stengel were briefly raised in 1810, after she was deemed to be of significant military value thanks to the success of the Fama class, and their revered history, documented by the Venetian naval officers, now having been read and digested by the French admiralty in Paris. She was inspected and surveyed but sadly due to lack of love and attention had become of too much disrepair, and sadly the project was rejected due to the excessive cost.

    Stengel remained as a pontoon until 1814, when the Austrians retook Venice, they found Stengel rotten and degraded, so in July 1814 it was decided that Stengel would take her final trip into the Arsenal to be demolished.


    The Picture above is small portion of a large picture documenting the various ships in the construction in the Venetian Arsenal in May 1797, from left to right it shows; Carrere, an unnamed "1780" that was never completed, Le Stengel, an unnamed San Carlo Borromeo that was destroyed in 1803, and the unnamed Fama class ship.
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  13. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Fama Continued part 2

    I have finally sat down to look through Das Erb Serenissima, the book is full of fantastic information, although a little hard to deal with unless you speak german, the book also contains a fantastic set of large plans at almost a1 size, however they do come folded up and need careful handling, I have personally pressed them flat for about 2 months to help take away some of the fold lines, they are now safely stored in a large art portfolio folder and I hope to spend some time properly looking at them and potentially getting proper digital versions of the images myself.

    Anyway onto the bits you guys actually might want to know about, the model itself is a reconstruction of a now fairly sad looking original from 1794 that was constructed to coincide with the launch of Gloria Veneta, the 2nd ship of the class. Interestingly the model wasn't taken back to Paris alongside many other historical maritime resources that were looted after the fall of the republic in 1797 but stayed as part of the Arsenal collection, likely so as Le Beyrand and Stengel could be completed properly. Following the Treaty of Campo Forno Venice came under Austrian hands and the model was then at some point taken back to Vienna in Austria and studied alongside the other Venetian resources as part of the real starting point for Austria's ability to field a worthwhile navy due to their territorial gains along the Italian coastline.

    The reproduction of the model has been lovingly made from scratch, starting in 1983 by Dr. Karl Klaus Korner taking measurements from the original models and the plans available in the Austrian Archives and the Austrian Military Museum, thankfully for us he has presented his work in a fantastic book that not only goes into great detail on the model but also has some great resources on the legacy of the Venetian navy through its Austrian phoenix. The model is now proudly on display in the Austrian Military Museum in Vienna in the naval section for anyone to view, you can even catch a slight glimpse of it on the virtual tour of the museum (Here)

    Here are the pictures, apologies for any graininess or page bending, I have done the best I can for you all to see. Please note that she is however missing her sternmost guns on the weatherdeck, although the model does beautifully show the positioning of her chasers.










    There you go, I hope you enjoy seeing Fama Brought to life

    Here are a few more shots of the model of Fama in various stages near completion, again showing some of the incredible detail that was included by its creator. There is a little distortion in some of the shots but for the most part they came out quite well, allowing for a better understanding of how the ship would have looked. I am also planning on trying to get some high def plans for the ship to add to the thread at some point soon, I just need to figure out how is best to get shots of them.











    Hope you enjoyed the 2nd batch of these, I have a few more but they aren't really quite as useful to anyone here, I'd advise getting yourself the book Das Erbe der Serenissima should you want to explore things a little more, however the book is only published in German, there are lots of pictures though, the paper plans are well worth it on its own too.
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  14. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Angelo Emo

    Angelo Emo (1731- 1792) was a naval reformer and commander, serving Venice during the mid to late 18th century he was the last grand admiral of Venice and worked tirelessly for his nation to bring prestige to Venetian shipbuilding, his achievements in life granted him the greatest honours for a servant of the republic, burial within the Basilica of Saint Mark.

    Angelo Emo was born on the 3rd of January, 1731, he was the son of Giovanni Emo, a member of the Procuratore di San Marco. The Procuratore were a group of 9 men who were appointed for life by the Venetian government as one of the great bureaucratic titles within the republic, the only job carrying more prestige was the Dogeship itself. The Emo family are an old Venetian family, and in Venice that mattered a great deal, the old families having considerable networks and resources, serving the backbone for the Venetian state through their ancestral rights to serve on the great council, while there was never a Doge in the Emo dynasty the family enjoyed a long history of wealth, power and prosperity. The Pallazo Emo sits in a prime position along the Grand Canal just north of the Rialto, in the district of Cannaregio. the Emo family are also owned a fine estate in Veneto just outside the village of Fanzolo di Vedelago, this estate is one of the famous Palladian villas, designed by the architect Andrea Palladio in 1559. Angelo's Father himself while holding a considerable title is also notable for his abilities in high circles and is especially known and remembered for being a fine scholar and sailor, traits he passed onto his son.

    Palazzo Emo:

    Angelo took a great deal of interest in the hobbies of his father, a true Venetian showing talent for sailing from a young age, he had plenty of time to perfect his maritime ability as his family spent more time in Venice than most of the Venetian great houses due to the demands of his fathers job. As he approached adulthood he started to make his own contacts, joining the Venetian Navy in 1752 and serving aboard trade missions, a dangerous role as the Venetian state was ever pressured by the looming threat of the Ottomans, and the troublesome Barbary pirates. it was during this time where he started to make friends in the Arsenal, ever interested in ships and naval design with the same scholarly intrigue that his father was known for.

    Having worked on the various expeditions undertaken by Venice and its trading families for some time during his 20s Angelo had managed to carve out a name for himself, he became a notable officer and gained his first commissioned role as a Noble Captain in 1758, at the unusually young age of 27, this this post came with the responsibility of commanding a galley, a feat not often achieved by someone before the age of 40. He spent 20 years in this role, over this time he rose through the commissioning system, being responsible for larger, more important galleys. It was also during this time that he was responsible for two distinct acts of merit. The first, earning him a huge amount of respect within the Venetian navy, both from officers and crew alike where he saved the ship San Carlo Borromeo while it was being tested in the Atlantic and came under difficulty in bad weather. It was during this time he also developed his second act of distinctive service, where he began working with the Portuguese court, becoming a personal friend to the king of Portugal, then negotiating close ties between the republic of Venice and the Portuguese, earning him a huge amount of prestige with the Venetian government and Great Council.

    Thanks to his service in the Atlantic Emo was rewarded with some prestigious jobs working for the Venetian government, serving in the roles of Provveditore alla Sanita, the Venetian equivalent of minister for health, after completing his term he was then voted into the job of Savio Escutore alla Acque, Head of the Ministry of the Waterways, responsible for maintaining the canal systems of Venice, a vitally important job to keep Venice open as a city, as every canal needs to be drained and repaired every 3 years to keep it in a fit state again serving his term with considerable merit and earning himself a reputation as a thorough administrator. it was then that Angelo's reputation for administration and ability as a naval commander gave him his most prestigious job yet and he became Admiral of the Arsenal in the close of the 1770s.

    The Venetian Arsenal

    Now as Admiral of the Arsenal Angelo Emo was troubled by the turmoil that was caused by the American revolution and fearing the backlash that it was causing over mainland Europe, especially as tensions were rising in france Emo immediately started making the reforms he was known for, he set about a series of programs bringing the arsenal up to date, such was his dedication to achieving this he sponsored a large portion of the projects with his own personal wealth. He set about the intense study of French, Spanish and English designs, even purchasing a small English frigate so he could better study the methods of planking. Using this new information Emo worked with the key Shipwrights and Architects of the Arsenal to totally rewrite the construction methods used in the Arsenal. The new methods expanded on what he learned from his studies of foreign ships and combined them with the knowledge he had picked up from years of studying the history and construction of Venetian ship building. To consolidate these significant changes and modernisation processes Emo brought to the Arsenal, on top of the various modernisation programs Angelo built a new expansion in 1778, known as the Models Hall, it became a place for Venetian Naval Architects to come and study models and plans for ships and best combine and feed off of each other's knowledge and creativity. By 1780 the study of foreign ships was complete and the construction methods were implemented, to compliment the new methods a new ship was designed, the adventurously named "1780" Class. The reforms Emo had produced carried on growing until 1797 when Napoleon Capured Venice. Unfortunately these reforms took up vast swathes of the Arsenal budget meant that there was very little resources to build new ships and none were started until 1782 La Harpe being the first "1780", having been finished off during the French occupation. After 1782 more money was made available to the Arsenal due to increasing pressure from Barbary Pirates, it was then that several designs of the late republic were drawn up, most notably the Fama class and the more numerous frigate Palma class.

    However, in 1783 Angelo Emo was given the title of Grand Admiral, taken out of his role of administration and thrust into active combat, the Barbary Pirates had become a serious problem for Venetian shipping and Venice needed her most respected admiral to help in the conflict. Angelo was assigned to a fast Galleass and sent out to hunt down pirates with a small fleet. Based mainly out of Corfu and Malta, Emo continually patrolled the central Mediterranean off the southern coast of Italy with some success. While the active patrols helped dampen the issue of piracy, the effectiveness of the Venetian fleet was limited as the pirates had more nimble ships. After a year of largely ineffective campaigning the table turned as Fama was launched in march 1784. Fama, a ship that consolidated the advancements that Emo had overseen himself became his flagship almost instantly, a fast ship with more firepower allowed Emo to out pace the pirates and properly conduct his mission, Angelo assembled a small fleet, including his new flagship and another of his new ships, the frigate Palma. With his small but powerful fleet, Emo conducted a serious campaign against the Barbary states, raiding their coastline, hunting down and capturing pirates, while destroying their docks to replenish and repair. During the height of the campaign Angelo Emo besieged Tunis, forcing the Bey of Tunis to bring an end to state sponsored piracy. For this achievement he received a personal thanks from Louis XVI of France.


    Emo continued his missions stamping out Piracy against Venetian trade, his achievements brought him great respect and fame in Venice, stories of his work as a pirate hunter aboard the great ship Fama spread throughout the streets and canals, Emo and Fama became as significant of a combination for Venetians as Nelson and Victory did for the British following Trafalgar. He joined joined the likes of other legendary Venetian Admirals like Vettor Pisani and Agostino Barbarigo.

    Angelo died on March 1st 1792, he was moored in Malta aboard the flagship he became almost synonymous with. His body was sailed back to Venice aboard Fama, out of respect, giving him one last trip on the ship he loved most of any vessel. His body arrived on May 24th where he was given a state funeral and Buried in the Basilica of Saint Mark and given a commemorative monument by the sculptor Antonio Canova. A service only given to the highest regarded servants of the Republic.

    The Legacy of Angelo Emo was the continual progression of naval advancement in Venice until the end of the republic, his advancements and campaigns brought not only safety and prosperity to the Venetian republic but also the respect of the kings of France and Portugal, his stories became tales of success that were the talk of the Venetian court and nobility, respect was given to the Emo family for generations because of this. Following the fall of the republic, Napoleon ordered that the Venetian arsenal be stripped of all its knowledge and resources, its information to be sent back to Paris. The fast frigate La Muiron that helped Napoleon escape Egypt following the disaster of the Nile was built involving Emo's reforms, perhaps one of the most cruel ironies after the damage Napoleon had done to Venice in 1797. The designs and methods brought in by Angelo's reforms were then studied, critiqued and then influenced the French designs following the rebuilding of the French after the battle of the nile, the influence being most relevant in the designs of frigates and corvettes.

    Angelo Emo's Tomb
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  15. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Posted September 9, 2016 (edited)
    A lot has been said about the greatest docks and shipyards in history, from the ancient shipyards of Athens, Carthage and Rome to the more modern sites of Britain, Spain, France and the Netherlands but none of these has changed the world quite as significantly as the Venetian arsenal. The Venetian Arsenal, first started as a small project of the Venetian state in 1104. Its purpose was to cheaply and efficiently service the state owned Galleys used to protect the interests of Venice's key source of income through trade. The Arsenal grew with the republic to not just become the worlds most impressive shipyard but in general largest industrial complex too. Its importance is paramount to the history of the world and has had a greater effect on your life than you would likely realise.

    While Venice had a huge amount of shipyards, and was known in its early history For supplying the Crusaders with ships, due to its unique position and ability of craftsmen none even came close to the power or prestige of the Arsenal. During the height of the Arsenal in the 1550s-60s the Shipyard had over 16,000 employees, with over 1200 master shipwrights, 1000 master caulkers and around 100 master oarmakers. Other crafts included foundry workers, sail makers and rope spinners that you would associate with any shipyard. The cost to Venice of the Arsenal during this period was over 150,000 ducats a year, to put this into perspective the Venetians paid around 200,000 ducats for the purchase of the island of Corfu. Resources were drawn for the running of the Arsenal from all over Venice, with timbers being drawn mostly from the woodlands owned by the Facility in the Montello foothills in treviso, this woodland was for exclusive use for the Arsenal. The Arsenal played such an important part of Venetian life time was kept to the clocks of the Arsenal and it took up about 15% the total land space of Venice and being in one of the positions of power with sway in the Arsenal was one of the most prestigious political jobs you could get, especially to become one of the Lords of the Arsenal.


    The construction of the Arsenal started in 1104 and for a time it remained a small enterprise of the Venetian state. The initial functions were to make a small income for the state and secure the Venetian mercantile fleet a reliable place to come and have repairs done, the owners of the ships would then be able to do what they do best and venture into the world to trade. The original Arsenal saw its first expansion in the 1200s, then for a Further 200 years The arsenal Expanded larger and larger to meet the demands of the Republic, In all there were numerous updating programs and 6 major upgrades during the time of the republic, in response to scale, scope and technological needs. The Main expansions were Formation of the Arsenal Vecchio around 1224-1304, Then in 1304-1322 the main rope manufactury was constructed. In 1325 the first huge expansion happened, the construction of the Arsenal Nuovo, this was the project that lead the Arsenal to really become the powerhouse we see historically, the complex almost tripled in size over the space of a year, bringing huge importance to the Arsenal and making it the largest state enterprise of Venice. The formation of the Arsenal Nuovo was of such significance that the next major upgrade wasn't constructed for over 100 years, when they began work on the section that became known as The Arsenal Nuovoissima, which added another section increasing the complex to twice what it was before, the main need for this expansion was to deal with the increased threat of the growing Ottoman empire, following the fall of Constantinople 20 years previous. The Arsenal then saw the building of a row of sheds splitting off the Arsenal Nuovo and Nuovissima around 1508. The last major upgrades happened in 1535-40 with the expansion of the specialist area specifically designed for constructing Galleass, with the last expansion being in 1620 as part of the continual modernisation process through the 1600s bringing it up to speed with modern technology.


    The full list of expansions are available here:

    Thanks to the continual investment, improvements and concentration of resources the Arsenal prospered with the Venetian Lagoon allowing the Arsenal to be built in a safe place, away from the potential raids by both land and sea which left it in a rather unique place to expand to its potential away from harm, unlike most of the Venetian shipyards situated on the island of Lido. To amalgamate this geographical safety advantage the Venetian Government completely encircled the Arsenal, safe from any possible aggressive force, and also securely tucked away from prying eyes and spies. The Arsenal became such a huge part of Naval dominance it was copied by Venice's greatest rivals, first the Arsenal at Genoa was constructed, then the Ottomans constructed their own version on the coast of Gallipoli neither of which really managed the same level of prestige that can be attributed to the Arsenal of Venice. The Arsenal was even mentioned in Dante's inferno.

    The Arsenal was set up in a system that used dry and wet sheds to ultimately construct multiple vessels at a time at its height The Arsenal was allegedly able to construct a ship a day, but this is largely due to the way the Shipyard used interchangeable and standardised parts, which was one of the major technologies it gave the world, it was practising this method as early as the 1350s. The arsenal often contained the parts to fully construct between 100-200 ships at any time, although a large portion of these parts were kept as spares for existing ship maintenance. A more realistic estimate would be that during peak operations the Shipyard could produce a completely new ship from scratch in between 1-2 weeks. While other major shipyards like the ones in Chatham and Portsmouth would struggle to see a new ship sooner than 6 months, showing the staggering production capacity of the Arsenal. To put it into further context the peak production of the Arsenal in the 1550-60s wasn't ever reached in the pre industrial period and was only eclipsed by the great factories during the industrial revolution, with no shipyard on the planet meeting a higher output until 1909.


    When it comes to ships, the some of major contributions of the Arsenal include:
    The Light Galley of the 1350s
    The War Galley of 1486

    The Galleon
    The Scaloccio of the 1500s.
    The Quinquereme resurrection in 1524
    The Lepanto Galeass 1560s
    The Galleass of 1654 (The first scientifically designed ship of the modern period)
    San Lorenzo Zustinian Class 1690
    Leon Trionfante Class 1716
    The Ultimate Galleass 1724
    The 1780 Fregata Grossa (The first real Battle Cruiser, Improved to form the Fama Class)
    Cerere Class (which then resulted in the 44 cannoni Class)

    The Galleass of 1654 is particularly important. The increased pressure from the Ottoman Empire forced Venice to start thinking more technologically to maintain its sea advantage against the much larger and more resourceful Turks. This pressure forced the Venetians into looking more scientifically at the developments of ships in the ancient world, most notably the Quinqueremes of Rome, Egypt and Carthage. This lead onto technical arrangements of rowing benches but also spurred investigations to lines and theories of ancient maritime warfare. This was combined with the new developments during the renaissance and contemporary sciences. This work was undertaken by some big names in Venetian Maritime history, the most well known of which is Galileo, who completed his apprenticeship in naval architecture in the closing stages of the 17th Century, Galileo maintained friendship and worked closely with his friends who later became prominent Lords of the Arsenal, together their work resulted in the Galeass of 1654, which was so groundbreaking the design wasn't really topped until the Ultimate Galleass of 1724. This work also laid the foundations for the French architects of the 18th century who continued where the Venetians left off, using the same methods to construct their Atlantic fleets, although Venetians still kept their huge advantage when it came to Galleys. While Venice constructed its first Atlantic style ship of the line in 1666 they were playing catch up, 24 years Later they Launched the San Lorenzo Zustinian, which was a return to form at the top table of naval design. After San Lorenzo Zustinian The Arsenal's lowered resources from the decline of the Venetian Empire started to show, while still significant in Galeass design the time of galleys had mostly passed and No significant designs really appeared until Angelo Emo's reforms which changed the focus of Venetian design to hard hitting shock ships, this resulted in a focus on two fairly open ratings of ships Fregata Grossa and Fregata Leggara, Fregata Leggara was filled with heavy corvettes, the largest of which was armed with 34 guns although The Fregata Grossa rating is potentially more interesting, started by the 1780 class but what really made it was the ship La Fama, Angelo Emo's flag ship. These ships were the fantastic swan songs of Venice they worked in a similar way as the frigates of 100 years later, and took the same combat role as the modern Battle Cruiser.


    A List of some of the other Advancements Venetian Arsenal gives us are:
    Standardised Interchangeable Parts
    The Production Line
    The Basis for Modern Ballistics
    The Birth of Modern Science
    Social Security
    Division and specialisation of Labour
    A basis for modern trade
    The modern State Navy

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  16. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    Excellent job Fluffy. I'll read again:)) Thanks.
  17. Whoa, liking the love a much neglected nation is getting on this page,

    all I know is that throughout the medieval period the venetians were one of the most savvy and technologically advanced nations from southern Europe almost Archimedean in their exploits.
  18. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Its not just the medieval period, the technological advancement carried on well into the 17th century. The slow down only really happened after the loss of Crete, and then Morea, which put increasing pressure on the Venetians during the rising tensions of the 18th century with regards to falling crop yields and expanding populations. The combination of expensive foods in a city state like Venice meant that a lot of what used to be relatively cheap imported foods slowly became more and more expensive, this on top of the slow loss of trade value to the growing imperialism of the Atlantic nations meant there was less and less money for technological investments. Once the American revolution kicked in and drew France and Spain's attention away from their role in suppressing the Barbary states this saw even more pressure as Venetian trade ships often became prayed upon. The growth of Venice as a party town with its many casinos didn't help either.

    Up until this decline period Venice was littered with technological excellence driven by a fantastic competition between homegrown intellectuals and hired foreign experts, this was all overseen by public bodies who would be accountable to the senate (Pregadi) and the Major Council (Maggior Consiglio) which resulted in a really useful democratic scrutiny of input and output. This was all helped by an air of invulnerability given to the city by its geographic location which mixed with humanism making it a refuge for science in a way that simply wasn't true for most of Catholic Europe. There is also a strong sense of community in the city, which likely had an impact too but what probably makes more sense on a social level is that Venice had an incredible mix of ideas and cultures clashing, where they bounced off each other and fed innovation, but also again due to the geographic situation there was a residual need for a lot of engineering which meant there was a need for a high degree of maths involved with building work which in turn fed into every day life. The other huge contributor to Venetian science was the pure scope of the Venetian Arsenal, the only compound anything like it anywhere in the world for centuries meant that the demand for pushing boundaries in terms of production and industrial went far beyond anywhere else, the Venetian Arsenal is possibly and quite easily the single most important structure of the early modern period, outperforming anything else of its kind and functioning both as a world leading University and an unparalleled Factory rolled into one.
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  19. Fluffy Fishy

    Fluffy Fishy Member

    Repost of a post I just made about the Tirar Bombe elsewhere:

    The Tirar Bombe was came about as part of the bitter arms race between Venice and the Ottomans during the First Morean war (1784-99). The war is the first time both the Venetians and Ottomans are fighting line battles, with both sides pushing for dominance at sea, as a result both sides pushed themselves as hard as they could, seeing the Ottomans launch some particularly large and heavily armed ships while Venice was fielding slightly smaller more manoeuvrable offerings. Part of this arms race also involved a dramatic scramble for large calibre artillery, with the Ottomans pushing for more use of their largest naval guns, the 16 and 12 okka, which compared to being slightly larger than the British 40 and 32 pounders. The Ottomans also started to equip their ships with a number of 44 okka guns which fired stone projectiles, equivalent to 124 British pounds. The war also saw the Ottomans bringing some of their now ancient bombards back into action, although these old monsters were potentially capable of huge damage although their outdated technology didn't add any real tactical value as they were unhandy and inaccurate.

    These large calibre weapons needed a response from the Venetian government or otherwise risked turning what was on the whole a successful conflict for Venice back in Ottoman favour. The response was assigned to the public gun founder (Fonditore Pubblico) at the time Sigismondo Alberghetti III. The Alberghetti family were a hugely prestigious family in the world of artillery and arguably the most important family in the history of the cannon, they had held the title of public gun founder more than any other bloodline in Venice thanks to their incredible talents for founding large ordinance. Sigismondo III was a genius even by Alberghetti standards, he mainly studied in Venice and England and was unparalleled during his time.

    The gun itself was developed out of Venetian technology mainly centred on their mortars and obusiero (similar to howizers) with large parts of the inspiration coming from various experiments conducted by the English in the 1680s, his thoughts were also influenced by accounts of the French bombardment of Genoa during 1684, the experimental shells doing a terrifying amount of damage to the city. Sigismondo set about applying these new technologies for naval combat, something the English and French avoided due to safety concerns.

    The initial design for the gun was a calibre of 120 libbre (equivalent to 212mm), it was to employ a spherical powder chamber similar to mortar technology of the time allowing for larger charges without increasing the thickness and weight of the gun. It was to fire a ball roughly the same weight as the Venetian 20 libbre, similar to an english 15lb. The style of the gun meant that it could be very lightly constructed and framed while still packing a huge punch. The projectiles themselves are somewhat distinctive too, the projectiles unlike standard round shot were to be made cylindrical, and would either be hollow iron shot filled with explosives, or solid stone shot, the cylindrical design was a hugely important part of the gun giving it more stability and accuracy in flight but also meant that there was no risk of the shot turning and causing itself to instantly detonate on firing.

    Interestingly the first two guns were built in England, both at 120 libbre and 6 calibres long, weighing 3500 libbre grosse (1670kg). They were cast under Sigismondo's supervision in Ashburnham in Sussex at the Thomas Western foundry. However once they arrived in Venice they were put aside and half forgotten, mainly thanks to the Venetian fleet having a string of success and enjoying naval superiority. However the Ottoman fleet started to recover after 1693, leading to a narrow defeat of the Venetian navy at the battle of Chios in 1695 thanks to the effective use of their 44 okka stone cannons.

    To respond to Turkish success the Venetian Senate reinvested in the Tirar Bombe project once more in 1696, leading Sigismondo to develop a second model of the gun, the 200 libbre, weighing 5000 libbre grosse (2385kg) and further adapting them for naval use on their ships of the line, mainly the San Lorenzo Zustinian class ships. Now however the guns were to be cast in the Venetian Arsenal itself out of Bronze, allowing to make use of the huge technological advantage Venice had in bronze casting, combined with the superior properties that bronze has as a material for casting guns. Testing then confirmed the incredible qualities of the gun to the point that it created a feud between the Sergente Generalre dell' Artiglieria Jacob Richards who endlessly doubted its capabilities. This feud would continue to strain on between Sigismondo and Richards resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two, even despite numerous tests and competitions confirming Sigismondo to be in the right Jacobs continued to claim the gun was dangerous, the ammunition was too expensive to produce and its construction too light. Despite these arguments the Venetian state immediately sent 33 guns to the Levant, however the continued objections from Richards meant that their ammunition was in short supply.

    The guns now got their first real taste of combat under Sigismondo's Brother Carlo Alberghetti, a prominent Venetian naval commander. Despite the limited ammunition the new guns proved incredibly successful in some light skirmishes, they even proved to exceed their high expectations given by their testing on Lido. The first true test however was at the battle of Mitilenos, where the heavier Ottoman fleet outnumbered the Venetians significantly, the battle resulted in a decisive victory for Venice. The Tirar bombe received significant praise from the three Venetian admirals present, Daniele Dolfin, Pietro Duado and Fabio Bonvincini. Daniele Dolfin even presented Sigismondo with a certification of merit thanks to the crucial part the new guns played, praising the high rate of fire and great accuracy, however they all downplayed the innovative nature of the new weapons, partly as they had been unable to fire many explosive rounds, but also partially due to using them misunderstanding how the cannons were designed to be used. The tirar bombe was intended as a long range weapon, however the lack of range tables and explosive ordinance meant that at Mitilenos they were used much more like a carronade, fighting in a much more traditional close quarters combat, despite their incorrect usage eyewitnesses to the battle tell of a great many Turkish ships having to withdraw having suffered enormous holes in their hulls, thanks to these new weapons.

    Peace resumed in 1699 and it was decided that these powerful weapons were of little use as part of the fleet, they were redeployed in the home batteries around the lagoon, providing security during the early parts of the war of Spanish succession. When it was clear Venice wouldn't be dragged into the Spanish conflict the guns were warehoused and then forgotten about, they were rediscovered on during the 2nd Morean war (1714-18), where the Venetian navy attempted to quickly redeploy them amongst the fleet. Ammunition was updated slightly and new trials were conducted, reconfirming the incredible properties the weapon had, these new trials were this time watched by multiple members of the Venetian Senate, these observers were highly impressed and attention was given to ensuring the guns were properly supplied with ammunition and range tables. Now properly supplied the gun played a crucial role in relieving the siege of Corfu, not only fending off the much larger Ottoman navy, but also creating mass casualties and panic amongst the encamped Turkish troops. The guns were even given dedicated thought in the design of the 60 gun second rate San Spiridion with the hope that the smaller cheaper ships could outmatch larger foes thanks to the incredible effectiveness of the tirar bombe, they again played a crucial role in the huge battle 3 day battle of Matapan helping the Allied fleet secure another decisive victory.

    Following the end of the 2nd Morean war the guns continued to be mounted on Venetian ships into the 1740s, when it was eventually retired. Following their retirement a number of the guns were then kept in the Arsenal alongside other examples of exemplary Venetian ordinance, documenting the best made guns over the centuries, they were documented as part of Domenico Gasperoni's study of Venetian guns in the short text Artiglieria Veneta (1779) but the last surviving guns were melted down during the Napoleonic occupation, who overlooked the huge potential of the weapons. Despite being hugely successful as weapons they never really got used as they were designed to be, Sigismondo III died in 1701 leaving a legacy of fantastic gun founding, however his greatest creation was never fully realised the gun sinking into obscurity rather than leaving the potentially huge legacy it could have.

    Looking at the gun itself, its statistics are wonderfully impressive. Both the 120 libbre and 200 libbre models of the gun had a range of about 5000m, with an extremely high degree of accuracy to around 3500m, firing in an easily predictable and stable path, partly thanks to the steady advances of Venetian rifling since the 1540s, and also the cylindrical shot. The calibre of the 120 libbre was 212mm, compared to the 200 libbre's 265mm. The windage of the two guns stands out at 2.9mm, compared to even the best English guns of the period at around 7.5mm, with even the mighty carronade only achieving at best 3.7mm. Perhaps most impressively though was the design of its frame, the design of which incorporated a constant aiming system, where by the gun was continually following its target, something that wouldn't be seen again until 1898 when it was re-discovered by the Englishman Percy Scott, this was especially devastating when combined with its high rate of fire. Its also important to remember this staggeringly forward thinking cannon was, all achieved almost 150 years before the Paixhan's Gun, and almost 200 years before the Dahlgren gun, both of which despite having all the advantages of all the technological advances made during the 18th and 19th Century were both inferior to the tirar bombe.

    Kamilow and Burak Damgacı like this.
  20. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    Fluffy thanks for repost again. But I have a problem with Wikipedia and Imgur. In my country Wikipedia and Imgur were banned by court decision. I don't know why. That's the situation. I have no chance to see this page and pictures. Do you upload the pictures from other websites, for example Pinterest? Because I have no meaning this repost if I haven't seen these pictures.
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