“...the difference between a frigate during the age of sail, and a man of war (or, ship of the line), was more in its design, and as to how fast it was. Not really in how many guns it was rated. When confronted by a man of war, a frigate was to outrun it. ...”
The number of guns mounted on any warship of 1800 was no less an aspect of its design than hull form, number of masts, sail square yardage, etc. And that frigate of 1800 (including a US “super frigate” built to Joshua Humphreys’ design) had no option except running away, if it was to avoid annihilation by a line of battle, or even one single ship-of-the-line. That’s why I included the words “IF TRAPPED.”
While the exploits of “Old Ironsides” and the men who served aboard her gave the public a sorely needed morale boost during the war of 1812, Americans need to stop pretending that US naval victories did anything to alter the strategic situation: Britain’s command of the seas. To reiterate Redmen4ever’s Post 47, “lots of frigates like Old Ironsides” would not have been an effective counter then. And it would not be any better, today.
Redmen4ever deserves thanks from the forum, for the link to the UK Telegraph article comparing soldiers’ kit. The imagery and captions ought to give the deep thinkers around here something to gnaw on. I’d seen displays of threat type, but never so many, nor coverage of such a broad interval of time.
The question remains: - as Redmen4ever reluctantly concedes - if the frigate of 1817 cannot be compared longitudinally to the frigate of 2017, why are we still using the same terms? “Traditions comfort us” is not really an answer.
Comparing the private soldier’s kit of today with the kit of earlier times can lead to useful insights, but deep thinkers ought to be similarly wary. Certainly, an infantryman is ultimately constrained by the weight he can carry. But what does this tell us about the capabilities of that individual soldier?