36-pounder long gun
The 36-pounder long gun was the largest piece of artillery mounted on French warships of the Age of Sail. They were used for Coastal defence and fortification, they exceeded the heaviest guns fielded by the Army, which were 24-pounder long guns. The nominal weight of shot was 36 French livres. Installed on the lower deck of the larger warships, the 36-pounder long gun was the largest caliber used in the Navy of the Age of the Sail. Attempts to use 48-pounders were made, for instance on Royal Louis, but these proved impractical to use on ships because their weight allowed for only a few pieces, because the heavy balls were unwieldy to load by hand. However, some coastal batteries fielded 48-pounders and 64-pounders. In the Royal Navy, a similar role was fulfilled by 32-pounder long guns. French warships began to carry 36-pounders under Louis XIV, with the reform of the Navy undertaken by Richelieu. At this time, only first rank warships could carry them. In 1676, the entire Navy fielded 64 such heavy pieces, all bronze.
From 1690, in only two years, their number increased from 115 to 442, as the number and size of first-rank ships increased. Many 12-pounders were melted to procure the bronze needed to produce the needed 36-pounders. A maximum was reached in 1702 with 860 guns. Under Louis XV, their number was reduced, but from the mid-18th century, a sustained rearmament effort increased the number of 36-pounders to 986 in 1756, 1046 in 1777 and 2484 in 1786; these guns were all made of iron. They armed the lower battery of the largest warships: a 74-gun ship of the line would carry 28. After the Napoleonic Wars, the 36-pounder long gun remained in use on older warships, though it was superseded by the 30-pounder long gun on newer units; the 36-pounders of the 1820s were fitted with flintlock primers, those produced in this era featured a characteristic ring on the pommel. A 36-pounder required a 14-man crew, comprising 12 gunners and one powder-boy. To load the piece, the first left-hand gunner would introduce a cartridge into the barrel.
The crew would bring the gun to bear by pulling ropes. The chief gunner would pin the cartridge through the touch hole and pour priming powder; the chief gunner would point the gun with the help of the third and fourth gunners on each sides, the last gunner on the left would fire the gun by touching the touch hole with a linstock. Flintlock firing was not standardised in the French navy before the end of the First Empire; the first right-hand gunner would ram thrice to remove residues from the bore of the gun. Jean Boudriot et Hubert Berti, L'Artillerie de mer: marine française 1650-1850, Paris, éditions Ancre, 1992. Jean Peter, L'artillerie et les fonderies de la marine sous Louis XIV, Economica, 1995, 213 p
The forecastle is the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters. Related to the latter meaning is the phrase "before the mast" which denotes anything related to ordinary sailors, as opposed to a ship's officers. In medieval shipbuilding, a ship of war was equipped with a tall, multi-deck castle-like structure in the bow of the ship, it served as a platform for archers to shoot down on enemy ships, or as a defensive stronghold if the ship were boarded. A similar but much larger structure, called the aftcastle, was at the aft end of the ship stretching all the way from the main mast to the stern. Having such tall upper works on the ship was detrimental to sailing performance; as cannons were introduced and gunfire replaced boarding as the primary means of naval combat during the 16th century, the medieval forecastle was no longer needed, ships such as the galleon had only a low, one-deck high forecastle. Sailors stationed on the forecastle, or "forecastle men," were responsible for handling the headsails and the anchors.
In the Royal Navy of the 17th and 18th centuries, these roles were reserved for older seamen who lacked the agility to go aloft or take other more strenuous duties aboard. By the end of the 19th century, a raised forecastle had become a typical feature on warships again, in an attempt to keep forward gun positions from getting unacceptably wet on heavy seas. In addition the forecastle may provide additional crew's quarters as in the past, may contain essential machinery such as the anchor windlass. A disadvantage of such a design is the structural weakness at the forecastle'break' relative to a flush deck structure; some sailing ships and many modern non-sail ships have no forecastle as such at all but the name is still used to indicate the foremost part of the upper deck – although called the foredeck – and for any crews quarters in the bow of the ship if below the main deck. Media related to Forecastles at Wikimedia Commons
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The metre or meter is the base unit of length in the International System of Units. The SI unit symbol is m; the metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299 792 458 of a second. The metre was defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole – as a result the Earth's circumference is 40,000 km today. In 1799, it was redefined in terms of a prototype metre bar. In 1960, the metre was redefined in terms of a certain number of wavelengths of a certain emission line of krypton-86. In 1983, the current definition was adopted; the imperial inch is defined as 0.0254 metres. One metre is about 3 3⁄8 inches longer than a yard, i.e. about 39 3⁄8 inches. Metre is the standard spelling of the metric unit for length in nearly all English-speaking nations except the United States and the Philippines, which use meter. Other Germanic languages, such as German and the Scandinavian languages spell the word meter. Measuring devices are spelled "-meter" in all variants of English.
The suffix "-meter" has the same Greek origin as the unit of length. The etymological roots of metre can be traced to the Greek verb μετρέω and noun μέτρον, which were used for physical measurement, for poetic metre and by extension for moderation or avoiding extremism; this range of uses is found in Latin, French and other languages. The motto ΜΕΤΡΩ ΧΡΩ in the seal of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, a saying of the Greek statesman and philosopher Pittacus of Mytilene and may be translated as "Use measure!", thus calls for both measurement and moderation. In 1668 the English cleric and philosopher John Wilkins proposed in an essay a decimal-based unit of length, the universal measure or standard based on a pendulum with a two-second period; the use of the seconds pendulum to define length had been suggested to the Royal Society in 1660 by Christopher Wren. Christiaan Huygens had observed that length to be 39.26 English inches. No official action was taken regarding these suggestions.
In 1670 Gabriel Mouton, Bishop of Lyon suggested a universal length standard with decimal multiples and divisions, to be based on a one-minute angle of the Earth's meridian arc or on a pendulum with a two-second period. In 1675, the Italian scientist Tito Livio Burattini, in his work Misura Universale, used the phrase metro cattolico, derived from the Greek μέτρον καθολικόν, to denote the standard unit of length derived from a pendulum; as a result of the French Revolution, the French Academy of Sciences charged a commission with determining a single scale for all measures. On 7 October 1790 that commission advised the adoption of a decimal system, on 19 March 1791 advised the adoption of the term mètre, a basic unit of length, which they defined as equal to one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator. In 1793, the French National Convention adopted the proposal. In 1791, the French Academy of Sciences selected the meridional definition over the pendular definition because the force of gravity varies over the surface of the Earth, which affects the period of a pendulum.
To establish a universally accepted foundation for the definition of the metre, more accurate measurements of this meridian were needed. The French Academy of Sciences commissioned an expedition led by Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and Pierre Méchain, lasting from 1792 to 1799, which attempted to measure the distance between a belfry in Dunkerque and Montjuïc castle in Barcelona to estimate the length of the meridian arc through Dunkerque; this portion of the meridian, assumed to be the same length as the Paris meridian, was to serve as the basis for the length of the half meridian connecting the North Pole with the Equator. The problem with this approach is that the exact shape of the Earth is not a simple mathematical shape, such as a sphere or oblate spheroid, at the level of precision required for defining a standard of length; the irregular and particular shape of the Earth smoothed to sea level is represented by a mathematical model called a geoid, which means "Earth-shaped". Despite these issues, in 1793 France adopted this definition of the metre as its official unit of length based on provisional results from this expedition.
However, it was determined that the first prototype metre bar was short by about 200 micrometres because of miscalculation of the flattening of the Earth, making the prototype about 0.02% shorter than the original proposed definition of the metre. Regardless, this length became the French standard and was progressively adopted by other countries in Europe; the expedition was fictionalised in Le mètre du Monde. Ken Alder wrote factually about the expedition in The Measure of All Things: the seven year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world. In 1867 at the second general conference of the International Association of Geodesy held in Berlin, the question of an international standard unit of length was discussed in order to combine the measurements made in different countries to determine the size and shape of the Earth; the conference recommended the adoption of the metre and the creation of an internatio
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
French ship Orient (1791)
Orient was an Océan-class 118-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, famous for her role as flagship of the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798, for her spectacular destruction that day when her magazines exploded. The event was commemorated by numerous poems; the ship was laid down in Toulon, launched on 20 July 1791 under the name Dauphin Royal. In September 1792, after the advent of the French First Republic, not yet commissioned, she was renamed Sans-Culotte, in honour of the Sans-culottes. On 14 March 1795, she took part in the Battle of Genoa as flagship of Rear Admiral Martin, she covered the rear of the French line, exchanging fire with HMS Bedford and HMS Egmont, but lost contact with her fleet during the night and was thus prevented from taking further part in the action. In May 1795, Sans-Culotte was again renamed as a consequence of the Thermidorian Reaction, took her best-known name of Orient. In 1798, Orient was appointed flagship of the squadron tasked with the invasion of Egypt, under Admiral Brueys, with Captain Casabianca as his flag officer.
Orient ferried the chiefs of the Armée d'Égypte, notably General Bonaparte. The fleet captured Malta before landing troops in Egypt. Afterwards, the squadron anchored in a bay east of Alexandria, in a purportedly strong defensive position; the British's squadron under the command of Nelson discovered the fleet on 1 August, Nelson attacked the next day, starting the Battle of the Nile. Nelson had his units sail between the shore and the French ships at anchor, picking them one by one in a cross-fire. Orient came under fire from five ships, caught fire and exploded spectacularly at 22:30; the number of casualties is disputed: the British reported 70 survivors, reflecting the numbers they rescued aboard their ships, inferring considerable losses over the 1,130-man complement. Contre-amiral Decrès reported as many as 760 survivors; the explosion is often presented as a turning point of the battle. The explosion of Orient struck the public of the time, both because of its historical signification and of its spectacular aesthetics.
Its romantic load was compounded by the presence aboard of Captain Casabianca's young son, who died in the wreck. Between 1998 and 1999, French archaeologist Franck Goddio led an expedition that carried out an underwater archaeological study of Orient's wreck-site. Recovered artifacts included such items as small-arms, personal possessions of crew-members and printing type from a printing press carried on board the vessel; the distribution of artifacts and wreckage on the sea-floor lead Goddio to suggest that Orient was not destroyed by a single explosion, but by two almost-simultaneous explosions. Dictionnaire de la flotte de guerre française de 1617 à nos jours, Jean-Michel Roche