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Cordage And Canvas: Fitting Out The Navy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on how the Swedish state managed this important component of naval power over two centuries. It is, in a sense, the political and strategic history of sails, cables, and rigging, and because there is no similar long-term study of other navies, it is more explorative than comparative. The chapter explores what the inventories and accounts of the Swedish navy tell us about its readiness for operation, and it intends to show that the number of hulls was not the only factor which determined material naval strength. It focuses on anchor cables, sails, and rigging and the two products which the navy had to acquire to produce them: hemp and sailcloth. The sources for this chapter's survey of Swedish sail, cordage, and cable policy are primarily inventories of ships and accounts from naval yards.

Keywords: anchor cables; cordage; naval power; sailcloth; Swedish navy



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