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Bronze And Iron: Swedish Naval Ordnance

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Chapter Summary

This is a chapter about how much firepower the Swedish state could deploy in struggles about control of the sea. It focuses on the timing of quantitative and qualitative changes in the navy's inventory of ordnance and how the inventory of available guns matched the capacity of ships available to carry guns. The chapter puts special emphasis on changes in the relation between the weight of the armament on warships and their displacement and the price relations between bronze and cast-iron ordnance in the 17th century. These questions are important in a general European context of interaction between innovations in metallurgy and warship technology. The chapter is primarily written from administrative sources about guns, munitions, and equipment related to Swedish warships. It intends to explain why most of the guns in the Swedish ordnance inventory were produced and to explore the interaction between naval policy and gun technology.

Keywords: bronze; cast-iron ordnance; European context; gun technology; naval policy; Swedish warships



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