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A Peasant Society At Sea: Men, Leaders, And Provisioning

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Chapter Summary

The Swedish navy gradually developed a manning system linked to the coastal population and the peasant society, in contrast to the typical European system connected with a maritime society with long-distance seafarers and experience of large square-rigged ships. Swedish naval seamen were recruited in the 16th century both as volunteers and by conscription. The common seamen and gunners and the petty officers were often called båtsmän, although that word could also mean only the common seaman. Like all complex organisations, navies require leadership, chains of command, and men with specialised competencies. In the early modern period, provisioning was the most important part of army and navy logistics. The quality of provisioning was also important for health conditions. The most severe test of the navy's manning system was the long Great Nordic War.

Keywords: gunners; health conditions; leadership; navy logistics; Peasant Society; provisioning; Swedish naval seamen



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