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War_Hymn t1_jcm07wy wrote

>I don't imagine ships, when rammers were common, were completely helpless and would go completely underwater if they got rammed once.

Yeah, but kind of hard to fight and maneuver if your rowing section is submerged in water. And I imagine a 1-2 foot wide hole in a 40-50 tonnes vessel won't take too long to reach that point.


Archmagnance1 t1_jcpo1s6 wrote

I said it somewhere else but I imagine it was more to throw a fair portion of the crew into panic while it's being boarded. After a (hopefully) successful boarding the new owners beach it and after the battle they can patch it up.

Sinking ships as the primary goal is relatively new for the past 130 years or so with the advent of widely available explosive munitions and engagement ranges measured in the kilometers. Even with the powerful guns of the age of sail they still fought at ranges of 400m or less because they didn't have what came to he called fire directors or fire control systems.