Friday, November 09, 2012

HMS Victory - flexible sponge and rammer

A sponge on a rope - why? - HMS Victory.
While sponges for dowsing a flaming barrel were ususally fixed on long wooden handles, I asked why some were on malleable lengths of heavy rope.
The answer was that if a cannon could not be hauled back into the ship, the member of the gun crew responsible still had to lean out of the port and sponge it out, but to do so with a long (approx 6ft pole) would have been impossible. With the sponge on a rope, he merely reached out and stuck it into the muzzle and pushed the cable in behind it.
the same applied to the rammer - also in the picture.

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