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 Batteries 
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Post Batteries
Reading James Scott's Recollections of a Naval Life, I came across a note where he mentions "duck-and-drake batteries" lining the shore. I did a quick Google search but got mostly battery operated duck decoys. :lol:

Does anyone know what he means? I assume it has something to do with how the guns were arranged?

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susan


Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:38 am
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Post Re: Batteries
susan wrote:
Reading James Scott's Recollections of a Naval Life, I came across a note where he mentions "duck-and-drake batteries" lining the shore. I did a quick Google search but got mostly battery operated duck decoys. :lol:

Does anyone know what he means? I assume it has something to do with how the guns were arranged?

I looked in a couple of books unsuccessfully and likewise on-line, as you did Susan.

Therefore, until someone with some real knowledge posts an answer, I'm going to insert my foot in my mouth and express a possibility that may end up being silly [I know, I know, once again! :D ]

I looked up the "ducks and drakes" game some time in the past because of some mention of this in one of my AoS books and discovered that this was the British name of a childhood game of skipping flat rocks across water. The goal is to see how many times you can make the rock "skip" before sinking. I used to do this as a kid but we just called it "skipping stones" here in the US.

Could the guns in this shore battery just be mounted low to the ground rather than on a cliff, for example? Whether a round cannon ball will actually skip is unknown to me but it seems to me that, with enough force, it would. This would be a simple way to attack a ship at the waterline or protect against a boat attack.

Susan, where exactly is the "shore" in the reference?

Don


Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:51 am
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Post Re: Batteries
timoneer wrote:
Susan, where exactly is the "shore" in the reference?

South Beveland. This was during the Walcheren Expedition.

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susan


Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:25 am
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Timoneer wrote
Quote:
Whether a round cannon ball will actually skip is unknown to me but it seems to me that, with enough force, it would. This would be a simple way to attack a ship at the waterline or protect against a boat attack.


Round shot will skip on water under the right conditions, lengthening the potential range by hundreds of yards.

In the early 19th century, Duck-and-Drake was the common English equivalent expression for the French word ricochet.

Don Seltzer


Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:20 pm
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Don Seltzer wrote:
Round shot will skip on water under the right conditions, lengthening the potential range by hundreds of yards.
In the early 19th century, Duck-and-Drake was the common English equivalent expression for the French word ricochet.

Maybe my silly guess was not that far off. Using Don Seltzer's comment, I did another search. Click Here for the results. You will have to scroll down a bit. Looks like a "duck and drake" shot could also apply to "skipping" the roundshot across land.

Don


Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:39 pm
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Thank you DonS and DonC. The ricochet link pretty much explains it.

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susan


Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:50 pm
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