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Mailman653

Vasa, why did it sink?

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Probably a combination of hubris, bad design, design and manufacture shortcuts and imbalanced loading.

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42 minutes ago, Lert said:

Probably a combination of hubris, bad design, design and manufacture shortcuts and imbalanced loading.

What I found surprising is that the article says that it's still sinking, about 1mm a year to a side. That's crazy.

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Same reason as the HMS Royal George in Spithead. Open lower gun ports and an angle of heel that allowed water to flow into the gundeck. There were very few lateral bulkheads in wooden warships, so they were not watertight against flooding in the sense warships are today. In the case of the Royal George it was done deliberately to effect a minor hull repair while the ship was opened for public visits, which is why the loss of life was so high. For Vasa, it was pure wind force causing the heel as the ship moved under sail with the lower deck gun ports open. If you check other histories of the era, you will find that this also happened to several French ships of the line at Quiberon Bay. In anything stronger than a moderate wind and sea, the lower deck lee gun ports presented a risk of flooding the ship if they were opened in just about any ship of the line built for two centuries, and there were battles where the lower deck gun ports were never opened at all due to the known risk to the ship, despite the fact that the heaviest guns aboard were on the lower deck.

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