Light Galley (ETW Unit)
In restricted waters galleys are useful craft, although in any kind of heavy sea they can be dangerous to manage: it would be a brave or foolish captain who risked his galley in the North Sea or Atlantic. Although they do not carry as many guns as a modern sailing vessel, the ability to move independently of the wind is very useful.
The fighting crew of a galley is a relatively small part of the full crew, because the rowers are often convicts or pressed men and aboard only as strong backs, not as stout hearts. Indeed, in some navies the rowers are often more of a threat to the crew than the enemy! The number of men carried also limits the strategic range of a galley: they simply cannot carry enough food and water to sustain the crew for longer than a few days.
Historically, galleys did good service in sheltered waters like the Mediterranean and the Baltic, and the Ottomans, Russians and Swedes all used them in anger. They were also favoured by the Barbary Coast pirates, who could be guaranteed a good supply of slave rowers from captured European merchantmen.
Light galleys are, if possible, even lighter variations of galleys. They are handy sailing vessels in calm waters, although anything more than choppy water tends to immobilize them completely. Galleys and light galleys are deceptively dangerous, sinking much larger vessels with surprising ease due to their propensity to fire cannons very low, allowing them to puncture hulls more effectively.
Alone, Light Galley's are relatively useless, especially if confronted by much larger vessels. However, their high maneuverability, speed, and low profile allow them an advantage. When used alongside of stronger vessels, galleys serve as a distraction and annoyance to the enemy fleet.
- Great Britain
- United Provinces
- Barbary States
- Gran Colombia
- Naples & Sicily
- New Spain
- Italian States
- Thirteen Colonies
- United States