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Half-galley (Skampaveya)

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Galley is a wooden rowing ship created by Venetians in the 7th century. In Russia the galley first appeared during Peter the First.
At sieging of the Turkish forest Azov in June 19 (29), 1696, the Russian fleet enumerated 23 two-masted galleys built on the 'Dutch manner'. Building of galleys for the Baltic Fleet began in the Olonetsk shipyard founded in 1703 and from the year of 1712 they began to build galleys in the St. Petersburg shipyard. Taking into account specific features of the Baltic theater of military actions (skerries, shallow waters, unstable winds), Peter the First created skerries' rowing fleet the backbone of which consisted of half-galleys or skampaveyas They had a length of 36.6 - 39.6 m, a width of 4.8 - 5.5 m and a small draught. These ships were one- and two-masted vessels with fore-and-aft sails; they had 18 pairs of oars and could take up to 200 people. Their gunnery consisted of 3 - 6 12-pounds guns and 16 - 20 basses (1 - 2 pounds falconets).
Native galleys and skampaveyas were more suitable for actions in coastal regions then Swedish sailing ships. On July 27 (August 7), 1714 the Russian fleet of 99 galleys and half-galleys under the command of General-Admiral F. M. Apraksin (the vanguard of the fleet was under the command of Peter the First) gained the first large sea victory over Swedes in the Gangut battle. On July 27 (August 7), 1720, 66 rowing vessels under the command of General M. M. Golitsyn gained a glorious victory near the Grengam Island.

 

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