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A cannon is a large firearm commonly used by ships and forts. This artillery weapon is the main defensive/offensive weapon on ships, although boarding other vessels is also common, as well as on battlefields all over the world.

Usage Edit

Both merchant ships like the Edinburgh Trader as well as pirate ships like the Black Pearl and small navy ships like the HMS Interceptor carried relatively light 6- and 4-pounders while big warships and forts normally carried much larger guns.

Normally, a cannon was crewed by five men, but in case of a lack of crewmen, they could be handled by a smaller crew of two or three gunners. Normally, the cannons on a ship are located behind gunports on the sides, so the ship can only fire broadsides, but some ships posseses bow– or stern chasers which allow them to fire in all directions.

Merchant ships used their cannons to combat against pirate attacks, and Royal Navy and East India Trading Company ships often sunk hostile ships by gunfire. Pirates normally only tried to damage their victims in order to facilitate boarding, as their intention was to pilfer the ships and not to sink them. The same tactic was sometimes used by the Navy and the East India Trading Company.

Variants Edit

Chase Gun Edit

A chase gun, also known as a bow chaser, stern chaser or simply just chaser, was a cannon mounted in the bow or stern of a sailing ship. They were used to attempt to slow down a ship either pursuing or being pursued, typically by damaging the rigging and thereby causing the target to lose performance.