The galley was designed for the Mediterranean ship consisting of oars and sails. Like most predecessors, this ship type was designed for speed. It was equipped with an overwater spur at the bow, which was more suitable for boarding than ramming, especially since the tactics of ramming over time lost over the boarding.


During the 14th and 15th centuries, the development of ship technologies experienced a rapid leap. Thus, the galleys were equipped with a stern rudder and mehrmastiger rigging. The ships also got a smaller mast at the stern. In the 15th century, a third mast was added to the bow.


As the development of firearms progressed steadily they were later used on ships. Although the main armament was still the ram, which was used more for boarding, but the firearms pointing in the direction of support more and more support the attacks and gradually replaced the ram as the main weapon.


With the development of the gun ports and larger ship cannons that could now be placed alongside, the oars were superfluous and the ship's type of galeasse as a pure sailing ship replaced the galley as the main warship to the end of the Middle Ages.



French galley La Rale

French galley La Rale


Eine französische Galeere und eine niederländische Galeone vor einem Hafen, Gemälde von Abraham Willaerts aus dem 17. Jahrhundert

A French galley and a Dutch galleon in front of a harbor, painting by Abraham Willaerts from the 17th century


Venezianische Galeere; jeweils ein Mann führt ein Ruder, Holzmodell nach dem Vorbild des auf San Marco in Bocca Lama 1996 entdeckten Schiffs

Venetian Galley; in each case a man leads a rudder, wooden model after the model discovered on San Marco in Bocca Lama in 1996






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