Part I: Introduction
During the age of sail, Britain's admiralty had a policy of "taking the lines off" and producing design plans (draughts) of many foreign warships they captured, typically of ships whose hull forms the British found technically the most interesting. These design draughts are preserved in The Historic Photographs & Ships Plan Section of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, from which copies may be purchased. Thus, out of Denmark's catastrophe of losing the entire Danish fleet by British seizure at Copenhagen in 1807 came a "blessing in disguise" for historians of naval ship design during the age of sail, because British admiralty surveyors created and preserved design draughts of some of Denmark's more notable warships of the Napoleonic era.
Included in British admiralty draughts of the seized Danish warships are most of the main warship types designed by Denmark's most celebrated and progressive naval architect during the age of sail, Frantz Christopher Hohlenberg. While Hohlenberg is the most highly innovative and independent-minded Danish naval architect of the period, endowed with a refreshingly original design perspective and an excellent grasp of hull form, Hohlenberg was a very sober-minded naval architect who was not given to radical extremes or wild experimentation in his designs.
This preliminary study uses Britain's choice of (1) which Danish warships Britain seized in 1807 to survey and produce design draughts of, and (2) which Danish warships Britain chose to fit for sea service in Britain's navy (there is much overlap between these two categories), as predicates to a wider assessment of the comparative merits and attributes of the individual Danish warships. Subsumed in this assessment of the individual Danish warships is the nature and effectiveness of Danish warship design policy during the period in which the seized Danish ships were built (ca. 1775-1807). This study therefore substitutes, as a benchmark, British design and construction policy, and considerations of open ocean cruising, for Denmark's traditional warship design policy geared toward Sweden as Denmark's potential antagonist and the confined waters of the Baltic as the Danish navy's prospective theater of operations.
Two principal insights emerge from this comparative analysis of Danish warships with those of Britain: (1) the overall excellence of Hohlenberg's design of hull forms in particular and of the high quality of Danish warship design in general, and (2) the glaring ineffectiveness of Denmark's arming policy regarding certain classes of Danish warships, such as the Prindsesse Sophia Friderica class of battleships and Stibolt's Freya group of frigates, compared the these ships' counterparts in the British and other navies. Thus, while giving due consideration to the design of their warships' hulls, the Danes seemed to have devoted insufficient attention to the principle that a warship's combat value lies in the effectiveness of her armament - however, this Danish attitude toward warship armament was belatedly undergoing an obvious transition during Hohlenberg's tenure in office, facilitated by availability of new-model Danish weapons.
A hope of this preliminary study and the propositions proffered by this study, is that in the near future, historians will delve, deeply and comprehensively, into the rich but apparently still untapped source material in the British archives pertaining to Danish warships seized in 1807. The object of this research effort would be to uncover all relevant data regarding the Danish warships seized in 1807, and from this material to extrapolate further insights into these Danish warships' design attributes, construction qualities, seakeeping and sailing characteristics, and relative merits.
"Plans Of Great Beauty And Workmanship."
America's renowned historian of American sailing ship design, Howard I. Chapelle, cogently noted that "naval draftsmen of the eighteenth century were capable of producing plans of great accuracy and beauty of workmanship." This is abundantly evident in the Danish and the frequently compelling British admiralty draughts of the Danish warships seized by Britain in 1807. The character of the two nations' draughts differ from each another in style and presentation and therefore offer instructively contrasting and complementary perspectives regarding the Danish warships of 1807.
Chapelle also perceptively observed that "the draftsmanship of a ship designer is as readily recognized as a man's handwriting." This universal observation applies equally to both Danish and British admiralty draughtsmen of the 18th century era. However, because this paper's focus is the Danish warships seized by Britain in 1807, its concern is not with British admiralty draughtsmen per se, but with a relative comparison inter se between the draughts of the Danish naval architects who designed the Danish warships seized by Britain - i.e., Gerner, Stibolt, and Hohlenberg - and between the draughts of these Danish naval architects and the British admiralty draughts of the Danish warships seized in 1807.
Gerner's, Stibolt's and Hohlenberg's design drawings differ from one another in character, and sometimes in content. However, although these Danish naval architects personally signed the official Danish admiralty draughts of Danish warships now in Denmark's royal archives, it's not known if Gerner, Stibolt, or Hohlenberg in fact personally executed these official draughts in their own hand, or whether others executed these design drawings for them and the naval architects thereafter only officially endorsed these draughts with their personal signature as a sign of official approval.
Aside from the issue of the identity of the actual draftsman of the Danish admiralty draughts now in Demark's royal archives, Danish admiralty draughts signed by Hohlenberg are unlike Stibolt's and Gerner's, and often starkly focus on the bare lines of hull form, to the exclusion of other detail. Whether or not the draughts signed by Hohlenberg are the product of Hohlenberg's own hand, Hohlenberg officially approved the draughts, and was responsible for their production. Therefore, Danish admiralty draughts signed by Hohlenberg seem to reflect the man, and Hohlenberg's apparently rare ability to concentrate on bare essentials - even in the face of stultifying and intransigent bureaucrats and meddlesome sea officers who sought to override Hohlenberg's professional judgment.
On the issue of ship design, what is immediately apparent from the British admiralty draughts of the Danish warships seized by Britain, perhaps more so than from the Danish draughts, is that Hohlenberg's ships designs had abruptly and dramatically changed the overall appearance of Danish warships from those of Hohlenberg's predecessors in 18th century Danish naval ship design. In fact, Hohlenberg's battleship and frigate ship designs are more characteristic of the early decades of the 19th rather than the 18th century.
Britain Did Not Produce Admiralty Draughts Of Every Seized
British admiralty surveyors did not, as may be supposed, produce a draught of each and every one of the vast hoard of Danish ships seized at Copenhagen in 1807, but typically only made draughts of one example of each class of ship. Therefore, where there was a class of ships consisting of two or more sister-ships, British surveyors would typically make only one set of draughts to represent the entire class. However, sometimes this general rule was not strictly followed - for example, British surveyors produced draughts of several of the nine ships they seized of the Prindsesse Sophia Friderica class; they produced separate draughts of the frigates Freya and Iris, which were sister-ships along with one other seized frigate of this class; and there is a question of whether the frigates Najaden and Nymphen were exact sister-ships or simply near-sisters, although the British produced draughts of both.
British surveyors made no draughts of some of the older Danish warships, apparently because these ships offered nothing of value to the British admiralty's technical archive of ship's plans. Thus, British surveyors made no draughts of the cutter Den Flyvende Fisk, or of Gerner's obsolete and worn-out 12 pdr. frigate Fridericksværn. Nor did the British make a draught of Stibolt's Seieren, presumably because Seieren was a small 64-gun ship, an anachronistic type the British were no longer interested in either building or operating - although in regard to small, 24 pdr. battleships, the British made an exception for Hohlenberg's Prindsesse Caroline. The great mystery is why the British did not produce a draught of Stibolt's huge Waldemar, a battleship nearly as large as the Danish fleet flagship, Hohlenberg's Christian den Syvende.
"As Fitted" British Draughts Of Danish Warships.
It's important to emphasize that most British admiralty draughts of Danish warships seized by Britain in 1807 do not represent the Danish ships in their original Danish form, as designed and built by the Danes, but as fitted for British sea service. In this regard, one must distinguish between the different types of admiralty draughts which were produced during the age of sail, i.e., "as designed," "as built," and "as fitted" draughts. Danish admiralty draughts are invariably "as designed" draughts, and the Danes seemed to have only rarely produced "as built" or "as fitted" admiralty draughts of their warships - for Danish warships built in the Danish navy's dockyard (rather than in private yards) under the direction of the Danish navy's naval architects and master builders who also designed the Danish warships, the Danish admiralty "as designed" draughts presumably also represented the Danish warships "as built."
British admiralty draughts of the seized Danish warships are typically "as fitted" draughts, made subsequent to the time Britain fitted Danish warships for British sea service and, therefore, when the Danish ships had been structurally altered to British requirements. In fitting an ex-Danish ship for sea, the British most likely changed Danish ships' original scheduled Danish armament to British requirements, and this alone may have also resulted in structural alterations to the Danish ships. The inboard structural detail of British service ships also seems to have differed from that of the Danes, although British inboard structural alterations to the Danish warships would not have affected the Danish warship's external hull form. Therefore, in terms of the basic contours of the Danish warships' hulls, "as fitted" British admiralty draughts of Danish warships probably represent these warships' "as built" hull configuration. Only in those few instances where British admiralty surveyors produced draughts of Danish warships which Britain never fitted for British sea service do the British admiralty draughts probably represent the Danish warships in their original, "as built" Danish form, with the least amount of structural alteration.
The British admiralty draughts of Christian VII and Norge were both produced to lines taken off these two large battleships at Portsmouth Yard on exactly the same day, June 29, 1809, which was two years after their seizure at Copenhagen. The British admiralty draughts of the Perlen, Nymphen, Fylla and Gluckstadt were also all taken off on exactly the same day, July 4, 1809, at Chatham Yard, again two years after their seizure. Since the British took off the lines of all these ships two years after their seizure, and all these ships had previously been fitted by the British for sea service, these British admiralty draughts presumably do not depict these Danish ships in their original Danish configuration, but incorporate "as fitted" British structural modifications for British sea service. For example, the British admiralty draughts of Perlen, Fylla and Gluckstadt, and the gunboat Steece (Stege?) taken off at Chatham Yard on March 18, 1808, and of the frigate Iris, all clearly show "as fitted" British structural alterations. In fact, the British rebuilt the distinctive Hohlenberg stern on all of Hohlenberg's frigates to more conventional forms, although they did not seem to tamper with the Hohlenberg stern on Christian VII.
It's interesting that the British were able to fortuitously assemble all these Danish ships in two separate naval yards - one for the battleships and the other for the smaller vessels - on exactly the same day to have their lines taken off. British admiralty surveyors apparently only needed one day to take off the lines of these ships.
British "As Built" Dimensions And Tonnage Measurements.
Although the British did not produce an individual draught of each and every Danish warship they seized in 1807, British admiralty surveyors did take individual measurements of the dimensions of each individual Danish warship, and from these dimensions precisely calculated to fractions of a ton the measured tonnage figures for each Danish warship. However, in this article, the fractional portion of the British tonnage figures is not been included.
The tonnage figures quoted in this article are burthen tons, or tonnage figures calculated on a formula based on a warship's dimensions. Burthen tons do not represent a ship's displacement, or weight, but a rough calculation of the internal volume, or carrying capacity, of a ship's hull.
The dimensions British admiralty surveyors took of the Danish warships they seized are all internal dimensions. Therefore, the British would not need to take the trouble to dock the Danish ships to obtain these internal dimensions as they would have to do in order to take off the external lines of a ship to produce a draught. The internal dimensions included the length of the deck, or lower deck, the length of keel for tonnage, the moulded beam or width to the inside of a hull's planking, and the depth of hold. The British tonnage figures in this article are burthen tons, based on a formula utilizing the measurements of a ship's depth of hold, breadth, and length of the keel for tonnage.
The tonnage figures quoted in the data on individual Danish warships discussed in Part II below, are the British tonnage figures, which are always "as built" rather than "as designed" figures. Danish, British, and American systems of measuring tonnage differed from one another, so the British tonnage figures for foreign warships they captured serve as a sort of Rosetta stone by which uniform comparisons may be made between the measured tonnages of Danish, British and American warships and, hence, assessments about individual ships.
British "as built" hull dimensions and tonnage figures of the Danish warships are one of the most interesting and useful features of the British surveys of the Danish ships Britain seized in 1807, and are categories of technical information which the Danes do not seem to have created and kept on their own warships inasmuch as the Danes never seemed to take measurements of their own ships after they were built. These "as built" British figures on the Danish ships thus probably represents a unique aspect of the British data on the Danish ships, and are useful not only in assessing the quality of Danish construction methods but also in facilitating comparisons between Danish warships and warships of other nationalities.
British Sailing Quality Reports.
Proof of the merits of a design represented by a warship's draught is revealed by the ship's actual sailing and seakeeping qualities and performance. Therefore, another "blessing is disguise" for the modern historian resulting from Britain's seizure of Danish warships in 1807 is the body of Sailing Quality reports which British officers, who served on those Danish ships Britain fitted for operational sea service, filed regarding these ships' sailing, seakeeping, construction and other qualities. Some of these reports survive today in Britain's archives. Filing such Sailing Quality reports was a standing British requirement and routine practice of a warship's officers.
The information in the British Sailing Quality reports constitute an excellent companion to the visual depictions of Danish warships illustrated in the British admiralty draughts. For example, the British historian Gardiner's makes comments in his book which indicate he is summarizing information in some of these sailing reports, e.g., regarding the Christian VII and the Fylla. Therefore, these British Sailing Quality reports on the Danish warships which Britain fitted for sea service are a rich source for historians to harvest for information not contained in the British admiralty draughts. However, it must be remembered that British Sailing Quality reports represent the subjective opinions of British sea officers, who were not naval architects and who were likely to have had their own individual prejudices and limitations in ability and perception, so each of these reports should not necessarily be taken as the final word on the subject but should themselves be subject to analysis and judgment.
British assessments of the design, sailing and seakeeping qualities of individual Danish warship models, by British officers extensively experienced in deep water ocean work, would be particularly compelling because Danish warships saw much more rigorous usage and a vastly different type and duration of sea service in British employment than they would have experienced had they remained in Danish hands, i.e., Danish ships which the British fitted for sea saw continuous cruising and blockade duty on the high seas for lengthy periods of time, under much different and more taxing sea and operational conditions than these ships would have been likely to experience under Danish command in the Baltic. Therefore, opinions in British Sailing Quality reports may not be entirely relevant in assessing the Danish warships' qualities for Baltic service and, therefore, whether they satisfied Danish rather than British requirements.
Danish budget restrictions prevented some larger Danish warships from seeing extensive sea service or "sea time" during the eighteenth century, particularly in deep water ocean work. In fact, one or two of the largest and most prestigious warships of all, the Danish fleet flagships which bore the name of Denmark's reigning king, probably never ever put to sea at all, but spent their entire lives following their launch laid up "in Ordinary" in the Danish fleet anchorage at Nyholm in Copenhagen. Conversely, after seizure, Denmark's newest fleet flagship, Christian den Syvende, saw many years of continuous and demanding sea service involving considerable sea time where she won unbridled British admiration for her sailing qualities.
British Manning Policy For Ships' Crews.
British ship lists indicate Britain manned the Danish warships Britain seized with much smaller crews than called for by official Danish crew establishments for the same ships. The smaller British crew establishments were inaugurated in 1806, and resulted from Britain's stringent manpower economy due to chronic wartime manpower shortages. After her 1812 defeats in single ships actions with U.S. warships, Britain repealed the 1806 reductions in ships complements.
Wartime British crew sizes at this time of the Napoleonic Wars were minimal rather than optimal for Britain's warships; British ships were in fact undermanned. Indeed, there were more British warships available than there were crews to man them, and this was true prior to Britain's seizure of Denmark's entire serviceable fleet in 1807.
The higher official Danish crew establishments for the Danish ship seized by Britain presumably constituted the optimal crew size to man the Danish ships. This optimal Danish crew size presumably allowed the Danes to fight their ships' batteries in action and to simultaneously man their ships' sails and rigging and, thereby, to fight a tactical battle of maneuver. However, small crews alleviated cramped and uncomfortable crew accommodations, and associated victual and water stowage needs, during long voyages. Cramped crew accommodation and storage capacity would not have been as pressing a concern for Danish ships, under Danish command, engaged in short-duration voyages in the Baltic theater of operations.
The following table compares British and Danish official complements of a sample selection of seized Danish warships for which British admiralty draughts were produced:
The only exception to the general proposition that Britain provided the seized Danish warships with smaller crews than did the Danes pertains to the six Stibolt-designed brigs of the Lougen classes, represented by the British admiralty draughts of the Nidelven and Allart discussed in Part II below. The official British crew establishment for these brigs was 95/100 men, whereas the Danish establishment figure was 85.
The British navy's chronic manpower shortages, in addition to the lack of capacity in Britain's overstretched naval dockyards, rather than the Danish warships' ages, poor building or design, was also a likely reason why some of the seized Danish warships did not see British sea service. At times, even British-built warships lay idle in port for lack of crews.
Britain's Choice Of Danish Ships To Fit For British Sea Service.
Aside from the draughts British surveyors produced of the seized Danish warships, another criterion which reflected upon British evaluations of Danish warship designs was Britain's choice of which Danish ships it would actually fit for sea as operational British warships. In making this choice, the British generally limited their selection to warships of the most recent build and of superior design and structural strength. These criteria usually meant that the British selected Hohlenberg-designed warships from among all the Danish warships seized by Britain in 1807.
After Hohlenberg, Stibolt is the Danish naval architect whose ships are most represented in British selection for sea service, although Stibolt's ships were physically somewhat older than Hohlenberg's. Aside from considerations of quality of design, British selection of Stibolt's ships for sea service was due in part to the fact that Stibolt fortuitously happened to design and build types of ships which were in high demand by the British during the war years, i.e., heavy gunbrigs, and standard-sized 18 pdr. frigates.
Newness of build ensured that a ship's wooden hull would have a reasonably long life, and a long life expectancy assured that the British would obtain a reasonable return on their investment in fitting out a Danish warship for operational sea service. Newness of build also meant that a Danish warship's maintenance would not become a drag on British overstretched dockyard resources. Aside from newness of build as a selective criterion, the technical aspects of Hohlenberg's innovative hull forms intrigued the British, who wanted to gain practical experience in these hull's performance at sea.
Almost all of the smaller ex-Danish warships below the category of battleships - i.e., frigates, ship-rigged sloops of war, brigs, and one schooner - were fitted for sea and employed operationally by the British, most of them almost immediately upon their seizure, and most of these served for the duration of the war or were lost during its course. However, only four of the 15 Danish battleships seized by the British in 1807 were selected by the British to be fitted for operational sea service and, while the four selected battleships appeared to be first class vessels, it would nevertheless be intriguing to discover from British archival records exactly what British rationales underlay their decisions for selecting these particular Danish battleships and not the others.
Danish 36 pdr. Battleships.
British battleships in 1807, excepting 64-gun ships carrying 24 pdrs., were armed with 32 pdr. cannon in the main battery. Conversely, virtually all Danish battleships carried smaller caliber 24 pdr. cannon, meaning that Danish battleships generally threw a much lighter broadside than their British counterparts. In all of Danish naval history prior to 1807, only eleven Danish battleships were designed to carry 36 pdr. cannon in the main battery, the heaviest caliber gun Danish battleships ever carried. Britain seized four of these eleven 36 pdr. Danish battleships in 1807, and fitted three of these for sea service.
It's puzzling why the fourth 36 pdr. Danish battleship seized by Britain, Stibolt's powerful Waldemar (80) of 2104 tons (just 24 tons lighter than the Christian den Syvende), was not fitted for sea service by the British, because Waldemar was larger and two years newer than a 36 pdr. Danish battleship Britain did fit for sea, i.e., Stibolt's Danmark. Manpower did not seem to be the problem, because Britain slated only 670 men for Waldemar's crew, a number only marginally larger than the 590 slated for Danmark. Another puzzle is that British surveyors produced no draught of the Waldemar. Unfortunately for posterity, although Britain seized a fifth Danish 36 pdr. battleship (Gerner's masterpiece, Neptunus (80), a ship almost exactly as large as Waldemar), this ship ran aground on Hven while in transit for England and had to be burnt, precluding British surveyors from producing a draught of her.
Christian den Syvende, Norge, Danmark, Waldemar and Neptunus (the latter burnt while on passage to England), i.e., the 36 pdr. battleships seized by Britain in 1807, were all armed with the new, model 1786, Danish 36 pdr. iron cannon, the barrels of which weighed at least 1,100 lbs. less than either the iron or bronze Danish 36 pdr. cannon with preceded the 1786 model. There were 107 model 1786 36 pdrs. in Danish naval inventory in 1800, and 146 of these weapons in 1807. During the same period, Danish naval inventories of the heavier bronze 36 pdr. barrels dropped from 86 to 9 weapons; their weight had apparently made them obsolescent for naval use.
Parenthetically, for a time Denmark's admiralty designated one further Danish battleship - besides the eleven designed to carry 36 pdrs. - to be armed with 36 pdrs. This was the Kronprinds Frederik, designed as a standard 24 pdr., 70-gun ship of the 11-ship Prindsesse Sophia Friderica class. The bronze 36 pdr. barrels Kronprinds Frederik was scheduled to carry weighed 50% more than the iron 24 pdrs. which ships of her class were designed to be armed, and this additional weight would have imposed significant additional strains on Kronprinds Frederik's hull if she ever did carry this armament. Kronprinds Frederik was probably allocated prestige bronze 36 pdrs. because she was named for Denmark's heir apparent. Britain seized the Kronprids Frederik in 1807.
Ramshart's book on the Danish navy claims that another Danish 24 pdr. battleship, the Dronning Lovise, built in 1744 as one of a three ship class, was also armed with 36 pdrs. in Danish service, but no other information or confirmation is available on this, except that Garde states that Dronning Lovise had a larger crew than her sisters.
Danish 24 pdr. Battleships.
The largest caliber cannon employed on virtually all Danish battleships during the 18th century was an old-model, iron 24 pdr. designed in the 17th century, a weapon of comparatively heavy barrel weight. However, after their seizure, the British deemed all 24 pdr. Danish battleships (except Hohlenberg's Prindsesse Caroline and Stibolt's Seieren) capable of carrying harder-hitting British-pattern 32 pdr. cannon in their main battery, in place of Danish 24 pdrs. Comparative assessments of the possible interchangeability Danish and British weaponry, however, is complicated by the fact that Danish weight measures were heavier than the British, so that, e.g., a Danish 24 pdr. shot weighed more than that of a British 24 pdr.
Was Denmark's Loss Britain's Gain?
Britain's avowed purpose for attacking Copenhagen and seizing Denmark's fleet in 1807 was to prevent Denmark's warships from falling into Napoleon's hands. Although England thus acquired a vast hoard of serviceable Danish warships, the British historian R. C. Anderson, in a book published nearly a century ago, asserted that since Britain only fitted four of the fifteen seized Danish battleships, and "some" of the seized Danish frigates and brigs, for operational sea service, Britain actually gained little of value in confiscating the Danish fleet.
R. C. Anderson's bald assertion is utterly invalid, and disingenuous. The simple truth is that Britain simply did not have the manpower available in 1807 to provide permanent crews to man - and to thereby utilize as commissioned combat vessels - all of the Danish warships Britain seized at Copenhagen. Conversely, if the Danish warships seized in 1807 were in fact so militarily worthless as R. C. Anderson infers, then why was Britain in such terror that Napoleon would seize and utilize these ships? The Danish warships of 1807, with the exception of the Danish frigate Fridericksværn, were certainly not the ancient museum pieces the British often captured in combat from the French or Spanish.
In the 1802-1815 period, of the five large captured third rates Britain fitted for sea service, two were Danish and one of these was the largest, most powerful, and technically the most interesting of the five. Of the five captured "74 gun" third rates Britain fitted for sea service, two were Danish, one of these being particularly powerful and the other being technically the most interesting of the group. Thus, in the battleship category, the four Danish battleships Britain fitted for sea proportionally represented a significant accretion of strength to the British, despite the fact the substantial total of 11 other seized Danish battleships were not fitted for British sea service. Those Danish battleships which Britain did not fit for sea nevertheless retained value as a "strategic reserve," which could potentially be called upon in crises situations.
In the 1802-1815 period, of the 43 captured heavy (i.e., 24 pdr. and 18 pdr.) frigates Britain fitted for sea, seven were Danish; of the twelve 9 pdr. frigates, one was Danish; and of the eleven captured corvettes Britain fitted for sea, two were Danish. Eight of the 70-odd captured brigs Britain fitted for sea were Danish. These are not inconsequential figures and, furthermore, all Danish warships Britain fitted for operational sea service were excellent, first class designs. These acquisitions were also particularly timely for Britain, which was in acute need for these classes of ships in 1807.
A simple numerical assessment of the contribution which Danish warships Britain fitted for sea service had upon overall British sea power is one-dimensional and does not consider either the technological design perspective or the non-operational contribution which Denmark's warships made to Britain's war effort. The non-operational perspective is the valuable strategic reserve which Denmark's non-operational warships afforded to Britain. The technological dimension is the perspective from which the impact Hohlenberg's designs had upon the British must be evaluated, for Hohlenberg did remarkable work in hull design. This technological impact, while neither quantifiable nor having a material effect on the outcome of the Napoleonic war, was clearly psychologically significant to the British and historically significant in terms of world warship design. Additionally, the British not only obtained actual examples of Hohlenberg's designs, but also considerable practical experience in employing these Hohlenberg hull forms in British naval service. Thus, from both the numerical and the technological design perspectives, Denmark's loss was Britain's gain.
"Lines & Profile" And Other Plans.
All Danish warships listed below in Part II: The List of Draughts, have the minimum "lines and profile" British admiralty plans preserved today in the British archives. "Lines and profile" includes the "lines plan" showing the lines of the ship from three perspectives, i.e., the side plan ("sheer"), the ends ("body plan") and from above ("half breadth"), combined with the "profile of inboard works" showing internal structural detail. Only those ships with additional plans than the minimum "lines and profile" are specially noted in the comments to individual Danish warships provided below.
One major difference distinguishes Danish from British admiralty plans: Danish plans typically include a sail plan for each warship, whereas sail plans are rare in British admiralty plans. The British felt sail plans were unnecessary because experienced dockyard knew how to rig a ship. However, sail plans for individual ships that do exist are a valuable record for the modern historian. Therefore, Danish sail plans are often interesting and instructive, as for example in depicting the angles of a warship's various masts, such as are shown on Hohlenberg's sail plans of Rota and Lille Belt. Another major difference is that British admiralty plans typically include a side plan of the hull which doubles by illustrating the ship's inboard detail (an attractive feature of British draughts), whereas the Danes would typically depict internal structural detail on a separate plan.
All British draughts of Danish ships seized in 1807 are to a uniform scale of 1:48, or one inch equaling one foot, i.e., the same scale as is most typically used for ship models in the Handels og Søfartsmuseet på Kronborg.
Ships' Gun "Ratings."
The number appearing in brackets after each ship's name in the ships' data section, in Part II: The List of Draughts below, is the ship's official complement of guns in Danish service, in accordance with the official Danish admiralty establishments.
In British practice, a ship's gun "rating" was an arbitrary administrative figure that typically did not represent either the official British establishment of guns for an individual ship or the actual number of guns a British ship carried regardless of its official establishment of guns. In contrast, Danish navy lists always designated the exact number of guns Danish warships carried, according to the Danish admiralty's establishment schedule of guns provided for each particular Danish warship. British gun "ratings" of individual warships was for administrative classification purposes, the need for which does not seem to have existed for the smaller and administratively more manageable Danish navy. Rather than categorize their warships by a rating system similar to Britain's, Denmark simply classified her warships by ship type, e.g., battleship, frigate, and that method of categorization is used in subdividing the British admiralty draughts of Danish warships in Part II: The List of Draughts, below.
While in Danish practice Danish warships were not administratively "rated," all Danish warships seized by Britain became subject to Britain's administrative rating system, whether or not Britain ever fitted an individual Danish warship for British sea service. Thus, for example, Christian VII and Waldemar were "rated as" 80-gun "third rates," although each was actually officially designated to carry more than 80 guns in British service. All the other seized Danish battleships, including the large Norge and the smaller Prindsesse Caroline, were rated by the British as 74-gun ships, regardless of the actual number of guns the British officially designated these ships to carry. Thus, knowledge of the British rating system is useful in understanding British treatment and employment of individual Danish warships Britain seized in 1807, as for example in the case of Christian VII and Waldemar, because the 80-gun ship was a type foreign to Britain and 80-gun ships in the British fleet consisted of foreign captures.
Danish and British arming practices differed in another regard. While Danish captains seem to have been strictly held to the Danish admiralty's official armament establishments for their ships, individual British captains had discretion as to how to arm their vessels and therefore often departed from official establishments in individual cases - a practice which applied with equal force to all Danish ships fitted for British sea service. Therefore, the official British gun establishments for the Danish ships may not actually represent how an individual Danish ship was in fact armed on individual occasions.