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Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2?

If it matters for precision, let's assume British ships of 1700s.

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As a note, the impetus for this question was a very thoughtful criticism of my answer by David Thornley –  DVK Nov 22 '11 at 2:18

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The crew losses during broadside actions were so high that even if the ship of the line was able to man both sides at the beginning of the battle, its crew would probably be depleted an hour or two later.

Also, even if there were not battles, ships had crew attrition from just being at sea (scurvy, accidents). A ship of the line could hold max. one thousand man crew (often this number was closer to 500), with approx. 10 men / big gun you'd need 720-1000 men to man all guns (three deckers had at least 72 guns) -- who'd be left to handle the sailing duties? Also this number included the marine component, which was 20% of the crew for British and up to 30% for Spanish warships.

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Presumably Marines at the time were trained to operate the cannon, no? Seems like a waste to have them sitting there twiddling their thumbs waiting for a possible boarding action. –  T.E.D. May 18 '12 at 16:20
The Marines could be quite busy during the action: shooting at the sailors and officers on the enemy's deck or manning the enemy's sails, or making sure nobody deserts from their post. –  quant_dev May 18 '12 at 17:24
Why would there be so many guns if the ship was designed to not have enough gunners? –  DVK Dec 7 '12 at 15:01
It doesn't take much time for the gunners to swap sides. If preloaded, they can fire one side then the other very rapidly in the cases where you are sailing through a line of ships. –  Oldcat Jun 4 at 23:37

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