Naval Manoeuvres

Description

By the 5th century BC naval battles were changing, as the ship’s ram became the principle weapon, making artful seamanship and carefully timed manoeuvres the key to success. There were a range of recognised tactics, including the 'periplous' - an outflanking manoeuvre - and the 'diekplous' - a more complex movement which was also known as "breaking the line". Here an attacking ship would navigate between two enemy vessels and rely on superior speed and agility to ram the midships or stern of its target. This tactic could be aided by sailing close enough to the enemy to shear off their oars, immobilising them before ramming.

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