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Representation of a gun pontoon


Representation of a gun pontoon

Böhm, Johann Gottfried Rabanus

Title Leupe: Vorstelling van een Cannonier Pont, leggende op de rivier Surinaamen.

This draft is part of a series of ‘plans of obstruction’ made after 1780 (see VEL2020-2027). Important to this obstruction were designs for cannonboats or 'canoniere' which moved by sails or oars to hinder hostile vessels. The shallow draught of the boats were an advantage over most other ships when tide was low. Nonetheless, the balance between maneuverability and a shallow draught was difficult to maintain. The armament in this design seems far too heavy, also in the literal sense, for the light, unstable pontoon craft with a low freeboard and shallow draught, even if they would be considerably ballasted. The relatively thin sides would have offered the cannoneers no protection at all, and apparently the pontoons were unable to sail under their own power. This plan was presented in 1793 and never put into effect. Going by the drawing style and the handwriting, this might be a blueprint by Major Böhm, who thus revived earlier plans of Wollant. Next to the designs of boats, plans were made for obstructions using floating trunks equipped with spikes which would be placed in the river using anchors.

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Sources and literature

Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (2012)