First used circa 1779, carronade refers to a short, smoothbore cannon produced by the Carron ironworks in Scotland and used by the British Royal Navy until the 1850s. It was intended as a short-range weapon for merchant ships. The carronade gained popularity during the Revolutionary War, used in defending British merchant vessels against assaults from French and American privateers. Credit for the weapon’s invention isn’t certain, but seems to belong to either Lt. Gen. Robert Melville or Charles Gascoigne, manager of the Carron Company.
Word Archaeology: carronade
December 24, 2020
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