Quick Reference

So named after the Carron Iron Founding and Shipping Company where it was invented, a very short, light carriage gun which used a small propellant charge to fire a relatively heavy shot for a limited range. Introduced in 1799 as an auxiliary to the main armament, it became known as a ‘smasher’, during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). But until 1817 it was not included in the number of guns which decided the rate of a British warship. See also gun; warfare at sea.

Subjects: Maritime History.

Reference entries