The ''Vasa''

  • Warships Of History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Built under orders of The King of Sweden (Gustavus) in 1627, ''Vasa'' was designed to aid in his military expansion and eventual war with Poland-Lithuania between 1621 and 1629. Weighing in at 1,200 tons (displaced), Vasa was around 225 feet long and 40 feet in height (beam). She was wind-powdered and crewed around 145 men with troop transport capabilities of 300 additional soldiers. ''Vasa'' carried 63 cannon of various calibers (with her largest begin 48 24-pound guns). ''Vasa'' was considered to be the top of military and naval technology for her day (and possibly on of the best equipped and largest). Due to her massive upper structure and weight concerns – ''Vasa'' was dangerously unstable at sea. Rather than fix the stability issues, The King of Sweden ordered an immediate launch and deployment. On her maiden voyage in 1628, while enroute to Alvnabben, the ship suddenly tilted to port and began to list (taking on water rapidly). ''Vasa'' sank in 105 feet of water a scant 400 feet from shore. Some 30 crewmen died in the disaster. Three days after the sinking, efforts were made to recover armament and materials. Over the next 30 years, various attempts and failures would be tried to bring up components. No documentation shows any level of success save a 1665 attempt which yielded around 50 cannon. A 1999 expedition brought up large portions of the remaining wreck which have been undergoing painstaking conservation since. The ''Vasa'' can be seen at The Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.