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Re: During the Napoleonic War,
David Chandler wrote an article for Military History, Nelson's Rotting Fleet
. His thesis was that by 1812, the Royal Navy's ships were in a state of physical decline, and manning standards had fallen. Meanwhile Napoleon was building fleets of ships of the line across the continent, which would have seriously challenged the blockade had the war gone on past 1814
a British ship of the line suddenly sank with all hands. It was determined the ship was so old that the hull just disintegrated.
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