HMS Centurion

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HMS Centurion

Overview

Rating: 5th rate

Class: Minerva-class fifth-rate frigate

Shipyard: Deptford DY

Launched: January 4th, 1720

Status: Sunk


Armament

Total Guns: 40

Topdeck: 18 x 6lbs

Gundeck: 18 x 12lbs

Bow Chasers: 2 x 9lbs

Stern Chasers: 2 x 16lbs

Broadside Weight: 162lbs

Crew: 225


Commanders

Current Captain: -

Previous Captains:

April, 1720 - April 26th, 1721: Captain Collister

January 4th, 1720 - April, 1720: Captain Abraham Preston


Notable Actions

May 23rd, 1720: Fell under attack from a pirate vessel commanded by pirate Camela Cola off the coast of Gibara. The pirate closed quickly and boarded the Centurion. Their boarding party defeated the crew of the Centurion to the last man, critically injuring Captain Collister. With none of the crew left able to fight, the pirates consequently made away with the Centurion's cargo.

March 24th, 1721: Was one of the five ships that sailed to the aid of a distressed British Captain under attack from three pirate vessels. Succeeded in sinking two of the pirate vessels and taking the third.

April 2nd, 1721: Engaged and sank a French frigate off Santiago.

April 14th, 1721: Engaged a French frigate off Charlestown and lost battle. Recieved heavy damage and forced to repair and refit.

April 15th, 1721: Cruised off Gibara, evaded an attempted ambush from numerically superior foe.

April 18th, 1721: Sailed in a fleet of six ships of the Squadron on a cruise off Spanish Town. Engaged by four french frigates. Severely damaged in combat and forced to great repairs.

April 21st, 1721: Engaged pirate Sule Rule off Irish Point. Pirate sailed a Fallen class snow. Enemy disengaged after recieving damage to hull.

April 21st, 1721: Sailed in a fleet of six British fifth-rates off Cartagena. Engaged Spanish Privateer Banana Boat sailing an Intrepid fifth-rate. Two British ships separated themselves from our fleet and were sunk one by one. Engaged enemy frigate together with another British frigate. Sank his Intrepid class fifth rate, but was forced to refit the Centurion due to the extremely heavy damage recieved.

April 26th, 1721: Sailed alongside Captain si da sorcerer off Matthew Town. Engaged lone pirate fifth-rate in infested waters. Two fifth-rates sailed to reinforce the pirate. Captain si da sorcerer put helm to the horizon and disengaged. Attempted to disengage but the Centurion could not outsail the pirate frigates. Recieved critical damage to the Centurion in the following combat and was forced to major repairs.

April 26th, 1721: Sailed alongside Captain Aidan O Brian off Irish Point. Engaged by three pirate fifth-rates. Captain O Brian jumped ship leaving the pirates in pursuit of the Centurion. The Centurion was defeated after a furious exchange of fire and sank to the depths of the sea.


Ship History

The Centurion was built for speed and fast she was. Known to have comfortably sailed at 20 knots and when pressed at even greater speeds, she was the fastest frigate Captain Collister had commanded when he recieved command of her in April, 1720. She had been launched earlier that year from Portsmouth and immediately sent to the West Indies.

Her 36 cannons were light in comparison to many other ships of her class but this only added to her potential of attaining great running speeds. Her hull was likewise designed for speed and consequently she was also more fragile than other fifth-rates. However, despite her weaknesses she turned out to be one of Captain Collister's most decorated and famed frigates.

Under his command the Centurion took part in four ship-to-ship combats and five fleet actions. Her speed and manoeuvrability served her in both closing on the enemy and bringing them to an engagment (her bow chasers also served this pursuit) and disengaging if she found herself outgunned (her stern chasers likewise aided this purpose).

However, on the fateful evening of April 26th, 1721, the Centurion was sunk after an engagement against three heavy pirate frigates. Captain Collister was honourably acquitted from the court-martial and since that day he has sought revenge on the pirates that sank "his" Centurion.