Razee (NTW unit)
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A razee is a type of strongly-built frigate, created by cutting the top deck off a ship-of-the-line.
In effect, a small ship of the line is sawn in two, horizontally, and the top deck removed completely. The resulting ship has a hull that was originally constructed to withstand the recoil of heavy guns and, as a result, it is far stronger than an ordinary, purpose-built frigate. The loss of a deck and guns improves the ship’s handling too, and a razee is manoeuvrable and speedy. The overall result is a very strong, powerful vessel that is better than its donor battleship or a frigate.
Historically, few razees were actually made, as sacrificing a ship-of-the-line to make a weaker vessel was not an action that many admiralties could get their political masters to approve. However, one of the most successful examples was HMS Indefatigable, under Edward Pellew. In the company of another frigate, Pellew took on, and defeated, the Droits de l'Homme, a French 74 ship-of-the-line, in 1797. This victory was rightly considered a stunning feat of seamanship and command. During the next year or so, Pellew and the Indefatigable went on to take a further nine vessels.