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Sails of Glory – Bertin 1761 / Berryer 1759
East Indiamen were large merchant ships, sailing under the flag or major European trading powers on behalf of the powerful East India companies, trading and enriching them. While their main purpose was to transport goods and passengers, they were often well–armed to defend themselves, but they were normally not very fast. The crew and number of guns was widely variable, depending on the kind of service the ship was doing.
The Bertin was an East Indiaman used for long–distance trading during the eighteenth century. She was later converted into a ship of the line, taking advantage of her design, already suitable for a warship. When, in 1770, she was commissioned into the French Marine Royale, under King Louis XVI, her armament was doubled – Bertin became a fourth rate with 56 guns and a crew of more than 300 men.
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