The wreck of the Mars

The warship Mars, the flagship of the Swedish fleet, on the floor of the Baltic where it’s lain just like this since a long forgotten battle (the first battle of Öland) in a long forgotten war with Denmark (the Northern Seven Years War) in 1564. The ship (three decks high and 300 feet from bow to stern, enormous for the time) had a crew of eight hundred (half sailors and half soldiers) and one hundred and seventy cannon and was aflame and in desperate battle with three Danish warships who were boarding her and as the decks and rigging seethed with hand to hand combat and point blank musketry the flames reached the kegs of gunpowder in the magazine below and they exploded without warning, sending the crew and the hundreds of boarders into oblivion in a scene worthy of Cecil B. DeMille. Imagine the sudden silence.

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