ship of the line(redirected from ships of the line)
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ship of the line,large, square-rigged warship, carrying from 70 to 140 guns on two or more completely armed gun decks. In the great naval wars of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th cent., ships of the line were the largest naval units employed. They passed from use with the advent of the ironcladironclad,
mid-19th-century wooden warship protected from gunfire by iron armor. The success of the ironclad when first employed by the French in the Crimean War sparked a naval armor and armaments race between France and Great Britain.
..... Click the link for more information. and the battleshipbattleship,
large, armored warship equipped with the heaviest naval guns. The evolution of the battleship, from the ironclad warship of the mid-19th cent., received great impetus from the Civil War.
..... Click the link for more information. . One of the few remaining examples of a ship of the line is Lord Nelson's flagship, the H.M.S. Victory, which has been preserved at Portsmouth, England.