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331: This Week: The Battle of Britain, Hamilton, One Nation, One King

In this episode, we’ll learn about historical events that happened this week in history as they were depicted in these four movies: The Battle of Britain, Hamilton, and One Nation, One King.

Events from This Week in History


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Note: This transcript is automatically generated. Expect errors. Reference use only.

July 10, 1940. England.

The light sand is littered with military equipment. There’s an ammo can, a couple artillery guns and the legs of someone who we can assume is diseased. On top there is barbed wire, but the only thing that’s moving in the scene is the sporadic tufts of green grass sprouting out of the sand as it blows in the wind.

It’s a scene of abandonment.

As the camera pans slowly, we can see more abandoned vehicles. A burned-out car, a broken wagon, maybe what looks like a motorcycle lying on its side. Off in the distance, huge plumes of black smoke are rising as if the battle has left this deserted beach. It’s moved on.

While we see this on the screen, there’s voiceover in the movie that gives us a news report.

This is the BBC Home Service. Here is the news. In the House of Commons this afternoon, the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, said, ‘What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin.’”

The true story behind this week’s event depicted in the movie The Battle of Britain

That brief segment comes from the 1969 film called The Battle of Britain.

And while the movie doesn’t come right out to tell us when or where we are, it’s pretty clear the deserted beach we’re seeing is the beach at Dunkirk. The Miracle of Dunkirk was an evacuation that took place between May 26th and June 4th, 1940. Of course, what we’re seeing in the film is after that.

So, I’ll admit that I’m speculating a little bit about the timing of when this might be. This is another example of a movie that doesn’t really show the event that started the conflict, but we do know from history that it was this week in the year 1940 when the Battle of Britain officially began.

Well, at least, that’s when the British officially recognize the dates. Other historians might not agree with those dates.

The event that we don’t see in the movie to kick off the battle was when over a hundred German bombers and fighters attacked a British shipping convoy in the English Channel while about 70 other bombers attacked dockyards in South Wales. Those attacks were the start of what would end up being a series of bombing raids, and that’s why the date of July 10th, 1940, is commonly referred to as the start of the Battle of Britain.

Just from the name of it, you might think this is a little different than the battles that take place in a specific city, near a river, or by some other geographical landmark. And you’d be right.

The Battle of Britain took place in the skies primarily over Great Britain’s airspace between the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe.

We see the aftermath of the empty beaches at Dunkirk in the film, and after the Miracle at Dunkirk, France had fallen to Nazi Germany. That happened officially on June 22nd, 1940 with an armistice between France and Germany. Then, the Nazis set their sights on Great Britain.

The English Channel posed a problem, though, because up until this point in the war the Nazis had massive success rolling through most of Western Europe with the blitzkrieg. Basically, that was swift attack using tanks on the ground supported by the Luftwaffe in the air.

So, for Germany to be able to defeat Great Britain, they’d have to get rid of the RAF first. If they could achieve air superiority, the Luftwaffe would be able to support an invasion of Great Britain.

It’s also important to point out that Hitler wanted to focus on the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. So, he was really hoping by defeating the RAF that would force Great Britain to sue for peace and he wouldn’t have to pull away his tanks and ground forces that could be used on the Eastern Front.

Of course, that’s not the kind of information the Nazi leaders were going to tell their enemies, so we mostly know this sort of thing by looking at it through a historical lens.

What happened next was just under four months of hard fighting that ended up seeing both Britain and Germany suffering massive losses. Thousands of aircraft were lost, tens of thousands of lives lost…but, Britain held on long enough to hand Nazi Germany their first major defeat of World War II.

If you want to watch the event depicted on screen, check out the 1969 film simply called The Battle of Britain. The news report we started this segment with starts right at the beginning at about eight and a half minutes into the film.


July 11, 1804. Weehawken, New Jersey.

Our next movie is of a Broadway musical on a dark stage. A man and a woman are the only ones visible as the song begins. The woman is Phillipa Soo’s version of Eliza Hamilton while the man is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s version of her husband, Alexander Hamilton. She sings to him, asking him to come back to sleep. He replies he has an early meeting out of town. He assures her that he’ll be back before she knows he’s gone.

As the song continues, a host of backup singers join the stage to tell the story of what happens next. They share the information about what’s happening at the meeting he mentioned earlier.

The song is being sung by Leslie Odom Jr.’s version of Aaron Burr. And conveniently for us, Burr’s song shares the information of ten bulleted items. I’m not going to repeat the exact lyrics since they’re copyrighted, of course, but here’s a summary of the ten things we learn in the song.

  1. They rode across the Hudson at dawn, along with his friend William P. Van Ness.
  2. Hamilton arrived with his crew. There’s a mention of Nathaniel Pendleton and a doctor.
  3. Hamilton examined the terrain, but most disputes ended with no one shooting.
  4. Hamilton drew the first position and the doctor turned around so he could deny seeing anything.
  5. This is all happening near the same place where Hamilton’s son died.
  6. Hamilton examined the trigger on his gun.
  7. Aaron Burr was not a good marksman.
  8. Hamilton wore his glasses that morning, and Burr had a daughter.
  9. Aim no higher than the eyes.
  10. There’s not really anything for number ten other than there are ten paces before turning to shoot.

Here is where the show goes into a sort of slow motion. The bullet travels from one gun to the other. Life flashing before their eyes.

A few moments later, we find out the result of the duel: Alexander Hamilton shot into the sky. Aaron Burr did not. Alexander Hamilton is hit by the bullet from Burr’s gun.

The true story behind this week’s event depicted in the movie Hamilton

That sequence comes from the movie version on Disney+ of the popular Broadway musical Hamilton. Now, I know we haven’t really covered musicals here on Based on a True Story before…and if you do want to dig into the historical accuracy of the musical Hamilton in the future then let me know!

But for today, I thought we could cover at least this one scene in Hamilton.

Of course, in the true story, life is not a musical. We all know that.

But it is true that Alexander Hamilton was shot during a duel this week in history by the Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr. Yes, he really was the Vice President at the time he killed Hamilton. The duel took place on July 11th, 1804.

So, what of those ten things the musical mentions?

Let’s recap each of those. Before we do, though, just as a quick reminder, I’m not listing the actual lyrics for copyright purposes, but we’ll get the gist of what it’s saying so we can dig into their historical accuracy a little better.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that this duel wasn’t something officially documented. So, what we know of it comes from those who were there. With that said, let’s get to the list.


  1. They rode across the Hudson at dawn, along with his friend William P. Van Ness.

It is true that at about 5:00 AM on July 11th, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton each left separate docks in Manhattan to travel across the Hudson River to Weehawken, New Jersey. Although the song kind of makes it sound like they traveled together, they actually took separate boats in an attempt to keep the duel a secret. They went to New Jersey because it was a little more lenient on prosecuting duels than New York was at the time.

The song is also correct to mention Van Ness. Mr. William Peter Van Ness was a federal judge and Aaron Burr’s second. In a duel, the second is a friend of one of the parties to help make sure the duel is done in an honorable way and to the rules of the duel.


  1. Hamilton arrived with his crew. There’s a mention of Nathaniel Pendleton and a doctor.

The implication here is that Burr arrived first, followed by Hamilton and someone named Nathaniel Pendleton and an unnamed doctor. That is true, as well.

Aaron Burr and the men with him arrived to the dueling grounds at about 6:30 AM and started clearing some underbrush in preparation for the duel. Alexander Hamilton and the men with him made it there about half an hour later.

Nathaniel Pendleton was a district judge and served as Hamilton’s second in the duel. The doctor was Dr. David Hosack, a friend of Hamilton’s who, as his title suggests, was a medical doctor.


  1. Hamilton examined the terrain, but most disputes ended with no one shooting.

This mostly seems like a throwaway line in the song, but I suppose it would make sense for both Hamilton and Burr to examine the terrain when they get there. Since we learned Hamilton got there after Burr and the men with Burr had started clearing underbrush, perhaps that’s what this is referring to.

While it might be a stretch to suggest that most duels end up with no one shooting, it is true that many duels end up without anyone being killed. By that, I’m referring to something the musical does touch on elsewhere: Deloping. That’s the practice of purposely missing or shooting into the ground to end the duel.

For example, Alexander Hamilton had been involved in more than a dozen duels, or “affairs of honor” as they were called. That includes at least one other with Aaron Burr. Burr himself said he dueled Hamilton twice before this one, so there are some conflicting stories there. But the point is that not every duel comes away with someone dying.


  1. Hamilton drew the first position and the doctor turned around so he could deny seeing anything.

From here on out, the accounts of what happened get even more blurry and conflicted. With that said, though, as the story goes, the Burr and Hamilton’s seconds cast lots to determine who would get to pick their positions.

As a little side note, casting lots is kind of like flipping a coin or rolling dice. Hamilton’s second, Nathaniel Pendleton, won that so Hamilton got to pick first position. So, the song is correct there.

Did the doctor turn around so he could deny anything? That’s an oversimplification.

It’s very likely that the two seconds were the only others present other than Burr and Hamilton themselves, and both seconds turned their backs for the actual shots. That was another form of plausible deniability so no one could say they saw any shots being fired.

What we do know is that about a month later, Dr. David Hosack, wrote down that he didn’t only turn his back, but he wasn’t even right there for the duel. He was nearby, but he said he saw Hamilton and the two seconds disappear into the woods. A short while later, he heard two shots and came rushing to find Hamilton wounded.

So, if that’s all true, then that also helps us understand why there are so many conflicting accounts of exactly what happened.


  1. This is all happening near the same place where Hamilton’s son died.

This is true. While we didn’t talk about this in the segment, earlier in the musical we see Alexander Hamilton’s son, Philip, get killed in a duel. That really did happen on November 23rd, 1801, Philip challenged a lawyer named George Eacker to a duel after Eacker had given a speech opposing Alexander Hamilton. That duel took place not at the exact same dueling grounds, but it was also in New Jersey a few miles away.


  1. Hamilton examined the trigger on his gun.

We don’t really know this for sure. Alexander Hamilton was in the Continental Army and, as we saw earlier in the musical, he had been General Washingon’s aide. But, even though he was in the army, that didn’t mean he had a lot of experience with weapons himself. Sure, he’d shot them, but was he good with them?

On top of that, if we consider that after the Revolutionary War came to an end in 1783, Hamilton’s career took a similar path as Washington’s as it went from the military into politics. So, it’s not likely that he had shot a gun since the War—over two decades before the duel.

The last little bit of evidence here that’s worth mentioning is that some sources have said the guns used in the duel were hidden until they arrived at the grounds. This was part of giving people plausible deniability.

Putting these two clues together, if they didn’t see the guns on the way there and Hamilton hadn’t shot a gun in decades—sure, it makes sense that he’d examine the gun when it was handed to him.


  1. Aaron Burr was not a good marksman.

Like the last point, we just don’t know for sure. Like Hamilton, Aaron Burr had been in the Continental Army. Just like Hamilton, after the Revolutionary War ended, Burr went into politics.

With that said, though, there have been some historians who have said Aaron Burr had been practicing shooting at his home in New York City leading up to the duel. Does that mean he was a good shot? We don’t know for sure. But it is likely that he had shot a gun more recently than Hamilton.


  1. Hamilton wore his glasses that morning, and Burr had a daughter.

Let’s start with the part we know for sure is true: Aaron Burr did have a daughter. In fact, Aaron Burr had at least eight children. The reason I say “at least” is because, well, to put it bluntly, Burr had two wives over the course of his life, but he was known to have children outside of marriage.

For example, it was just a few years ago, in 2018, that John Pierre Burr was officially recognized as Aaron Burr’s son for the first time by the Aaron Burr Association. He was one of two children Aaron Burr had with a servant from India who worked in his household.

What of the other part of this line, though, about Hamilton wearing his glasses?

That is most likely true, although as I mentioned earlier, the accounts we have from those who were there don’t always line up.

If he did have them on, though, it wasn’t necessarily the entire time. As the story goes, even though Hamilton had already told his second that he planned on deloping, when Hamilton and Burr stood facing each other, Hamilton asked for a moment to put his glasses on.

Why did he want to put his glasses on if he had planned on deloping, or purposely missing Aaron Burr? Well, as you already know, Hamilton was killed soon after this, so we’ll never really know for sure.

Let’s do the last couple lines together:

  1. Aim no higher than the eyes.
  2. There’s not really anything for number ten other than there are ten paces before turning to shoot.

These last few lines work well for the song, but they don’t add much to the true story.

And, in a way, that actually works for the true story because the least accurate thing we know about is what happened right at the end.

The reason for that is because the account told by Burr’s second and Hamilton’s second at the duel don’t line up—probably because of what we talked about before with them having their backs turned.

According to one version of the story, Hamilton fired first and just as he had said he would do, he deliberately missed Aaron Burr. When Burr heard the shot hit a tree behind him, he fired back. He didn’t know Hamilton had said he was going to deliberately miss, after all. His shot did not miss.

According to another version of the story, it was Aaron Burr who shot first and hit Hamilton. The shot hit Hamilton just above his right hip. He collapsed almost immediately and involuntarily dropped his gun, which caused it to fire.

Hamilton didn’t die right away, and according to his own version, he told the doctor later that his gun was still loaded. But there was a second shot, so that would seem to back up the idea that Hamilton didn’t purposely shoot and instead didn’t realize the gun had gone off as he collapsed.

No matter what actually happened, what we do know is the outcome.

Alexander Hamilton succumbed to his wound, passing away at about 2:00 PM the next day, July 12th, 1804.

If you want to see how the duel that happened this week in history it depicted in the movie version of the musical, hop into the show notes for a link to where you can watch Hamilton right now, and you’ll find the song in our segment starting at about two hours and 21 minutes in.


July 14, 1789. France.

Something is being dipped into a molten hot furnace. It reminds me of the times when I learned about glass blowing as a child, but that was a long time ago. This looks like something very hot, though. The camera pans to a man who is controlling the stick in the furnace.

Then, the camera cuts to a castle. Someone yells, “Murderer!” and we can hear the sound of a crowd yelling.

Another cut and we seem to be in some sort of a makeshift hospital. An injured person is carried on a stretcher. Others saying, “May he rest in peace,” as if someone has passed away.

This initial chaos in the scenes are coming together a little bit more as we see some people talking about what’s going on.

One man says it’s not a crime to fight to defend yourselves.

A woman says they took 300 barrels of powder for their rifles.

Another man says that they’ll resist the King’s troops because Paris has stormed the Bastille and everyone around him cheers.

The true story behind this week’s event depicted in the movie One Nation, One King

That depiction comes from the 2018 movie called One Nation, One King.

As you can probably guess, this depiction isn’t great…but as it turns out there really are not very many good depictions of the storming of the Bastille that started the French Revolution.

But that is what happened this week in history on July 14th, 1789 when revolutionary insurgents seized control of a fortress called the Bastille.

The movie doesn’t really mention any of this, but if we take a step back to get some historical context, a financial crisis in France resulted in a lot of conflicts. In May, unrest started to bubble up. In June, a group known as the National Assembly came to the forefront. Meanwhile, the French king, Louis XVI, had reorganized the people in charge of the finances and dismissed Jacques Necker, the finance minister. That was on July 11th, 1789. When that happened, people were afraid that Louis would arrest members of the National Assembly.

While this unrest wasn’t new and it had been brewing for a while, when people overcame the Bastille—a political prison and fortress—that gave people the confidence they needed to continue to revolt against the monarchy that had ruled France for centuries.

If you want to watch the event as it’s depicted in the 2018 movie One Nation, One King, the day of July 14th, 1789 starts at about three minutes into the film.


Let’s move onto our next segment now, where we learn about historical figures from the movies that were born this week in history.

On July 10th, 1856, Nikola Tesla was born in the Austrian Empire—but is now Croatia. He was an engineer and inventor who worked with Thomas Edison for a while before striking out on his own. There was a movie about his life released in 2020 that was simply called Tesla and we covered the historical accuracy of that movie back on episode #201 of Based on a True Story with Tesla’s biographer Richard Munson.

On July 11th, 1274, Robert the Bruce was born in Scotland. He’s been depicted in a few different movies, including the 1995 movie Braveheart where Angus Macfadyen portrayed Robert the Bruce. We covered that film years ago, way back on episode #45 of Based on a True Story.

On July 14th, 1912, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma. He’s better known simply as Woody Guthrie, the folk singer whose music focused on songs of socialism and anti-fascism. His story was told in the 1976 movie Bound for Glory, and as a little peek behind the mic, since I live in Oklahoma, I’ve taken photos of some local artists who have been inspired by one of Woody Guthrie’s famous guitars…you see, in the mid-1940s as World War II was raging, Woody Guthrie wrote an anti-Hitler song that gained popularity with the United States’ Communist Party. As a part of that anti-fascist mentality, there’s a famous photo of Woody where he’s playing his guitar with a label on it saying, “This machine kills fascists.”

I’ll throw a link in the show notes if you want to see one of my photos of it.


Onto our segment about ‘based on a true story’ movies released this week in history, this week marks the 21st anniversary of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie: The Curse of the Black Pearl released on July 9th, 2003.

And right away, I know what you’re thinking…that’s not “based on a true story!”

And you’re right…obviously.

But…pirates existed, so it’s obviously pulling some things from history. So, I had a chat with Colin Woodard, the author of the acclaimed book The Republic of Pirates to see how well the pirates in the Pirates franchise hold up to the real pirates of history.

And if you followed me on that, extra points to you! Haha!

Okay, here’s an excerpt from my chat with Colin about The Curse of the Black Pearl:

Dan LeFebvre  04:18

The first movie in the franchise is the Curse of the Black Pearl and it sets up one of the primary locations where a lot of the stories really throughout the entire franchise take place: Port Royal. Was port Royal a real place?


Colin Woodard  04:32

Port Royal was an important and rather body port in Jamaica. It was for a long time Jamaica’s primary port and therefore, in the whole English and later British you know, Americas that was the primary hub for their Caribbean operations. The empire of Jamaica that was sort of the headquarters of the British fleet, protecting their possessions in the West Indies and the largest presence for the English and British there. However, or where Disney has kind of taken a flight of fancy or taken advantage of, of flexible narratives in television. Port Royal had been largely destroyed by the time the pirate outbreak came out. There was a terror it was located on a peninsula jutting out into into the into a harbor, behind what what was what was Kingston which became the real fort for the Jamaica. And there was a terrible earthquake that essentially caused the sandy structure of the peninsula to collapse along with like half the town drowning many people and pretty much portrayal never recovered from that. And that would have occurred when the pirates who make up the real golden age pirate boom from which all of our mythology and pop cultural references to Pirates of the Caribbean comes from those those they would have been children at that time when fork oil was destroyed. It was sort of a legendary place not exactly of pirates, but of the buccaneer generation, who preceded them who weren’t in general pirates in the sense that they were outlaws from the perspective of their own governments. So the real piracy outbreak took place somewhere else, not in Port Royal.


Dan LeFebvre  06:11

Okay. Well, you mentioned the time there, I wanted to ask you about that, because the movie doesn’t really let us know what time period is this is taking place would have been the 1600s 1700s. One word that the pirates, the


Colin Woodard  06:25

pirate outbreak that that inspired all the pirates and fiction, and eventually, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies took place between 1714 and 1719 in the Caribbean. And then many of the pirates who survived moved on into Africa, and especially the Indian Ocean for sort of an epilogue time period. But the great pirate outbreak was sort of the early part of the 1700s and was hubbed. Not at Fort royal, but around Nassau in the Bahamas, which was their pirates nest. And there was sort of a key book after most of the pirates had been captured, but some of them were still alive. That was published in 17 2004, called the general history of the pirates spelled with a Y. And it was that book written by an author using a pseudonym, who was not Daniel Defoe, but rather somebody else was the book that really became a best seller at the time and 1724 on both sides of the Atlantic. And it set up all of the received myths and stories about the pirates, which become the grist for all of your our pirate legends and pirate pop culture. That was the book that, you know, Robert Louis Stevenson would later find when he wrote Treasure Island and kidnapped and thus ended up inspiring in a secondary sense, the early Disney films, the black and whites deal of Blackbeard and others, and then eventually the the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean series with Johnny Depp.


Dan LeFebvre  07:53

So it really just kind of started trailing off even further and further from that book, kind of just everybody kind of writing their own fiction and trailing off.


Colin Woodard  08:01

And that book was funny because it’s a combination of some passages are exactly correct and quoted almost verbatim from what at the time would have been sort of secret or privileged government documents the author was given access to and other parts, we can prove our complete flights of fantasy made up to the exciting and, and give good stories. And there’s other parts where we can’t prove it one way or another, because the the source documents will be missing. But you can make pretty good guesses after you kind of follow the pattern for a while. But that book, so that was 1724. Right. And that’s kind of the gives you a bookend because the moment where the mythology really kicks off is in 1724. After that big pirate outbreak and the pirates that are traced in that book, start legitimately enough with the sort of, you know, the the Avatar The precursor, an inspirational figure, for that generation of pirates, a man named Henry Avery, who committed a was the subject of a global manhunt in 1696 for depredations in the Indian Ocean and led him to come to Nassau to sell his to sell his ill gotten gains. But that’s the time period really. 6096 is the inspirational figure and then 1714 to 1719 1720 21. Outside the Caribbean was kind of the core of the era that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are trying to replicate. They of course, are very fuzzy about exactly when it takes place. But the technology, the time and most of the references and what they’re talking about are events that would have taken place them.


Dan LeFebvre  09:30

Okay, okay, well go back to the first movie. At the very beginning of it. The character of Elizabeth’s one invokes parlay. She says, and I’ll quote from the movie, according to the code of the brethren set down by the pirates, Morgan and Bartholomew, you have to take me to your captain, and there’s a few things to unpack there was parlay a real thing was there, a pirate code and we’re Morgan and Bartholomew, real people.


Colin Woodard  09:53

I mean, a concept of parlay generally speaking existed in sort of the way warfare I was conducted in that era, you know, this was still in formal warfare, it was still that sort of gentlemanly time where you all wear proper uniforms assemble in a field and marched each other to be shot sort of thing. And people will come, you know, sit on the hillside and watch the battle for entertainment. But on you know, in that era, you’d wait you could wave a white handkerchief or flag and you know, march out with your flags and have a parlay have a discussion between the commanders or emissaries or the two forces to discuss, usually terms of surrender or something or other. So the general concept of the flag of truce and to parlay to talk and discuss existed, but I’ve seen no evidence that the pirates themselves practice parley. I’ve never heard any references of that happening, nor that there was any specific pilot parlaying in their specific ethical culture and codes of behavior. The pirates did have you know, ships, you know, contracts HIPPS codes of that everyone would agree to their sort of articles of agreement becoming pirates. The most famous one to survive was captured when the pirate Bartholomew Roberts was captured a bit later in the African theater. But it gives us an example of a full set of articles it doesn’t mention parley particularly, and other pirates, there’s lots of references in the real documents and such to a pirate code or the laws of the ship that seem to correspond more or less and map to the ones that Bartholomew Roberts was using. So in other words, there were these chips codes out there, but they don’t appear to you know, each ship would have had their own set of codes, they’re probably largely similar, but parley was not a major feature. Okay, and it


Dan LeFebvre  11:44

sounds like maybe that’s where they even got the name Bartholomew from even though i The impression I got from the movie was that the last name but it sounds like I mean, it still sounds piratey


Colin Woodard  11:54

so they’ve taken you know, Sir Henry Morgan’s name and thrown it out there. Henry Morgan was a you know, a privateer, you know, a generation or two earlier, he wasn’t really a pirate. It was a pirate from the perspective of the Spanish and the people who’s attacking but, you know, in in, he was so successful at what he was doing back then, that when he got back home, you know, the sovereign made him Sir Henry Morgan and made him Governor of Jamaica. He wasn’t an outlaw at all he was, did terrible things, but he was not a pirate. And then yes, Bartholomew Roberts appears to be where they borrowed the name Bartholomew, a pirate who probably was in the Caribbean theater as an ordinary pirate and sailor, and after the pirates were evicted from the Caribbean theater circa 1718 1719. He later emerges among the diaspora, the refugees, Pirates of the Caribbean. He emerges in Africa and the Indian Ocean theater is one of the most fearsome Pirates of the epilogue period as I think.


Dan LeFebvre  12:48

Okay, since it is in the title of the first movie, I want to ask about the Black Pearl as a ship, and according to the movie, there are two very fast ships the Navy ship is called the interceptor and it said to be the fastest ship, but then there’s the Black Pearl that gains on her and, of course, there seems to be some supernatural boost that the girl has in the movie, but for ships like we see in the movie, how fast are we talking? How fast would they go?


Colin Woodard  13:12

Oh, they’re pretty fast for age of sail. I mean, a frigate on I mean, it depends on the conditions you’re on right? Whether you’re sailing into the wind the winds behind you, you know, the points of sail How fast is the wind is your ship in good shape, but you know, a top speed of a warship, like a frigate, a pretty flexible one might be about 14 knots, you’re talking what 15 miles an hour sort of thing. And huge ship like, you know, man of a ship with a line with multiple decks of cannon that weren’t exactly designed to be flexible. They were designed for those gentlemanly battles, right, where you line up your ships and sail by and shoot at each other sort of floating fortresses they might make 12 knots in exactly the right conditions. Your typical merchant vessels you’re talking eight or nine knots or you know 10 miles an hour sort of thing sounds pretty slow guy know when you think about it in terms of, you know, the vessels with outboard motors, but that’s a pretty good clip for a large ship in that era. But yeah, you’re not moving at the speed of the 21st century for sure not to speed boats.


If you want to watch the movie that released this week in history and kicked off the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, there’s a link in the show notes for where you can watch 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl.

And if you want to hear what Colin has to say about the true story behind the rest of the Pirates movies, you’ll also find a link to BOATS episode #216 with Colin all about the whole Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.



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