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Raking fire: Wikis

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French frigate Poursuivante firing raking fire on the British ship of the line Hercule.

In naval warfare, raking fire is fire directed parallel to the long axis of an enemy ship. Although each shot is directed against a smaller target profile than by shooting broadside and thus more likely to miss the target ship to one side or the other, an individual cannon shot that hits will pass through more of the ship, thereby increasing damage to the hull, sails, and crew. A stern rake is more damaging than a bow rake because the shots are not deflected by the curved (and strengthened) bow.

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