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The Vasa

The Swedish navy felt the need to construct a huge battleship, with 64 guns set in two decks, for its fleet. The “Vasa” was a beautiful ship, but it was top-heavy and did not have adequate ballast. On August 10 it began its maiden voyage from the Stockholm harbor. While the crew waved to the king and the crowds, the ship heeled after a violent gust of wind. The “Vasa” slowly righted itself, but moments later it listed again—so far that water washed into the lower gunport. To the amazement of the people on shore, the Vasa sank and an estimated 50 lives were lost. Rediscovered in 1956 and salvaged in 1961, it can be seen today in Stockholm.

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