Mars (1564)

Drawing of Mars from c.1909 by Jacob Hägg. Original drawing believed to be in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Launched
1564
Commissioned
1564
AD/BC
AD
History

Launched in early 1564, the Swedish ship of the line Mars had a short career, but a lot of names. Besides Mars, she also went by Makalös and Jutehatar. At 70m (230 feet) long and mounting 107 guns, she was one of the largest warships then in commission, and slightly larger than the earlier, and more famous, Vasa. Mars was deployed during the First Battle of Öland, 30-31 May, 1564, which was the first major battle that saw cannons, rather than boarding actions, used as the primary means of disabling enemy ships. However, during the fighting Mars was still boarded, but she caught fire and exploded. 800 of her own crew, and 300 boarders were killed in the explosion. Her wreck was discovered in 2011, about 75m (250 feet) down.