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No seafaring without forests

It was the wood of forest trees that made the conquest of the seas, the discovery of new countries and continents with all their positive and negative consequences, and the spread of trade by sea feasible at all.

Whether it was the dugout canoe, the rowing galley, the famous cogs of the Hanseatic era or the great warships and merchant ships of later centuries: Over the millennia, forests provided the raw material for ships and the necessary infrastructure. Not without consequences, because even in ancient Greece wood was scarce around Athens for shipbuilding and had to be imported from the north of Greece. For the famous Vasa, which already sank during launching due to top-heaviness and was one of the largest and most heavily armed ships of the time and also a prestige object of the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, 1000 (!) oaks were handpicked in the forests of Södermanland and used.

In peaceful times, forests helped to connect the world via merchant ships, but they also found their damp grave in the world’s oceans as a result of armed conflicts, accidents or disasters.


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