National Geographic : 1989 Apr
UNSURPASSED in armament, Kronan carried 126 can non, weighing a hefty 240 tons. (Sweden's famous warship Vasa-discovered by the author in 1956-carried only 80 tons.) A mud cloud billows from a 36 pounder (opposite), which was acci dentally pulled upright in 1980 by a ship's anchor cable. A trophy from Europe's Thirty Years' War, a bronze 30-pounder (below) was cast in Austria in 1627. Records show that the Swedes cap tured it from the Germans in 1631 and deployed it against its former owners in the 1660s. It bears the ini tials of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdi nand II and the name of his master of ordnance, Rudolph von Teuffenbach. Corroded copper on one of Kronan's 24-pounders is examined by chemist Tommy Wadsten (left), who hopes to establish whether cop per containers might be used for long-term storage of nuclear waste.