another turning point in maritime history?

An Indian frigate has sunk after colliding with a merchant ship.

Maybe it’s horribly Eurocentric or just stupidly historicist of me, but I feel that in tussles like this the merchant ship should come off worse. I’m wondering if there’s another decisive moment here in the evolution of ships, toward ever larger scales and proportionally ever more frail hulls. By 1600 a lot of merchant ships had to be beached extremely carefully to avoid breaking. At what point did it become suicidal to knock into another ship without actually intending to ram?

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