Jean Bart – Sea Devil Incarnate The French Navy’s record through the centuries never achieved the string of memorable victories won by Britain’s Royal Navy – though one French victory, that of the Virginia Capes in 1781, was decisive in assuring American Independence. One French naval hero was however to achieve a status in his [...]
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So far Antoine Vanner has created 44 blog entries.
The Intercontinental Junk Keying, 1846 In a 1912 book entitled “The Sea Trader – His Friends and Enemies” I came across the engraving illustrated here. I found it wholly fascinating as it refers to the Keying, “The first junk that ever rounded the Cape of Good Hope, as she appeared off Gravesend, 28th March 1848, 477 [...]
Cutting-out the privateer General Armstrong, 1814 “Cutting out” operations were the SEAL or SBS-type operations of the Napoleonic era. Small boats carrying large numbers of armed seamen attempted to capture enemy ships which had gained the shelter of a harbour of guarded anchorage and they became somewhat of a Royal Navy speciality. Such exploits often feature [...]
The Panama Crisis of 1885 The Esmeralda and Chile’s fleeting moment of naval superiority The “Panama Crisis” of 1885 is forgotten today and indeed blew over quickly at the time. It did however serve to highlight the weakness of the United States’ “Old Navy” and supported the necessity of building modern ships and creating a “New Navy” [...]
Two USS Wasps Glory and Tragedy in the War of 1812 The name Wasp is one of the oldest and most illustrious names given to ships of the United States Navy. The earliest, a schooner purchased by the Continental Navy in late 1775, was one of the first ships in American government service and since [...]
The disappearance of the Reina Regente, 1895 Disappearance without trace of ships at sea still occurs in our own time but was a more common happening before the days of radio allowed transmission of distress calls. Many such losses in the past were associated with poor maintenance and poor operational procedures of merchant ships. A [...]
HMS Shah vs Huascar – Duel in the Pacific, 1877 An obscure single ship action off the coast of South America, though inconclusive, was of enormous significance for future naval warfare. It involved a British cruiser, HMS Shah, and the Huascar a rebel Peruvian ironclad. Quite amazingly one of the ships involved can still be seen [...]
The Russian Navy's Varyag at Chemulpo 1904: A heroic last stand and a strange afterlife Heroic “last stands”, whether on land or at sea, are always facsinating - and inspirational - but the case described here was exceptional in that the ship involved was to survive into a quite amazing afterlife. Soviet commemorative stamp for [...]
HMS Indefatigable vs. Droits de l’Homme Desperate action in storm and darkness 1797 Besides their few major fleet actions, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars saw many vicious encounters between small numbers of French and British ships which have since provided the inspiration for much naval fiction. One of the most ferocious of these battles [...]
The Imperial German Navy – sketches of life on board ship 1902 Some time ago I stumbled on German publication of 1902 entitled “Germany’s Honour on the World’s Oceans” (Deutschlands Ehr im Weltenmeer) by a Vice-Admiral von Werner. The sub-title is “The development of the German Navy and sketches of life on board.” The illustrations, [...]