Captain Trollope and the Carronades – Part 2 Henry Trollope In Part1 of this article (Click here to read it if you missed it) we met the “carronade crazy” Royal Navy officer Henry Trollope (1756-1839). His career was a distinguished one – he rose to full Admiral – but his long-term [...]
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Captain Trollope and the Carronades – Part 1 Carronade on slide mount Carronades – large-calibre, short-range cannon throwing very heavy shot – were a game-changing weapon when introduced in the 1780s (Click here for the article “HMS Flora 1780: the Carronade's arrival”). Their light weight allowed them to be mounted on smaller [...]
France's Farfadet Submarine Disaster 1905 Courage of the highest order was demanded of the officers and men of the navies that first employed submarines in the early twentieth centuries. Designs were still experimental and operating experience limited, so that every dive was an adventure. Accidents were frequent – and usually fatal when they did [...]
War at Sea 1917: An Ominous New Year’s Day 1917 was to mark a turning point not just in World War 1, but in world history, for it saw not only the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and the birth of the Soviet state, but the entry of the United States into the conflict [...]
The families left behind by the merchant seamen of the 1870s A separate article, about working conditions in merchant shipping in the 1870s (Click here to read it), refers to the work done by the great maritime reformer Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898) who worked tirelessly to combat the practices of over-insuring decrepit ships that were likely [...]
Unequal Duel, 1758: HMS Monmouth vs. Foudroyant Admiral Byng The execution by firing squad in 1757 of Admiral John Byng (1704-1757) on the quarterdeck of HMS Monarch in 1757 is perhaps best remembered by Voltaire’s verdict in his novel Candide: “In this country, it [...]
HMS Pulteney and the Spanish Xebecs, 1743 There have been many blogs on this site dealing with actions in the Age of Fighting Sail that involved only a few vessels, in many cases two only. In most cases, skilful manoeuvring and sail management, taking full advantage of wind and sea conditions, were key factors [...]
Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco-Siamese War of 1893 French gunboat Lutin – unarmoured, weakly armed, but very effective when needed! Jules Ferry and his ludicrous facial hair France’s crushing defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and the added humiliation of the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the newly-proclaimed German [...]
The Year's Blogs: 12 of the best from 2020 2020 saw sustained activities on the Antoine Vanner Writing-Front, Covid-19 notwithstanding. The ninth book of the Dawlish Chronicles, Britannia's Morass, was published in December (click here for details) and blog articles continued to appear at a rate of two per week. These last related to [...]
The 9th Dawlish Chronicle is now available – details at end of article Christmas Day 1914: The Cuxhaven Raid On Christmas Day 1914 three Royal Navy seaplane carriers, Engadine, Riviera and Empress launched a total of seven floatplanes to attack the German Zeppelin base at Cuxhaven, some 25 km north of Bremerhaven. The force had been escorted to striking distance [...]