WW1, a German View – the Last Years of Cavalry Austro-Hungarian Cavalry 1914 I’ve always been fascinated by how much the “feel” of the world of 1914 differed so dramatically from that of 1918. As one sees newsreels of 1914 – and in particular the computer-colourised versions one has seen recently, which gives an immediacy [...]
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So far Antoine Vanner has created 212 blog entries.
The Loss of HMS Sceptre, 1799 When thinking about war at sea in the Age of Fighting Sail one’s attention is immediately drawn to the ferocity of battle when ships engaged at close quarters. In actuality however combat was relatively rare but wreckage in stormy weather remained a constant – and exhausting – hazard at [...]
The Ram Triumphant: Lissa 1866 Part 2 Part 1 of this article (click here to read it if you missed it) saw the Austrian Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff (1827-1871) driving towards the Austrian-held island of Lissa and the Italian fleet that had been bombarding it. Now read on … Tegettoff’s force advanced in three successive [...]
The Ram Triumphant: Lissa 1866 Part 1 In 1864 the Austrian Empire joined with the Kingdom of Prussia to inflict a crushing defeat on the small nation of Denmark (a conflict which the Danes unwisely provoked). This was to be the first of three wars, escalating in scale, which the Prussian Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, [...]
The Death of a '74' – HMS Minotaur, 1810 An earlier blog article on this site described the loss of four large Royal Navy ships in a single storm off the Danish and Dutch coasts in December 1811. These vessels had been escorting a convoy from Gothenberg, Sweden, to London. The commander of one of [...]
Honour insulted, Disobedience triumphs – Guadeloupe 1759 The incident at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye and stated “I really do not see the signal!” is the most famous case of a Royal Navy officer disobeying orders and thereby achieving victory. A less well-known case occurred [...]
The Loss of HMS Dædalus, 1813 We have met Captain Murray Maxwell (1775 –1831) on this blog in an article dealing with his adventures in the frigate HMS Alceste in the Far East and her subsequent shipwreck in the East Indies in 1817. On this latter occasion Murray’s superb leadership was to ensure survival of his entire crew [...]
The Indestructible Admiral Nesbit Willoughby (1777–1849) Part 2 Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby had one of the most remarkable naval careers in the Age of Fighting Sail). The first part of this article (click here to read it) told of the first half of his service. So let’s pick up his story again. His name next came [...]
The Indestructible Admiral Nesbit Willoughby (1777–1849) Part 1 This two-part article was prompted by my perusal of a publication of mid-19th Century vintage. In it, I came across a reference to Admiral Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby (1777–1849) who “has so lately departed from the scene of earthly fame.” The writer went on to portray Nesbit [...]
Benito de Soto Pirate of the Post-Napoleonic Era – Part 2 At the end of Part 1 of this two-part article, we left the ghastly Benito de Soto and his crew of cut-throats in possession of the British-registered Morning Star, captured off Ascension Island while en route from Ceylon to Britain. (Click here to read [...]