The USS Chesapeake – HMS Leopard Incident, 1807 The three-year “War of 1812“between Britain and the United States, brought no great benefit to either nation. Though the issues involved were complex, one in particular, the British claim of the right to search neutral vessels for deserters from the Royal Navy, had the power to trigger [...]
About Antoine VannerThis author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Antoine Vanner has created 359 blog entries.
HMS Alexander at bay, November 1794 Richard Bligh as Admiral Captain William Bligh – “Bligh of the Bounty” – is one of the best-remembered officers of the Age of Fighting Sail, not only because of the loss of his ship through mutiny but for his 3618-mile, 47-day voyage to safety in an open [...]
The Franco-Prussian Battle of Havana, 1870 The Prussian navy, a weak force composed mainly of gunboats, played an insignificant, if sometimes heroic, role in the three wars that led to proclamation of the German Empire in 1871. These were against Denmark (1864), Austria, Bavaria and other German States (1866) and France (1870-71). Small as [...]
THE EPIC OF THE SCHOONER BETSEY, 1805 Some time ago I came across a book – undated, but clearly late 19th Century – entitled “Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy”. It was published in New York, though the author is not named. It is however a treasure house of accounts of obscure maritime [...]
HMS Hector 1782 – an epic of leadership and survival Inman in later years Captain Henry Inman (1762 –1809), a noted frigate commander who was in overall command of operations off Dunkirk in 1800 in which the French frigate Désirée was captured in dramatic circumstances. This ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy and Inman was [...]
Routine on a Royal Navy warship, late-19th Century When one is interested in the navies of the late 19th Century, and especially when writing naval fiction set in that era, as I do in the Dawlish Chronicles, it is relatively easy to access information about the ships themselves, their armament, their machinery and their [...]
China’s Zhongshan Gunboat – a splendid restoration I was in Singapore in 2014 and on my way from the airport to the hotel I saw a large banner-like announcement for an exhibition entitled “The Zhongshan Warship” and its treasures. I had not previously heard of this vessel but I was very keen to learn more. I found the [...]
Captain Death of the Privateer Terrible, 1756 For the commander of a privateer to be named “Captain Death” seems over-theatrical, especially as his ship was called the Terrible (one imagines him an adversary of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow). There was however such a real-life character, even if this name was probably originally De’Ath, [...]
The French Navy's Iéna and Liberté Disasters, 1907 & 1911 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries all major navies, other than the German, lost large ships through magazine explosions of unstable ammunition. The first of such tragedies was in the US Navy, when the battleship USS Maine blew up in the harbour of Havana, [...]
The First Victoria Cross Winner 1854 Ever since the Crimean War (1854-56) the Victoria Cross has been the highest award for British service personnel for gallantry in the face of the enemy. It takes precedence in order of wear over all other British orders, decorations, and medals, including the Order of the Garter. Instituted [...]