Another peacetime ramming disaster: Hoche and Maréchal Canrobert 1892 Ramming proved a successful manoeuvre in battle on only one naval battle – at Lissa in 1866 (click here to access an earlier blog-article about it) – but ram bows were seen as essential features for warships of almost all sizes in the half-century prior [...]
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Naval Artists of the 18th Century – Part 2 Creating the Image of the British Seaman In the first part of this occasional series, which appeared on my blog recently, I discussed the remarkable career of Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg. (Click here to read if you missed it then.) He was a painter of considerable renown [...]
The Arrival of the Imperial German Navy on the World’s Oceans November 30th 2018 saw the publication of the seventh novel in the Dawlish Chronicles series, Britannia’s Mission. Like all books in the series, the plot and action are linked to real events, persons and political developments. Set in 1883, one of the major themes [...]
The wreck of HMS Hero, 1811 Though the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars involved some two decades of continuous conflict, in which control of the sea was a vital consideration for Britain, many of hundreds of Royal Navy vessels involved were never exposed to direct combat with the enemy. Bad weather was however a constant hazard, [...]
Guest Blog by naval novelist Tim Chant I met Tim Chant at a Historical Novels Society in Scotland in 2018 and I was interested to learn that he was working on a novel set in the Russo-Japanee War of 1904-05. I found his projects of particular interest in view of my own fascination with [...]
The "Royal Family” at War 1747 The pursuit of the treasure ship Glorioso Pedro de la Cerda The Glorioso's captain In 1747, at the height of the War of Austrian Succession, when Britain was (once more) at war with France and Spain, the departure of a [...]
The Arrival of the Naval Mine From the mid-19th Century onwards the naval mine developed into the general from we know today and which was to play a significant role in the American Civil War, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, both World Wars and the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88. The famous order by Admiral [...]
The Dutch East Indies Ulcer – the Aceh Wars begin 1873-74 The history of the Netherlands in the 19th Century is a closed book for most non-Dutch, not least because of the incorrect perception that “little happened” and as the country was at peace in Europe from 1831 to 1940. The Netherlands were however involved [...]
The Vega Expedition and the North-East Passage 1878-79 In a recent blog, I described the disastrous American Jeanette expedition of 1878/81 – an attempt to reach the North Pole by sea after entering the Arctic via the Bering Strait. (Click here to read it if you missed it previously). The venture was all but [...]
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 [...]