A ruse to escape annihilation: HMS Phaeton, 1795 Cornwallis The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars saw very large numbers of battles at sea between small numbers of ships, but few in which entire squadrons engaged and yet fewer fleet actions on the scale of the Nile, Camperdown or Trafalgar. On one occasion however a medium-sized Royal Navy squadron escaped [...]
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So far Antoine Vanner has created 225 blog entries.
From Rebel to Samurai – the epic career of the Confederate ironclad Stonewall - Part 2 Part 1 of this article told of the genesis of the ironclad, CSS Stonewall. To read it, click here. The Alabama/Kearsarge action by Édouard Manet A major role is played in my new novel, Britannia’s Innocent, [...]
From Rebel to Samurai – the epic career of the Confederate ironclad CSS Stonewall - Part 1 In 1864, two significant conflicts raged: the "Danish War", in which Denmark resisted the combined forces of Prussia and Austria, and the Civil War that raged not only in North America but on the world's oceans. A key [...]
Privateer Action off Peru 1801 Accounts of the Age of Fighting Sail, whether factual or fictional, are noticeably sparse as regards the activities of privateers, yet they played a vital role in the wars of the period. Essentially commercial ventures, individual or syndicate-owners were granted authorisation by their governments, by means of a “Letter of Marque” to [...]
Captain John Macbride, Part 2: The Artois Connection, 1780-81 In Part 1 of this article we saw Captain John Macbride (1735-1800), then captain of the 64-gun third rate ship-of-the-line HMS Bienfaisant distinguishing himself by an act of chivalry in the aftermath of the First Battle of Saint Vincent in January 1780. (Click here to read [...]
Captain John Macbride, Part 1: Honour and Humanity 1780 Captain Johm Macbride Many of the Royal Navy’s officers who proved outstanding leaders during the Age of Fighting Sail are undeservedly forgotten today. Their careers were often ones of essential but unspectacular service, punctuated by brief periods of furious action. One such officer as [...]
The Loss by Fire of the RMS Amazon, 1852 Ships are still lost at sea in our own time, frequently as a result of regulations and standards being ignored rather than standards being established in the first place to ensure safe operation. When reading of seafaring in the 19th Century, and the vast numbers of maritime disasters, [...]
Heroes A Guest Post by Kimberley Jordan Reeman Introduction: Antoine Vanner It's a pleasure to welcome Kimberley as a guest on my blog today. She is the widow of the great naval novelist Douglas Reeman - who wrote his books set in the twentieth century under his own name, and his Bolitho Series, set in [...]
The Battle of Coronel, November 1st 1914: Part 2 If you missed the first part of this article, please click here to read it. HMS Glasgow entered the Chilean port of Coronel to collect messages and news from the British consul. She found there a German supply ship which promptly radioed news of Glasgow’s arrival [...]
The Battle of Coronel, November 1st 1914 - Part 1 Today, November 1st 2019, is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Coronel, the first defeat to be suffered at sea by Britain’s Royal Navy in a century. It was fought in stormy seas and fading light off the coast of Chile and was to [...]