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 [...]
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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 [...]
An epic last stand – HMS Acheron and HMS Arrow, 1805 In a separate article we encountered the innovative sloop, HMS Dart, when she went into attack on the heavily defended French base at Dunkirk in 1800 (Click here for this article). HMS Dart and her sister HMS Arrow, were experimental vessels, never indeed to be repeated. They were the brain-child of Sir [...]
Stranger than fiction: Privateer action off Madagascar 1806 Though mention warfare in the Age of Fighting Sail so often conjures up images of major fleet actions such as Camperdown, The Nile, and Trafalgar, single-ship actions between small vessels represented the vast majority of combats at sea. One of the most remarkable of these – stranger [...]
Day’s Submarine, 1774 Sir Murray Fraser Sueter Sir Murray Fraser Sueter (1872 – 1960) was one of the most colourful personalities of the Royal Navy prior to and through the First World War. He is best remembered today as a pioneer of aviation – of airships as well as fixed-wing [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]