Lonely Lives and Deaths French Prisoners of War in Britain 1793 - 1815 Part 1 Though the focus of my own writing – in my novels of the Dawlish Chronicles series – is on the mid-Victorian period, I retain a lively interest in the Napoleonic era. I have always found the plight of prisoners of [...]
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So far Antoine Vanner has created 193 blog entries.
Frigate Duel, 1782: HMS Santa Margarita vs. L’Amazone In reading about warfare in the Age of Fighting Sail one is invariably impressed by the aggression and sheer bloody-minded will to win that characterised the officers and crews of the Royal Navy. These were the factors that regularly brought victory even when the odds seemed stacked against [...]
Hit and Run at Sea, 1876 - SS Strathclyde and SS Franconia A recent blog dealt with an 1876 case of a ship “passing by on the other side” and not rendering assistance to a wrecked vessel (click here to read this article). An even more extreme case occurred the same year. In this “Hit and [...]
Storm and Horror: The Destruction of HMS Crescent, 1808 For most officers and men, storms represented a greater threat to life than enemy action throughout the Age of Fighting Sail. The loss of HMS Crescent, off the coast of Denmark in December 1808, is an appalling example of how a well-built wooden ship could be [...]
Massacre at Sea: the Royal Edward and UB-14, 1915 In both World Wars the greatest danger many troops faced, especially if they were in support or non-frontline roles, may well have been that of sinking of their transports. It is a tribute to the efficacy of convoy and escort provisions that in practice only few of the millions of [...]
HMS Implacable at war with Russia – 1808 & 1809 Two events dominate the general impression of Russia’s role in the Napoleonic Wars. The first is the crushing defeat of Russian and Austrian forces at Austerlitz in 1805 – arguably Napoleon’s most impressive battle. The second was the French retreat from Moscow in late 1812, [...]
HMS Hector 1782 – an epic of leadership and survival Inman in later years In a recent blog we met 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. (Click here [...]
Passing by on the other side at sea? 1876 The Good Samaritan has had a deservedly good image over the last two millennia. An equally well-deserved degree of obloquy has been heaped on two others who had previously seen the unfortunate traveller who had fallen among thieves but who “passed by on the other side” without helping. [...]
The HMS Natal and SS Persia tragedies Christmas to New Year at Sea - 1915 It was remarkable how little attention has been paid in the media, in popular memory or in large-scale centenary-commemorations to the events of World War 1 at sea, other than the Battle of Jutland. And yet, throughout the war, a [...]
HMS Thunderer 1879: the end of muzzle-loaders in the Royal Navy Three ships of the Royal Navy in the 1870s, HMS Devastation, her close sister HMS Thunderer and her slightly larger sister HMS Dreadnought, can be fairly regarded as the models for subsequent mainstream battleship layout and development. HMS Devastation, HMS Thunderer’s close sister, firing a salute These ships were the first mastless battleships, armed [...]