The Wooden Derelict – a Menace of the Age of Sail When thinking oneself back into the Age of Mercantile Sail – which lasted up to WW2 – it is hard to imagine just what a menace was represented by a derelict – ships abandoned by their crews but still afloat. The most serious class [...]
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So far Antoine Vanner has created 185 blog entries.
The Human Price: Mrs. Phelan on HMS Swallow, 1812 The inshore-operations of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars were characterised by aggressive daring and were critical in hampering – and often paralysing – the coastal traffic of every maritime nation controlled or occupied by the French. As such they are the inspiration of so much [...]
The Loss of Hospital Ship HMHS Anglia, November 1915 It was very noticeable in 2014/15 that though commemoration of the First World War opened with a fanfare – and in Britain at least focussed on the Western Front almost to the exclusion of all else – its profile in the media dwindled steadily thereafter. Throughout those months [...]
Nelson and Hardy – forging a partnership We have encountered HMS Blanche before, in her furious duel in January 1795, in the middle years of the Revolutionary War between Britain and France. In the process she captured the French frigate Pique, off Guadeloupe (Click here to read this earlier blog). Blanche, a 32-gun frigate, had still four years of life [...]
The Original Nelson’s Column Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square has been a landmark in London since it was completed in 1843. It is just under 170 feet tall (including the statue of Nelson himself at the top) and the four sides of the pedestal carry relief panels that commemorate Nelson’s four great fleet actions – [...]
The ramming of HMS Vanguard, 1875 Vanguard is a name that has been used by no less than eleven ships of the Royal Navy. The first entered service in 1586 and the most recent, still serving, is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine that gives her name to a class of four. The name is also associated with [...]
The Loss of the East Indiaman Kent, 1825, and its immortalisation in verse Ship losses at sea, though still at an unacceptably high level today, were even more frequent in the days before radio, radar, echo-sounders and others aids to navigation. Loss of life in such incidents was very high, since before the advent of air [...]
How HMS Flora died hard: 1808 A blog some weeks ago, “HMS Flora 1780: the Carronade’s arrival”(click here to read it), dealt with a spectacular action in which this 36-gun frigate was engaged shortly after her first commissioning. The present article is however more melancholy, since it tells how this fine ship met her end [...]
Bermuda’s Floating Dry Dock, 1869 RMS Cedric - a giant in 1901 One of the more attractive aspects of the Victorian Age was the willingness to take on large and often unprecedented engineering challenges. This was perhaps never more so than at sea where, in the course [...]
American Naval Hero: Silas Talbot USS Constitution today The USS Constitution – “Old Ironsides” – is apparently the only active ship in service in the United States Navy to have sunk an enemy ship in combat. She was launched 220 years ago and is a true [...]