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So far Antoine Vanner has created 171 blog entries.

Caulk’s Field: the Death of Captain Sir Peter Parker, 1814

Caulk's Field: the Death of Captain Sir Peter Parker, 1814 The British attack on Baltimore in mid-September 1814, and the heroic defence of Fort McHenry, is one of the most widely remembered incidents of the War of 1812, since it was to inspire the writing of the American national anthem. It was however preceded by [...]

Caulk’s Field: the Death of Captain Sir Peter Parker, 18142019-02-01T21:13:15+00:00

First American-Japanese naval battle

The first American-Japanese naval battle, 1863 July 1863 was recognised both at the time and afterwards as the turning point of the American Civil War. The Union victory at Gettysburg in the first three days of the month, and the surrender of the Confederate fortress of Vicksburg in the 4th, ensured that the days of the [...]

First American-Japanese naval battle2019-01-29T21:22:47+00:00

The Royal Navy’s End of Fighting Sail – Sidon, Beirut and Acre,1840

The Royal Navy's End of Fighting Sail – Sidon, Beirut and Acre, 1840 Though steam propulsion was first applied to warships, on a small scale, in the late 1830s, it was to take another half-century before sail was finally abandoned by the world’s navies. The process was paralleled with the replacement of wood by metal [...]

The Royal Navy’s End of Fighting Sail – Sidon, Beirut and Acre,18402019-02-05T15:40:31+00:00

Miss Betty Mouat and the Colombine, 1886

Miss Betty Mouat and the Colombine 1886 My blog posts often deal with blood and thunder, conflict and battle, but this present item deals with a middle-aged lady of poor background, a Miss Betty Mouat, who demonstrated great heroism in peacetime without having any prior warning that her courage and endurance would be called upon. [...]

Miss Betty Mouat and the Colombine, 18862019-01-22T17:27:38+00:00

HMS Quebec off Nordeney, 1811

HMS Quebec off Nordeney: Small Boat Action 1811 When reading of the Royal Navy’s role in the Napoleonic Wars, one is always struck by the dogged determination with which a blockade of the French and French-controlled coasts of Europe was maintained for more than two decades. One imagines the blockade in terms of sealing off [...]

HMS Quebec off Nordeney, 18112019-01-18T17:57:30+00:00

Black Tars – Black sailors in the Royal Navy in the Age of Fighting Sail

I am very pleased today to host a guest blog by another author naval-fiction, Philip K. Allan, who sets his work in the Napoleonic Era. There's a short biographical sketch of him at the bottom of this blog, as well as a link to his published work. I've found his  article a fascinating and enjoyable [...]

Black Tars – Black sailors in the Royal Navy in the Age of Fighting Sail2019-01-15T19:07:33+00:00

HMS Flamborough and HMS Bideford, 1760

HMS Flamborough and HMS Bideford, outgunned but defiant, 1760 The term “post ship” was applied in the Royal Navy to Sixth-Rate vessels, and referred to the fact that they were the smallest ships that could be commanded by a post-captain. They were in effect miniature frigates, ship-rigged, some hundred feet long and around 500 tons [...]

HMS Flamborough and HMS Bideford, 17602019-01-11T22:43:18+00:00

Penang – Britain’s Early Foothold in South-East Asia

Penang– Britain's Early Foothold in South-East Asia Some three years ago I was visiting Malaysia, arriving via Penang, the island off Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast that’s now home to a city of 1.5 million and is linked to the mainland by two bridges, one of them 15 miles (24 Kms) long. Penang owed its development [...]

Penang – Britain’s Early Foothold in South-East Asia2019-01-08T20:41:16+00:00

In the Dawn of Naval Aviation – HMS Ark Royal and HMS Argus

In the Dawn of Naval Aviation – HMS Ark Royal and HMS Argus  I am lucky to live near Britain’s Fleet Arm Museum at Yeovilton, Somerset, a splendid collection not only of naval aircraft but of models of aircraft carriers from their earliest days. A visit (a modestly-priced ticket gives unlimited access for a year) is [...]

In the Dawn of Naval Aviation – HMS Ark Royal and HMS Argus2019-01-08T17:25:15+00:00

van Speijk at Antwerp, 1831 – “I’d prefer to be blown up!”

“I’d prefer to be blown up!” - van Speijk at Antwerp, 1831 The revolt that led to the creation of modern Belgium as an independent state was the background to an act of insane heroism by a young Dutch naval officer, Jan van Speijk, whose (alleged) last words were to become an expression still in [...]

van Speijk at Antwerp, 1831 – “I’d prefer to be blown up!”2019-01-01T20:58:44+00:00