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So far Antoine Vanner has created 178 blog entries.

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

Retrospective 2018: The Dawlish Chronicles Blog

The Dawlish Chronicles Blog, 2018 Fourteen Personal Favourites The Dawlish Chronicles blog appeared through the year 2018, two articles most weeks, a total of some ninety which together represent as much as an average book. This was run in parallel with the writing of the Dawlish Chronicles novels – the latest of which, Britannia’s Mission, was published [...]

Retrospective 2018: The Dawlish Chronicles Blog2018-12-28T20:48:12+00:00

Pellew and the Dutton Rescue 1796

Rescue against all odds: Pellew and the Dutton 1796            Edward Pellew We’ve met Edward Pellew (1757 – 1833) on this blog before  (Click here to read) and it’s probable that we’ll meet him again as he ranks just  below Nelson, and certainly with Cochrane, as one of the Royal [...]

Pellew and the Dutton Rescue 17962018-12-21T19:37:04+00:00

Vladimir vs. Pervaz-i-Bahri, 1853

The First Battle between Steamships:   Vladimir vs. Pervaz-i-Bahri, 1853 The end of the Age of Fighting Sail was a process that straggled through the 1820s and 30s and 40s as steam power became increasingly reliable. The last full fleet action with sailing vessels was the Battle of Navarino in 1827, when combined British, French and Russian squadrons [...]

Vladimir vs. Pervaz-i-Bahri, 18532018-12-18T19:19:40+00:00