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Horror at Sea – the loss of the SS London, 1866

Horror at Sea - the loss of the SS London, 1866 “Globalisation” is a term often applied to our own time but the process was in full swing a century and a half ago. The 19th Century saw a vast increase in seaborne trade and passenger-transportation, as new export markets were opened and as economies expanded [...]

Horror at Sea – the loss of the SS London, 18662019-02-19T22:30:00+00:00

HMS Flora 1780 – the Carronade arrives

HMS Flora 1780: the Carronade's arrival In sea battles from the 1780s to the end of the Napoleonic Wars a decisive factor was often the use of the carronade. Few of these guns were carried on any one ship, and they were not counted in a ship’s rated number of guns so that, in practice, [...]

HMS Flora 1780 – the Carronade arrives2019-02-15T20:04:43+00:00

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 1838

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 1838 Grace Darling by Thomas Musgrave Joy November 15th 2015 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the great Victorian heroines. Grace Darling gained widespread acclaim for her courage, was celebrated in verse, prints and Staffordshire pottery and remained for several generations afterwards an almost legendary [...]

Grace Darling, Unexpected Heroine, 18382019-02-12T21:51:38+00:00

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1915

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1915 Between 1902 and 1908 a total of 34 armoured cruisers were built for the Royal Navy. Expensive ships, almost all in the 10000 to 16000-ton range, they were of comparable displacement to contemporary pre-dreadnought battleships. Fast and, except in the case of the later classes, very inadequately [...]

HMS Argyll and the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 19152019-02-05T21:20:02+00:00

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