Merchant Seamen’s families, 1870s

The families left behind by the merchant seamen of the 1870s A separate article, about working conditions in merchant shipping in the 1870s (Click here to read it), refers to the work done by the great maritime reformer Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898) who worked tirelessly to combat the practices of over-insuring decrepit ships that were likely [...]

Merchant Seamen’s families, 1870s2021-02-23T20:28:00+00:00

Unequal Duel, 1758: HMS Monmouth vs. Foudroyant

Unequal Duel, 1758: HMS Monmouth vs. Foudroyant                  Admiral Byng The execution by firing squad in 1757 of Admiral John Byng (1704-1757) on the quarterdeck of HMS Monarch in 1757 is perhaps best remembered by Voltaire’s verdict in his novel Candide: “In this country, it [...]

Unequal Duel, 1758: HMS Monmouth vs. Foudroyant2021-02-17T09:46:49+00:00

Franco-Siamese War of 1893

Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco-Siamese War of 1893 French gunboat Lutin – unarmoured, weakly armed, but very effective when needed!    Jules Ferry and his    ludicrous facial hair France’s crushing defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and the added humiliation of the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the newly-proclaimed German [...]

Franco-Siamese War of 18932021-02-02T19:34:17+00:00

The Year’s Blogs: 12 of the Best from 2020

The Year's Blogs: 12 of the best from 2020 2020 saw sustained activities on the Antoine Vanner Writing-Front, Covid-19 notwithstanding. The ninth book of the Dawlish Chronicles, Britannia's Morass, was published in December (click here for details) and blog articles continued to appear at a rate of two per week. These last related to [...]

The Year’s Blogs: 12 of the Best from 20202021-01-01T07:49:14+00:00

The Cuxhaven Raid: Christmas Day 1914

The 9th Dawlish Chronicle is now available – details at end of article Christmas Day 1914: The Cuxhaven Raid On Christmas Day 1914 three Royal Navy seaplane carriers, Engadine, Riviera and Empress launched a total of seven floatplanes to attack the German Zeppelin base at Cuxhaven, some 25 km north of Bremerhaven. The force had been escorted to striking distance [...]

The Cuxhaven Raid: Christmas Day 19142020-12-22T18:07:53+00:00

HMS Doterel Explosion 1881

The loss of HMS Doterel: Disaster off Punta Arenas 1881 Chile’s Punta Arenas, on the Brunswick Peninsula, to the northern side of the Strait of Magellan, is probably the most southerly city in the world. It was originally established as a penal colony by the Chilean government in 1848 to assert sovereignty over the Strait – [...]

HMS Doterel Explosion 18812020-12-04T17:16:07+00:00

Princess Alice Disaster 1878

The Princess Alice Disaster, 1878 Though it is now largely forgotten, one of  Britain's worst maritime catastrophes occurred  on the River Thames in 1878 , just downriver from London when the excursion steamer Princess Alice was sunk in a collision. It is strange that some disasters, such as the loss of the Titanic in 1912, live on in [...]

Princess Alice Disaster 18782020-11-13T19:31:34+00:00

Guest Blog: The Ambush of SS Persia, 1915

Guest Blog by Alan Wren The Ambush of SS Persia, 1915 Introduction by Antione Vanner: I wrote a blog article some time ago (click here) about two tragedies that happened on the same day, December 30th 1915. One was the loss by accidental magazine explosion of the Royal Navy armoured cruiser HMS Natal at [...]

Guest Blog: The Ambush of SS Persia, 19152020-10-20T19:40:56+00:00
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