The HMS Royal George Disaster 1782

The loss of HMS Royal George 1782 The disaster that overcame the first-rate ship of the line HMS Royal George in 1782, while anchored in calm water in sight of shore, was to have as strong an impact on the contemporary public mind as the loss of the RMS Titanic was to have one hundred and thirty years later. The [...]

The HMS Royal George Disaster 17822022-05-19T17:24:39+00:00

HMS Thunderer 1879: end of RN muzzle-loaders 

HMS Thunderer 1879: the end of muzzle-loaders in the Royal Navy Three ships of the Royal Navy in the 1870s, HMS Devastation, her close sister HMS Thunderer and her slightly larger sister HMS Dreadnought, can be fairly regarded as the models for subsequent mainstream battleship layout and development. HMS Devastation, HMS Thunderer’s close sister, firing a salute These ships were the first mastless battleships, armed [...]

HMS Thunderer 1879: end of RN muzzle-loaders 2022-04-22T18:00:05+00:00

HMS Southampton off Toulon, 1796

“Bring me out the enemy’s ship if you can…” HMS Southampton off Toulon, 1796 Close blockade of the coasts of French-occupied countries in the Napoleonic era was the most important weapon in Britain’s armoury. It may indeed also have been the single most important factor in securing Napoleon’s ultimate defeat. He all but acknowledged this by [...]

HMS Southampton off Toulon, 17962022-04-14T14:37:45+00:00

Crimean War’s White Sea Theatre, 1854

The Crimean War’s White Sea Theatre, 1854 This article tells about British naval operations in the White Sea in 1854. The Crimean War (1854 – 56) is most remembered for images of the charge of Britain’s Light Brigade at Balaclava, the privations suffered by the ill-equipped besiegers of Sevastopol through a deadly winter and [...]

Crimean War’s White Sea Theatre, 18542022-04-07T17:02:03+00:00

Royal Edward & UB-14, 1915

Massacre at Sea: Royal Edward and  UB-14, 1915 In both World Wars the greatest danger many troops faced, especially if they were in support or non-frontline roles, may well have been that of sinking of their transports. It is a tribute to the efficacy of convoy and escort provisions that in practice only few of the millions [...]

Royal Edward & UB-14, 19152022-03-31T17:00:20+00:00

Heroic Merchantman vs. a French Privateer, 1811

Three Sisters Merchantman vs. a French Privateer, 1811  Throughout the Age of Fighting Sail merchant shipping – from small coastal craft to large vessels engaged in interoceanic trade – were at the mercy of privateers. These were privately owned vessels issued with “letters of marque” that authorised them to attack and capture enemy shipping. If captured they [...]

Heroic Merchantman vs. a French Privateer, 18112022-03-28T07:32:59+00:00

The Panama Crisis of 1885

The Panama Crisis of 1885 The Esmeralda and Chile’s fleeting moment of naval superiority  The “Panama Crisis” of 1885 is forgotten today and indeed blew over quickly at the time. It did however serve to highlight the weakness of the United States’ “Old Navy” and supported the necessity of building modern ships and creating a “New [...]

The Panama Crisis of 18852022-03-17T19:59:07+00:00

Disaster by fire: SS City of Montreal 1887

Loss by fire: SS City of Montreal 1887 The history of maritime passenger transportation in the mid-nineteenth century is, in great part, a depressing catalogue of disasters. Many involved large loss of life and, if not wholly preventable, could have involved far lower death tolls had elementary precautions been observed. It’s therefore all the more [...]

Disaster by fire: SS City of Montreal 18872022-03-03T20:04:57+00:00

Destruction of HMS Crescent, 1808

Storm and Horror: The Destruction of HMS Crescent, 1808 For most officers and men, storms represented a greater threat to life than enemy action throughout the Age of Fighting Sail. The loss of HMS Crescent, off the coast of Denmark in December 1808, is an appalling example of how a well-built wooden ship could [...]

Destruction of HMS Crescent, 18082022-02-25T21:02:24+00:00
Go to Top