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The indecisive Battle of Ushant 1778

The indecisive Battle of Ushant 1778 – and its farcical aftermath, the guillotine and a “Citizen King” France’s entry into the American War of Independence was to prove a critical factor is assuring the survival of the United States. It did so by winning the only strategically-significant victory in all French naval history – that [...]

The indecisive Battle of Ushant 1778 2018-10-19T18:52:11+00:00

The Dogger Bank Incident, 1904

Guest Blog: The Dogger Bank Incident, 1904 One of the pleasures of attending conferences is the pleasure of meeting face to face people whom you have already encountered on the Internet. This blog results from one such encounter. At the Historical Novel Society ‘s conference at Cumbernauld, Scotland, in August this year I met Tim [...]

The Dogger Bank Incident, 1904 2018-10-16T21:34:51+00:00

Fortune favours the brave, 1811

Fortune favours the Brave – the merchantman Fortune against a French privateer, 1811 Dramatic encounters between warships, whether in “single ship” frigate actions, or in the less common major fleet actions such as the Nile in 1798 and Trafalgar in 1805, are the images that first come to mind when visualising war at sea in [...]

Fortune favours the brave, 1811 2018-10-12T20:13:53+00:00

Naval Artists of the 18th Century: Part 3 Thomas Luny

Naval Artists of the 18th Century – Part 3 Thomas Luny (1759–1837) In this article I want to tell of a hero,  Thomas Luny, who is known as a painter but other details of whose life are less familiar. Two sorts of courage move me. The first is the sort of bravery that is called [...]

Naval Artists of the 18th Century: Part 3 Thomas Luny 2018-10-05T20:23:29+00:00

SMS Iltis – a gunboat, the Pope and a stand-off in the Pacific

SMS Iltis – a gunboat, the Pope and a stand-off in the Pacific    SMS Iltis - as commemorated in 1896 The new German Empire was proclaimed in 1871 and in the two decades that followed - before  it embarked in the late 1890s on construction of the second-largest navy in the world - the [...]

SMS Iltis – a gunboat, the Pope and a stand-off in the Pacific 2018-10-02T20:10:36+00:00

The Birth of Weather Forecasting and the Royal Charter Storm of 1859

The Birth of Weather Forecasting and the Royal Charter Storm of 1859 Today weather forecasting is regarded as an integral aspect of news reporting but in the mid-nineteenth century that concept was in its infancy. It took the massive "Royal Charter Storm" of 1869 to emphasise the necessity of such a system and the credit [...]

The Birth of Weather Forecasting and the Royal Charter Storm of 1859 2018-09-28T18:14:23+00:00

Guest Blog by Alaric Bond: Introducing Historical Figures into Fiction

Guest Blog by Alaric Bond: Introducing Historical Figures into Fiction Old Salt Authors - Antoine, Linda & Alaric Antoine Vanner writes: My fellow naval-fiction authors Alaric Bond and Linda Collision, colleagues at the Old Salt Press, recently attended the 2018 Historic Novelists Society Conference in Scotland. We appeared together on a panel that discussed [...]

Guest Blog by Alaric Bond: Introducing Historical Figures into Fiction 2018-09-25T20:46:00+00:00

The Wreck of HMS Penelope 1815

Discipline Collapses: The Wreck of HMS Penelope 1815 When reading of the losses of Royal Navy warships in the Age of Fighting Sail, whether in battle or by shipwreck, one is struck by the professionalism and discipline of both officers and men in the most appalling circumstances. An earlier blog, concerning the aftermath of the [...]

The Wreck of HMS Penelope 1815 2018-09-22T16:58:59+00:00

Ramming of HMS Prince George by HMS Hannibal, 1903

The Ramming of HMS Prince George by HMS Hannibal, 1903 For some five decades from 1866, when the naval battle of Lissa, when victory was secured by the Austro-Hungarian fleet over its Italian enemy by means of ramming, naval architects were to be fixated on designing ram bows into warships of all sizes. They ignored the fact [...]

Ramming of HMS Prince George by HMS Hannibal, 1903 2018-09-18T19:16:35+00:00

HMS Rattler and the advent of the Screw Propeller

HMS Rattler: The screw propeller comes of age A recent blog told the story of the invention and initial testing of screw-propellers for ships, building on principles established two millennia previously. In the late 1830s the practicality of this concept was proven in a series of exhaustive tests by the experimental steamship SS Archimedes, as [...]

HMS Rattler and the advent of the Screw Propeller 2018-09-14T20:29:57+00:00