First Blood at Sea, 1914: HMS Amphion & SMS Königin Luise

First Blood 1914: HMS Amphion and SMS Königin Luise On 4th August 1914 Germany rejected the British ultimatum to withdraw from neutral Belgium, which had been invaded in the preceding days. From 2300 hrs that evening both countries were at war.  Britain’s Royal Navy was already on a war footing and sweeps of the North Sea were already [...]

First Blood at Sea, 1914: HMS Amphion & SMS Königin Luise2020-08-07T17:15:11+00:00

Wreck of the Rothsay Castle 1831

The Wreck of the Rothsay Castle 1831 A number of articles on this blog site have dealt with 19th Century shipping disasters. There is a horrible fascination about them since they illustrate how the management of civilian shipping was often so lackadaisical and how command, control and management techniques did not keep pace with [...]

Wreck of the Rothsay Castle 18312020-08-04T15:42:52+00:00

Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign – by Tom Williams

Guest Blog: Napoleon in Egypt Introduction by Antoine Vanner One of the great pleasure I found after I published my first novel was meeting other writers who were working in the Historical Fiction Genre - one that covers a vast range of epochs.  It was not only a welcoming community, but one that offered [...]

Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign – by Tom Williams2020-07-21T19:09:21+00:00

Loss of the liner La Bourgogne, 1898

The loss of the liner La Bourgogne, 1898 The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 remains locked in the public imagination as the supreme tragedy of North Atlantic passenger travel, all the more so since elementary safety precautions could have saved many more lives, even if they could not save the ship. What is however quite horrifying is [...]

Loss of the liner La Bourgogne, 18982020-07-17T17:03:21+00:00

HMS Guardian 1789 – an epic battle for survival

HMS Guardian 1789 – an epic battle for survival Some while ago I discovered the wonderful 1895 publication “Story of the Sea”, edited by “Q” (Sir Arthur Quiller Couch 1863-1944), with contributions from several luminaries of the era and splendid illustrations. It dates from the period in which the British general public’s fascination with [...]

HMS Guardian 1789 – an epic battle for survival2020-07-10T19:14:42+00:00

Hell at Sea in the mid-19th Century

Hell at Sea: Merchant Service in the mid-19th Century It is impossible to see images of the great clippers and other large vessels under sail in the mid to late 19th Century, a time when hull design and the technologies and disciplines of managing sail reached their apogee, without being fired with admiration. The [...]

Hell at Sea in the mid-19th Century2020-07-07T19:30:33+00:00

Making the best of what you have: Germany’s Kriegsmarine in WW2

Guest Blog by Bob Cordery: Making the best of what you have: Germany’s Kriegsmarine and some of the warships it captured Introduction by Antoine Vanner: A few weeks ago, I posted a blog article about the varied career of the late 19th-Century Dutch protected cruiser Gelderland. (Click here to read it if you missed [...]

Making the best of what you have: Germany’s Kriegsmarine in WW22020-06-23T20:28:11+00:00