Crimean War’s North Pacific – Petropavlovsk 1854

The Crimean War’s North Pacific Theatre: Petropavlovsk, August 1854 The most common image of the Crimean War (1854 – 56) is of Britain’s Light Brigade charging to death and glory against Russian guns at Balaclava. Almost equally well known are the epics of the ”Thin Red Line” and of the Storming of the Redan, [...]

Crimean War’s North Pacific – Petropavlovsk 18542020-04-07T18:41:37+00:00

Junk Keying, 1846

The Intercontinental Junk Keying, 1846 In a 1912 book entitled “The Sea Trader – His Friends and Enemies” I came across the engraving illustrated here. I found it wholly fascinating as it refers to the Keying, “The first junk that ever rounded the Cape of Good Hope, as she appeared off Gravesend, 28th March 1848, 477 days from Canton” My interest [...]

Junk Keying, 18462020-04-04T17:51:16+00:00

Prize Money: Frigates, Snobbery – and Jane Austen

Prize Money: Frigates, Snobbery - and Jane Austen  HMS Pomone - frigate, archetypal prize taker  In naval fiction set in the Age of Fighting Sail, prize money, accruing from the capture of enemy shipping which would subsequently be sold to third parties or bought by the Admiralty, is rightly shown as an important driver for [...]

Prize Money: Frigates, Snobbery – and Jane Austen2020-03-24T21:35:27+00:00

Yet More Privateer Action in the Channel: 1799

More Privateer Action in the Channel: 1799 An earlier article (Click here if you missed it) told of a small vicious action between a British merchant ship and a French privateer in the English Channel at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1793.  In the years that followed the pace was not to [...]

Yet More Privateer Action in the Channel: 17992020-03-17T17:42:30+00:00

Privateer Action in the English Channel: 1793

Privateer Action in the English Channel: 1793 Probably like many others I have always thought of privateers in the Age of Fighting Sail as preying on enemy merchant shipping on commercial routes in open ocean, far from land. My perception has however been changed by an 1889 book, “Betwixt the Forelands”, [...]

Privateer Action in the English Channel: 17932020-03-13T19:02:10+00:00

Loss of Russian cruiser Pallada, 1914

The Loss of the Russian cruiser Pallada, October 1914 The illustration below  is from a German WW1 part-work, published monthly, in this case in 1914/15. It is an artist’s impression of the destruction of the Bayan-class Russian armoured cruiser Pallada on 11th October 1914. There were no survivors from Pallada's 597-man crew when she blew up after [...]

Loss of Russian cruiser Pallada, 19142020-03-10T20:51:37+00:00

HMS Warrior: Britain’s first ironclad

HMS Warrior: Britain’s first ironclad, today restored HMS Warrior, located today at the Portsmouth, United Kingdom was the Royal Navy’s first ironclad, revolutionary when launched in 1860 and now restored to how she then looked. Her active career was short – fifteen years – as she was quickly made obsolete by newer vessels as [...]

HMS Warrior: Britain’s first ironclad2020-03-06T16:50:57+00:00

Hell and High Water: HMS Nautilus, 1807 – Part 1

Hell and High Water: HMS Nautilus, 1807 Part 1 In November 1806 a Royal Navy squadron commanded by Admiral Sir John Duckworth (1748 – 1817) was sent to reconnoitre the Dardanelles as a preliminary for a move against Constantinople (now Istanbul) in what would be the Anglo-Turkish War of 1807-1809. Attached to the force [...]

Hell and High Water: HMS Nautilus, 1807 – Part 12020-03-06T16:54:49+00:00