Penang’s connection with the German Navy

Penang's links with the German Navy in two world wars                       Fort Cornwallis today In a recent blog article, inspired by a visit to Malaysia some while back, I described Fort Cornwallis, at Georgetown, the main city on the island of Penang off [...]

Penang’s connection with the German Navy2019-07-05T21:22:50+00:00

Wit and Wisdom of Admiral “Jacky” Fisher

The Wit and Wisdom of Admiral “Jacky” Fisher Fisher in 1902 - cartoon by "Spy" Few men can have had a greater influence on naval warfare than John Fisher (1841 – 1920), later Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher. This formidable figure, a human whirlwind, was responsible for building HMS Dreadnought, thereby “making every [...]

Wit and Wisdom of Admiral “Jacky” Fisher2019-07-02T20:48:59+00:00

French Navy in Korea 1866

The French Navy in Korea in 1866 The fourth of the Dawlish Chronicles novels, Britannia’s Spartan, is set in Korea in 1882 when internal pressures and great-power interventions plunged the country into riot and chaos. A malign role is played by the “Daewongun”, the father of the weak King Gojong. Initially regent for his son, this callous [...]

French Navy in Korea 18662019-06-29T21:21:10+00:00

USS Miantonomoh 1866 – 67

Diplomacy at Sea: USS Miantonomoh 1866 - 67 Two recent blogs described the loss of low-freeboard monitors in the open sea, the Dutch Adder in 1882  (Click here to read) and the Russian Rusalka in 1893 (Click here to read). In both cases the inadvisability of taking vessels designed for protected coastal waters into open-sea conditions was a major [...]

USS Miantonomoh 1866 – 672019-06-25T20:01:33+00:00

US Navy’s Sumatran Expeditions of 1832 & 1838

The US Navy's Sumatran Expeditions of 1832 & 1838 The US Navy’s role in the suppression of Barbary piracy in the Mediterranean is deservedly well known but few today are aware that in the 1830s two American expeditions were launched against pirates in what is now Indonesia. The scene was to be the then semi-independent [...]

US Navy’s Sumatran Expeditions of 1832 & 18382019-06-21T19:58:06+00:00

HMS Santa Margarita and L’Amazone Duel 1782

Frigate Duel, 1782: HMS Santa Margarita vs. L’Amazone In reading about warfare in the Age of Fighting Sail one is invariably impressed by the aggression and sheer bloody-minded will to win that characterised the officers and crews of the Royal Navy. These were the factors that regularly brought victory even when the odds seemed stacked against [...]

HMS Santa Margarita and L’Amazone Duel 17822019-06-11T19:22:35+00:00

SS Strathclyde and SS Franconia 1876

Hit and Run at Sea, 1876 - SS Strathclyde and SS Franconia A recent blog dealt with an 1876 case of a ship “passing by on the other side” and not rendering assistance to a wrecked vessel (click here to read this article). An even more extreme case occurred the same year. In this “Hit and [...]

SS Strathclyde and SS Franconia 18762019-06-04T19:09:21+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 be [...]

Destruction of HMS Crescent 18082019-05-31T20:26:06+00:00