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2019 Blog Miscellany

2019 Retrospective: A Blog Miscellany Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2020 and the decade thereafter from me, Antoine Vanner. Many thanks   for your support and for the enjoyable discussions that my writing has so often triggered. 2019 was a busy year in the Dawlish Chronicles front, including publication [...]

2019 Blog Miscellany2019-12-31T21:19:20+00:00

French oared-galleys in British Waters – 1707

An epic stand against French oared-galleys in British Waters – 1707 When one thinks of battles involving oared galleys one thinks automatically of actions in the Mediterranean. The lot of a galley-slave chained to an oar must have been dreadful enough in the warm and usually calm waters of that sea, but it must have [...]

French oared-galleys in British Waters – 17072019-12-27T19:27:45+00:00

Franco-Prussian Battle of Havana 1870

The Franco-Prussian Battle of Havana, 1870 The Prussian navy, a weak force composed mainly of gunboats, played an insignificant, if sometimes heroic, role in the three wars that led to proclamation of the German Empire in 1871. These were against Denmark (1864), Austria, Bavaria and other German States (1866) and France (1870-71).  Small as it [...]

Franco-Prussian Battle of Havana 18702019-12-17T20:52:12+00:00

HMS Phaeton’s ruse – 1795

 A ruse to escape annihilation: HMS Phaeton, 1795  Cornwallis The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars saw very large numbers of battles at sea between small numbers of ships, but few in which entire squadrons engaged and yet fewer fleet actions on the scale of the Nile, Camperdown or Trafalgar. On one occasion however a medium-sized Royal Navy squadron escaped [...]

HMS Phaeton’s ruse – 17952019-12-10T20:41:11+00:00

The Rebel Ironclad CSS Stonewall – Part 2

From Rebel to Samurai – the epic career of the Confederate ironclad Stonewall - Part 2 Part 1 of this article told of the genesis of the ironclad, CSS Stonewall. To read it, click here.    The Alabama/Kearsarge action by Édouard Manet A major role is played in my new novel, Britannia’s Innocent, [...]

The Rebel Ironclad CSS Stonewall – Part 22020-02-23T10:57:19+00:00

The Rebel Ironclad CSS Stonewall – Part 1

From Rebel to Samurai – the epic career of the Confederate ironclad CSS Stonewall - Part 1 In 1864, two significant conflicts raged: the "Danish War", in which Denmark resisted the combined forces of Prussia and Austria, and the Civil War that raged not only in North America but on the world's oceans. A key [...]

The Rebel Ironclad CSS Stonewall – Part 12019-12-03T19:11:00+00:00

Privateer Action off Peru 1801

Privateer Action off Peru 1801 Accounts of the Age of Fighting Sail, whether factual or fictional, are noticeably sparse as regards the activities of privateers, yet they played a vital role in the wars of the period. Essentially commercial ventures, individual or syndicate-owners were granted authorisation by their governments, by means of a “Letter of Marque” to [...]

Privateer Action off Peru 18012019-11-29T19:29:01+00:00

Captain John Macbride, Part 2: The Artois Connection, 1780-81

Captain John Macbride, Part 2: The Artois Connection, 1780-81 In Part 1 of this article we saw Captain John Macbride (1735-1800), then captain of the 64-gun third rate ship-of-the-line HMS Bienfaisant distinguishing himself by an act of chivalry in the aftermath of the First Battle of Saint Vincent in January 1780. (Click here to read [...]

Captain John Macbride, Part 2: The Artois Connection, 1780-812019-11-19T21:00:29+00:00

Captain John Macbride, Part 1: Honour and Humanity 1780

Captain John Macbride, Part 1: Honour and Humanity 1780 Captain Johm Macbride Many of the Royal Navy’s officers who proved outstanding leaders during the Age of Fighting Sail are undeservedly forgotten today. Their careers were often ones of essential but unspectacular service, punctuated by brief periods of furious action. One such officer as [...]

Captain John Macbride, Part 1: Honour and Humanity 17802019-11-16T10:17:06+00:00

Fire on the RMS Amazon 1852

The Loss by Fire of the RMS Amazon, 1852 Ships are still lost at sea in our own time, frequently as a result of regulations and standards being ignored rather than standards being established in the first place to ensure safe operation. When reading of seafaring in the 19th Century, and the vast numbers of maritime disasters, [...]

Fire on the RMS Amazon 18522019-11-12T20:51:34+00:00