1916 Illustrated – a German Perspective

1916 Illustrated – a German Perspective 1916 was to be a momentous year in WW1, notable for the battles of Verdun, the Somme and Jutland, of the siege of Kut, of the Brusilov Offensive and of the smashing of Rumania, I found it interesting to see how it was viewed from a German perspective. [...]

1916 Illustrated – a German Perspective2020-06-16T20:47:55+00:00


THE EPIC OF THE SCHOONER BETSEY, 1805 I recently came across a book – undated, but clearly late 19th Century – entitled “Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy”. It was published in New York, though the author is not named. It is however a treasure house of accounts of obscure maritime events. One [...]

THE EPIC OF THE SCHOONER BETSEY, 18052020-06-12T19:35:15+00:00

Royal Navy’s Pre-Dreadnoughts’ Sacrifice

The  Royal Navy’s Pre-Dreadnoughts' Sacrifice HMS Dreadnought - the Game Changer. Ten 12-inch guns and turbine driven  The launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1905 made all other battleships afloat into “Pre-Dreadnoughts” overnight, incapable of fighting in the battle line with the new “all big-gun” battleship and her successors. In the Royal Navy, pre-dreadnought designs [...]

Royal Navy’s Pre-Dreadnoughts’ Sacrifice2020-06-09T19:59:11+00:00

Career of the Dutch Protected Cruiser Gelderland

The varied career of the Dutch Protected Cruiser Gelderland My wife’s grandmother, a splendid lady who died at almost 100 in the 1980s, gave me a very graphic eye-witness account of actually seeing the ex-president of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger. He was then being applauded by a crowd while taking a carriage ride in Amsterdam [...]

Career of the Dutch Protected Cruiser Gelderland2020-05-29T19:40:47+00:00

Captain Death of the Privateer Terrible, 1756

Captain Death of the Privateer Terrible, 1756 For the commander of a privateer to be named “Captain Death” seems over-theatrical, especially as his ship was called the Terrible (one imagines him an adversary of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow). There was however such a real-life character, even if this name was probably originally De’Ath, [...]

Captain Death of the Privateer Terrible, 17562020-05-22T19:10:15+00:00

Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 – Part 2

The bloody Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 – Part 2 Part 1 of this article (Click here to read if you missed it) left the trading schooner and her valuable cargo of  coffee and currency in the hands of her mutinous crew, close to the Azores. The only officer who had been spared was Onion, the second [...]

Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 – Part 22020-05-15T19:17:27+00:00

Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 – Part 1

The bloody Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 - Part 1 Radio has been an integral feature of maritime operations, whether military or civil, for well over a century and it is difficult to imagine just how isolated all ships were prior to that once they were out sight of land. Large numbers of vessels disappeared annually, [...]

Plattsburg mutiny, 1816 – Part 12020-05-12T19:33:58+00:00

1759 – “The Wonderful Year”

1759 – “The Wonderful Year” When I was twelve I found in our local library a leather-bound “Children’s History of the World” in two volumes, each about two and a half inches thick. They dated from the 1890s (the summit of human progress might have been assumed to be Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in [...]

1759 – “The Wonderful Year”2020-05-08T17:59:44+00:00

Training Tragedies: HMS Eurydice and HMS Atalanta

Training Tragedies: the losses of HMS Eurydice and HMS Atalanta At first glance the picture of a frigate such as HMS Eurydice, as above, immediately evokes visions of single-ship actions of the Napoleonic period. It is therefore all the more surprising that this ship was still in service in 1878 and that her destruction was witnessed by the [...]

Training Tragedies: HMS Eurydice and HMS Atalanta2020-05-01T19:30:13+00:00