Uncategorized

/Uncategorized

The Sinking of HMS Goliath 13th May 1915

The Twilight of the Pre-Dreadnoughts and the Sinking of HMS Goliath, 1915 At the start of World War I all major navies had significant numbers of pre-dreadnought battleships which, though in many cases only eight or ten years old, had been rendered wholly obsolete by the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1905. This, the first [...]

The Sinking of HMS Goliath 13th May 1915 2018-06-29T21:48:03+00:00

Antivari 1914: a heroic last-stand

The Battle of Antivari, 1914: A heroic last-stand On 16 August 1914, at the opening of World War 1, the French Navy advanced up the Adriatic in force, hoping to provoke a pitched battle with the Austro-Hungarian Navy. What resulted was the one-sided Battle of Antivari. Contemporary postcard: Austro-Hungarian cruiser Zenta under fire from French Dreadnought Courbet The [...]

Antivari 1914: a heroic last-stand 2018-06-26T20:33:12+00:00

Spar Torpedoes – weapons for heroes and madmen

Spar Torpedoes – weapons for heroes and madmen The Spar Torpedo – which plays a vital role in my novel Britannia’s Wolf, the account of Nicholas Dawlish’s service in the Ottoman Navy 1877-78 – was a crude weapon, born of necessity and desperation in the American Civil War. Its use demanded a near-kamikaze commitment from [...]

Spar Torpedoes – weapons for heroes and madmen 2018-06-22T20:57:03+00:00

The Shortest War in History: Zanzibar 1896

The Shortest War in History: Zanzibar 1896 The island of Zanzibar, off the coast of modern Tanzania, was to be the scene in 1896 of what has been described as “The Shortest War in History”. It lasted a mere 38 minutes but in this short period it proved to be very bloody indeed. African slaves [...]

The Shortest War in History: Zanzibar 1896 2018-06-15T22:20:13+00:00

The Destruction of HMS Resistance, 1798

The Destruction of HMS Resistance, 1798 When thinking of the two decades of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the hazards that come to mind that faced naval crews are primarily of action with the enemy. Many crews however never experienced combat but the normal hazards of the sea such as storms, grounding, founderings and shipwrecks [...]

The Destruction of HMS Resistance, 1798 2018-06-13T09:57:58+00:00

The Anglo-German Blockade of Venezuela 1902-03

The Anglo-German Blockade of Venezuela 1902-03 I lived for several years in Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second city, which today was a population of 1.3 million. It lies at the western side of the short waterway that leads from Lake Maracaibo – the largest lake in South America – to the Caribbean Sea. It was founded, quite [...]

The Anglo-German Blockade of Venezuela 1902-03 2018-06-13T09:59:48+00:00

Captain Richard Bowen – Part 2 of 3

Captain Richard Bowen, Beau Ideal of a Naval Officer Part 2 of 3 This article continues the story of the splendid Captain Ricard Bowen (1761-1797) which was begun in my blog of 11.05.17 (Click here to read if you missed it then).  He was the epitome of the dashing frigate captain and his exploits as [...]

Captain Richard Bowen – Part 2 of 3 2018-06-13T09:55:09+00:00

The Gold Hunter Mutiny, 1828

Mutiny on the High Seas – the Gold Hunter, 1828 I recently encountered a remarkable account of a mutiny on a commercial vessel in 1828. It appeared in a book published in New York sometime in the late 19th century and magnificently titled “Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy – A Weird Series of [...]

The Gold Hunter Mutiny, 1828 2018-06-12T12:14:15+00:00