Steam, Steel and Strife
These three words sum up the world in which Nicholas Dawlish makes his career. It is a time of rapid change, politically, socially and technologically, a time too of strong leaders.
This section of the website is split into three categories, by era, and they list the large, and steadily growing, number of articles on naval matters by Antoine Vanner, and the links to them. By clicking on the titles below you will be directed to these listings, or you may read on for summaries of what they contain.
Many of these articles largely result from extensive research undertaken by Antoine Vanner for the Dawlish Chronicles series. They are arranged in chronological order and will be added to regularly. Suggestions for other articles will be welcome – see the “Contact” bar above
The articles under this heading relate to naval and other history between 1700 and the early 1830s. In this period sailing warships reached their zenith of perfection and the professionalism of naval officers and men was to be a determining factor in the fate of empires. Articles include accounts of battles, of shipwrecks and survivals and of unusual aspects of naval-related life.
This is the largest section. The period covered is from 1837 to 1901 and it was characterised by great political change, scientific discovery and technological innovation. As it started steam was still a novelty at sea and the Royal Navy was commanded by veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. When it ended, steam propulsion, steel construction, electricity, and the deployment of armour, torpedoes and huge guns had resulted in ships which in many cases would live on to fight in World War 1. Articles cover topics as diverse as battles, biographies of leading figures, maritime disasters, weaponry, Arctic exploration and much else. It is the world in which Nicholas Dawlish makes his career.
These articles are mainly related to the early decades of the 20th Century. Topics include the rise of the Imperial German Navy, conflict between Russia and Japan, the Balkan Wars and World War 1 itself, when naval warfare was to develop in ways not previously envisaged or possible. There was still a surprising role for sailing craft (in destroying U-Boats!) but aircraft had also arrived on the scene, playing an unexpected role following a mutiny on a Dutch warship.