4th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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8 December 1693 - HMS St. Albans (1687 - 50) wrecked off Kinsale.


HMS St Albans was a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard in 1687. The ship fought in the Battle of Placentia (1692).

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Scale 1:48. A part contemporary full hull model of the St Albans (circa 1687), a 50-gun two-decker fourth-rate ship, built plank on frame in the Navy Board style. The model is decked, equipped and is mounted on two brass hull supports fixed to the keel. The ‘St Albans’ was built at Deptford and launched in 1687. Measuring 128 feet along the gun deck and a beam of 33 feet, it had a tonnage of 615 burden. It took part in the Battle of Bantry Bay in 1689, and on 18 July 1690 under the command of Richard Fitzpatrick, it captured the French 36-gun ship ‘Friponne’. Under the command of Thomas Gillam, it was present at the Battle of Barfleur in May 1692, and was later wrecked on 8 December 1693 near Kinsale, with a large loss of life, including Gillam who drowned. There is some doubt as to how much of the original model survives although most of the carved decoration and frames are thought to be original.


The ‘St Albans’ was built at Deptford and launched in 1687. Measuring 128 feet along the gun deck and a beam of 33 feet, it had a tonnage of 615 burden. It took part in the Battle of Bantry Bay in 1689, and on 18 July 1690 under the command of Richard Fitzpatrick, it captured the French 36-gun ship ‘Friponne’. Under the command of Thomas Gillam, it was present at the Battle of Barfleur in May 1692, and was later wrecked on 8 December 1693 near Kinsale, with a large loss of life, including Gillam who drowned


Class and type: 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 615 long tons (624.9 t)
Length: 128 ft 4 in (39.1 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 32 ft 10.5 in (10.0 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft 3 in (4.0 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: 50 guns of various weights of shot

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Etching of the sinking of the 'St Albans'. The ship is depicted in the centre of the etching, from the sartboard bow, the aft having sunk below the water. The masts are broken off below and one of them is floating in the foreground. In the right foreground is a boat with some survivors. The 'St Albans' was a 50-gun fourth rate, launched at Deptford in 1687 and fought at the Battle of Placentia in 1692. She was wrecked at Kinsale Harbour in 1693, which is the scene depicted in this etching. Smoke can be seen emanating from the sinking ship and frames bow of the sinking ship, concentrating the viewer's eye on the action taking place on deck, as men clamber to escape, and cling to floating debris. The artist Robert Spence (1871-1963) was a renowned artists and model maker, and as such, has captured the hull-shape and arrangement of the vessel accurately. There are wreathed gunports on the upper deck and a lion figurehead at the bow. However, the addition of a bobstay to the stem of the St Albans is likely to be erroneous. The earliest depiction of a bobstay, thought to be a French invention, can be found on a French model of the 'Royal Louis' (1692). The bobstay was introduced into England in around 1700, and can be found on a model of the 'St George' dated to 1701. In the background to the left, two more fully rigged ships of the period are depicted. Spence was undoubtedly familiar with the work of the van der Veldes, and to some extent this etching echoes the type of scene the two Dutch artists depicted, although by no means does it achieve the same quality.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_St_Albans_(1687)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1776 - sloop HMS Racehorse, was captured by Andrew Doria, getting the first USS Surprise


Surprise, the first American naval ship of the name, was a sloop that the Continental Navy purchased in 1777. The Royal Navy had purchased a vessel named Hercules in 1776 and renamed her HMS Racehorse. Andrew Doria captured Racehorse in 1776 and the Americans took her into service as Surprise. Her crew destroyed Surprise on 15 December 1777 to prevent the Royal Navy from recapturing her.

Type: Sloop
Tons burthen: 98 (bm)
Length:
  • 59 ft (18.0 m) (overall)
  • 43 ft (13.1 m) (keel)
Beam: 20 ft 9 in (6.3 m) (overall)
Depth of hold: 9 ft (2.7 m) (overall)
Armament: 10 × 4-pounder guns


HMS Race Horse
The Royal Navy purchased the sloop Hercules in June 1776 at Jamaica in the British West Indies. The Navy renamed her Race Horse and commissioned her under Lieutenant Charles Everitt. In August, Commander James Jones replaced Everitt.

On 8 December Racehorse was off Puerto Rico where she encountered Andrew Doria. After a two-hour single-ship engagement Racehorse struck.[2]

US service
The US Navy commissioned Race Horse as Surprise under Captain Benjamin Dunn.

Surprise was ordered in April 1777 to join the brigantine USS Andrew Doria and sloop Fly in clearing the Cape May channel of British ships.

On May 2nd, the Harwich packet Prince of Orange was taken in the English Channel by the USS Surprise, Captain Gustavus Conyngham. The latter vessel had been bought at Folkestone, and, with glaring disregard of French neutrality, had been equipped at Dunkirk. On the Surprise's return to Dunkirk, the prize was seized and restored to Britain, though it was believed at the time, not without some reason, that the British Government, anxious to avoid a dispute with France, had purchased from Conyngham his capture.​
Scuttling
Surprise was stationed in the Delaware River through the spring and summer of 1777. After Vice Admiral Lord Howe brought his British fleet into the river in September 1777, Surprise was part of the forces charged with defending Philadelphia. Following the British occupation of Fort Mifflin on 16 November, Surprise, with the remaining ships of the Continental Navy, including Andrew Doria, sought shelter under the guns of Fort Mercer at Red Bank, New Jersey. With the evacuation of Fort Mercer on 20 November, Captain Isaiah Robinson of Andrew Doria gave orders the next day for the crews to burn their ships to prevent their capture. This was done shortly thereafter.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surprise_(1777_ship)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1809 – Launch of french La Golymin, a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy (of the Duquesne sub-class)


The Golymin was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy (of the Duquesne sub-class). Built in Lorient in 1804, she was launched in 1809. Wrecked on Mengam Rock in the roads of Brest on 23 March 1814, she is the source of the Obusier de vaisseau currently on display in the Musée national de la Marine in Paris and in Brest.

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Scale model of Achille, sister ship of French ship Golymin (1809), on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.

Class and type: Téméraire class ship of the line
Displacement:
  • 2966 tonnes
  • 5260 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 55.87 metres (183.3 ft) (172 pied)
Beam: 14.90 metres (48 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.26 metres (23.8 ft) (22 pied)
Propulsion: Up to 2,485 m2 (26,750 sq ft) of sails
Armament:


Career
She was commissioned under Captain Amand Leduc on 1 January 1812, taking part in Allemand's escape from Lorient in March.

On 23 March 1814, Golymin was despatched from Brest to assist two frigates inbound for the harbour, but a gust of wind pushed her on Mengam Rock, where she was wrecked and sank. The crew managed to abandon ship in good order and was ferried ashore by boats without loss of life. Leduc was court-martialled and found innocent of the loss of the ship on 15 July 1814.

The wreck was discovered in 1977 by Michèle and Jean-Marie Retornaz, and explored by the DRASSM in 1980.

Obusier_de_vaisseau-IMG_8611-black.jpg
The Obusier de vaisseau was a large calibre but light piece of naval artillery mounted on French warships of the Age of Sail. Designed to fire explosive shells at a low velocity, they were an answer to the carronade in the close combat and anti-personnel role. However, their intended ammunition proved too dangerous for the crew, and the French navy phased them out at the beginning of the Empire in favour of the carronade.
Accounts by British warships of the armament of captured French ships tend to describe them as carronades. However, when the description includes the remark that the weapon was brass, this suggests that it was an obusier.
Several of the guns were recovered from the wreck of the Golymin in the road of Brest, and are now on display at the Musée national de la Marine in Paris and in Brest.

Obusier_de_vaisseau-IMG_9290-black.jpg
On display at the Musée national de la Marine in Brest


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Golymin_(1809)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Téméraire-class_ship_of_the_line
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obusier_de_vaisseau
 

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8 December 1846 - USS Somers (10), Lt. Raphael Semmes, capsized and sank in a sudden storm while chasing a blockade runner off Vera Cruz.


The second USS Somers was a brig in the United States Navy during the John Tyler administration which became infamous for being the only U.S. Navy ship to undergo a mutiny which led to executions. ("Somers Affair")

Displacement: 259 long tons (263 t)
Length: 100 ft (30 m)
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)Draft:14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 13 officers and 180 men
Armament: 10 × 32 pdr (15 kg) carronades

USS_Somers_(1842).jpg

Somers was launched by the New York Navy Yard on 16 April 1842 and commissioned on 12 May 1842, with Commander Alexander Slidell Mackenzie in command.

............

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Mexican–American War
Somers was in the Gulf of Mexico off Vera Cruz at the opening of the Mexican–American War in the spring of 1846; and, except for runs to Pensacola, Florida, for logistics, remained in that area on blockade duty until the winter. On the evening of 26 November, the brig, commanded by Lt. Raphael Semmes (later the celebrated commanding officer of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama), was blockading Vera Cruz when Mexican schooner Criolla slipped into that port. Somers launched a boat party which boarded and captured the schooner. However, a calm wind prevented the Americans from getting their prize out to sea so they set fire to the vessel and returned through gunfire from the shore to Somers, bringing back seven prisoners. Unfortunately, Criolla proved to be a US spy ship operating for Commodore David Conner.

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Loss of USS Somers off Vera Cruz

On 8 December 1846, while chasing a blockade runner off Vera Cruz, Somers capsized and foundered in a sudden squall.[4] Thirty-six of her 80 crew were lost. Eight survivors were rescued by HMS Endymion. Eight more swam to shore and were taken prisoner. English and French vessels rescued the other survivors. On 3 March 1847, Congress authorized gold and silver medals to the officers and men of French, British, and Spanish ships-of-war who aided in the rescue.

Legacy and wreck
Herman Melville – whose first cousin, Lt. Guert Gansevoort, was an officer aboard the brig at the time of the Somers Affair – may have been influenced by the notorious events involving the Somers mutineers. Melville may have used elements of the story in his novella Billy Budd.

The incident is detailed in the novel Voyage to the First of December by Henry Carlisle, written from the viewpoint of the naval surgeon on duty (from his old journals).

The story of the Somers Affair and the subsequent trial is dramatized in the penultimate episode of the sixth season of the television series JAG. The presentation takes place as a dream by Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie, while she prepares to give a lecture at the United States Naval Academy, which came into existence as a result of the Somers Affair. The regular cast portrayed the people involved. Trevor Goddard played the role of Mackenzie, and Catherine Bell (in a play on the identical surname of her usual role in JAG) played Mrs. Mackenzie.

In 1986, an expedition led by George Belcher, an art dealer and explorer from San Francisco, California, discovered the wreck, and in 1987 archaeologists James Delgado and Mitchell Marken confirmed the identification of the wreck. In 1990, Delgado, along with Pilar Luna Erreguerena, co-directed a joint Mexican-US expedition, which involved archaeologists and divers from the US National Park Service, the Armada de Mexico, and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. The project determined that unknown people had looted the wreck sometime after the 1987 expedition. The wreck remains as a site protected by legislation.

The most notable legacy of the Somers Affair is the US Naval Academy which was founded as a direct result of the affair. Appalled that a midshipman would consider mutiny, senior Naval officials ordered the creation of the academy so that midshipmen could receive a formal and supervised education in Naval seamanship and related matters.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Somers_(1842)
 

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8 December 1896 - British Peer was a 1428-ton three-masted iron sailing ship built wrecked


The British Peer was a 1428-ton three-masted iron sailing ship built for the British Shipowners Company at the Harland and Wolff yards in Belfast, Ireland, in 1865. She was 247.5 feet (75.4 m) long, 36.4 feet (11.1 m) wide and 22.5 feet (6.9 m) deep. She was bought by the Nourse Line in 1883, and was the fastest vessel in their fleet until the British Ambassador was commissioned. In 1878, however, British Peer's sailing power was compromised, when alterations were made to increase her tonnage by lengthening her hull by 32 feet (9.8 m), and she was never as fast again. She carried a crew of 23, including her master.

b328-26cf-50e7-b653-f89d13e8584b.jpg

Class and type: Barque
Displacement: 1428 tons
Length:
  • 247.5 ft (75 m)
  • Lengthened by 32 ft (9.8 m) in 1878
Beam: 36.4 ft (11 m)
Draught: 22.5 ft (7 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Crew: 22
Notes: Iron hull


On 13 March 1891, during the Great Blizzard of 1891, British Peer struck the 1222-ton steamer Roxburgh Castle, causing Roxburgh Castle to sink with the loss of 22 lives and two survivors.

The British Peer, like other Nourse Line ships, was involved in the indentured labour trade. On 23 April 1892, she carried 527 Indian indentured labourers to Fiji. Two months later, on 11 June 1892, she arrived in Suriname with Indian indentured labourers. She also repatriated 450 Indians who had completed their indenture from Saint Lucia to India in September 1894.

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The British Peer had first visited South Africa in 1886, while on a voyage carrying indentured labourers. In November 1894, she again stopped in at the Cape of Good Hope, carrying a cargo of salt and 471 Indian indentured labourers. On 8 December 1896, she struck a reef in Saldanha Bay, South Africa, and was destroyed; there were only four survivors. A Court of Enquiry, held on 7 January 1897, found that "the loss of the ship was occasioned by reckless navigation on the part of the master". The wreck of the British Peer itself still lies in about 9 metres (30 ft) of water in Saldanha Bay.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Peer_(ship)
http://yzerfontein.wisewally.com/WiseNewsArticle.asp?Nid=107#
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1896 - SS Salier, a Cargo boat and passenger ship of Norddeutscher Lyoyd wrecked at Basoñas, Corrubedo. Porto do Son - No survivors of the 281 people on board


The Salier was a steam liner carrying cargo and passengers between Europe and South America, launched in 1874. It was the years of emigration to the New World. The ship, which was about 108 metres long, had an iron hull. It had been built in 1875 by Earle’s SB & E Co. in Hull (England). It had left the port of Bremen and, after a stop in La Coruña, it headed for Vigo before travelling to La Plata.

StateLibQld_1_169827_Salier_(ship).jpg

salier-1874-as.jpg

The passage was composed of mostly Russian, Polish and Galician emigrants. It had sailed from La Coruña on the 7th. In the early hours of the 8th, with very bad sea conditions, the Salier ran aground in the shallows of the Basoñas claiming the lives of 281 people. There were no survivors. Wind and currents dragged the ship to its last and fatal destination.

salier-1874-cs.jpg


The North Germam Lloyd steamship Salier has been wrecked off the Spanish coast, and every soul on board her has perished. The Salier left Bremen on the Ist inst, for Buenos Ayres, calling at several ports on her way. She was regarded as a cargo boat, though occasionally she carried a few passengers from intermediate ports. She called at Antwerp after leaving Bremen. From thence she made her way to Corunna without calling at any British port, and this point was reached on Monday last. At four o'clock on the afternoon of that day she started for Villagarcia, but she never reached her destination. Ordinarily, the trip between the ports is accomplished well within the day; but on that day a fearful storm prevailed along the coast, which even strained the resources of the fleet in Vigo Harbour. It was at first thought at Villagarcia when the Salier did not arrive that she might have had to stand by for some purpose, or that her machinery had broken down, though she had recently been fitted with modern engines; but as time passed without any tidings of the ship being received, great uneasiness prevailed and a steamer was sent in search. Last night the North German Lloyd's officials issued the following telegram : The Vigo agency telegraphs Salier totally lost, Coronas Corrubedo shoals nobody saved." It assumed that that this news was brought back by the steamer sent in search. A Reuter's telegram from Bremen states that the Salier had 210 passengers on board, and crew of 65 men. The passengers consisted of one German, 113 Russians, 35 Galicians, and 61 Spaniards. The Salier, though an old boat, was a good one. She was built at Earle's Yard, at Hull, in 1875. She was. an iron screw steamer, fitted throughout with electric light, and of 3,098 tons gross. She was 354 feet long, 39 broad, and deep, her port of registry being Bremen.
Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?136065


https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salier_(Schiff)
http://galicianshipwrecks.com/FinisterreShipWrecks/en/portfolio-view/salier/
 

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8 December 1914 - Battle of the Falkland Islands


The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a naval action between the British Royal Navy and Imperial German Navy on 8 December 1914, during the First World War in the South Atlantic. The British, after the defeat at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November, sent a large force to track down and destroy the victorious German cruiser squadron. The battle is commemorated every year on 8 December in the Falkland Islands as a public holiday.

Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands,_1914_(retouched).jpg
A painting by William Lionel Wyllie of Battle of the Falkland Islands.

Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee—commanding the German squadron of two armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the light cruisers SMS Nürnberg, Dresden and Leipzig, and three auxiliaries—attempted to raid the British supply base at Stanley in the Falkland Islands. The British squadron—consisting of the battlecruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible, the armoured cruisers HMS Carnarvon, Cornwall and Kent, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Macedonia and the light cruisers HMS Bristol and Glasgow—had arrived in the port the day before.

Visibility was at its maximum, the sea was placid with a gentle breeze from the northwest, and the day was bright and sunny. The advanced cruisers of the German squadron were detected early. By nine o'clock that morning the British battlecruisers and cruisers were in hot pursuit of the five German vessels, which had taken flight in line abreast to the southeast. All except the auxiliary Seydlitz were hunted down and sunk.

Background
The British battlecruisers each mounted eight 12 in (305 mm) guns, whereas Spee's (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau), were equipped with eight 210 mm (8.3 in) pieces. Additionally, the battlecruisers could make 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph) against Spee's 22.5 knots (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph); thus, the British battlecruisers not only significantly outgunned their opponents, but could outrun them too. The obsolete pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Canopus had been grounded at Stanley to act as a makeshift defence battery for the area.

Spee's squadron
At the outbreak of hostilities, the German East Asia Squadron commanded by Spee was outclassed and outgunned by the Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Spee and the High Command did not believe Germany's Asian possessions could be defended and doubted the squadron could even survive in that theatre. Spee wanted to get his ships home and began by heading southeast across the Pacific, although he was pessimistic about their chances.

Spee's fleet won the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Coronel, Chile, on 1 November 1914, where his ships sank the cruisers HMS Good Hope (Admiral Cradock's flagship) and Monmouth. After the battle, on 3 November, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Nürnberg entered Valparaíso harbour and were welcomed as heroes by the German population. Von Spee declined to join in the celebrations; when presented with a bouquet of flowers, he refused them, commenting that "these will do nicely for my grave". As required under international law for belligerent ships in neutral countries, the ships left within 24 hours, moving to Mas Afuera, 400 mi (350 nmi; 640 km) off the Chilean coast. There they received news of the loss of the cruiser SMS Emden, which had previously detached from the squadron and had been raiding in the Indian Ocean. They also learned of the fall of the German colony at Tsingtao in China, which had been their home port. On 15 November, the squadron moved to Bahia San Quintin on the Chilean coast, where a ceremony was held to award 300 Iron Crosses, second class, to crew members, and an Iron Cross first class to Admiral Spee.

Spee's officers counseled a return to Germany. The squadron had used half its ammunition at Coronel; the supply could not be replenished, and it was difficult even to obtain coal. Intelligence reports suggested that the British ships HMS Defence, Cornwall and Carnarvon were stationed in the River Plate, and that there had been no British warships at Stanley when recently visited by a steamer. Spee had been concerned about reports of a British battleship, Canopus, but its location was unknown. On 26 November, the squadron set sail for Cape Horn, which they reached on 1 December, then anchored at Picton Island, where they stayed for three days distributing coal from a captured British collier, the Drummuir, and hunting. On 6 December, the British vessel was scuttled and its crew transferred to the auxiliary Seydlitz. The same day Spee proposed to raid the Falkland Islands before setting course for Germany. The raid was unnecessary because the squadron now had as much coal as it could carry. Most of Spee's captains opposed the raid, but he nevertheless decided to proceed.

British preparations
On 30 October, retired Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher was reappointed First Sea Lord to replace Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, who had been forced to resign because of public outcry against a perceived German prince running the British navy. On 3 November, Fisher was advised that Spee had been sighted off Valparaíso and acted to reinforce Cradock by ordering Defence, already sent to patrol the eastern coast of South America, to reinforce his squadron. On 4 November, news of the defeat at Coronel arrived. The blow to British naval prestige was palpable, and the English public was rather shocked. As a result, the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible were ordered to leave the Grand Fleet and sail to Plymouth for overhaul and preparation for service abroad. Chief of Staff at the Admiralty was Vice-Admiral Doveton Sturdee. Fisher had a long-standing disagreement with Sturdee, who had been one of those calling for his earlier dismissal as First Sea Lord in 1911, so he took the opportunity to appoint Sturdee Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic and Pacific, to command the new squadron from Invincible.

On 11 November, Invincible and Inflexible left Devonport, although repairs to Invincible were incomplete and she sailed with workmen still aboard. Despite the urgency of the situation and their maximum speed of around 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph), the ships were forced to cruise at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) to conserve coal in order to complete the long journey south across the Atlantic. The two ships were also heavily loaded with supplies. Although secrecy of the mission was considered important so as to surprise Spee, Lieutenant Hirst from Glasgow heard locals discussing the forthcoming arrival of the ships while ashore at Cape Verde on 17 November; however the news did not reach Spee. Sturdee arrived at the Abrolhos Rocks on the 26 November, where Rear Admiral Stoddart awaited him with the remainder of the squadron.

Sturdee announced his intention to depart for the Falkland Islands on 29 November. From there, the fast light cruisers Glasgow and Bristol would patrol seeking Spee, summoning reinforcements if they found him. Captain Luce of Glasgow, who had been at the battle of Coronel, objected that there was no need to wait so long and persuaded Sturdee to depart a day early. The squadron was delayed during the journey for 12 hours when a cable towing targets for practice-firing became wrapped around one of Invincible's propellers, but the ships arrived on the morning of 7 December. The two light cruisers moored in the inner part of Stanley Harbour, while the larger ships remained in the deeper outer harbour of Port William. Divers set about removing the offending cable from Invincible; Cornwall's boiler fires were extinguished to make repairs, and Bristol had one of her engines dismantled. The famous ship SS Great Britain—reduced to a coal bunker—supplied coal to Invincible and Inflexible. The armed merchant cruiser Macedonia was ordered to patrol the harbour, while Kent maintained steam in her boilers, ready to replace Macedonia the next day, 8 December; Spee's fleet arrived in the morning of the same day.

An unlikely source of intelligence on the movement of the German ships was from Mrs Muriel Felton, wife of the manager of a sheep station at Fitzroy, and her maids Christina Goss and Marian Macleod. They were alone when Felton received a telephone call from Port Stanley advising that German ships were approaching the islands. The maids took turns riding to the top of a nearby hill to record the movements of the ships, which Felton relayed to Port Stanley by telephone. Her reports allowed Bristol and Macedonia to take up the best positions to intercept. The Admiralty later presented the women with silver plates and Felton received an OBE for her actions.



Falklandschlacht.jpg
The Battle of the Falkland Islands

Battle
Opening moves
Spee's cruisers—Gneisenau and Nürnberg—approached Stanley first. At the time, the entire British fleet was coaling. Some believe that, had Spee pressed the attack, Sturdee's ships would have been easy targets, although this is a subject of conjecture and some controversy. Any British ship that tried to leave would have faced the full firepower of the German ships; having a vessel sunk might also have blocked the rest of the British squadron inside the harbour. However, the Germans were surprised by gunfire from an unexpected source: HMS Canopus, which had been grounded as a guardship and was behind a hill. This was enough to check the Germans' advance. The sight of the distinctive tripod masts of the British battlecruisers confirmed that they were facing a better-equipped enemy. Kent was already making her way out of the harbour and had been ordered to pursue Spee's ships.

Made aware of the German ships, Sturdee had ordered the crews to breakfast, knowing that Canopus had bought them time while steam was raised.

To Spee, with his crew battle-weary and his ships outgunned, the outcome seemed inevitable. Realising his danger too late, and having lost any chance to attack the British ships while they were at anchor, Spee and his squadron dashed for the open sea. The British left port around 10:00. Spee was ahead by 15 mi (13 nmi; 24 km) but there was plenty of daylight left for the faster battlecruisers to catch up.

Contact
It was 13:00 when the British battlecruisers opened fire, but it took them half an hour to get the range of Leipzig. Realising that he could not outrun the British ships, Spee decided to engage them with his armoured cruisers alone, to give the light cruisers a chance to escape. He turned to fight just after 13:20. The German armoured cruisers had the advantage of a freshening north-west breeze, which caused the funnel smoke of the British ships to obscure their target practically throughout the action. Gneisenau's second-in-command Hans Pochhammer indicated that there was a long respite for the Germans during the early stages of the battle, as the British attempted unsuccessfully to force Admiral Spee away from his advantageous position.

1024px-'Invincible_and_Inflexible_steaming_out_of_Port_Stanley_in_Chase'-_the_start_of_the_Bat...jpg
Invincible and Inflexible steaming out of Port Stanley in chase, a painting by William Lionel Wyllie

Despite initial success by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in striking Invincible, the British capital ships suffered little damage. Spee then turned to escape, but the battlecruisers came within extreme firing range 40 minutes later.

Invincible and Inflexible engaged Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, while Sturdee detached his cruisers to chase Leipzig and Nürnberg.

Inflexible and Invincible turned to fire broadsides at the armoured cruisers and Spee responded by trying to close the range. His flagship Scharnhorst took extensive damage with funnels flattened, fires and a list. The list became worse at 16:04, and she sank by 16:17. Gneisenau continued to fire and evade until 17:15, by which time her ammunition had been exhausted, and her crew allowed her to sink at 18:02. During her death throes, Admiral Sturdee continued to engage Gneisenau with his two battlecruisers and the cruiser Carnarvon, rather than detaching one of the battlecruisers to hunt down the escaping Dresden. 190 of Gneisenau's crew were rescued from the water. Both of the British battlecruisers had received about 40 hits between them from the German ships, with one crewman killed and four injured.

Meanwhile, Nürnberg and Leipzig had run from the British cruisers. Nürnberg was running at full speed but in need of maintenance, while the crew of the pursuing Kent were pushing her boilers and engines to the limit. Nürnberg finally turned for battle at 17:30. Kent had the advantage in shell weight and armour. Nürnberg suffered two boiler explosions around 18:30, giving the advantage in speed and manoeuvrability to Kent. The German ship then rolled over and sank at 19:27 after a long chase. The cruisers Glasgow and Cornwall had chased down Leipzig; Glasgow closed to finish Leipzig, which had run out of ammunition but was still flying her battle ensign. Leipzig fired two flares, so Glasgow ceased fire. At 21:23, more than 80 mi (70 nmi; 130 km) southeast of the Falklands, she also rolled over and sank, leaving only 18 survivors.

Outcome


1280px-HMS_Infexible_Falklandy.jpg
HMS Inflexible picking up German sailors from Gneisenau after the battle

Casualties and damage were extremely disproportionate; the British suffered only very lightly. Admiral Spee and his two sons were among the German dead. Rescued German survivors, 215 total, became prisoners on the British ships. Most were from the Gneisenau, nine were from Nürnberg and 18 were from Leipzig. Scharnhorst was lost with all hands. One of Gneisenau's officers who lived had been the sole survivor on three different guns on the battered cruiser. He was pulled from the water saying he was a first cousin of the British commander (Stoddart).

Of the known German force of eight ships, two escaped: the auxiliary Seydlitz and the light cruiser Dresden, which roamed at large for a further three months before her captain was cornered by a British squadron (Kent, Glasgow and Orama) off the Juan Fernández Islands on 14 March 1915. After fighting a short battle, Dresden's captain evacuated his ship and scuttled her by detonating the main ammunition magazine.

As a consequence of the battle, the German East Asia Squadron, Germany's only permanent overseas naval formation, effectively ceased to exist. Commerce raiding on the high seas by regular warships of the Kaiserliche Marine was brought to an end. However, Germany put several armed merchant vessels into service as commerce raiders until the end of the war (for example, see Felix von Luckner).

Secret service trap
After the battle, German naval experts were baffled at why Admiral Spee attacked the base and how the two squadrons could have met so coincidentally in so many thousands miles of open waters. Kaiser William II's handwritten note on the official report of the battle reads: "It remains a mystery what made Spee attack the Falkland Islands. See 'Mahan's Naval Strategy'."

It was generally believed Spee was misled by the German admiralty into attacking the Falklands, a Royal Naval fuelling base, after receiving intelligence from the German wireless station at Valparaiso which reported the port free of Royal Navy warships. Despite the objection of three of his ships' captains, Spee proceeded to attack.

However, in 1925 a German naval officer, Franz von Rintelen, interviewed Admiral William Reginald Hall, Director of the Admiraltry's Naval Intelligence Division (NID), and was informed that Spee's squadron had been lured towards the British battlecruisers by means of a fake signal sent in a German naval code broken by British cryptographers. (Similarly, on 14 March 1915, Dresden was intercepted by British ships while taking on coal at sea in a location identified by NID codebreakers)



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands
 

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8 December 1914 - Battle of the Falkland Islands - the lost german vessels


SMS Scharnhorst ("His Majesty's Ship Scharnhorst") was an armored cruiser of the Imperial German Navy, built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. She was the lead ship of her class, which included SMS Gneisenau. Scharnhorst and her sister were enlarged versions of the preceding Roon class; they were equipped with a greater number of main guns and were capable of a higher top speed. The ship was named after the Prussian military reformer General Gerhard von Scharnhorst and commissioned into service on 24 October 1907.

SMS_Scharnhorst_by_Arthur_Renard.jpg
Cruiser SMS Scharnhorst (1906–1914), German Imperial Navy

Scharnhorst served briefly with the High Seas Fleet in Germany in 1908, though most of this time was spent conducting sea trials. She was assigned to the German East Asia Squadron based in Tsingtao, China, in 1909. After arriving, she replaced the cruiser Fürst Bismarck as the squadron flagship, a position she would hold for the rest of her career. Over the next five years, she went on several tours of various Asian ports to show the flag for Germany. She frequently carried the squadron commanders to meet with Asian heads of state and was present in Japan for the coronation of the Taishō Emperor in 1912.

Scharnhorst_class_Brassey's.jpg

After the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, accompanied by three light cruisers and several colliers, sailed across the Pacific Ocean, to arriving off the southern coast of South America. On 1 November 1914, Scharnhorst and the rest of the East Asia Squadron encountered and overpowered a British squadron at the Battle of Coronel. The defeat prompted the British Admiralty to dispatch two battlecruisers to hunt down and destroy von Spee's squadron, accomplished at the Battle of the Falkland Islandson 8 December 1914.

Battle of the Falkland Islands

Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands_(1914)_Map.png
Map showing the movements of both squadrons

Once word of the defeat reached London, the Royal Navy set to organizing a force to hunt down and destroy the East Asia Squadron. To this end, the powerful new battlecruisersInvincible and Inflexible were detached from the Grand Fleet and placed under the command of Vice Admiral Doveton Sturdee. The two ships left Devonport on 10 November and while en route to the Falkland Islands, they were joined by the armored cruisers Carnarvon, Kent, and Cornwall, the light cruisers Bristol and Glasgow, and Otranto. The force of eight ships reached the Falklands by 7 December, where they immediately coaled.

In the meantime, Spee's ships departed St. Quentin Bay on 26 November and rounded Cape Horn on 2 December. They captured the Canadian barque Drummuir, which had a cargo of 2,500 t (2,500 long tons; 2,800 short tons) of good-quality Cardiff coal. Leipzig took the ship under tow and the following day the ships stopped off Picton Island. The crews transferred the coal from Drummuir to the squadron's colliers. On the morning of 6 December, Spee held a conference with the ship commanders aboard Scharnhorst to determine their next course of action. The Germans had received numerous fragmentary and contradictory reports of British reinforcements in the region; Spee and two other captains favored an attack on the Falklands, while three other commanders argued that it would be better to bypass the islands and attack British shipping off Argentina. Spee's opinion carried the day and the squadron departed for the Falklands at 12:00 on 6 December.

Gneisenau and Nürnberg were delegated for the attack; they approached the Falklands the following morning, with the intention of destroying the wireless transmitter there. Observers aboard Gneisenau spotted smoke rising from Port Stanley, but assumed it was the British burning their coal stocks to prevent the Germans from seizing them.[46] As they closed on the harbor, 30.5 cm (12.0 in) shells from Canopus, which had been beached as a guard ship, began to fall around the German ships, which prompted Spee to break off the attack. The Germans took a south-easterly course at 22 kn (41 km/h; 25 mph) after having reformed by 10:45. Scharnhorst was the center ship, with Gneisenau and Nürnberg ahead and Dresden and Leipzig astern.[47][48] The fast battlecruisers quickly got up steam and sailed out of the harbor to pursue the slower East Asia Squadron.

Thomas_Jacques_Somerscales,_Sinking_of_'The_Scharnhorst'_at_the_Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands...jpg
Oil painting of Scharnhorstcapsizing during the battle

By 13:20, the British ships had caught up with Scharnhorst and the other cruisers and began firing at a range of 14 km (8.7 mi). Spee realized his armored cruisers could not escape the much faster battlecruisers and ordered the three light cruisers to attempt to break away while he turned about and allowed the British battlecruisers to engage the outgunned Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Meanwhile, Sturdee detached his cruisers to pursue the German light cruisers. Invincible opened fire at Scharnhorst while Inflexible attacked Gneisenau and Spee ordered his two armored cruisers to similarly engage their opposites. Spee had taken the lee position; the wind kept his ships swept of smoke, which improved visibility for his gunners. This forced Sturdee into the windward position and its corresponding worse visibility. Scharnhorst straddled Invincible with her third salvo and quickly scored two hits on the British battlecruiser. The German flagship was herself not hit during this phase of the battle.

Sturdee attempted to widen the distance by turning two points to the north to prevent Spee from closing to within the range of his numerous secondary guns. Spee counteracted this maneuver by turning rapidly to the south, which forced Sturdee to turn south as well to keep within range. This allowed Scharnhorst and Gneisenau to turn back north and get close enough to engage with their secondary 15 cm guns. Their shooting was so accurate that it forced the British to haul away a second time. After resuming the battle, the British gunfire became more accurate; Scharnhorst was hit several times and fires broke out. The pace of her gunfire started to slacken, though she continued to score hits on Invincible. Sturdee then turned to port in an attempt to take the leeward position, but Spee countered the turn to retain his favorable position; the maneuvering did, however, reverse the order of the ships, so Scharnhorst now engaged Inflexible.

Battle_of_the_Falkland_Islands,_1914_(retouched).jpg
Scharnhorst rolls over and sinks while Gneisenau continues to fight

By this stage of the battle, Scharnhorst had a slight list to port and was about a meter lower in the water. Her third funnel had been shot away. Gneisenau was briefly obscured by smoke, which led both battlecruisers to target Scharnhorst. By 16:00, Spee ordered Gneisenau to attempt to escape while he reversed course and attempted to launch torpedoes at his pursuers. The port list had increased significantly by this point and she was well down by the bow, with only 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) of freeboard. At 16:17, the ship finally capsized to port and sank; the British, their attention now focused on Gneisenau, made no attempt to rescue the crew. All 860 officers and men on board, including Spee, went down with the ship. Gneisenau, Leipzig, and Nürnberg were also sunk. Only Dresden managed to escape, but she was eventually tracked to the Juan Fernandez Islands and sunk. The complete destruction of the squadron killed about 2,200 German sailors and officers, including two of Spee's sons.

In mid-1915, a coastal steamer found the body of a German sailor off the coast of Brazil. The sailor had a watertight cartridge case from a 21 cm shell attached; inside was one of the Reichskriegsflaggen (Imperial war flags) flown aboard Scharnhorst. The sailor was buried in Brazil and the flag was eventually returned to Germany, where it was placed on display at the Museum für Meereskunde (Marine Science) in Berlin, though it was lost during World War II. In the mid-1930s, the new German navy, the Kriegsmarine, built a battleship named for Scharnhorst. At the launching of the new Scharnhorst in October 1936, the widow of the earlier ship's captain was present.


SMS Gneisenau was an armored cruiser of the German navy, part of the two-ship Scharnhorst class. She was named after August von Gneisenau, a Prussian general of the Napoleonic Wars. The ship was laid down in 1904 at the AG Weser dockyard in Bremen, launched in June 1906, and completed in March 1908, at a cost of over 19 million goldmarks. She was armed with a main battery of eight 21-centimetre (8.3 in) guns, had a top speed of 23.6 knots (43.7 km/h; 27.2 mph), and displaced 12,985 metric tons (12,780 long tons; 14,314 short tons) at full combat load.

KaiserlicheMarine333a.jpg

Gneisenau was assigned to the German East Asia Squadron based in Tsingtao, China, along with Scharnhorst, in 1910. They served as the core of Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee's fleet. After the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the two ships, accompanied by three light cruisers and several colliers, sailed across the Pacific Ocean—in the process evading the various Allied naval forces sent to intercept them—before arriving off the southern coast of South America. On 1 November 1914, Gneisenau and the rest of the East Asia Squadron encountered and overpowered a British squadron at the Battle of Coronel. The stinging defeat prompted the British Admiralty to detach two battlecruisers to hunt down and destroy von Spee's flotilla, which they accomplished at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914.


SMS Nürnberg ("His Majesty's Ship Nürnberg"),[a] named after the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, was a Königsberg-class light cruiser built for the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Her sisters included Königsberg, Stettin, and Stuttgart. She was built by the Imperial Dockyard in Kiel, laid down in early 1906 and launched in April of that year. She was completed in April 1908. Nürnberg was armed with ten 4.1-inch (100 mm) guns, eight 5.2 cm (2.0 in) SK L/55 guns, and two submerged torpedo tubes. Her top speed was 23.4 knots (43.3 km/h; 26.9 mph).

Königsberg_class_cruiser_diagrams_Janes_1914.jpg SMS_Nurnberg.png

Nürnberg served with the fleet briefly, before being deployed overseas in 1910. She was assigned to the East Asia Squadron. At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, she was returning to the German naval base at Tsingtao from Mexican waters. She rejoined the rest of the Squadron, commanded by Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee, which steamed across the Pacific Ocean and encountered a British squadron commanded by Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock. In the ensuing Battle of Coronel on 1 November, the British squadron was defeated; Nürnberg finished off the British cruiser HMS Monmouth. A month later, the Germans attempted to raid the British base in the Falkland Islands; a powerful British squadron that included a pair of battlecruisers was in port, commanded by Vice Admiral Doveton Sturdee. Sturdee's ships chased down and destroyed four of the five German cruisers; HMS Kent sank Nürnberg, with heavy loss of life.


SMS Leipzig ("His Majesty's Ship Leipzig")[a] was the sixth of seven Bremen-class cruisers of the Imperial German Navy, named after the city of Leipzig. She was begun by AG Weser in Bremen in 1904, launched in March 1905 and commissioned in April 1906. Armed with a main battery of ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes, Leipzig was capable of a top speed of 22.5 knots (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph).

1024px-SMS_Leipzig.jpeg

Leipzig spent her career on overseas stations; at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, she was cruising off the coast of Mexico. After rejoining with the East Asia Squadron, she proceeded to South American waters, where she participated in the Battle of Coronel, where the German squadron overpowered and sank a pair of British armored cruisers. A month later, she again saw action at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, which saw the destruction of the East Asia Squadron. Leipzig was chased down and sunk by the cruisers HMS Glasgow and HMS Kent; the majority of her crew was killed in the battle, with only 18 survivors.








https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Scharnhorst
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Gneisenau
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Nürnberg_(1906)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Leipzig_(1905)
 

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8 December 1929 - SMS Ägir , the second and final member of the Odin class of coastal defense ships (Küstenpanzerschiffe), wrecked


SMS Ägir was the second and final member of the Odin class of coastal defense ships (Küstenpanzerschiffe) built for the Imperial German Navy. She had one sister ship, Odin. Ägir was named for the norse god, and was built by the Kaiserliche Werft Danzig shipyard between 1893 and 1896. She was armed with a main battery of three 24-centimeter (9.4 in) guns. She served in the German fleet throughout the 1890s and was rebuilt in 1901–1903. She served in the VI Battle Squadron after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, but saw no action. Ägir was demobilized in 1915 and used as a tender thereafter. After the war, she was rebuilt as a merchant ship and served in this capacity until December 1929, when she was wrecked on the island of Gotland.

S.M._Küstenpanzerschiff_Ägir_-_restoration.jpg
S.M. Küstenpanzerschiff Ägir, lithograph by Hugo Graf

Design
Main article: Odin-class coastal defense ship
Ägir was 79 meters (259 ft 2 in) long overall and had a beam of 15.20 m (49 ft 10 in) and a maximum draft of 5.61 m (18 ft 5 in). She displaced 3,754 tonnes (3,695 long tons) at full combat load. Her propulsion system consisted of two vertical 3-cylinder triple expansion engines. Steam for the engines was provided by eight coal-fired Thornycroft boilers. The ship's propulsion system provided a top speed of 15.1 knots (28.0 km/h; 17.4 mph). She carried 370 t (360 long tons; 410 short tons) of coal, which gave her a range of approximately 1,490 nautical miles (2,760 km; 1,710 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). Because she had twice the number of electrical generators as her sister, Ägir was nicknamed "Elektrische Anna" (Electric Anna). The ship had a crew of 20 officers and 256 enlisted men.

The ship was armed with three 24 cm K L/35 guns mounted in three single gun turrets. Two were placed side by side forward, and the third was located aft of the main superstructure. They were supplied with a total of 204 rounds of ammunition. The ship was also equipped with ten 8.8 cm SK L/30 guns in single mounts. Ägir also carried three 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes, two in swivel mounts on the deck amidships and one in the bow, submerged below the waterline. The ship was protected by an armored belt that was 240 mm (9.4 in) thick amidships, and an armored deck that was 70 mm (2.8 in) thick. The conning tower had 120 mm (4.7 in) thick sides.

Service history
Ägir was laid down at the Kaiserliche Werft shipyard in Kiel in 1892. She was launched on 3 April 1895 and completed on 15 January 1896, after which she underwent a somewhat lengthy period of sea trials. The ship was commissioned into the German fleet on 15 October 1896, where she served on active duty for the entirety of her peacetime career. During the 1900 summer maneuvers, Ägir served in the simulated hostile squadron, alongside Heimdall, Hildebrand, and Siegfried. The maneuvers lasted from 15 August to 15 September.

SMS_Aegir.png
Ägir sometime before 1904

In 1901, Ägir was taken in hand at the Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig for an extensive reconstruction. Her old boilers were replaced with eight new Marine type boilers and her length was increased to 86.15 m (282.6 ft). This increased her displacement to 4,376 t (4,307 long tons; 4,824 short tons) at full load. The lengthened hull, which improved her hydrodynamic shape, and the improved boilers increased her speed by a full knot, to 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph). Her coal storage was increased to 580 t (570 long tons; 640 short tons), which allowed her to steam for an additional 800 nmi (1,500 km; 920 mi). The modernization work was completed by 1903, at which point she returned to active service.

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Ägir was assigned to the VI Battle Squadron, along with her sister Odin and the six Siegfried-class coastal defense ships. The Squadron was disbanded on 31 August 1915 to free up the ships' crews for more important tasks.[6] Ägirwas thereafter used as a barracks ship in Wilhelmshaven through to the end of the war. She was stricken from the naval register on 17 June 1919 and sold. In 1922, she was rebuilt as a merchant ship at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Rüstringen. She was operated by A. Bernstein Co., out of Hamburg. She continued in this role until she was wrecked on the island of Gotland off the Karlsö lighthouse on 8 December 1929. Her bow ornament is preserved at the Laboe Naval Memorial.

1024px-Laboe_U995.JPG
Laboe Memorial and submarine museum U 995.

S.M._Küstenpanzerschiff_Odin_im_Salut_-_restoration.jpg
S.M. Küstenpanzerschiff Odin im Salut

The Odin class was a pair of coastal defense ships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine in the late 19th century.
The class comprised two ships: Odin, named after the Norse god Odin, and Ägir, named after the Norse god of the same name.
The ships were very similar to the preceding Siegfried-class coastal defense ships, and are sometimes considered to be one class of ships.

Like the preceding Siegfried-class ships, Odin and Ägir were obsolete by the time World War I had started. Regardless, they were still used in their primary role until 1915, at which point they were withdrawn from active service. The ships performed a variety of secondary duties until the end of the war. On 17 June 1919, both ships were struck from the naval register and sold to the A. Bernstein Company in Hamburg. The shipping company had the ships rebuilt as freighters; Odin served in this capacity until she was scrapped in 1935, however Ägir accidentally grounded near the Karlsö lighthouse on the island of Gotland in 1929 and proved to be a total loss.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Ägir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin-class_coastal_defense_ship
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laboe_Naval_Memorial
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1936 - Battleship Gneisenau launched


Gneisenau was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. She was the second vessel of her class, which included one other ship, Scharnhorst. The ship was built at the Deutsche Werke dockyard in Kiel; she was laid down on 6 May 1935 and launched on 8 December 1936. Completed in May 1938, the ship was armed with a main battery of nine 28 cm (11 in) C/34 guns in three triple turrets, though there were plans to replace these weapons with six 38 cm (15 in) SK C/34 guns in twin turrets.

Bundesarchiv_DVM_10_Bild-23-63-21,_Schlachtschiff__Gneisenau_.jpg

Gneisenau and Scharnhorst operated together for much of the early portion of World War II, including sorties into the Atlantic to raid British merchant shipping. During their first operation, the two ships sank the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Rawalpindi in a short battle. Gneisenau and Scharnhorst participated in Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway. During operations off Norway, the two ships engaged the battlecruiser HMS Renown and sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious. Gneisenau was damaged in the action with Renown and later torpedoed by a British submarine, HMS Clyde, off Norway. After a successful raid in the Atlantic in 1941, Gneisenau and her sister put in at Brest, France. The two battleships were the subject of repeated bombing raids by the RAF; Gneisenau was hit several times during the raids, though she was ultimately repaired.

In early 1942, the two ships made a daylight dash up the English Channel from occupied France to Germany. After reaching Kiel in early February, the ship went into drydock. On the night of 26 February, the British launched an air attack on the ship; one bomb penetrated her armored deck and exploded in the forward ammunition magazine, causing serious damage and a large number of casualties. The repairs necessitated by the damage were so time-consuming that it was determined to rebuild the ship to accommodate the 38 cm guns as originally intended. The 28 cm guns were removed and used as shore batteries. In 1943, Hitler ordered the cessation of conversion work, and on 27 March 1945, she was sunk as a blockship in Gotenhafen (Gdynia) in German-occupied Poland. She was eventually broken up for scrap in 1951.


Construction and configuration

Gneisenau1942.png
Gneisenau as she appeared in February 1942

Gneisenau was ordered as Ersatz Hessen as a replacement for the old pre-dreadnought Hessen, under the contract name "E." The Deutsche Werke in Kiel was awarded the contract, where the keel was laid on 6 May 1935. The ship was launched on 8 December 1936, after which fitting-out work was begun. The ship was completed in May 1938 and commissioned for sea trials on the 21st, under the command of Kapitän zur See (KzS) Erich Förste. The trials revealed a dangerous tendency to ship considerable amounts of water in heavy seas. This caused flooding in the bow and damaged electrical systems in the forward gun turret. As a result, she went back to the dockyard for extensive modification of the bow. The original straight stem was replaced with a raised "Atlantic bow." A diagonal cap was fitted to the smoke stack to keep the main mast free of smoke. The modifications were completed by September 1939, by which time the ship was finally fully operational.

Gneisenau displaced 32,100 long tons (32,600 t; 36,000 short tons) as built and 38,100 long tons (38,700 t; 42,700 short tons) fully loaded, with a length of 234.9 m (770 ft 8 in), a beam of 30 m (98 ft 5 in) and a maximum draft of 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in). She was powered by three Germania geared steam turbines, which developed a total of 165,930 metric horsepower (163,660 shp; 122,041 kW) and yielded a maximum speed of 31.3 knots (58.0 km/h; 36.0 mph) on speed trials. Her standard crew numbered 56 officers and 1,613 enlisted men, though during the war this was augmented up to 60 officers and 1,780 men. While serving as a squadron flagship, Gneisenau carried an additional ten officers and 61 enlisted men.

Bundesarchiv_DVM_10_Bild-23-63-02,_Schlachtschiff__Gneisenau_.jpg

She was armed with nine 28 cm (11.1 in) L/54.5 guns arranged in three triple gun turrets: two superfiring turrets forward—Anton and Bruno—and one aft—Caesar. Her secondary armament consisted of twelve 15 cm (5.9 in) L/55 guns, fourteen 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 and sixteen 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 L/83, and initially ten 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The number of 2 cm guns was eventually increased to thirty-eight. Six 53.3 cm (21.0 in) above-water torpedo tubes, taken from the light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig, were installed in 1942



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_battleship_Gneisenau
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gneisenau_(Schiff,_1936)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scharnhorst-class_battleship
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1938 - german Aircraft carrier / Flugzeugträger Graf Zepellin launched


The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the lead ship in a class of two carriers of the same name ordered by the Kriegsmarine. She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany and represented part of the Kriegsmarine's attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. The carrier would have had a complement of 42 fighters and dive bombers.

1280px-Graf-Zeppelin-2.jpg
Graf Zeppelin after her launching on 8 December 1938

Construction on Graf Zeppelin began on 28 December 1936, when her keel was laid down at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel. Named in honor of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the ship was launched on 8 December 1938, and was 85% complete by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Graf Zeppelin was not completed and was never operational due to shifting construction priorities necessitated by the war. She remained in the Baltic for the duration of the war; with Germany's defeat imminent, the ship's custodian crew scuttled her just outside Stettin in March 1945. The Soviet Union raised the ship in March 1946, and she was ultimately sunk in weapons tests north of Poland 17 months later. The wreck was discovered by a Polish survey ship in July 2006.

Design
Main article: Graf Zeppelin-class aircraft carrier

Graf-Zeppelin-1.jpg
Projected recognition drawing of Graf Zeppelin had she been completed in September 1942

Graf Zeppelin was 262.5 meters (861.2 ft) long overall; she had a beam of 36.2 m (118.8 ft) and a maximum draft of 8.5 m (27.9 ft). At full combat load, she would have displaced 33,550 long tons (34,088.4 t). The ship's propulsion system consisted of four Brown, Boveri & Ciegeared turbines with sixteen oil-fired, ultra-high-pressure LaMont boilers. The power plant was rated at 200,000 shaft horsepower(149,140.0 kW) and a top speed of 33.8 knots (62.6 km/h; 38.9 mph). Graf Zeppelin had a projected cruising radius of 8,000 nautical miles(14,816.0 km; 9,206.2 mi) at a speed of 19 kn (35.2 km/h; 21.9 mph). She would have had a crew of 1760 officers and enlisted men, plus flight crews.

The ship's primary offensive power would have been its aircraft complement. Graf Zeppelin would have carried 42 aircraft as designed: 12 navalized Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers, 10 Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters, and 20 Fieseler Fi 167 torpedo bombers. Later during the construction process, the aerial complement was reworked to consist of thirty Ju 87s and twelve Bf 109s, and the Fi 167s were removed altogether. As designed, Graf Zeppelin was to be fitted with eight 15 cm SK C/28 guns for defense against surface warships. This number was later increased to sixteen. Her anti-aircraft battery consisted of ten 10.5 cm SK C/33 guns—later increased to twelve—twenty-two 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns, and twenty-eight 2 cm guns. The ship's flight deck was protected with up to 45 millimeters (1.8 in) of Wotan Weich steel armor. A 60 mm (2.4 in) thick armored deck was located under the deck to protect the ship's vitals from aerial attacks. Graf Zeppelin had a waterline armor belt that was 100 mm (3.9 in) thick in the central area of the ship.

Construction and cancellation

Bundesarchiv_RM_25_Bild-02,_Flugzeugträger__Graf_Zeppelin_,_Bau.jpg
The keel for Graf Zeppelinin December 1936

On 16 November 1935, the contract for Flugzeugträger A (Aircraft carrier A)—later christened Graf Zeppelin—was awarded to the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel. Construction of the ship was delayed since Deutsche Werke was working at capacity, and the slipway needed for Graf Zeppelin was occupied by the new battleship Gneisenau, which was launched on 8 December 1936. Work started on Graf Zeppelin on 28 December, when her keel was laid down. She was launched on 8 December 1938, the 24th anniversary of the Battle of the Falkland Islands, and she was christened by Helene von Zeppelin, the daughter of the ship's namesake. At the launching ceremony, Hermann Göring gave a speech. By the end of 1939, she was 85% complete, with a projected completion by the middle of 1940. By September 1939, one carrier-borne wing, Trägergruppe 186, had been formed by the Luftwaffe at Kiel Holtenau, composed of three squadrons equipped with Bf 109s and Ju 87s.

Meanwhile, the German conquest of Norway in April 1940 further eroded any chance of completing Graf Zeppelin. Now responsible for defending Norway's long coastline and numerous port facilities, the Kriegsmarine urgently needed large numbers of coastal guns and anti-aircraft batteries. During a naval conference with Hitler on 28 April 1940, Admiral Erich Raeder proposed halting all work on Graf Zeppelin, arguing that even if she was commissioned by the end of 1940, final installation of her guns would need another ten months or more (her original fire control system had been sold to the Soviet Union under an earlier trade agreement). Hitler consented to the stop work order, allowing Raeder to have Graf Zeppelin's 15 cm guns removed and transferred to Norway. The carrier's heavy flak armament of twelve 10.5 cm guns had already been diverted elsewhere.

In July 1940, Graf Zeppelin was towed from Kiel to Gotenhafen (Gdynia) and remained there for nearly a year. While there, she was used as a storage depot for Germany's hardwood supply. Just before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the carrier was again moved, this time to Stettin, to safeguard her from Soviet air attacks. By November, the German army had pushed deep enough into Russian territory to remove any further threat of air attack and Graf Zeppelin was returned to Gotenhafen. There, she was used as a store ship for timber.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_134-B0676,_Flugzeugträger__Graf_Zeppelin_.jpg
Graf Zeppelin moored at Stettin in mid-1941

By the time Raeder met with Hitler for a detailed discussion of naval strategy in April 1942, the usefulness of aircraft carriers in modern naval warfare had been amply demonstrated. British carriers had crippled the Italian fleet at Taranto in November 1940, critically damaged the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941 and prevented battleship Tirpitz from attacking two convoys bound for Russia in March 1942. In addition, a Japanese carrier raid on Pearl Harbor had devastated the American battle fleet in December 1941. Raeder, anxious to secure air protection for the Kriegsmarine's heavier surface units, informed Hitler that Graf Zeppelin could be finished in about a year, with another six months required for sea trials and flight training. On 13 May 1942, with Hitler's authorization, the German Naval Supreme Command ordered work resumed on the carrier.

But daunting technical problems remained. Raeder wanted newer planes, specifically designed for carrier use. Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, replied that the already overburdened German aircraft industry could not possibly complete the design, testing and mass production of such aircraft before 1946. Instead, he proposed converting existing aircraft (again the Junkers Ju 87 and Messerschmitt Bf 109) as a temporary solution until newer types could be developed. Training of carrier pilots at Travemünde would also resume.

The converted carrier aircraft were heavier versions of their land-based predecessors and this required a host of changes to Graf Zeppelin's original design: the existing catapults needed modernization; stronger winches were necessary for the arresting gear; the flight deck, elevators and hangar floors also required reinforcement. Changes in naval technology dictated other alterations as well: installation of air search radar sets and antennas; upgraded radio equipment; an armored fighter-director cabin mounted on the main mast (which in turn meant a heavier, sturdier mast to accommodate the cabin's added weight); extra armoring for the bridge and fire control center; a new curved funnel cap to shield the fighter-director cabin from smoke; replacing the single-mount 20mm AA guns with quadruple Flakvierling 38 guns (with a corresponding increase in ammunition supply) to improve overall AA defense; and additional bulges on either side of the hull to preserve the ship's stability under all this added weight.

The German naval staff hoped all these changes could be accomplished by April 1943, with the carrier's first sea trials taking place in August that year. Towards that end, Chief Engineer Wilhelm Hadeler was reassigned to oversee Graf Zeppelin's completion. Hadeler planned on getting the two inner shafts and their respective propulsion systems operational first, giving the ship an initial speed of 25–26 knots, fast enough for sea trials to commence and for conducting air training exercises. By the winter of 1943–1944 she was expected to be combat-ready.

On the night of 27–28 August 1942, while still moored at Gotenhafen, Graf Zeppelin was the target of the only Allied air attack aimed at her during the war. Three Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster heavy bombers from 106 Squadron were dispatched against the German aircraft carrier, each one carrying a single "Capital Ship" bomb, a 5,600 lb (2,540 kg) device with a shaped charge warhead intended for armored targets. One pilot, who was unable to see the carrier due to haze, dropped his bomb instead on the estimated position of the German battleship Gneisenau. Another believed he had scored a direct hit on Graf Zeppelin, but there is no known record of the ship suffering any damage from a bomb strike that night.

Bundesarchiv_RM_25_Bild-64,_Flugzeugträger__Graf_Zeppelin_,_Bau.jpg
Graf Zeppelin in drydock in March 1943

On 5 December 1942, Graf Zeppelin was towed back to Kiel and placed in a floating drydock. It seemed she might well see completion after all, but by late January 1943 Hitler had become so disenchanted with the Kriegsmarine, especially with what he perceived as the poor performance of its surface fleet, that he ordered all of its larger ships taken out of service and scrapped. Raeder was shortly relieved of command and replaced with the Commander of Submarines Karl Dönitz. Though Admiral Dönitz eventually persuaded Hitler to void most of the order, work on all new surface ships and even those nearing completion, including Graf Zeppelin, was halted. On 30 January 1943, all major work on the ship ceased, though some limited, temporary work continued until March.

In April 1943 Graf Zeppelin was again towed eastward, first to Gotenhafen, then to the roadstead at Swinemünde and finally berthed at a back-water wharf in the Parnitz River, two miles (3 km) from Stettin, where she had been briefly docked in 1941. There she languished for the next two years with only a 40-man custodial crew in attendance. When Red Army forces neared the city in April 1945, the ship's Kingston valves were opened, flooding her lower spaces and settling her firmly into the mud in shallow water. A ten-man engineering squad then rigged the vessel's interior with demolition and depth charges in order to hole the hull and destroy vital machinery. At 6pm on 25 April 1945, just as the Soviets entered Stettin, commander Wolfgang Kähler radioed the squad to detonate the explosives. Smoke billowing from the carrier's funnel confirmed the charges had gone off, rendering the ship useless to her new owners for many months to come.

Fate after the war

German_aircraft_carrier_Graf_Zeppelin_at_Swinemünde_on_5_April_1947.jpg
Graf Zeppelin in Soviet custody at Świnoujście, April 5, 1947.

Graf_zeppelin_flugzeugtraeger_modell_01.jpg
Bow view of a model of Graf Zeppelin, at the Aeronauticum.

The carrier's history and fate after Germany's surrender was unknown outside the Soviet Union for decades after the war. The Soviets could not repair the ship in the length of time specified by the terms of the Allied Tripartite Commission, so she was designated a "Category C" ship. This classification required that she would be destroyed or sunk in deep water by 15 August 1946. Instead, the Soviets decided to salvage the damaged ship and it was refloated in March 1946. A number of speculations from Western historians about the ship's fate arose in the decades after the end of the war. According to German historian Erich Gröner, after the Soviets raised the scuttled ship, they towed her to Leningrad. While en route, she reportedly struck a mine off Finland during a storm. After arriving in Leningrad, Graf Zeppelin was broken up for scrap in 1948–1949. Naval historians Robert Gardiner and Roger Chesneau state that the ship was towed out of Stettin in September 1947, but she never arrived in Leningrad; they speculated that a mine sank the ship while she was under tow.

According to Soviet records, on 19 March 1947, the Council of Ministers decreed the destruction of former German ships. The first ship to be sunk, Lützow, was sunk off Swinemunde on 22 July 1947. On 14 August Graf Zeppelin was towed into Swinemunde harbor, and two days later to its final position. It was subjected to five series of controlled explosions of 180 mm (7.1 in) shells and FAB series bombs. The first test imitated a FAB-1000 detonation in the exhaust funnel and lesser bombs below the flight deck. The second in the series was a single FAB-1000 explosion above the flight deck. The third, the fourth and the fifth series imitated penetration of FAB-100, FAB-250 and FAB-500 bombs at flight deck, hangar deck and gun battery deck levels. These bombs were placed in cutouts in their target decks to imitate the effects of dive bombing. Graf Zeppelin remained afloat, and Admiral Yury Rall ordered a torpedo strike. A torpedo fired from an Elco PT boat exploded in the anti-torpedo bulge but did not penetrate the belt armor. A torpedo fired by the destroyer Slavny penetrated the unprotected hull section below the bow elevator; Graf Zeppelin sank 25 minutes later.

Discovery in 2006
The exact position of the wreck was unknown for decades. On 12 July 2006, the research vessel RV St. Barbara, a ship belonging to the Polish oil company Petrobaltic, found a 265-meter-long (869 ft) wreck 55 km (34 mi) north of Władysławowo, which they thought was most likely Graf Zeppelin. The wreck rests at a depth of more than 80 m (260 ft) below the surface. After the wreck was located, the Polish Navy began a two-day survey of the wreckage to confirm its identity. Using remote-controlled underwater robots, they concluded that they were "99% certain" it was Graf Zeppelin.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_aircraft_carrier_Graf_Zeppelin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graf_Zeppelin-class_aircraft_carrier
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graf_Zeppelin_(Schiff,_1938)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
8 December 1966 – The Greek ship SS Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.


The SS Heraklion (sometimes spelled out in books as the "Iraklion") was a car ferry operating the lines PiraeusChania and Piraeus – Irakleio between 1965 and 1966. The ship capsized and sank on 8 December 1966 in the Aegean Sea, resulting in the death of over 200 people.

Background

SS_Leicestershire.jpg SS_Heraklion.jpg
SS Leicestershire.


SS Heraklion was built as the SS Leicestershire by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Glasgow in 1949, for the Bibby Line to operate the UK to Burma route. She was chartered to the British India Line for some time to supplement its London to East Africa service. In 1964 she was sold to the Aegean Steam Navigation Co to operate under their Typaldos Lines, renamed SS Heraklion.

Once Typaldos Line took ownership, she was refitted as a passenger/car ferry. The ship had an overall length of 498 ft (152 m), a beam of 60 ft (18 m), gross tonnage of 8,922 tons, single prop reaching a speed of 17 knots. Winter capacity was 35 trucks with an average weight of 10 tons. S/S Heraklion had her last survey on 29 June 1966.

SS_Heraklion (1).jpg 004660506-big.jpg

Sinking
At 20:00 of 7 December 1966, and under extreme weather conditions, with winds blowing at Force 9 on the Beaufort scale, the Heraklion sailed from Souda Bay, Crete for Piraeus, after a two-hour delay, allegedly in order to embark a refrigerator truck that according to most accounts contributed to the sinking. Nowadays, passenger ships operating in Greek waters are prohibited from sailing in winds at or greater than Force 9 on the Beaufort scale, but at that time it was up to the captain to decide whether to sail or not, sometimes under pressure from the ship owners.

Halfway through the voyage, while sailing south of the small rocky island of Falkonera, the aforementioned refrigerator truck which was carrying oranges and was either left unsecured or was loosely strapped, started banging on the midship loading door which eventually gave in and opened with the result that the truck plummeted into the sea where it was found floating the next morning. With the doors opened, the sea flowed in and after 15 or 20 minutes the ship capsized, sometime after 02:00 on 8 December 1966, at 36°52′N 24°8′E.

At 02:06, an SOS signal from Heraklion was received by various shore stations and ships around the Aegean Sea.

Rescue efforts
The SOS signal was repeated twice. The Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine was under-equipped to handle the necessary communications, while the port authorities of Piraeus, Syros and other islands reported they were unable to offer assistance due to lack of equipment. Unfortunately the ferry Minos, which was 24 km away from the scene, did not receive the SOS.

At around 02:30, the head of the Hellenic Coast Guard was alerted, followed by the Minister of Mercantile Marine and the Minister of Defence. The Ministry of Defense reported that a ship of the then Greek Royal Navy was at Syros, but that it would take 3–4 hours for it to get under way. A number of ships, including two British Royal Navy warships northeast of Crete, received the SOS and altered course for the scene.

At 04:30 the RHS Syros was ordered to sea, while an hour later the prime minister was informed of the situation and the Air Force was alerted. A C-47 Skytrain took off from Elefsis airport followed shortly by two more. The first aircraft arrived at the scene around 10:00 at the same time as HMS Leverton and HMS Ashton, which started picking up survivors aided by the three aircraft. At 19.00 the Leverton and Ashton docked at the port of Piraeus, where a large crowd had gathered to seek information and to wait for the rescue ships carrying survivors and bodies.

A number of United States Navy ships, deployed in the Mediterranean Sea at the time of the sinking, participated in the search and rescue operations. They included the USS Lawrence (DDG-4), the USS Bordelon (DD-881), the USS James C. Owens (DD-776), and the USS Strong (DD-758).

Officially, out of 73 officers and crew and 191 passengers, only 46 were rescued (16 crew and 30 passengers), while 217 died. The exact number remains unknown since, at the time, it was customary to board the ship without a ticket, which would be issued upon sailing.

One of the dead was Michael Robert Hall King (b. 1942), a grandson of Robert Baden-Powell.

Aftermath

The Monument of the Hand in Chania dedicated to the victims of the SS Heraklion accident.

The Greek government's investigation found the Typaldos Lines guilty of negligence for several reasons; there was no drill for abandoning ship, there was a delay in sending a distress call and there was no organization of rescue work by the ship's officers. The company was also charged with manslaughter and faking documents. Haralambos Typaldos, the owner of the company and Panayotis Kokkinos, the general manager were both sentenced to jail in 1968. It was also found that twelve of the company's fifteen ships failed inspection under international law. The company's remaining ships were taken over and sold either for scrap or sold off for other uses, except three; the SS Hellas, the SS Athinai and the MV Rodos. None of the ships attracted buyers and so were laid up for 20 years before being sold for scrap and broken up in Turkey in 1989. In the meantime, the badly rusted Athinai was used in 1978–1979 as a floating set for the film Raise the Titanic and was renamed Titanic for the duration of filming.

In the 1990s a sculpture known as "The Monument of the Hand" was erected near the harbour in Chania to commemorate the victims of the accident.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Heraklion
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraklion_(Schiff)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 8 December


1703 – Launch of French Toulouse, 62 guns Oriflamme Class, at Toulon – reclassed as 3rd Rate 1707, captured by the British 1711

Oriflamme Class, designed and built by François Coulomb snr.
Toulouse 62 guns (launched 8 December 1703 at Toulon) – reclassed as 3rd Rate 1707, captured by the British 1711
Oriflamme 62 guns (launched 15 January 1704 at Toulon) – reclassed as 3rd Rate 1709, broken up 1727


1809 – Launch of HMS Saldanha was a 36-gun Apollo-class frigate of the British Royal Navy

HMS Saldanha was a 36-gun Apollo-class frigate of the British Royal Navy, launched in 1809 and wrecked on the coast of Ireland in 1811. Before she was wrecked she participated in the capture of a noted French privateer.

HMS_Owen_Glendower.jpg
Painting (HMS Owen Glendower - sistership)

The Apollo-class sailing frigates were a series of twenty-seven ships that the British Admiralty commissioned be built to a 1798 design by Sir William Rule. Twenty-five served in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, two being launched too late.
Of the 25 ships that served during the Napoleonic Wars, only one was lost to enemy action. Of the entire class of 27 ships, only two were lost to wrecking, and none to foundering.
The Admiralty ordered three frigates in 1798–1800. Following the Peace of Amiens, it ordered a further twenty-four sister-ships to the same design between 1803 and 1812. The last was ordered to a fresh 38-gun design. Initially, the Admiralty split the order for the 24 vessels equally between its yards and commercial yards, but two commercial yards failed to perform and the Admiralty transferred these orders to its own dockyards, making the split 14–10 as between the Admiralty and commercial yards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Saldanha_(1809)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-class_frigate


1811 - The French privateer la Courageux, captured by HMS Rhin (38) Cptn. Charles Malcolm.

Rhin was a 40-gun Virginie-class frigate of the French Navy launched in 1802. She was present at two major battles while in French service. The Royal Navy captured her in 1806. Thereafter Rhin served until 1815 capturing numerous vessels. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars she was laid up and then served as a hospital for many years. She was finally broken up in 1884.

large.jpg
Quarantine Guard Ship Rhin Standgate creek (PAD9754)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Rhin_(1802)


1812 - HMS Fearless (12), Lt. Henry Lord Richards, wrecked on rocks off St. Sebastian.

HMS Fearless (1805) was a 12-gun gun-brig launched in 1804 and wrecked, without loss of life, in 1812 on rocks of Cape St Sebastian near Cadiz


1817 - HMS Martin Sloop (18), Andrew Mitchell, wrecked on Western coast of Ireland.

HMS Martin (1809) was an 18-gun sloop launched in 1809 and wrecked in 1817.
Built of Bermudan cedar. Modified version of Dasher (1797) class.

large (1).jpg
Scale: 48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with scroll figurehead and longitudinal half-breadth for building Bermuda (1806) and Indian (1805), both 16-gun flush-decked Ship Sloops built at Bermuda. The plan was then used in 1806 for building Atalante (1808) and Martin (1809), and finally in 1809 for Sylph (1812) and Morgiana (1811).

large (2).jpg
Scale: 48. Plan showing the midship section specifically for Bermuda (1806) and Indian (1805), both 18-gun flush-decked Ship Sloops built at Bermuda. The plan may be appropriate to the other ships in the class, as all were built at Bermuda: Atalante (1808), Martin (1809), Sylph (1812), Morgiana (1811).

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;searchTerm=Martin_1809


1828 - HMS Ariel (10), Lt. James Figg, supposedly foundered near Sable Island,off Nova Scotia.

HMS Ariel (1820), a Cherokee-class brig-sloop launched in 1820 and wrecked in 1828 on Sable Island.

large (3).jpg
Scale: 1:24. Plan showing a part section for Alacrity (1818), Ariel (1820), Barracouta (1820), Beagle (1820), Brisk (1819), Bustard (1818), Cygnet (1819), Delight (1819), Eclipse (1819), Emulous (1819), Falcon (1820), Frolic (1820), Onyx (1822), Opossum (1821), 10-gun Brigs/Brig Sloops of the Cadmus/Cherokee/Rolla Class. Includes alterations in red for Onyx (1822) and Opossum (1821), building at Sheerness Dockyard.

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-292567;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=A


1938 - USS Russell (DD-414) launched

USS Russell (DD-414) was a World War II-era Sims-class destroyer in the service of the United States Navy, named after Rear Admiral John Henry Russell.
Russell was laid down on 20 December 1937 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia; launched on 8 December 1938; sponsored by Mrs. Charles H. Marshall, granddaughter of Rear Admiral Russell; and commissioned on 3 November 1939, Lieutenant Commander J. C. Pollock in command.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Russell_(DD-414)


1940 - SS Calabria was a passenger and cargo steamship sunk by torpedo

SS Calabria was a passenger and cargo steamship. AG Weser built her for Norddeutscher Lloyd. She was launched as D/S Werra and completed in 1922. ("D/S" stands for Dampfschiff in German as "SS" stands for "steamship" in English.)
In 1935 she was bought by Flotte Riunite Cosulich-Lloyd-Sabaudo Navigazione Generale, who renamed her Calabria. In 1937 she was sold to Lloyd Triestino.
In June 1940 the UK seized her and placed in the management of the British-India Steam Navigation Company. In December 1940 she was torpedoed and sunk. When she sank, all of her 360 passengers and crew lost their lives. The Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) was going to rename her Empire Inventor, but she was sunk before this had been done.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Calabria_(1922)


1941 - Battle of Wake Island

The Battle of Wake Island began simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor naval/air bases in Hawaii and ended on 23 December 1941, with the surrender of the American forces to the Empire of Japan. It was fought on and around the atoll formed by Wake Island and its minor islets of Peale and Wilkes Islands by the air, land, and naval forces of the Japanese Empire against those of the United States, with Marines playing a prominent role on both sides.

The island was held by the Japanese for the duration of the Pacific War theater of World War II; the remaining Japanese garrison on the island surrendered to a detachment of United States Marines on 4 September 1945, after the earlier surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay to General Douglas MacArthur

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wake_Island


1941 - After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declares war on Japan.

On December 8, 1941, the United States Congress declared war (Pub.L. 77–328, 55 Stat. 795) on the Empire of Japan in response to that country's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor the prior day. It was formulated an hour after the Infamy Speech of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Japan had sent a message to the United States to its embassy in Washington earlier, but because of problems at the embassy in decoding the very long message – the high-security level assigned to the declaration meant that only personnel with very high clearances could decode it, which slowed down the process – it was not delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State until after the Pearl Harbor attack. Following the U.S. declaration, Japan's allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States, bringing the United States fully into World War II.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_declaration_of_war_on_Japan


1941 - USS Wake (PR 3), a river gunboat moored at Shanghai, surrenders to the Japanese. During WWII, Wake is the only US Navy vessel to be captured by the enemy intact.

USS Wake (PR-3) was a United States Navy river gunboat operating on the Yangtze River, that was seized by Japan on 8 December 1941.
Originally commissioned as the gunboat Guam (PG-43), she was redesignated river patrol vessel PR-3 in 1928, and renamed Wake 23 January 1941

Japanese_gunboat_Tatara_1942.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Wake


1942 - Eight PT boats (PT 36, PT 37, PT 40, PT 43, PT 44, PT 48, PT 59, and PT 109) turn back eight Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.


1943 - USS Sawfish (SS 276) sinks Japanese transport Sansei Maru southeast of Chi Chi Jima. Also on this date, TBFs sinks Rabaul-bound fishing boats No. 3 Yusho Maru, No.7 Fukuri Maru, No.2 Takatori Maru, and No.1 Hoko Maru.


1971 – Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Navy launches an attack on West Pakistan's port city of Karachi.

Operation Python, a follow-up to Operation Trident, was the code name of a naval attack launched on West Pakistan's port city of Karachi by the Indian Navy during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. After the first attack during Operation Trident on the Port of Karachi, Pakistan stepped up aerial surveillance of its coast as the presence of large Indian Navy ships gave the impression that another attack was being planned. Pakistani warships attempted to outsmart the Indian Navy by mingling with merchant shipping. To counter these moves, Operation Python was launched on the night of 8/9 December 1971. A strike group consisting of one missile boat and two frigates attacked the group of ships off the coast of Karachi. While India suffered no losses, Pakistani fleet tanker PNS Dacca was damaged beyond repair, and the Kemari Oil Storage facility was lost. Two other foreign ships stationed in Karachi were also sunk during the attack.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Python
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1694 – French The Téméraire, a 52-gun Anjou Class ship of the line of the French Navy. sunk by the English frigate HMS Montagu


The Téméraire (1669 - 52) was a ship of the line of the French Navy.
She was built by Laurent Hubac in Brest in 1669 as Ardent, and launched in 1671 as Téméraire.
She took part in the campaign in Sicilia in 1676, in the Battle of Bévézier (10 July 1690) and the Battle of Barfleur (29 May 1692). She also took part in the Battle of Lagos.
She was sunk by the English frigate HMS Montagu on 9 December 1694.

Dimensions
Dimension - Measurement Type - Metric Equivalent
Length of Gundeck 127' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi) - 41.2496 (135′ 3″ Imperial)
Length of Keel - 114' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi) - 37.0272 (121′ 5″ Imperial)
Breadth - 33' 8"French Feet (Pied du Roi) - 10.7906 (35′ 4″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold - 15' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi) - 4.9045 (16′ 1″ Imperial)
Burthen - 900Ton

Armament
4.1672 Broadside Weight = 426 French Livre (459.7392 lbs 208.527 kg)
Lower Gun Deck 22 French 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck 24 French 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck 6 French 6-Pounder

Service History
6.1671 Renamed Téméraire
28.5.1672 Battle of Solebay
28.5.1673 First Battle of Schooneveld
4.6.1673 Second Battle of Schooneveld
11.8.1673 Battle of Texel
27.9.1674 Force le blocus espagnol de messine.capt Lhéry,avec division du chef d'escadre Valbelle
2.1.1674/75 Force le blocus espagnol de Messine.capt Lhéry,avec division du chef d'escadre Vabelle
11.2.1674/75 First battle of Stromboli
21.7.1675 Raid à Barletta.capt Lhéry,campagne de Tourville en Adriatique
21.7.1675 Raid on Barletta
28.7.1675 Raid à Reggio.capt Lhéry,campagne de Tourville en Adriatique
15.8.1675 Prise du port d'Agosta.capt. Lhéry,sous les ordres du Duc de Vivonne et Du quesne
8.1.1675/76 Second battle of Stromboli
22.4.1676 Battle of Agosta
2.6.1676 Battle of Palermo
30.6.1690 Battle of Beachy Head
1693 Participe à la Campagne de la Jamaique de Ducasse
17.6.1693 Battle of Lagos
9.12.1694 Captured and wrecked after action vs. HMS Montagu.


Lyme was a 52-gun third rate Speaker-class frigate built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England at Portsmouth, and launched in 1654.
After the Restoration in 1660 she was renamed HMS Montagu. She was widened in 1675 and underwent her first rebuild in 1698 at Woolwich Dockyard as a 60-gun fourth rateship of the line. Her second rebuild took place at Portsmouth Dockyard, from where she was relaunched on 26 July 1716 as a 60-gun fourth rate to the 1706 Establishment.

The Montagu was broken up in 1749.

large (3).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board and decoration detail, sheer lines with some framing detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Montague (1716), a 60-gun Fourth Rate, two-decker. The plan is likely to relate to this ship rather than the Montague (1698), as the stern board has the GR monogram on it.

large (2).jpg
Scale: 1:48. A plan showing the body plan with stern board and decoration, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Mountague' [Montague] (1716), a 60-gun Fourth Rate, two-decker. She was launched at Portsmouth Dockyard in July 1716.


Service History
'Lyme' (1654)

4.9.1654 Completed at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £7020.0.0d
1657 Flagship in the MediterraneanBWAS-1603
20.4.1657 Battle of Santa Cruz
3.6.1665 Battle of Lowestoft
1666 Refitted as a 58 gun Third Rate
23.5.1666 Renamed Montagu
25.7.1666 St James Day Battle
28.5.1672 Battle of Solebay
1673 Broken Up to Rebuild
Becomes British Third Rate ship of the line 'Montagu' (1675) (62)

'Montagu' (1675)
1677 In the Channel
1678 In the Channel
1683 Sailed for Tangier
1685 Refitted as a 58 gun Third Rate
1691 Two or three cruisers under Captain Simon Fowkes (d.1702) of the Montagu, 60, picked up nine large privateers, besides several small craft, off the Irish coast
2.1.1690/91 Action against a French privateer
19.5.1692 Battle of Barfleur
1694 Off Dunkirk
6.1694 Captured a large 28-gun ship, laden with corn
3.1694/95 In March a small squadron under Captain Edward Littleton (d.1695/96), of the Montagu, 60, captured, or contributed to the capture of, the greater part of a fleet of about thirty sail of French merchantmen in the Channel
13.4.1696 Bombarded Calais
30.8.1696 Paid off
1698 Broken Up to Rebuild
Becomes British Fourth Rate ship of the line 'Montagu' (1698) (60)

'Montagu' (1698)
1699 Commissioned as a guardship at Chatham
1702 Sailed to Newfoundland
1703 In the Mediterranean
21.7.1704 Capture of Gibraltar
13.8.1704 Battle of Malaga
1705 Sailed to Jamaica
19.11.1705 In action off Cape Nicholas
1708 Off Dunkirk
1709 In the Channel
1710 In the Channel
1711 In the St Lawrence expedition
1712 Sailed to Gibraltar with a convoy
19.12.1712 Paid off
5.1714 Broken Up to Rebuild
Becomes British Fourth Rate ship of the line 'Montagu' (1716) (60)

'Montagu' (1716)
7.1716 Completed at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £11190.14.2d
1717 Commissioned for George Byng (1st Viscount Torrington of Devon) (1663/64-1732/33) fleet in the Baltic
1718 Recommissioned for the Mediterranean
1718 small repair at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £4244.9.7d
11.8.1718 Battle of Cape Passaro
10.1.1720/21 Paid off
6.1721 middling repair at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £3393.2.3d
1734 Recommissioned for Home waters
12.2.1736 Paid off
1.1739 Began large repair at Portsmouth Dockyard
1740 Recommissioned
5.1740 Completed large repair at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £11812.8.1d
8.1740 To the West Indies with Sir Chaloner Ogle (1681-1750) fleet
3.1740/41 In operations against Cartagena
7.1741 In operations against Santiago
3.1741/42 At Porto Bello
1743 At Jamaica
20.10.1744 Cast ashore in hurricane, but salved
6.1745 Arrived home
7.1.1747/48 Surveyed
19.9.1749 Break up completed at Portsmouth for £383.17.0 1/2d

Montagu at 1716
Dimension - Measurement Type - Metric Equivalent

Length of Gundeck 144' 3"Imperial Feet - 43.8929
Length of Keel 119' 0"Imperial Feet - 36.2712
Breadth 38' 1 ½"Imperial Feet - 11.5951
Depth in Hold 15' 8"Imperial Feet - 4.6126
Burthen 920 4⁄94 Tons BM
Armament
26.7.1716 Broadside Weight = 435 Imperial Pound ( 197.2725 kg)
Lower Gun Deck 24 British 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck 26 British Demi-Culverin
Quarterdeck 8 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle 2 British 6-Pounder



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Téméraire_(1669)
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=13493
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Montagu_(1654)
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5190
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5191
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5193
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5194
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1768 – Launch of Spanish San Agustín, a 74-gun ship of the line built at the royal shipyard in Guarnizo


The San Agustín was a 74-gun ship of the line built at the royal shipyard in Guarnizo (Santander) and launched in 1768.

Class and type: 74-gun ship of the line
Tons burthen: 2,700 long tons (2,743.3 t)
Complement: 530 officers and men
Armament:
  • 74 guns:
  • Gundeck: 28 × 26 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 30 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 16 × 8 pdrs
large (5).jpg
Representing the Battle of Trafalgar, this coloured drypoint shows action between the British Royal Navy and the fleets of France and Spain. On the left, the bow of the British Leviathan is engulfed with smoke, as the neighbouring Nuestra Señora de la Santísima approaches the British ships Neptune and Africa. Outlines of additional ships are suggested in the distance, and on the far right the French and Spanish ships Heros and Santo Augustino are involved in the fray. A splash of water rises from the foreground. Hand-coloured.; Signed by artist. The work is inscribed “Wyllie to Admiral Donaldson 1930.” Admiral Leonard Andrew Boyd Donaldson was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 23 May, 1930. The archives hold two albums of personal snapshots ands postcards relating to Admiral Donaldson’s career (ALB0010, ALB0937). W. L. Wyllie (1851-1931) was a British Marine artist. Born in London, Wyllie painted, drew, and etched Thames scenes throughout his life. He moved to Portsmouth in 1907, where he continued working, supported the restoration of the Victory and painted the Trafalgar Panorama. Early in his career Wyllie was an illustrator for The Graphic, and he became a member of the Royal Academy in 1907.

She was captured by Portugal in 1776, but returned the following year.

In January 1780, during the American War of Independence, she was part of a squadron of 11 of the line under command of Admiral Don Juan de Lángara left on patrol off Cape St. Vincent to intercept an expected British convoy for Gibraltar. But when the British fleet under Sir George Rodney appeared, it greatly outnumbered the Spanish squadron with 18 ships of the line. The result was the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780), off the stormy, dark cliffs of Cape Santa María through the afternoon and evening of 16 January 1780. Six Spanish ships of the line were captured and one destroyed. The San Agustín and San Genaro were the only Spanish ships of the line to escape unscathed.

The_Battle_of_Trafalgar,_21_October_1805;_'Second_Picture',_the_boarding_of_the_'San_Augustino...jpg
This painting is inscribed by Pocock in ink 'Second Picture/ the Boarding'. The ships are identified, left to right, in pencil as 'Orion', 'Africa', 'L'Intrepide', 'Leviathan', ‘San Augustino', and 'Conqueror'. This work also relates compositionally to a painting of the Spanish 'Monarca' (74) striking the 'Tonnant' at Trafalgar, which is one of a pair of that engagement at Trafalgar (24 x 36 in) probably painted for Captain (later Admiral Sir) Charles Tyler of 'Tonnant', sold at Christie's Maritime Art sale, London, 29 October 2008, lot 29. As in this sketch, which is clearly for a similarly commissioned pair, the British ship is shown behind (to leeward) of the Spanish vessel in much the same relationship. Exhibited: NMM Pocock exhib. (1975) no. 98. The paper is noted as having a fragmentary Whatman watermark.

During the Napoleonic wars, she fought at the Battle of Algeciras in 1801 and the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

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Trafalgar, 21 Oct 1805. The Leviathan boards the Augustino (PAD8777)

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The 'Leviathan' and 'San Augustino' at Trafalgar, Oct 21 1805 (PAF5882)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_San_Agustín_(1768)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_of_the_line_of_Spain
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1779 – Launch of HMS Mercury, a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate


HMS Mercury was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built during the American War of Independence and serving during the later years of that conflict. She continued to serve during the years of peace and had an active career during the French Revolutionary Wars and most of the Napoleonic Wars, until being broken up in 1814.

lossy-page1-1024px-HMS_Mercury_cuts_out_the_French_gunboat_Leda_from_Rovigno,_1_April_1809_RMG...jpg
HMS Mercury cutting out a French gunboat from Rovigno, 1 April 1809

Class and type: 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate
Tons burthen: 605 12⁄94 (bm)
Length:

  • 120 ft 9 3⁄4 in (36.8 m) (overall)
  • 99 ft 10.5 in (30.4 m) (keel)
Beam: 33 ft 9 in (10.3 m)
Depth of hold: 11 ft 0 1⁄2 in (3.4 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 200
Armament:

  • Upper deck: 24 × 9-pounder guns
  • QD: 4 x 6-pounder guns + 4 x 18-pounder carronades
  • Fc: 2 x 18-pounder carronades
  • 12 × swivel guns


Construction and commissioning
Mercury was ordered from Peter Mestaer, at the King and Queen Shipyard, Rotherhithe on the River Thames on 22 January 1778 and was laid down there on 25 March. She was launched on 9 December 1779 and was completed by 24 February 1780 after being fitted out at Deptford Dockyard. £6,805 7s 0d was paid to her builder for her construction, with the total including fitting and coppering subsequently rising to £13,603 8s 0d. Mercury entered service in 1780, having been commissioned in October 1779 under Captain Isaac Prescott.


large (7).jpg
Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines and longitudinal half breadth for Pomona (1778), then Pegasus (1779), then Mercury (1779), and wih pencil alterations for Hussar (1784), Rose (1783), Dido (1784), Thisbe (1783), Alligator (1787), Circe (1783), Lapwing (1785), all 28-gun, Sixth Rate Frigates. Signed by John Williams [Surveyor of the Navy, 171765-1784]. The top ship is not 'Laurel' as listed in the annotation on the right, as this plan predates her ordering by over one year.

American War of Independence and the interwar years
Prescott sailed Mercury to Newfoundland in April 1780. On 23 July she returned from a cruise, having, on the 19th, retaken the ship Elizabeth, which the 32-gun American privateer Dean had taken a few days earlier. Elizabeth was of 240 tons burthen, armed with 14 guns but with only 10 crewmen. When first taken she had been sailing from London to Newfoundland with a cargo of salt.

Mercury joined George Johnstone's squadron the following year. Captain William Carlyon took command in May 1781 and sailed Mercury to Hudson Bay. There, on 17 May, he recaptured the cutter HMS Sprightly. On 30 September, Mercury, Rattlesnake and Jupiter captured the French ship Philippine. The prize money was remitted from Jamaica, suggesting the capture took place in the Caribbean. French records have the capture occurring in the Antilles.

In March 1782, Mercury and Jupiter captured the French privateer Bologne. Captain Henry Edwyn Stanhope succeeded Carlyon in September 1782, and paid Mercury off later that year. She was recommissioned under Stanhope in April the following year, and went out to Nova Scotia in June. Commodore Herbert Sawyer took command of the North American Station's base at Halifax in June 1785, and authorized Mercury to escort a merchant vessel to the American port of Boston to collect a shipment of cattle. This marked the first free visit of a British warship to the port since March 1776.

Mercury was again paid off in July 1786 and spent the period between August 1787 and January 1788 undergoing a small repair at Woolwich. After being fitted out there she was recommissioned in May 1788 under Captain Augustus Montgomery, and sailed to the Mediterranean. She returned to Britain and was paid off in 1790.

French Revolutionary Wars
Mercury was not immediately returned to service following the outbreak of war with Revolutionary France, but after being fitted at Portsmouth, re-entered service in early 1796, under the command of Captain George Byng. After time spent at Newfoundland command passed to Captain Thomas Rogers in April 1797. Rogers captured three privateers while serving on the Lisbon station, Benjamin on 5 January 1798, the 16-gun Trois Sœurs on 15 January 1798, and the 12-gun Constance on 25 January 1798.

Benjamin was 20 leagues off the Rock of Lisbon when Mercury finally captured her after a chase of 36 hours. Benjamin was pierced for 20 guns, but carried sixteen 4 and 6-pounders, ten of which she threw overboard during the chase. She had a crew of 132 men. Alcmene, Lively and Thalia joined the chase and shared in the capture. Benjamin was a new vessel on her first cruise, during which she had captured the English brig Governor Bruce, on her way to Faro, and a Portuguese schooner. However, a British letter of marque had driven Benjamin off.

Next, Rogers was some 40 leagues off Cape Finisterre when he spotted two armed vessels and gave chase. As Mercury got close they separated and he was only able to capture one of them and that after a chase of eight hours. The quarry fired a few shots and then struck. She was the French privateer brig Trois Sœurs. She was pierced for 18 guns but carried sixteen 6-pounders. She was five days out of port on her first cruise.

Lastly, Mercury encountered Constance some 42 leagues off the Burlings. Mercury captured her after a chase of five hours. Constance was pierced for 18 guns but carried only twelve 6 and 9-pounders, and had a crew of 96 men. She was ten days out off Nantes on a cruise of the Western Islands.

Rodgers then took Mercury to Newfoundland in June 1798. After returning to Portsmouth for a refit in early 1799, she went back there in 1799. On 6 October she captured San Joce. On 16 December 1799 she captured Hosprung.

On 24 January 1800, Mercury was 28 leagues off Scilly when she recaptured the ship Aimwell. Aimwell, of Whitby, had been sailing from Quebec to London when the French privateer Arriege, of Bordeaux, had captured her on 9 January. On 29 March, Mercury was among the ships that shared in the capture of Courageux. The other captors were Renown, Dragon, Gibraltar, Haerlem, Alexander, Athenian and Salamine.

Mercury captured the French privateer brig Egyptienne on 5 February 1800 off the Isle of Wight. Egyptienne mounted 15 brass guns and had a crew of 66 men. She had sailed from Cherbourg the evening before and had not yet taken any prizes. As she was striking her colours her crew suddenly discharged a volley of small arms fire that slightly wounded one man on Mercury. Apparently Topaze was in company or perhaps in sight at the time.

After spending a period in the English Channel, Mercury then sailed for the Mediterranean in May 1800 She was briefly part of Sir John Borlase Warren's squadron off Cadiz, after which she went on to Alexandria, arriving there on 31 July 1800.

On 5 January 1801, Mercury captured a French tartan, of unknown name, sailing from Marseilles to Cette in ballast. Then the next day, Mercury had greater luck when with her boats she captured 15 vessels of a convoy of 20 vessels. The captures included two ships, four brigs, three bombards, two settees, and four tartans. The convoy was sailing from Cette to Marseilles when Mercury captured three quarters of it off Minorca. The gunboats escorting the convoy fled as Mercury approached, so she suffered no casualties.

The vessels included the:

  • Genoese ship Rhone, with a cargo of salt, brandy, wine, and fruit;
  • Genoese ship St. John, with a cargo of wine;
  • French brig Maria Josephine, with a cargo of brandy, wheat, and sugar;
  • French brig Solide, with a cargo of brandy and wheat;
  • French brig Cheri, with a cargo of salt;
  • Genoese brig St Carola, with a cargo of wine and brandy;
  • Genoese bombard Compte de Grasse, with a cargo of wheat and stock fish;
  • French bomb Paste, with a cargo of wine and brandy;
  • Genoese bombard St Andre, with a cargo of wheat and sugar;
  • French settee Bone, with a cargo of wine;
  • French settee Republican, with a cargo of wine;
  • French tartan Croisette, with a cargo of wheat;
  • French tartan St Ivado Pierre, with a cargo of wheat and staves;
  • French tartan Rosaria, with a cargo of wine and bread; and
  • French tartan Madona, with a cargo of wheat.
On 20 January 1801, the day after Rogers had safely delivered his prizes to Port Mahon, he was some 40 leagues off Sardinia when Mercury captured the French corvette Sans Pareille after a chase of nine hours. She was a French navy corvette under the command of Citoyen Gabriel Renault, Lieutenant de Vaisseau. She carried 18 long brass 9-pounders and two howitzers. The reason she did not resist was that she had a crew of only 15 men. She had sailed from Toulon the day before and was carrying a cargo of shot, arms, medicines, and all manner of other supplies for the French army at Alexandria, Egypt. The Admiralty took Sans Pareille into service as HMS Delight.

On 17 February 1801, Mercury detained the Swedish brig Hoppet, which was sailing in ballast from Tunis to Marseilles, in violation of the British blockaded of France. The next day, Mercury, in company with Mermaid, captured the ship Esperance, which had sailed from Tunis with a cargo of silk, cotton, and other merchandise. Then on 15 May, Mercury and Loire captured the French ship Francois.

Mercury then made an attempt to recapture the 18-gun bomb vessel HMS Bulldog at Ancona on 25 May 1801. The cutting out party was able to get Bulldog out of the harbour, but then the winds died down just as enemy boats started to arrive. The cutting out party were too few in numbers both to guard the captured prisoners and resist the approaching enemy, and were tired from the row in to board Bulldog. Mercury had drifted too far away to come to the rescue either. The cutting out party therefore abandoned Bulldog. Mercury lost two men killed and four wounded in the attempt; Rogers estimated that the enemy had lost some 20 men killed, wounded and drowned.

On 23 June 1801 boats from Mercury and Corso also destroyed a pirate tartan, Tigre, of eight 6 and 12-pounder guns and a crew of 60 French and Italians, in the Tremiti Islands. The Royal Marines landed and captured some of the pirates, who had mounted a 4-pounder gun on a hill. Meanwhile, the cutting out party brought out Tigre, together with bales of cotton and other goods that she had taken from vessels she had robbed.

Though the first attempt to capture Bulldog had failed, a second effort on 16 September 1801, carried out in company with Champion and HMS Santa Dorothea, succeeded in retaking the vessel. Rogers had received intelligence that Bulldog had left Ancona and was escorting four trabaccolos and a tartan that were carrying cannons, ammunition and supplies to Egypt. He set out with Champion and they discovered Santa Dorothea already in chase. The British chased the convoy, which took refuge under the guns of batteries at Gallipoli, Apulia. Even so, Champion was able to get close to Bulldog, which struck after enduring several broadsides. Champion was then able to extricate her from under the batteries. In the meantime, Mercury captured one of the trabaccolos, which was carrying brass mortars, field pieces, and the like. In the engagement, Champion suffered one man killed.


large (8).jpg
The Mercury of 28 guns, on a larboard tack (PAF7960)

Napoleonic Wars
Mercury was fitted out as a floating battery at Deptford in May 1803, under the command of Captain Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie. She went on to operate against Spanish shipping in the Eastern Atlantic and captured the Fuerte de Gibraltar on 4 February 1805. Fuerte de Gibraltar was a Spanish lateen-rigged gun-vessel armed with two long 12-pounders, two 16-pound carronades, several swivel guns and a large quantity of small arms and cutlasses. She and her crew of 59 men were under the command of Signor Don Ramon Eutate, Lieutenant de fregate, and had sailed the morning before from Cadiz bound for Algeciras.

Captain Charles Pelly succeeded Bouverie in August 1805 and Mercury returned to Newfoundland in May 1806. On 3 January 1806 HMS Starr recaptured the ships Argo and Adventure, and shared in the recapture of the Good Intent. Starr was off Villa de Conde, Portugal, when she intercepted the vessels, which had been taken from a convoy that Mercury had been escorting from Newfoundland to Portugal, and both of which had been carrying cargoes of fish. Starr sighted Good Intent and signaled Mercury, which recaptured her too. On 5 February, Curieux captured the Baltidore, which was the privateer that had captured Good Intent.

In June 1807 James Alexander Gordon took command and sailed Mercury into the Mediterranean to operate off the Southern Spanish coast. In the Action of 4 April 1808, Mercury, in company with HMS Alceste and HMS Grasshopper, attacked a Spanish convoy off Rota, destroying two of the escorts and driving many of the merchant vessels ashore. They captured seven more vessels subsequently, which the marines and sailors of the British ships sailed back out to sea.

In November 1808, command passed to Henry Duncan, who took her into the Adriatic Sea to participate in the Adriatic campaign of 1804–1814. On 30 December, Mercury and Alceste captured the Hereux and the Spirito Santo.

Mercury was in action with HMS Spartan and HMS Amphion at Pesaro on 23 April and at Cesenatico on 2 May. In the attack on Pesaro, which the British bombarded after the commandant refused to surrender, the British captured 13 small coasting vessels. Due to the lack of resistance the British suffered no casualties. One civilian died by accident. Mercury grounded during the attack on Cesenatico but in a position where she could bring her guns to bear on the town. She was floated off without injury. In the attack the British captured and spiked the two 24-pounder guns of a battery that had fired on them and captured 12 vessels, all without suffering any casualties.

In June Mercury sent in her boats to destroy a number of trabaccolos and other vessels on the beach at Rotti, near Manfredonia.

On 7 September Mercury cut out the French schooner-of-war Pugliese from Barletta. Pugliese was armed with seven guns and had a crew of 37 men. The boats, under the command of Lieutenant Pall, accomplished this despite the schooner being under the protection not only of her own armament but also two armed feluccas, a castle, and small arms fire; the British suffered no casualties. This was Mercury's last action before she was paid off in early 1810.

Mercury was fitted out as a troopship at Woolwich in mid-1810 and commissioned in May that year as a 16-gun troopship under Lieutenant William Webb. Commander John Tancock succeeded Webb in mid-1810 and Mercury spent most of 1811 on the Lisbon station. Commander Clement Milward took over in November 1811 and went out to the Leeward Islands. Mercury's last commanding officer was Commander Sir John Charles Richardson, who took over while she was still in the Leewards.

On 29 July 1813, Mercury was among the British vessels that shared in the capture of the American ship Fame. (Coquette was another.) Fame, under the command of Captain Job Coffin, had been out since August 1811 and was on her return from whaling in the Pacific when captured. She had a cargo of 1200 barrels of sperm oil.

Fate
Mercury was finally broken up at Woolwich in January 1814



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Mercury_(1779)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise-class_frigate
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1791 – Launch of spanish Conquistador, a 74-gun San Ildefonso class ship of the line at Cartagena - transferred to France 23 April 1802, renamed Conquérant, stricken 1804


Design
San Ildefonso class has been described as a technical milestone in 18th-century Spanish shipbuilding. Having fought the Royal Navy in various wars the Spanish admirals were concerned that their ships could not match equivalent British vessels for speed. The San Ildefonso incorporated many amendments from traditional Spanish designs in order to improve her speed. Instead of traditional iron bolts holding the hull together the vessel utilised much lighter wooden treenails, the upper parts of the ship were made from pine and cedar instead of oak to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity and the vessel was constructed shorter in length than a traditional Spanish seventy-four would be. Though considered a seventy-four (or third-rate) ship, in common with other vessels of the time, the San Ildefonso actually carried more guns. She was equipped with 80 in total comprising 16 eight pounder cannons on the fore-deck and 6 eight pounder cannons, 10 thirty pounder howitzers and six twenty-four pound howitzers on the aft deck. However unlike most other Spanish ships of the line (including all those present at the Battle of Trafalgar) the San Ildefonso did not carry any four pounder anti-personnel "pedrero" cannons.

large (9).jpg
large (10).jpg
Scale: Unknown. A model of a Spanish warship made in plaster with wood, metal, paper, and cotton fittings which has been realistically painted. The model depicts the vessel at 1.40pm on 21st October 1805 at the height of the Battle of Trafalgar. The model shows damage to the ship, there is dark grey cotton wool on the bow and on the deck of the ship and some of the sails show shot damage. The ship is three masted, ship rigged with set sails. The hull is painted black with white stripes along the two gun decks, white on the deck, and black on the deck fittings. A Spanish flag is flying from the peak of the gaff. On a paper label: "3".

San Ildefonso class

San Ildefonso 74 (launched 22 January 1785 at Cartagena) - Captured by Britain at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, retaining same name, BU 1816[10]
San Telmo 74 (launched 20 June 1788 at Ferrol) - Lost off Cape Horn 1819
San Francisco de Paula 74 (launched 20 December 1788 at Cartagena) - BU 1823
Europa 74 (launched 19 October 1789 at Ferrol) - Stricken 1801
Intrépido 74 (launched 20 November 1790 at Ferrol) - transferred to France 1 July 1801, renamed Intrépide, captured by Britain at the Battle of Trafalgar and sank in storm, 1805
Conquistador 74 (launched 9 December 1791 at Cartagena) - transferred to France 23 April 1802, renamed Conquérant, stricken 1804
Infante Don Pelayo 74 (launched 22 November 1792 at Havana) - transferred to France 23 April 1802, renamed Desaix, stricken 1804
Monarca 74 (launched 17 March 1794 at Ferrol) - Captured by Britain at the Battle of Trafalgar and wrecked in storm, 23 October 1805


Photo Ildefonso..jpg
model of Ildefonso in the Museo Naval de Madrid,

sanIldefonso.jpg
The Ocre model


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_San_Ildefonso
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1798 - HMS Brazen, the ex-French privateer Invincible General Bonaparte (or Invincible Bonaparte or Invincible Buonaparte) captured frigate Boadicea


HMS Brazen was the French privateer Invincible General Bonaparte (or Invincible Bonaparte or Invincible Buonaparte), which the British captured in 1798. She is best known for her wrecking in January 1800 in which all but one of her crew drowned.

large (11).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, stern board outline, and longitudinal half-breadth for Brazen (captured 1798), a captured French privateer prior to being fitted as a 16-gun Ship Sloop. The plans shows the ship with her original French name of 'Invincible General Bonaparte'. Note the pronounced 'V' shaped hull, indicating that she was built for speed. Signed by Edward Tippett [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1793-1799].

Class and type: sloop
Tons burthen: 363 17⁄94 (bm)
Length:
  • 105 ft 2 1⁄2 in (32.1 m) (overall)
  • 68 ft 3 3⁄8 in (20.8 m) (keel)
Beam: 28 ft 1 1⁄2 in (8.6 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft 7 1⁄2 in (4.2 m)
Sail plan: Sloop
Complement:
  • French service: 170
  • British service: 120
Armament:
  • French service: 20 guns (12 & 18-pounders)
  • British service:
  • 16 × 24-pounder carronades
  • 2 × 6-pounder chase guns

large (13).jpg large (12).jpg

Capture
Invincible General Bonaparte was a French privateer of 20 guns and 170 men under the command of Jean Pierre Lamothe and under the ownership of Salanche, Bordeaux. The frigate Boadicea captured her on 9 December 1798. She was sixteen days out of Bordeaux and reportedly had not made any captures.

However, a privateer by the same name had taken and burned Friendship, Smith, master, which had been sailing from St Ube's to Falmouth. Boadicea sent Invincible Buonaparte, of "18 guns and 175 men" into Portsmouth.

The prize arrived at Spithead on 18 December and in time the Admiralty decided to purchase her. The Admiralty renamed her Brazen and established her as an 18-gun sloop of war.

Service
Brazen was fitted for service in the Channel and Captain James Hanson, who had sailed with Captain George Vancouver (1791-4), commissioned her on 19 October 1799. Two weeks later, Captain Andrew Sproule, Commander of the Brighton Sea Fencibles wrote to Captain Henry Cromwell drawing attention to the presence of French privateers off the coast. A week later Admiral Milbanke told the Admiralty in London that "the Brazen Sloop sailed this morning under orders to cruise till further notice for the protection of the Trade and annoyance of the enemy between Beachy Head and Dunmose."

She sailed from Morwellham, a small inland Devon port, and on 25 January 1800, she captured a French vessel off the Isle of Wight that Hanson sent into Portsmouth with a 12-man prize crew. This left Brazen a little short-handed.

Wreck
Unfortunately, early in the morning on the next day, 26 January, Brazen was wrecked under high cliffs west of Newhaven. Captain Sproule and 20 Sea Fencibles rushed to the site but arrived too late to rescue any of the crew, all but one of whom died.

The sole survivor was Jeremiah Hill, a seaman from HMS Carysfort who had joined the crew of Brazen ten days before the wreck. Hill had been asleep below decks when the ship struck the cliffs on the night of 25 January. On waking he rushed to assist his crew mates, who were engaged in cutting away the main and mizzen masts to lighten the ship and avoid her beating against the rocks. Although they succeeded in cutting away the masts the force of the waves against the hull was too great and Brazen immediately heeled over onto her side. Hill, who could not swim, fell or jumped overboard and managed to grab a part of the main mast that was floating beside the hull. This kept him afloat until he was able to reach some broken timbers from one of Brazen's gun carriages. He clutched these and slowly floated to shore.

On the following morning, Brazen's hull was visible about half a mile from shore. The tide was low and observers could see large numbers of her crew still clinging to the upturned hull. As the hours passed the ship's remains gradually disappeared, until by high tide the waves were "breaking nearly fifty feet up the cliff face" and it was evident there could be no further survivors.

Sproule and his Sea Fencibles rescued what they could from Brazen, including the sternpost, two of her guns, and some timbers from the hull.[6] As the bodies of the crew washed ashore the local citizens buried them in the churchyard of St Michael's in Newhaven. In all, they recovered some 95 bodies, out of a crew of about 105. Hanson's body, however, was never retrieved.

Postscript
Friends of Captain Hanson erected a monument in the form of an obelisk in the churchyard. The text commemorates Hanson, his officers (who are named), and the crew.[8] In 1878 his widow, Louisa, restored the monument. She lived to the age of 103 and is believed to have been the longest recipient of a naval pension on record.

The wrecking so shocked the people of Newhaven that they formed a committee to investigate how a similar disaster could be avoided. In May 1803, using funds partly raised locally and partly from Lloyd's of London, they acquired a rescue lifeboat of Henry Greathead's "Original" design. This was some twenty years before the formation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Brazen_(1798)
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-297591;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=B
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1815 - Spanish Reina Maria Luisa, a 112-gun Santa Ana-class wrecked


Reina María Luisa was a 112-gun three-decker ship of the line built at Ferrol for the Spanish Navy in 1791 to plans by Romero Landa. One of the eight very large ships of the line of the Santa Ana class, also known as los Meregildos. Reina María Luisa served in the Spanish Navy for three decades throughout the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, finally being wrecked off Béjaïa in 1815. Although she was a formidable part of the Spanish battlefleet throughout these conflicts, she did not participate in any major operations.

Navío_santa_ana_de_112_cañones.jpg
9th-century engraving of the Santa Ana.

Construction
The Santa Ana class was built for the Spanish fleet in the 1780s and 1790s as heavy ships of the line, the equivalent of Royal Navy first rate ships. The other ships of the class were the Santa Ana, Mexicano, Salvador del Mundo, Real Carlos, San Hermenegildo, Conde de Regla and Príncipe de Asturias. Three of the class were captured or destroyed during the French Revolutionary Wars. Reina María Luisa was named for Queen Maria Luisa.

An error during the construction of Reina María Luisa meant that she was given a larger keel than described in the plans, resulting in a slightly deeper draft in the stern and shallower in the bow.

large (14).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sternboard outline, sheer lines with some inboard and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Salvador del Mundo (captured 1797), a captured Spanish First Rate. The plan illustrate the ship as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard when a 112-gun First Rate, three-decker. Signed by Joseph Tucker [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1802-1813].

large (15).jpg
Lines & Profile of a spanish launch of the Salvador del Mundo

History
In 1793 during the War of the Pyrenees, Reina María Luisa was the flagship of the Spanish fleet commanded by Juan de Lángara operating at the Siege of Toulon, alongside the British fleet under Vice-Admiral Samuel Hood. Reina María Luisa was subsequently engaged at the Action of 14 February 1795.

In 1809, Reina María Luisa was renamed Fernando VII. In 1810, under the command of Manuel de Posadas, Fernando VII sailed from Gibraltar to Port Mahon, suffered a leak that could not be detected and upon arrival, was disarmed. In 1815, in poor condition, Fernando VII was ordered to travel from Port Mahon to Cartagena on 4 December with a reduced crew partly made up of American sailors from USS United States, which accompanied Fernando VII on the journey alongside USS Ontario and HMS Boyne. United States and Fernando VII separated from the other ships south of the island of Cabrera, in good weather but on 6 December a heavy storm began. Despite jettisoning 13 guns and an anchor to relieve weight, the leaking ship began to founder and sank on 10 December off the African coast near Béjaïa. Although all of the crew were saved, they were held prisoner at Algiersuntil the Spanish returned an Algerian ship recently seized off Spain. The exchange occurred in May 1816, following which the crew were acquitted by a court martial for the loss of the ship

1280px-Antoine_Roux_FREGATE_LA_THEMIS.jpg
Thémis with Santa Ana in tow in the aftermath of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Santa Ana class were 112-gun three-decker ship of the line of the Spanish Navy, built to plans by Romero Landa. She was the prototype and lead ship of the Santa Ana class, also known as los Meregildos, which were built during the following years at Ferrol and Havana and which formed the backbone of the Spanish Navy - the other ships were the Mejicano, Conde de Regla, Salvador del Mundo, Real Carlos, San Hermenegildo, Reina María Luisa and Príncipe de Asturias. Her dimensions were 213.4 Burgos feet (one foot = 0.2786m , so ~ 59m) long, 58 feet (~ 16m) in the beam and a total tonnage of 2,112 tonnes.

large (16).jpg
To the Rt Honble John Jervis... This Representation of the Sea Fight off Cape St Vincent on the 14 of Feb 1797... Represents the Victory bearing up on in order to rake the Salvador del Mundo... (PAI5360)

large (17).jpg
HMS Victory Raking the Salvador del Mundo at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, 14 February 1797 (BHC0484)

Santa Ana class (also called los Meregildos)

Santa Ana 112 (launched 29 September 1784 at Ferrol) - Stricken 1812[7]
Mejicano (San Hipólito) 112 (launched 20 January 1786 at Havana) - Stricken 8 October 1813 and sold 1815
Conde de Regla 112 (launched 4 November 1786 at Havana) - Strricken 14 July 1810 and BU 1811
Salvador del Mundo 112 (launched 2 May 1787 at Ferrol) - Captured by Britain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, 14 February 1797, retaining same name, BU 1815
Real Carlos 112 (launched 4 November 1787 at Havana) - Blew up in action, 12 July 1801
San Hermenegildo 112 (launched 20 January 1789 at Havana) - Blew up in action, 12 July 1801
Reina Luisa 112 (launched 12 September 1791 at Ferrol) - Renamed Fernando VII 1809, wrecked 9 December 1815
Príncipe de Asturias 112 (launched 28 January 1794 at hasvana) - Stricken 1812,[8] BU 1814


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_Santa_Ana_(1784)
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-345600;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=S
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
9 December 1864 - While operating on the Roanoke River at Rainbow Bluff, N.C., the side-wheel gunboat USS Otsego strikes two Confederate mines. The steam tugboat USS Bazely rushes to help Otsego, but she also hits a mine. Both vessels eventually sink. During this operation, the side-wheel gunboat Wyalusing provides fire cover while boats dragged for mines.


USS Otsego (1863) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

Otsego, a wooden, double-ended, side-wheel gunboat, was launched 31 March 1863 by Jacob A. & D. D. Westervelt, New York City, New York, and apparently commissioned in the spring of 1864, Commander John P. Bankhead in command.

Sinking_of_the_'Otsego'_and_blowing_up_of_the_'Bazeley.jpg
"'Wyalusing' at Rainbow Bluff, N.C." "Sinking of the 'Otsego' and blowing up of the 'Bazeley.'" Phototype by F. Gutekunst, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa the later 19th Century. This print depicts the U.S. Navy tug Bazely striking a mine while going to the assistance of USS Otsego, near Jamestown, North Carolina, on the Roanoke River, 9 December 1864. Otsego, which had just been sunk by other mines, is in the left center background. USS Wyalusing is in the foreground, providing covering fire as boats drag for mines nearby.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockade
Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 2 May 1864, Otsego reached Hampton Roads, Virginia, on the 24th, and got underway on 12 June for New Berne, North Carolina, and served in the North Carolina Sounds where she served throughout her career, helping tighten the Union grip on these strategic waters and adjoining territory, primarily guarding the mouth of the Roanoke River against an attack by Confederate ironclad ram CSS Albemarle.

Attacking and capturing Plymouth, North Carolina
When Lt. Cushing returned from his bold raid which destroyed the dreaded Southern ram on the night of 27–28 October, Otsego, in a group of Union ships under Comdr. Macomb ascended the Roanoke River and attacked Plymouth, North Carolina forcing it to surrender after a bitter fight, 1 November. The Federal forces took 37 prisoners, 22 cannon, vast stores, 200 stands of arms, and the hulk of sunken but still important Albemarle.

Otsego is sunk after striking two mines in the Roanoke River
For more than a month thereafter, Otsego performed reconnaissance and mop up work up the Roanoke River. On 9 December she struck two torpedoes (mines) in quick succession and sank in that river near Jamesville, North Carolina.

098622401.jpg
19th Century photograph of a painting by Acting Second Engineer Alexander C. Stuart, USN, 1864 depicting USS Commodore Hull (at left) leading the "Double-Ender" gunboats USS Tacony, USS Shamrock, USS Otsego andUSS Wyalusing in engaging Confederate batteries at Plymouth, North Carolina, 31 October 1864. Small vessels lashed to the gunboats' unengaged sides include USS Whitehead (beside Tacony), Bazely (beside Shamrock) and USS Belle (beside Otsego).
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58943 from the collection of Surgeon H.P. Babcock, USN. Donated by his son, George R. Babcock, 1939.


USS Bazely (1863) (also designated Tug No. 2 and Beta) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy in a tugboat/patrol boat role in support of the Union Navy blockade of Confederate waterways.

Conversion of tugboat role to patrol craft role
J. E. Bazely—a screw tug built in 1863 at Gloucester, New Jersey—was one of six similar vessels purchased at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the U.S. Navy on June 3, 1864 to support other Union warships in all the varied ways in which tugs assist larger ships. These vessels were also needed to help protect Northern men of war and Union Armytransports against surprise attacks by Confederate rams, torpedo boats, or other novel craft which had been a cause of great concern since CSS Virginia's first foray on March 8, 1862. The submersible H. L. Hunley's sinking of the screw sloop of war Housatonic and the ironclad ram Albemarle's destruction of the side wheel gunboat Southfield later underscored the dangers posed by such innovative Southern vessels.

Redesignation process of names to numbers
When the U.S. Navy Department designated these tugs as patrol boats, J. E. Bazely became Patrol Boat No. 2. Her sister tugs lost their merchant names; and, thereafter, each was referred to by her new designation. In practice, however, for some reason Patrol Boat No. 2 continued to carry a shortened version of her former name, Bazely.

Civil War service
Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockade

All six tugs were assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron; and, although Bazely first appeared on its list of vessels on June 17, she did not reach Hampton Roads, Virginia, until late in July. Commanded by Acting Ensign John Conner, the tug was assigned to the North Carolina Sounds. Towed by side wheel steamer Nansemond, she and Belle got underway for Hatteras Inlet on the 27th; and the trio, along with sister tugs Hoyt and Martin who had been pulled by Monticello, entered the inland waters on the 29th. Bazely began operations in Albemarle Sound supporting the Union light draft warships which were guarding the mouth of the Roanoke River lest the dreaded Southern ram Albemarle reemerge and attempt to destroy the Union forces which were struggling to maintain a tenuous control on the area.

CSS Albemarle destroyed by spar torpedo on Picket Launch No. 1
After Conner fell ill in mid August, Acting Master's Mate John Woodman, detached from Ceres, relieved him in command of Bazely that had since added Tug No. 2 to her list of names. Well into the autumn, most of the tug's attention—and that of the other warships within the sounds—was concentrated upon the Confederate ironclad. Then, suddenly, on the night of October 27, Lt. William B. Cushing put an end to that menace by his courageous ascent of the Roanoke River in Picket Launch No. 1 to destroy Albemarle by exploding a spar torpedo against her hull.

Bazely supports attack and capture of Plymouth, North Carolina
His daring feat freed Union naval forces in the sounds to undertake operations that would strengthen their hold on North Carolina and cleared the way for Bazely's most notable achievement, her participation in the Union expedition that recaptured Plymouth, North Carolina. Before the attack upon that Southern position, Comdr. William H. Macomb, the senior naval officer in the sounds, had a tug lashed to each of the principal warships to assure her propulsion in the event her own engine became disabled. Bazely was tied to Shamrock; and her new commanding officer, Acting Ensign Mark D. Ames, was praised for working and fighting his ship admirably and was recommended for promotion. Besides taking the town, the expedition captured "22 cannon, 200 stand of arms, 37 prisoners, and all the enemy's flags."

A confusion of names as Bazely returns to the North Atlantic Blockade
About the time Bazely and her sister tugs -- Picket Boat No. 1 through Picket Boat No. 6—joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and six somewhat smaller craft also appeared on the squadron's list of vessels under similar names: Picket Launch No. 1 through Picket Launch No. 6. The profound confusion that resulted from this likeness in nomenclature prompted the Navy sometime between November 1 and December 5, 1864 to rename the former J. E. Bazely and her sisters for the first six letters of the Greek alphabet Alpha through Zeta. Thus Picket Boat No. 2, alias Bazely and Tug No. 2, became Beta. Nevertheless, she did not get the opportunity to carry this new name for long, if at all.

Bazely, assisting another stricken vessel, strikes a mine and sinks

USS_Bazely_sinking.jpg
USS Bazely strikes a mine.

More weighty matters than name changes seemed to be occupying the leaders of the Navy in the North Carolina sounds. Besides consolidating the Union position in the wake of Albemarle's destruction, Comdr. Macomb, the senior naval officer in the area, felt concern over the report of another Confederate ironclad rumored under construction up the Roanoke River at Halifax, North Carolina.

On the afternoon of December 9, an expedition under his command started to move farther up the Roanoke from Plymouth to capture Rainbow Bluff and to destroy the reported ram. That evening, however, the double-ender Otsego struck two torpedoes near Jamesville, North Carolina, and sank. Beta—still called Bazely in Macomb's report—headed for Otsego to lend assistance, but herself struck a torpedo (mine) whose explosion killed two men and caused the tug to sink.

Her sister ships return later to destroy the remains of Bazely
The surviving ships of the expedition continued upstream, but the necessity of dragging for torpedoes (mines) slowed their progress, a delay that allowed the Southerners to reinforce Rainbow Bluff. Since Union troops—who were scheduled to cooperate with the gunboats—did not arrive to support the attack, Macomb decided on December 20 to withdraw his ships. They arrived back at Jamesville on Christmas Day and carried out the task of destroying Beta—which they still called Bazely—lest she fall into Confederate hands.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Otsego_(1863)
http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/86/86118.htm
 
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