Book Review: "The 74-Gun Ship BELLONA" (Anatomy of the Ship) by Brian Lavery

Uwek

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Book Review:
The 74-Gun Ship BELLONA - (Anatomy of the Ship)
by Brian Lavery

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My copy is the original version published by Conway Maritime Press in 1985, the revised version has an additional 1:96 scale fould out plan in the book cover

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  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Conway Maritime Press; Revised edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

Synopsis:

The '74' was the classic line-of-battle ship of the late eighteenth century, and HMS Bellona was one of the most important and long lived. Launched in 1760 during the Seven Years War, she belonged to the first truly successful class of British 74-gun ships, a design by Thomas Slade that was built in large numbers over more than twenty years. Bellona herself served with distinction over 54 years, fought in four wars and was not broken up until 1814.

As part of the renowned Anatomy of the Ship series, this book provides the finest documentation of the Bellona, with a complete set of superb line drawings, supported by technical details and a record of the ship's service history.

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About the Author

Brian Lavery is one of Britain's leading naval historians and a prolific author. A Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and a renowned expert on the sailing navy and the Royal Navy, in 2007 he won the prestigious Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award. His naval writing was further honoured in 2008 with the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal. His recent titles include Ship, Royal Tars, Conquest of the Ocean, In Which They Served, Churchill's Navy, and the Sunday Times bestseller Empire of the Seas.

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About the Ship (from wikipedia):

HMS Bellona was a 74-gun Bellona-class third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Designed by Sir Thomas Slade, she was a prototype for the iconic 74-gun ships of the latter part of the 18th century. "The design of the Bellona class was never repeated precisely, but Slade experimented slightly with the lines, and the Arrogant, Ramillies, Egmont, and Elizabeth classes were almost identical in size, layout, and structure, and had only slight variations in the shape of the underwater hull. The Culloden class ship of the line was also similar, but slightly larger. Thus over forty ships were near-sisters of the Bellona."[2] Bellona was built at Chatham, starting on 10 May 1758, launched on 19 February 1760, and commissioned three days later. She was the second ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name, and saw service in the Seven Years' War, American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars.

Bellona left to join the squadron blockading Brest (this being the Seven Years' War) on 8 April 1760. She was later detached to patrol off the Tagus River in Spain, and on 13 August, while sailing with the frigate Brilliant, she sighted the French 74-gun ship Courageux in company with two frigates. The British ships pursued, and after 14 hours, caught up with the French ships and engaged at the Action of 14 August 1761, the Brilliant attacking the frigates, and Bellona taking on the Courageux. The frigates eventually got away, but the Courageux struck her colours, and was later repaired and taken into the Royal Navy.

In 1762 Bellona was paid off and did not see action again until 1780, during the American Revolutionary War. She was coppered at this time, one of the first British ships to receive the hull-protecting layer. Until 1783 she cruised in the North Sea and the West Indies, and participated in reliefs of Gibraltar.
Bellona was once again paid off, recommissioned briefly in 1789 in expectation of war with Russia, but didn't get into action again until 1793, when she went to the West Indies.
On 10 January 1797, Belona and Babet drove a small French privateer schooner ashore on Deseada. They tried to use the privateer Legere, of six guns and 48 men, which Bellona had captured three days earlier, to retrieve the schooner that was on shore. In the effort, both French privateers were destroyed. Then Babet chased a brig, which had been a prize to the schooner, ashore. The British were unable to get her off so they destroyed her. Babet and Belona were paid headmoney in 1828, more than 30 years later.

Bellona took part in the Action of 18 June 1799, securing the surrender of the frigates Junon and Alceste, and helping HMS Centaur in capturing Courageuse.
In 1801 she was in the Battle of Copenhagen, participating despite having grounded on a shoal. She continued to serve in the North Sea and Bay of Biscay until 1814, when she paid off for the last time and was broken up, having served in the navy for over 50 years, an unusually long time for one of the old wooden ships.

Bellona in fiction: Bellona appears in the Patrick O'Brian novels The Commodore and The Yellow Admiral as the pennant ship of a squadron led by the character Jack Aubrey.

Bellona in the National Maritime Museum: There are several contemporary models available as well as the original draughts

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Content of the Book:

The 74-gin ship
The ship´s history / Carrer summary
Captains of the Bellona / Design
Layout / Structure
Decoration / Stearing gear
Ground tackle / Pumps / Boats
Sheating of the Hull / Crew
Accomodation
Masts and yards / Standing rigging
Running rigging / sails
Guns
Sources for tables
The Photographs
The Drawings
  • General Arrangements
  • Hull construction
  • Decks
  • Decoration
  • External Details
  • Fittings
  • Accomodation
  • Masts and yards
  • Sails and rigging
  • Armament
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Review:

A typical Anatomy of the Ship book with very good description and draughts of this very interesting ship. There are not so many monographies and drawing sets of a 74-gunner, so the book is representing a very good overview of these smallest Ships of the Line.

This book starts off 17 pages of text describing the history of the ship’s design (3 pages) and the history of the ship including a list of commanding officers, a good chronology, a discussion of her sailing qualities, and a history of maintenance cost (3 pages). The remainder of the text section covers details about structure, decoration, steering gear, grounding tackle, pumps, boats, sheathing the hull, crew, accommodation, mast and yards, standing rigging, running rigging, sails, and guns. There are 17 tables to go along with this text. This is followed by five pages of photographs which include five very nice photos of museum models and two paintings of fleet actions. The heart of the book is 92 pages of detailed drawings. There are 2 pages for hull lines; 2 pages for inboard profile; 16 pages of hull construction details; 4 pages of deck arrangements including their framing; 4 pages of decorations; 5 pages of external details; 10 pages of fittings including rudder, anchors, capstan and pumps; 4 pages of ship’s boats; 4 pages for accommodations; 14 pages for mast and yards; 15 pages for sails and rigging; and 10 pages for armament.



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For more Look Inside photos please go to the next post following this one...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Bellona_(1760)
https://www.amazon.com/74-Gun-Ship-Bellona-Anatomy/dp/0851779166
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;authority=vessel-295484;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=B
 

Uwek

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second part of the Book Review:
The 74-Gun Ship BELLONA - (Anatomy of the Ship)
by Brian Lavery

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Uwek

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Model kits of the HMS Bellona:

wooden kit from Corel:
scale 1:100 in Plank-On-Bulkhead

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wooden kit from chinese manufacturer CAF

scale 1:48 in Plank-On-Bulkhead available in several sessions

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unfortunately I did not find in short time a photo of any finished model....the advertisment photos some ebay-seller are using is from the NMM contemporary model and not from the kit - maybe somebody else can add here a photo of a finished CAF-kit-model


paper / cardboard model from Shipyard
scale 1:96 in Plank-On-Bulkhead

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Photos of a beautifull model built by the well known Doris

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If somebody knows about other available kits please post it here
 
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