January 20 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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28 December 1915 - Battle of Durazzo


The First Battle of Durazzo was a naval battle of World War I. It was fought off Durazzo, Albania at the end of December 1915 and involved the navies of Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France.

HMS_Dartmouth_(1911).jpg
British light cruiser HMS DARTMOUTH.

Battle
In December 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Navy sent another cruiser Squadron into the Adriatic, this time to interfere with the Serbian Campaign. The new light cruiser SMS Helgoland—accompanied by five Tatra-class destroyers—left Cattaro and headed for Durazzo late on 28 December 1915, with the submarine U-15 and two destroyers already off Durazzo on patrol.

While on passage, the Austro-Hungarians sighted the French submarine Monge on patrol to the south of Cattaro. The destroyer SMS Balaton opened fire before ramming and sinking Monge.

Early the next day, the Austrian squadron arrived off Durazzo and opened fire on the town, with Helgoland sinking a Greek steamer and two schooners. Then the destroyer Lika ran into a minefield and was sunk, then Triglav was badly damaged by another mine. SMS Csepel attempted to take Triglav in tow, but fouled a propeller, and the job was taken over by Tatra. The crippled Austrian force now returned slowly north.

Allied forces in Brindisi were alerted to the Austrian force, and the British sent out the Town-class light cruiser HMS Dartmouth. These were quickly followed by the Italian light cruisers Quatro and Nino Bixio, British light cruiser HMS Weymouth and five French destroyers.

The Austrians also responded and despatched from Cattaro, the armoured cruiser Kaiser Karl VI, and the light cruiser Novara, to support the returning survivors of the raid, but they did not see action.

Early in the afternoon of 29 December, the forward Allied ships came into action with the Austrian squadron which was still only halfway home. The French destroyers headed for the Austrian destroyer Triglav, still under tow, which was abandoned and scuttled off Cape Rondini, after being fired upon by the French destroyer Casque.

Meanwhile, the Allied cruisers attempted to cut off and deal with Helgoland and the three remaining destroyers. In a long-range gunnery duel fought throughout the afternoon, Helgoland skillfully avoided the Allied cruisers and reached Cattaro safely but with the loss of the valuable Lika and Triglav. Tatra suffered a damaged engine from several shell hits.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Durazzo_(1915)
 

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28 December 1943 - The Battle of the Bay of Biscay was a naval action that took place on 28 December 1943 during World War II as part of the Atlantic campaign.


The Battle of the Bay of Biscay was a naval action that took place on 28 December 1943 during World War II as part of the Atlantic campaign. The battle took place in the Bay of Biscay between two light cruisers of the British Royal Navy, and a destroyer and a torpedo boat flotilla of the German Kriegsmarine hoping to intercept and escort a blockade runner. The battle was fought as part of the Allied Operation Stonewall which was to intercept German blockade runners off the west coast of France. In the confused action that followed the two British cruisers HMS Enterprise and HMS Glasgow respectively sank T26, together with her sister ship T25 and the destroyer Z27

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The Battle of the Bay of Biscay, 28 December 1943

Background
In late December 1943 a German Kriegsmarine destroyer flotilla, reinforced by six large Elbing-class torpedo boats were ordered to the Bay of Biscay in order to escort into a French port the blockade runners Osorno and Alsterufer which were carrying vital cargo from Japan. The Germans code named this Operation Bernau. The blockade runner Osorno reached the Gironde on 26 December, but struck a wreck in the estuary after being attacked by the RAF. She was beached and subsequently unloaded offshore. Meanwhile, Alsterufer, carrying tungsten (Wolfram) and rubber, was still much further behind.

HMS_Glasgow_and_Enterprise_Singapore_1942_AWM_302397.jpeg
HMS Glasgow and Enterpriseshown together in 1942

Korvettenkapitän Franz Kohlauf sailed from Brest on the morning of 27 December with the torpedo boats T23, T24, T26 and T22. The 8th Destroyer Flotilla under Kapitän zur See Hans Erdmenger put out from the Gironde with destroyers Z24, Z37, Z32 and Z27, accompanied by two torpedo boats, T25, under the command of Korvettenkapitän Wirich von Gartzen, and T27.

The British Admiralty were also aware of the impending arrival of Alsterufer through the decryption of German Enigma messages at Bletchley Park and sent out dispatches to the nearest ships in the area for the interception. The closest ship, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow which had sailed from the Azores on 24 December was soon joined by HMS Enterprise. In support, but further away; HMS Mauritius had been ordered out from Gibraltar; HMS Penelope steamed past Lisbon; and HMS Gambia was in the Western Atlantic.

By 04:00 the next day the 4th Flotilla was 300 miles due south of Cape Clear, the 8th Flotilla standing to the south and were ready to meet Alsterufer. She was however nowhere to be seen, but the German flotillas were completely unaware that during the previous afternoon a B-24 Liberator bomber of No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF had attacked and set Alsterufer on fire. Abandoned by her crew, the ship was finished off by Liberators of No. 86 Squadron. This released the Glasgow and Enterprise, who were some 300 nautical miles south-west of the German forces and were now steaming eastwards along the 45th Parallel.

Just after midday, Erdmenger's 8th Destroyer Flotilla sighted Kohlauf's 4th Flotilla to the east, whereupon the torpedo boats turned east astern of the northernmost destroyers, taking station on their port side.

Battle

Battle_of_the_Bay_of_Biscay_28_December_1943_map.png
General map of the battle

Allied aircraft had already reported the position of the German ships about 1300. About the same time a lone German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor sighted and attacked both cruisers only to be repelled by anti-aircraft gunfire. The German aircrew immediately turned north-east, reporting the position of the British cruisers more than half an hour later to Erdmenger. Captain Charles Clark on HMS Glasgow, assuming that he had been reported then also turned north-east, working around Erdmenger's position to intercept. The sea was becoming rougher and the wind had increased to 30 knots, making sailing difficult for the destroyers and torpedo boats.

Sailing into rough seas and gale force winds, Glasgow sighted the destroyers at 1332 hours at a range of 16 miles. The two cruisers then intercepted at flank speed and altered course to cut the German ships off from their base.[6] Soon after Clarke gave the order for Glasgow to open fire with her 6-inch 'A' and 'B' turrets using her Type 273 radar for ranging. Enterprise opened fire a few minutes later. The two leading German destroyers however remained unscathed as shells splashed 100–150 metres from their targets. The Germans counter-attacked: Z23 launched six torpedoes, three from each bank of tubes, when the range was down to 17,000 metres, but missed. Both destroyers also opened up with their 15 cm guns and their first shots fell only 200 metres over on Glasgow's port quarter. At about 1405 hours, a German shell hit Glasgow which exploded in 'A' boiler room, killing two members of the port pom-pom crew and wounding six others. Enterprise was continually straddled by near misses.

The_Royal_Navy_during_the_Second_World_War_HMS_Glasgow_4-inch_AA_gun_crew_A_21143.jpg
Sailors aboard HMS Glasgow clear cartridge cases ejected from the twin 4 inch Mark XVI guns

By 1418 hours both of the German flotillas were involved in the fight. The 4th Torpedo Boat Flotilla attempted to attack with torpedoes a number of times but was frustrated by the heavy seas. Z32 and Z37 turned towards the cruisers, and closing to 12,800 metres, launched six and four torpedoes respectively as the cruisers continued to give heavy and accurate fire. The torpedo attack forced Glasgow to make an emergency turn to port as the track of one torpedo passed no more than thirty metres from her port quarter and two more near the port side. Enterprise had by this time separated from Glasgow and both acted independently.[9] After the torpedo attack, the destroyers laid smoke and then retired back towards the flotilla line. The formation was as follows: Z32, Z24, Z37, T23, T27, T26, T22, T25, Z27 and Z25 while Z32 and Z37 being off to port in the course of their torpedo attack.

The German force then split up, whereupon Glasgow reversed course at 1435 hours to chase the northerly group of destroyers; Enterprise had already altered course to the west to head them off.[9] The Germans then launched another torpedo attack but shortly after Z27 had fired hers, she received a shell hit from Enterprise which struck the boiler room, passing through an oil bunker which caused a huge fire. Clouds of steam gushed from her forward funnel as her speed fell off. After being hit she fired her second salvo of four torpedoes, but all missed.

Glasgow meanwhile concentrated on T25, which soon after sustained hits in the region of the aft torpedo tubes, the Flakvierling and the 3.7 cm flak platforms, which killed or wounded all their crews. Then a second shell struck the German torpedo boat, which completely destroyed the mast as well as the funnel. T25 was now a sitting duck and requested T22 to attempt to come alongside and take off her crew. Glasgow shifted to T26, which was quickly bracketed by near misses. T22 had both cruisers on her port side, and, in an effort to drive them off while she closed in on her damaged consort, she fired her full spread of torpedoes and opened fire with her guns. The torpedoes passed harmlessly by their targets, and as T22 turned to starboard towards T25, she too was bracketed by near misses. T22 abandoned the rescue after suffering another hit, then laid smoke, fired her guns and withdrew to the south-west. T26 was still under fire and was soon severely hit in the boiler room, and as T22 laid smoke to screen her, the damaged ship signalled that she was sinking; T22 turned northwards and broke away.[9]

The two cruisers reversed course, chasing and soon catching T26. Clarke ordered Enterprise to finish her off while he turned Glasgow north again to look for the other damaged German vessels, particularly T25. Glasgow soon came across not T25 but Z27, drifting and silent. Closing to point-blank range, Glasgow fired, hitting the destroyer's magazines. The hit caused a large explosion which killed Erdmenger, his staff and the captain. At the same time Enterprise finished off T26 with a single torpedo and then moved in for the kill on T25. The German ship's bridge and upper deck were a twist of metal and her after superstructure wrecked but she remained afloat. Enterprise closed to 3000 metres, firing her guns and then fired a torpedo; within minutes T25 was an abandoned, burning and sinking wreck.

KerlogueT25T26.jpg
A sketch from Z27 of T25 and T26 being shelled during the battle (National Maritime Museum of Ireland)

Aftermath
The two British cruisers met up once more and, seeing no further signs of the German squadron and having accounted for three of them at no significant damage to themselves, withdrew toward Plymouth. They arrived on the evening of 29 December, low on both fuel and ammunition. Glasgow had received one hit that killed two crew members and wounded another three, while Enterprise had no real damage except for shell splinters.

The two German survivors, T22 and Z23, reunited and headed towards Saint-Jean-de-Luz near the Spanish border. The rest of the German ships headed back to the Gironde.

Only 283 survivors of the 672 men on the three sunken ships were rescued: 93 from Z27, 100 from T25 and 90 from T26. British and Irish ships, Spanish destroyers and German U-boats took part in the rescue. About 62 survivors were picked up by British minesweepers as prisoners. 168 were rescued by a small Irish steamer, the MV Kerlogue, and four by Spanish destroyers, and they were all interned. Morale for the German Navy was lowered even further when news filtered through of the battleship Scharnhorst being sunk in the North Cape marking a sour note to the end of the year for the Kriegsmarine.

As it turned out, Osorno was the last of the blockade runners to get through. Three other German blockade runners were sunk between 3 and 5 January 1944 by Allied patrols in the South Atlantic. The Germans thereafter ceased all surface blockade running and switched to movement by submarine; these became known as Yanagi missions.



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

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28 December 2014 – Nine people die and another 19 are reported missing, when the MS Norman Atlantic catches fire in the Strait of Otranto, in the Adriatic Sea, in Italian waters.


MS Norman Atlantic is a roll-on/roll-off passenger (ROPAX) ferry owned by the Italian ferry company Visemar di Navigazione. The ferry was chartered by ANEK Lines from December 2014. On 28 December 2014, she caught fire in the Strait of Otranto, in the Adriatic Sea. The bodies of nine victims (three Greek, two Italian, two German, a Georgian and a Turkish passenger) were recovered from the sea, while nineteen others (nine Greek, four Turkish, two Italian and a German passenger and two Syrian and one Iraqi stowaways) remain missing. Additionally, two crewmembers of the Albanian tug Iliria were killed during the salvage operations on 30 December. According to ANEK Lines, the total number of passengers and crew, based on the ship's manifest, was 475. As of 31 December, reports indicate that 499 people were on board the ferry, including 55 crew members; excluding possible stowaways.

Norman_Atlantic_Port_of_Bari_August_2015.jpg
Norman Atlantic in the port of Bari, Italy, 2015

Description
The ship is 186 metres (610 ft 3 in) long, with a beam of 25.6 metres (84 ft 0 in) and a draught of 6.71 metres (22 ft 0 in). She is powered by two MAN B&W 9L48/60B diesel engines, which can propel the ship at 24 knots (44 km/h).

History
The ship was built in 2009 by Cantiere Navale Visentini, Porto Viro, Italy as Akeman Street for Ermine Street Shipping Co Ltd, London, United Kingdom. Her sister ships are Dimonios, Étretat, Norman Asturias, Scottish Viking and Stena Flavia. She has accommodation for 850 passengers and 2,286 lane metres of accommodation for vehicles. Between February and April 2010, she was chartered to T-Link. Following a refit in May 2011 at Valletta, Malta, she was chartered to Saremar and renamed Scintu in June 2011. In January 2013, she was chartered to Grande Navi Veloci, followed by a charter to Moby Lines in April 2013. In October 2013, Scintu was chartered to LD Lines. She was renamed Norman Atlantic in January 2014. On 29 August 2014, she made her final voyage with LD Lines, from Rosslare, County Wexford, Ireland to Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique, France and Gijón, Asturias, Spain. In September 2014, she was chartered to Caronte & Tourist, followed by a charter to ANEK Lines in December 2014.

MS_Norman_Atlantic_accident.svg.png
MS Norman Atlantic route (interactive map)

2014 fire and evacuation
Incident

On 28 December 2014, Norman Atlantic caught fire in the Strait of Otranto, on a ferry run from Patras to Ancona. A fire broke out on the car deck just before 6:00 am local time, half an hour after leaving port of Igoumenitsa, Greece, an intermediate stop, when she was 44 nautical miles (81 km) northwest of the island of Corfu, 33 nautical miles (61 km) northwest of the island of Othonoi. At the time she was carrying 222 vehicles, 487 passengers, and 55 crew. The heat from the fire permeated the entire ship, even starting to melt people's shoes on the reception deck. The incident happened in Greek territorial waters but with night closing in, the ship started drifting towards Albania. There were gale-force winds and lashing rain.

Passengers assert that the order to abandon ship was not given until four hours after the fire had started. Despite their cabins filling with smoke, no alarm had sounded. They also state that the crew of Norman Atlantic gave them little assistance. One group of 49 managed to escape in a lifeboat, but others were prevented from doing so as two of the four lifeboats were destroyed by the fire. The lifeboats had a capacity of 160 people each. Survivors described "scenes from hell" on board the burning ship, with the ship's crew overwhelmed by the crisis and jungle law prevailing rather than an orderly evacuation. Those in the lifeboat were rescued by the Singapore-registered container ship Spirit of Piraeus and landed at Bari, Italy. Several liferafts were also launched, but some of them capsized, causing the deaths by drowning or hypothermia of several occupants. The merchant ship Aby Jeannette rescued 39 people from Norman Atlantic's liferafts and brought them to Taranto, and the tanker Genmar Argus rescued a Norman Atlanticcrewmember from the sea. Other people in the sea or in the rafts were rescued by helicopters.

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Norman Atlantic on fire, with rescue efforts underway. Photo from the Italian Navy.

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Spirit of Piraeus, which rescued the 49 people from the lifeboat, was previously named AS Andalucia, as seen in this 2011 photograph.

Rescue
An international rescue effort, led and coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard, was started to evacuate the 466 passengers and crew on board. Defence MinisterNikos Dendias stated that Italian authorities had responded to a Greek request for assistance and that the Italian Coast Guard had assumed control of the rescue operation. The Italian ferry Cruise Europa rescued 69 passengers and brought them to Igoumenitsa. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that first passengers were rescued by a helicopter and that his government was working with the Greek government. As darkness fell on 28 December, the Italian Navy said that a tugboat, Marietta Barretta, had finally been able to attach a line to the ferry. Greek Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis confirmed the towing operation but said he did not know the destination of the tugboat; although Albania was "much closer", he said the final decision rested with the Italian rescuers who "know the situation better". Prime Minister Renzi informed reporters that the ferry was evacuated and that Captain Giacomazzi was the last one to leave the ship at 2.50pm.

At least twelve people were killed as a direct result of the fire, and an additional two Albanian tugboat crewmembers were killed during salvage operations on 30 December when a connecting cable snapped. Eight people were injured in the original incident. Officials stated that one person died after jumping from the burning ship. A 62-year-old Greek man was the first of the fatalities to be recovered. On 30 December the number of people on board the ferry was revised to 499; 487 passengers and 12 crew. The number of people unaccounted for was revised to 179 by Italian authorities. On 1 January 2015 the number of people not accounted for was 98 according to the Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe, but according to the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry 18 people were still missing. On 3 January 2015 Mr. Volpe said that the number of unaccounted persons from the fire was 10 to 15, while Greek authorities said the number was up to 19, including nine Greek men. Three of the rescued people who were on board the Norman Atlantic were Afghan illegal immigrants who stowed aboard in lorries in the hold. Judge Volpe said that he expected that more bodies were to be found on the ferry. Among those killed was Ilia Kartozia, a Georgian Orthodox priest, who, according to an eyewitness, helped other to evacuate, but the rescuers failed to save him. His body was recovered off Lecce on 30 December 2014.

Norman Atlantic was towed to the port of Brindisi, Italy, arriving there on 2 January 2015. The ship has been sequestered for the investigation. On 6 January, a lifeboat from the Norman Atlantic was found on a beach near Valona, Albania. The Norman Atlantic continued to burn in port for almost two weeks until 10 January 2015, when firefighters were finally able to enter the hull for inspection.

On 15 January 2015 the Italian authorities announced that 9 people from the Norman Atlantic (in addition to the two from the tug Iliria) were confirmed dead and 18 were missing. On 23 January it was announced that one more person was missing. On 4 February, it was announced that the death toll was now twelve dead, with eighteen still missing. On 13 February 2015, just before the boat was due to be towed to Bari, a second body was discovered in the truck parking area. In the same days, the bodies of three people, presumably belonging to some of the missing, were found on the coast of Corfu and Apulia. As of 14 February 2017, the boat was docked in the port of Bari.

Investigations
Italian authorities opened a criminal investigation into the fire. The investigation would determine whether or not criminal negligence played a part in the fire.[56] Judge Giuseppe Volpe is in charge of the investigation, which could bring charges of culpable shipwreck. The ship had been inspected at Patras, Greece on 19 December; six serious deficiencies had been found, relating to emergency lighting, fire doors and lifesaving capacity on board the vessel. The owners had been served with a notice giving them fifteen days to remedy the deficiencies. On 2 January 2015 the prosecutor’s office in Bari widened the investigation, and put two other crew members and two representatives of the Greek ferry line ANEK Lines, which chartered the Norman Atlantic, under investigation.

Greek authorities have also started a preliminary investigation. Possible charges include "disruption of shipping which could lead to endangerment of persons", and arson.

Rear Admiral John Lang, formerly Chief Inspector at Britain's Marine Accident Investigation Branch, said the emergency, under freezing stormy conditions at night “challenges many of the established conventions and wisdom on how a mass rescue should be conducted.” He said that, in the course of the investigation, the right rather than the convenient conclusions should be drawn, adding "Rarely has the outcome of a comprehensive and thorough investigation been more important for improving safety at sea."

A Turkish passenger reported, as a possible cause, that illegal Afghan immigrants, who had boarded the ship concealed in a lorry, had lit a fire at the ship's garage to keep themselves warm. Another possible cause is sparks caused by trucks scraping the sides of the vessel.

Preliminary underwater inspections of the Norman Atlantic revealed that the water intake pipes of the fire sprinkler system were clogged with mussels; additional inspections are necessary to determine if this blockage contributed to the fire's spreading. Although the voyage data recorder (black box) has been recovered, still by mid-March no data have been extracted, apparently because the heat of the fire caused the plastic to melt onto the hard disk. Recordings of the Voyage data recorder published on 7 October 2015, say that the fire sprinkler system wasn't working correctly and instead of spraying water there was smoke coming from the system. The investigations also state that there was a truck that had the engine working. Smoke was coming from the truck prior to the fire.


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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 28 December


1691 –English HMS Jersey, captured 28 December 1691, getting Jerzé 48, 3rd Rang (ex-English Jersey, captured 28 December 1691) - sold 1717

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Jersey_(1654)


1706 HMS Romney (54), Cptn. William Coney, HMS Fowey (32) , Cptn. Richard Lestock, and HMS Milford (32), Cptn. Philip Stanhope, took French privateer Content (16) off Malaga.

HMS Romney was a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Blackwall Yard in 1694.

Commanded by Captain William Coney,[2] Romney was wrecked on the Scilly Isles on 26 October 1707 when a disastrous navigational error sent Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's fleet through dangerous reefs while on their way from Gibraltar to Portsmouth. Four ships (Romney, Association, Firebrand and Eagle) were lost, with nearly 2,000 sailors. Romneyhit Bishop Rock and went down with all but one of her crew. The sole survivor was George Lawrence, who had worked as a butcher before joining the crew of Romney as quartermaster. The Scilly naval disaster was one of the greatest maritime disasters in British history. It was largely as a result of this disaster that the Board of the Admiralty instituted a competition for a more precise method to determine longitude.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Romney_(1694)

HMS Fowey (1705) was a 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1705 and captured by the French in 1709.

HMS Milford was a 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1694 as HMS Scarborough. She was captured by the French later in 1694, and renamed Duc de Chaulnes. She was recaptured in 1696 and taken into service as HMS Milford. She was rebuilt in 1705 and wrecked in 1720.


1778 HMS Cupid (14), W. Carlyon, foundered off Newfoundland

The Sloop-of-War foundered in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland with the loss of nine of her crew.


1814 – Launch of HMS Brilliant a 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-class_frigate


1898 – Birth of Shigematsu Sakaibara, Japanese admiral (d. 1947)

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


1898 – Launch of SS Mactan was launched 28 December 1898 as the passenger/cargo ship North Lyell for North Mount Lyell Copper Co.Ltd. intended for service between the west coast of Tasmania and Melbourne.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Mactan_(1898)


1901 – Launch of USS Missouri (BB-11), a Maine-class battleship, was the second ship of her class and of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 24th state.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-11)


1905 - The dry dock Dewey leaves Solomon's Island, Md., en route through the Suez Canal to the Philippines to serve as repair base. It is the longest towing job accomplished at the time, guided by the tug Potomac, a pair of colliers Brutus and Caesar, and the storeship Glacier, arriving at its destination nearly six months later, July 10, 1906.


1922 – Laying down of the two ships of the Nelson class were the only new battleships the Royal Navy were allowed to build under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson-class_battleship


1982 - USS New Jersey (BB 62), the first of four Iowa-class battleships, is recommissioned for the third time after her original 1943 commissioning.
 

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29 December 1605 - John Davis or Davys, English chief navigator of Elizabeth I., was killed off Bintan Island near Singapore by one of his captive "Japanese" pirates whose vessel he had just seized


John Davis or Davys (c. 1550 – 29 December 1605) (b. 1543?) was one of the chief English navigators of Elizabeth I. He led several voyages to discover the Northwest Passage and served as pilot and captain on both Dutch and English voyages to the East Indies. He discovered the Falkland Islands (today a British Overseas Territory) in August 1592.

It is important that Captain John Davis of Sandridge should not be confused with a contemporary, Captain John Davis of Limehouse. Both served in the fleet of Captain James Lancasterduring the first voyage of the East India Company to the East Indies.

John_Davis_(English_explorer).jpg
John Davis (English explorer) shown in a detail from Englands Famous Discoverers. Cap Davies. Sr Walter Rawleigh, Sr. Hugh Willoughby, Cap: Smith

Life and career
Davis was born in the parish of Stoke Gabriel in Devon circa 1550, and spent his childhood in Sandridge Barton nearby. It has been suggested that he learned much of his seamanship as a child while plying boats along the river Dart, and went to sea at an early age. His childhood neighbours included Adrian Gilbert and Humphrey Gilbert and their half-brother Walter Raleigh. From early on, he also became friends with John Dee.

He began pitching a voyage in search of the Northwest Passage to the queen's secretary Francis Walsingham in 1583. Two years later, in 1585, the secretary relented and funded the expedition, which traced Frobisher's route to Greenland's east coast, around Cape Farewell, and west towards Baffin Island. In 1586 he returned to the Arctic with four ships, two of which were sent to Greenland's iceberg-calving eastern shore; the other two penetrated the strait which came to bear his name as far as 67°N before being blocked by the Arctic ice cap. Sunshine attempted (and failed) to circumnavigate the island from the east. The initially amiable approach Davis adopted to the Inuit – bringing musicians and having the crew dance and play with them – changed after they stole one of his anchors; they were likely irate at having been interrupted during one of their religious ceremonies. Inuit also attacked his ships in Hamilton Inlet(Labrador). A third expedition in 1587 reached 72°12'N and Disko Island before unfavorable winds forced it back. On his return, Davis charted the Davis Inlet in the coast of Labrador. The log of this trip remained a textbook model for later captains for centuries.

In 1588 he seems to have commanded Black Dog against the Spanish Armada. In 1589 he joined the Earl of Cumberland as part of the Azores Voyage of 1589. In 1591 he accompanied Thomas Cavendish on Cavendish's last voyage, which sought to discover the Northwest Passage "upon the back parts of America" (i.e., from the western entrance). After the rest of Cavendish's expedition returned unsuccessful, Davis continued to attempt on his own account the passage of the Strait of Magellan; though defeated by foul weather, he probably discovered the Falkland Islands in August 1592 aboard Desire. His crew was forced to kill hundreds of penguins for food on the islands, but the stored meat spoiled in the tropics and only fourteen of his 76 men made it home alive.

From 1596 to 1597 Davis seems to have sailed with Sir Walter Raleigh to Cádiz and the Azores as master of Raleigh's ship; from 1598 to 1600 he accompanied a Dutch expedition to the East Indies as pilot, sailing from Flushing and returning to Middleburg, while carefully charting and recording geographical details. He narrowly escaped destruction from treachery at Achin on Sumatra.

From 1601 to 1603 he accompanied Sir James Lancaster as Pilot-Major on the first voyage of the English East India Company. For his part Davis was to receive £500 (around £1.5 million at 2015 values) if the voyage doubled its original investment, £1,000 if three times, £1,500 if four times and £2,000 if five times.

Before departure, Davis had told London merchants that pepper could be obtained in Aceh at a price of four reals of eight per hundredweight - whereas it actually cost 20. When the voyage returned, Lancaster complained that Davis had been wrong about both the price and availability of pepper. Unhappy at being made a scapegoat for the situation, on 5 December 1604 Davis sailed again for the East Indies as pilot to Sir Edward Michelborne, an "interloper" who had been granted a charter by James I despite the supposed East India Company monopoly on trade with the East.[8] On this journey he was killed off Bintan Island near Singapore by one of his captive "Japanese" pirates whose vessel he had just seized.

John_Davis_plaque_in_Dartmouth.jpg
The Dartmouth Town Council blue plaque erected in memory of Davis

In the centuries after his death, the importance of Dutch whalers actually led the settlements along Greenland's western coast to be called "Straat Davis" after their name for the Strait, while the name "Greenland" was used to refer to the eastern shore, erroneously presumed to be the site of the Norse Eastern Settlement.

Publications
Davis's explorations in the Arctic were published by Richard Hakluyt and appeared on his world map. Davis himself published a valuable treatise on practical navigation called The Seaman's Secrets in 1594 and a more theoretical work called The World's Hydrographical Description in 1595. The account of Davis's last voyage was written by Michelborne on his return to England in 1606.

Inventions
His invention of the backstaff and double quadrant (called the Davis Quadrant after him) remained popular among English seamen until long after Hadley's reflecting quadrant had been introduced.

Personal life
On 28 September 1582, Davis married Mistress Faith Fulford, daughter of Sir John Fulford (the High Sheriff of Devon) and Dorithy Bourchier, the daughter of the Earl of Bath. He had five children: his first son, Gilbert was baptised on 27 March 1583; a daughter Elizabeth who died in infancy; Arthur, born 1586; John, born and died 1587; and Philip.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Davis_(English_explorer)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1709 - HMS Pembroke (1694 - 60), Cptn. Edward Rumsey (Killed in action), and HMS Falcon (1704 - 32), Cptn. Charles Constable, taken by French Squadron of three French ships of (70), (60) and (54) guns off the French Mediterranean coast


HMS Pembroke was a 60-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford on 22 November 1694.

Class and type: 60-gun fourth-rateship of the line
Tons burthen: 908
Length: 145 ft (44.2 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 37 ft 7.75 in (11.5 m)
Depth of hold:1 3 ft 9.5 in (4.2 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Armament: 60 guns of various weights of shot

Pembroke was captured by French warships in the Mediterranean in 1709, recaptured in 1711, and finally sold to Spain in Genoa in 1713 and renamed Lanfranco. She saw action in the Siege of Barcelona under D. Andrés del Pez and participated in the expeditions to Genoa in 1714, to Majorca in 1715, and to South America in 1716. In 1718 she captured two French privateer frigates off Montevideo. She sank shortly after in Buenos Aires

5148028.jpg

The Pembroke's bell
Since the 1960s, the bell from the "Pembroke" has served as a church bell at St. Bride's Anglican church in the town of Otorohanga, New Zealand. It was given to the church on its construction by a local family, the Westmacotts, and it was used for every service. The bell, which weighs 150 kg, was reported stolen from the church in the week beginning 13 June 2011. The bell's clapper, which was removed between uses is still in the church's possession. The bell was found by scrap metal merchants and returned.


HMS Falcon (1704) was a 32-gun fourth rate launched in 1704. In 1709 she was captured by the French 58-gun Sérieux in the Mediterranean.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Pembroke_(1694)
http://www.stuff.co.nz/editors-picks/5152664/Stolen-bell-found-in-scrap-yard
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1762 – Launch of French Six Corps, 74 at Lorient-Caudan - condemned and taken to pieces in 1779.


The Six Corps was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the six corps that regrouped the merchants of Paris.

Displacement: 1600 tonnes
Length: 57.2 metres
Beam: 14.0 metres
Draught: 6.8 metres
Propulsion: Sail, full rigged ship
Armament:
Six Corps was built in Lorient on plan by engineer Groignard. After her completion, she was commissioned under Captain de Choras, and departed Lorient on 13 September 1763, bound for Brest, where she arrived on 27.

Six Corps was then put in the reserve fleet, and never took part in any military operation. She was refitted in 1775, struck in 1779, and broken up the next year.


Diligent class - designed by Antoine Groignard

Diligent 74 (launched November 1762 at Lorient-Caudan) - condemned and taken to pieces in 11/1779.
Six Corps 74 (launched 29 December 1762 at Lorient-Caudan) - condemned and taken to pieces in 11/1779.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Six_Corps_(1762)
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=2151
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=2053
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1797 - HMS Anson (1781 - 44), Cptn. Philip Charles Durham, captured French corvette Daphne (20) off the coast of France.


HMS Anson was a ship of the Royal Navy, launched at Plymouth on 4 September 1781. Originally a 64-gun third rate ship of the line, she fought at the Battle of the Saintes.

The ship proved too weak to stand in the line of battle, so in 1784 she was razéed to produce a frigate of 44 guns (fifth rate). Stronger than the average frigate of the time, the razee frigate Anson subsequently had a successful career during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, mostly operating against privateers, but also in small actions against enemy frigates.

Anson was lost in a shipwreck on 29 December 1807. Trapped by a lee shore off Loe Bar, Cornwall, she hit the rocks and between 60 and 190 men were killed. The subsequent treatment of the recovered bodies of drowned seamen caused controversy, and led to the Burial of Drowned Persons Act 1808.

Class and type: Intrepid-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1369 bm
Length: 159 ft 6 in (48.62 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament:
  • 64 guns:
    • Gundeck:
      • 26 × 24-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck:
      • 26 × 18-pounder guns
    • QD:
      • 10 × 4-pounder guns
    • Fc:
      • 2 × 9-pounder guns
  • 44 guns:
    • Gundeck:
      • 26 × 24-pounder guns
    • QD:
      • 8 × 12-pounder guns
      • 4 × 42-pounder carronades
    • Fc:
      • 2 × 12-pounder guns
      • 2 × 42-pounder carronades
large.jpg Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with stern quarter decorations, and longitudinal half-breadth proposed (and approved) for 'Anson' (1781), a 64-gun Third Rate, two-decker. Signed by John Williams [Surveyor of the Navy, 1765-1784].

Design and construction
The ship was ordered on 24 April 1773 as an Intrepid-class ship of the line of 64 guns. The lead ship of the class, HMS Intrepid, had entered service in 1771 and proved satisfactory in sea trials, so the Royal Navy increased their order from four to fifteen ships. Anson was part of the expanded order, named after George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, the victorious admiral of the First Battle of Cape Finisterre (1747).

Anson was launched on 4 September 1781 by Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire. She was completed and entered service on 15 October 1781.

The Intrepid-class design had been originally approved in 1765, so by the time Anson was launched it was over 15 years old. During that period, the design of ships-of-the-line had evolved, with the standard size and layout now being the seventy-four. Anson was therefore rather small and less solidly built than most of her contemporaries.

large (1).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Anson' (1781), a 64-gun Third Rate, two decker, as built at Plymouth Dockyard. The plan also records in pencil the outline for when she was cut down to a 38-gun Fifth Rate Frigate in 1794. Signed by John Henslow [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1775-1784].

large (2).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile for 64-gun Third Rate, two-deckers of the Intrepid class (approved 1765). As this plan is undated, it is unknown as to which of the class the plan refers to. The class was built in two batches: those ordered between 1765 and 1769 - Intrepid (1770), Monmouth (1772), Defiance (1772), Nonsuch (1774) and Ruby (1776), and then the second group ordered between 1771 and 1779 - Vigilant (1774), Eagle (1774), America (1777), Anson (1781), Polyphemus (1782), Magnanime (1780), Sampson (1781), Repulse (1780), Diadem (1782), and Standard (1782).

American Revolutionary War
Main article: Battle of the Saintes
Anson fought at the battle of Les Saintes on 9 April 1782 under the flag of Admiral Sir George Rodney against Admiral de Grasse. She was in the rear division, which was under the command of Rear-Admiral Francis Samuel Drake. In this engagement, Captain William Blair was one of the two Royal Navy post captains killed. In all Anson lost three men killed (including Blair), and 13 men wounded.

large (4).jpg
Inboard profile plan (ZAZ2399)

Conversion to a frigate
Experience with 64-gun ships throughout the navy, at the Battle of the Saintes and elsewhere, had shown that they were now too poorly armed and weakly built to stand in the line of battle against larger ships-of-the-line. Rather than dispose of the ships entirely, the Royal Navy subjected some ships to a razée – removing the uppermost deck (and its armament) to produce a large frigate. The subsequent razee frigate was more heavily armed and built than a typical purpose-built frigate, though was not as fast and easy to handle in strong winds.

large (5).jpg
sheer (ZAZ2398)

Anson was chosen for this process and in 1794 the ship was razéed. The original forecastle and quarterdeck were removed, and the former upper deck (now weather or spar-deck) was partially removed and restructured to provide a new forecastle and quarterdeck. The result was a frigate of 44 guns, with a primary gun deck armament of twenty-six 24-pounder cannon (most frigates of the time were too lightly built to handle such heavy guns, so were armed with 18-pounders). The new quarterdeck and forecastle also allowed the armaments stationed there to be substantially strengthened from the original design, including adding carronades. Anson was thus heavily armed for a frigate, and retained the stronger construction (and ability to absorb damage) of a ship-of-the-line.

large (3).jpg
Finely carved bust-length figurehead (no arms) which has been associated with the 'Anson', a 64-gun third-rate built at Plymouth Dockyard in 1781 but reduced to a 44-gun ship in 1794. It represents a bearded warrior in classical armour and plumed helmet, mounted on a fiddle-pattern (backward-turning) scroll. The pose, with the head looking upward to viewers right gives it unusual dynamism for a bust figurehead. The style of armour and helmet suggest neo-classical 17th- or early 18th-century prints as a source, and one of some commonality: FHD0120, from the 'Ajax' built in 1809 at Blackwall, is rather similar. It is possible that such early print sources were mediated through more popular ones such as fairground figures, puppets or stage costume. Whether it really is the head of the 'Anson' is open to doubt, first because of its size - which is small even for a 44-gun ship, let alone a 64 - and also because this may only derive from a traditional identification as from Anson's 'Centurion', which was what it was said to be when purchased by a previous owner from Portsmouth Dockyard in 1900. That is certainly wrong since 'Centurion', also a 64, had a lion figurehead known to have been 16 feet in overall height. If from the 'Anson' , that ship was wrecked on the Looe Bar in Mount's Bay, Cornwall, on 29 December 1807. The present natural-wood 'antique' finish of this head may be the result of earlier painting being removed, since it would be very unusual for a ship to have one that was unpainted, however simply. It was acquired in 1943

French Revolutionary Wars
At the Action of 16 July 1797, Anson and Sylph drove the French corvette Calliope on shore, where Sylph proceeded to fire on her. When Pomone checked a week later, Calliope was wrecked; her crew were camped on shore trying to salvage what stores they could. Pomone confirmed that the flute Freedom and a brig that had also been driven ashore too were wrecked.

Leviathan, Anson, Pompee, Melpomene, and Childers shared in the proceeds of the capture on 10 September 1797 of Tordenskiold.

On 29 December 1797 Anson recaptured Daphne, which the French had captured three years earlier in December 1794 and taken into service under her existing name. Daphné was under the command of lieutenant de vaisseau Latreyte and transiting between Lorient and Bordeaux on her way to Guadeloupe when Anson captured her at the mouth of the Gironde. Anson fired several shots before Daphne struck. She was armed with 30 guns and had 276 men aboard, including 30 passengers. Two of the passengers were Civil Commissioners Jaiquelin and La Carze, who succeeded in throwing their dispatches for Guadeloupe overboard. Daphne had five men killed and several wounded.

On 7 September 1798, after a 24-hour long chase, Anson and Phaeton captured Flore. Captain Stopford, of Phaeton, in his letter described Flore as a frigate of 36 guns and 255 men. She was eight days out of Boulogne on a cruise. She had also served the Royal Navy in the American Revolutionary War.

Anson was unable to take part in the Battle of Tory Island on 12 October 1798, because she had sustained damage during poor weather and was unable to keep up with the rest of the British squadron. In the aftermath of the original engagement, on 18 October she joined the brig HMS Kangaroo and fought a separate action, capturing the damaged French frigate Loire. Anson was then under the command of Captain Philip Charles Durham, who struggled to manoeuvre his ship after having lost her mizzen mast, main lower and topsail yards during the earlier pursuit.

Anson sailed from Plymouth on 26 January 1799, and on 2 February, in company with Ethalion, captured the French privateer cutter Boulonaise. Boulonaise, of Dunkirk, was armed with 14 guns and had been preying on shipping in the North Sea.

On 9 September 1799 Captain Durham hosted a fête for King George III. During the course of the evening, the king was found on the lower deck surrounded by the ship’s company and talking to an old sailor.

On 10 April 1800, when north-west of the Canary Islands, Anson detained Catherine & Anna bound for Hamburg, Holy Roman Empire, from Batavia with a cargo of coffee.

On 27 April Anson captured the letter of marque brig Vainquer. Vainquer was pierced for 16 guns but only mounted four. When captured she had been on her way from Bordeaux to San Domingo with a cargo of merchandise.

Two days later, at daybreak, Anson encountered four French privateers: Brave (36 guns), Guepe (18), Hardi (18), and Duide (16). As soon as the French vessels realized that Anson was a British frigate they scattered. As Anson passed Brave going in the opposite direction Anson fired a broadside into her; Durham believed that the broadside did considerable damage, but he was unable to follow up as Brave had the wind in her favour and so outsailed Anson. Durham then set off after one of the other French vessels, which he was able to capture. She was Hardi, of 18 guns and 194 men. Durham described her as "a very fine new Ship just of the Stocks." The Royal Navy took Hardi into service, first as HMS Hardi, before shortly thereafter renaming her HMS Rosario. Lastly, Durham reported sending into port for adjudication a very valuable ship that had been sailing from Batavia to Hamburg with the Governor of Batavia as passenger. (This may have been Catherine & Anna.)

On 27 June Anson Constance came across some 40 or 50 Spanish merchant vessels on the Straits of Gibraltar. They were protected by some 25 gunboats. Two row boats came out from Gibraltar to assist Anson and the British were able to capture eight Spanish merchantmen, though the Spanish recaptured one.

These included:
  • The mistico Jesus & Aminas, from Algeziras to Gibraltar and Barcelona, carrying 125 bags of sumac, ten chests of liquorice, and 250 bundles of wooden hoops.
  • Thefelucca Virgen de Boyar, from Malaga to Cadiz, carrying five pipes of red wine and 300 bundles of "boss".
  • The "lland" Virgen del Socous, from Malaga to Cadiz, carrying 61 casks of pitch and 60 casks and 13 chests of tar.
  • The tartan Nostra Signora del Rosario, from Barcelona to Vera Cruz, carrying paper, brandy, oil, and cotton.
  • The lland Saint Francisco de Paulo, carrying wine.
  • The mistico San Antonio, alias El Vigilante, coming to Gibraltar, carrying 60 quarter-casks of wine and 313 quintals of barilla.
  • The mistico San Joseph y Aminas, carrying 250 deal boards 4' long, 600 deal boards 4'10" long, 20 water jars, and 30 "alcarasses", with the assistance of the privateer Felicity.
  • The lland Saint Francisco de Paulo, carrying wine, was cut out from the prizes in sight of Anson and Constance.
On 29 June Anson and Constance captured two privateer misticos: Gibraltar and Severo (or Severino). Gibraltar was armed with four guns and had a crew of 50 men. Severo was armed with two guns and ten swivel guns, and had a crew of 26 men.

On 30 June Anson cut off two Spanish gun boats that had been annoying the convoy she was escorting. The two proved to be Gibraltar and Salvador. The each mounted two 18–pounder guns in their bow, and each had eight guns of different dimensions on their sides. They were each manned by 60 men and probably sustained heavy casualties in resisting Anson.

In 1801 Captain W. E. Cacraft assumed command and Anson joined the Channel station, cruising from Portsmouth. In 1802 she was in the Mediterranean, and in November she sailed from Malta for Egypt. She went in for repairs in 1805 at Portsmouth.

..........

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Anson_(1781)
 

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29 December 1797 - HMS Anson (1781 - 44) lost on sand-bank off Helstone, Falmouth.


Napoleonic Wars
In December 1805 Captain Charles Lydiard was appointed to command Anson. Under his command Anson sailed to the West Indies in early 1806.

Action of 23 August 1806
Main article: Action of 23 August 1806
On 23 August while sailing in company with Captain Charles Brisbane's HMS Arethusa when they came across the 38-gun Spanish frigate Pomona off Havana, guarded by a shore battery and twelve gunboats. Pomona was trying to enter the harbour, whereupon Lydiard and Brisbane bore up and engaged her.. The gunboats came out to defend her, whereupon the two British frigates anchored between the shore battery and gunboats on one side, and Pomona on the other. A hard-fought action began, which lasted for 35 minutes until Pomona struck her colours. Three of the gunboats were blown up, six were sunk, and the remaining three were badly damaged. The shore battery was obliged to stop firing after an explosion in one part of it. There were no casualties aboard Anson, but Arethusa lost two killed and 32 wounded, with Brisbane among the latter. The captured Pomona was subsequently taken into the Navy as HMS Cuba.

Anson and Foudroyant
Anson remained cruising off Havana, and on 15 September sighted the French 84-gun Foudroyant. Foudroyant, carrying the flag of Vice-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez, had been dismasted in a storm and was carrying a jury-rig. Despite the superiority of his opponent and the nearness of the shore Lydiard attempted to close on the French vessel and opened fire. Anson came under fire from the fortifications at Morro Castle, while several Spanish ships, including the 74-gun San Lorenzo, came out of Havana to assist the French. After being unable to manoeuvre into a favourable position and coming under heavy fire, Lydiard hauled away and made his escape. Anson had two killed and 13 wounded during the engagement, while its sails and rigging had been badly damaged. Foudroyant meanwhile had 27 killed or wounded.

Capture of Curaçao
Capture_of_Curacoa.jpg
The capture of Curaçao, depicted by Thomas Whitcombe

Anson was then assigned to Charles Brisbane's squadron and joined Brisbane's Arethusa and James Athol Wood's HMS Latona.
The ships were despatched in November 1806 by Vice-Admiral James Richard Dacres to reconnoitre Curaçao. They were joined in December by HMS Fisgard and Brisbane decided to launch an attack. The British ships approached early in the morning of 1 January 1807 and anchored in the harbour. They were attacked by the Dutch, at which Brisbane boarded and captured the 36-gun frigate Halstaar, while Lydiard attacked and secured the 20-gun corvette Suriname. Both Lydiard and Brisbane then led their forces on shore, and stormed Fort Amsterdam, which was defended by 270 Dutch troops. The fort was carried after ten minutes of fighting, after which two smaller forts, a citadel and the entire town were also taken. More troops were landed while the ships sailed round the harbour to attack Fort République. By 10 am the fort had surrendered, and by noon the entire island had capitulated.

large (6).jpg
Taking the Island of Curacoa, by Sir Chas Brisbane and his Officers under his Command, Captns Lydard, Wood and Bolton, Commanding H.M.Ss. Arethusa, Latona, Anson and Fisguard [Fisgard] Jan 1 1807 (PAI6435)

Anson had seven men wounded. In all, the British lost three killed and 14 wounded. On the ships alone, the Dutch lost six men killed, including Commandant Cornelius J. Evertz, who commanded the Dutch naval force in Curaçao, and seven wounded, of whom one died later. With the colony, the British captured the frigate Kenau Hasselar, the sloop Suriname (a former Royal Naval sloop), and two naval schooners.
Anson was sent back to Britain carrying the despatches and captured colours. The dramatic success of the small British force carrying the heavily defended island was rewarded handsomely. Brisbane was knighted, and the captains received swords, medals and vases.
In 1847 the Admiralty authorised the issue of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Curacoa 1 Jany. 1807" to any surviving claimants from the action; 65 medals were issued.

Shipwreck

Loss_of_the_Anson.jpg
'Loss of the Anson Frigate, off Cornwall', in an 1808 depiction by William Elmes

After a period refitting in Britain Anson was assigned to the Channel Fleet and ordered to support the blockade of Brest by patrolling off Black Rocks. She sailed from Falmouth on 24 December, and reached Ile de Bas on 28 December 1807. With a severe storm developing from the south west, Lydiard decided to return to port. He made for the Lizard, but in the poor weather, came up on the wrong side and became trapped on a lee shore off Mount's Bay near Penzance, in Cornwall with breakers ahead and insufficient room to sail out to the open seas. Anson rolled heavily in rough seas, having retained the spars from her days as a 64-gun ship after she had been razeed. Lydiard's only option was to anchor off Loe Bar. The storm caused the first anchor cable to snap at 4 am on the morning of 29 December. Anson's smaller anchor cable broke at 7 am and she was soon being driven onto the shore. With no anchors, Lydiard, in the hope of saving as many lives as possible, attempted to beach her on what he thought was a suitable beach. It only upon impact that he discovered that it was a sandbar that covered rocks dividing Loe Pool from the open sea. The wind and waves caused the ship to roll broadside on and her mainmast snapped. a sheet anchor was let out, which righted the ship only before it snapped at 8 am.
As hundreds of spectators watched from nearby settlements the pounding surf prevented boats from being launched from the ship or the shore, and a number of the crew were swept away. Some managed to clamber along the fallen main-mast to the shore.[30] Captain Lydiard remained aboard to oversee the evacuation. About 2 pm the ship began to break up, which allowed a few more men to emerge from the wreck, with one being saved. By 3 pm no trace of the ship remained.

Survivors were taken to Helston, two miles away and later sent on to Falmouth.
Estimates of the number of lives lost vary from sixty to 190. Captain Lydiard and Anson's first-lieutenant was among the casualties; Lydiard's body was recovered on 1 January 1808 and taken to Falmouth for burial with full military honours. Most of the other victims were buried in pits dug on unconsecrated ground on the cliffs with no burial rites. The death toll is uncertain as some of the survivors had been press ganged and took the opportunity to desert.


HMS Anson monument at Loe Bar

Post script
The loss of Anson caused controversy at the time, because of the treatment of the dead sailors washed ashore. In those days it was customary to bury drowned seamen unceremoniously, without shroud or coffin in unconsecrated ground, with bodies remaining unburied for long periods of time. This controversy led to a local solicitor, Thomas Grylls, drafting a new law to provide drowned seamen more decent treatment. John Hearle Tremayne, Member of Parliament for Cornwall, introduced the bill which was enacted as the Burial of Drowned Persons Act 1808. A monument to the drowned sailors, and to passing of the Grylls Act, stands at the eastern end of Loe Bar, on the cliff above the beach, about 1.5 miles from Porthleven Harbour
Henry Trengrouse, a Cornish resident of the area, witnessed Anson's wreck. Distressed by the loss of life caused by the difficulties in attaching lines to the wreck, he developed a rocket apparatus to shoot lines across the surf to shipwrecks enabling the rescue of survivors in cradles. This was an early form of the breeches buoy. An example of his life-saving apparatus is on display at Helston Folk Museum, as is a cannon salvaged from Anson. A carved figure from the stern of HMS Anson was sold at auction for £19,975 and is currently displayed on the Holland America cruise liner MS Noordam outside the Level 10 Observation Lounge.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Anson_(1781)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1807 – Launch of HMS Plumper, a 10-gun Archer-class brig


HMS Plumper was launched in 1807. She captured three small American privateers early in the War of 1812 but was wrecked in December 1812.

Type: Archer-class gun brig
Tonnage: 177 26⁄94 (bm)
Length:
  • 80 ft 0 in (24.4 m) (overall)
  • 65 ft 10 in (20.1 m) (keel)
Beam: 22 ft 6 in (6.9 m)
Depth of hold: 9 ft 5 in (2.9 m)
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 50
Armament: 10 × 18-pounder carronades + 2 x 12-pounder chase guns

large.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile, upper deck, and lower deck for the 58 ships of the Archer class (1800), 12-gun Gunbrigs built by contract. Reverse is annotated with a list of the builders and the ships names.

large (1).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with scroll figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Hardy (1804), a 12-gun Brig. This plan may actually relate to any of the Archer Class Gunbrigs as the plan is unassigned.

Career
Lieutenant William Frissell commissioned Plumper in 1808 and commanded her until 1810. He was in command when Plumper participated in the capture of Guadeloupe in January and February 1810. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Guadaloupe" to all surviving participants of the campaign.

On 22 January 1811 Lloyd's List reported incorrectly that Plumper had been lost in the st Lawrence River while sailing from Halifax to Quebec.

From 1812 her commander was Lieutenant James Bray.

HMS Indian and Plumper captured the privateer schooner Fair Trader on 16 July 1812 in the Bay of Fundy. Fair Trader was armed with one gun and had a 20-man crew.

Also around the middle of July an American privateer captured William, of Bristol, Hare, master, off Cape Sable. Indian recaptured William and took her into Halifax. Whether William was one of Fair Trader's prizes or not is an open question. A report in Lloyd's List stated that Indian had captured Fair Trader, Argus, and a third American privateer.

Lloyd's List reported that Indian and Plumper had captured six American privateers. Separately, it reported that Plumper had recaptured Fanny, from Glasgow, which the American privateer Teazer had captured. Fanny, Colston, master, had been sailing from Clyde to New Brunswick. Plumper sent her into Halifax.

On 6 July Plumper captured Samuel, Stanton, master, which had been sailing from Oporto. Plumper took out $5300 and permitted '"Samuel to proceed. Samuel arrived at Boston on 11 July.

On 17 July Plumper captured the American privateer schooner Argus. Argus was armed with one gun and had a crew of 23 men.

The next day Plumper captured the American privateer Friendship, of one gun and eight men.

Lloyd's List reported on 15 September 1812 that Plumper had detained the sloop Margaret, from Liverpool, but that an American privateer had retaken Margaret and taken her into Portland.

Fate
Plumper wrecked on 5 December 1812 while en route to Halifax with £70,000 in specie for the purchase of arms for the military in St John. She struck on the ledges off Dipper Harbour in the Bay of Fundy and sank immediately with the loss of the specie and 42 of the 60 people on board, consisting both of crew and passengers. Bray and all his officers were among the men drowned.

Lloyd's List reported the loss on 8 January 1813.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Plumper_(1807)
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-547746;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=A
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1812 - USS Constitution (52), Commodore William Bainbridge, captured and burnt HMS Java (38), Cptn. Henry Lambert (Killed in Action), off the Brazilian coast


HMS Java was a British Royal Navy 38-gun fifth-rate frigate. She was originally launched in 1805 as Renommée, described as a 40-gun Pallas-class French Navy frigate, but the vessel actually carried 46 guns. The British captured her in 1811 in a noteworthy action during the Battle of Tamatave, but she is most famous for her defeat on 29 December 1812 in a three-hour single-ship action against USS Constitution. Java had a crew of about 277 but during her engagement with Constitution her complement was 475.

1024px-Nicholas_Pocock,_the_Capture_of_HMS_Java.jpg
Capture of the HMS Java Drawn & Etched by N. Pocock, from a Sketch by Lieut. Buchanan / Engraved by R. & D. Havell / Published by Messrs. Boydell & Co

Class and type: Pallas-class fifth-rate frigate
Tons burthen: 1073 41⁄94 (bm)
Length: 152 ft 5 1⁄2 in (46.5 m) (gundeck); 126 ft 5 1⁄2 in (38.5 m) (keel)
Beam: 39 ft 11 3⁄8 in (12.2 m)
Depth of hold:1 2 ft 9 in (3.9 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 397
Armament:
  • 28 × 18-pounder guns
  • 2 × 12-pounder guns
  • 18 × 32-pounder carronades
  • 1 × 24-pounder carronade

French service
In May 1811, she was part of a three-sail squadron under François Roquebert, comprising Renommée, Clorinde and Néréide, and ferrying troops to Mauritius. On 20 May, the French encountered a British squadron comprising Astraea, Phoebe, Galatea, and Racehorse. In the ensuing Battle of Tamatave, Renommée struck after her mainsail was set on fire. The British captured Néréide five days later at Tamatave, Madagascar. Clorinde, commanded by Jacques de Saint-Cricq, escaped.

The British brought Renommée into service as Java and Néréide as Madagascar.

Royal Navy service
In July Java was under Captain William Gordon, but not commissioned until August under Captain Henry Lambert, a senior commander who had seen combat on a number of occasions in His Majesty's service.

Java sailed from Portsmouth on 12 November for Bombay to deliver the appointed Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Hislop, and his staff with their baggage, and naval stores (including copper plates for the under construction Cornwallis, at Bombay, and plans for the new ship, Trincomalee). She was carrying additional personnel for other ships at the time and included another Royal Navy commander in transit.

Capture by USS Constitution

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Diagram of the battle between USS Constitution and HMS Java

Captain Lambert of Java was a well-qualified officer, having seen much combat during his service. Java had more than a full crew, having been rounded out while in Portsmouth; however many were landsmen still raw to service at sea, and even more damning to her cause, they had only practiced gunnery once without shot loaded in the guns. Still, Java was well supplied and manned, and would prove to be well handled and well fought. USS Constitution had an experienced crew manning a heavy frigate carrying 54 cannon: thirty 24-pounder guns and twenty-four 32-pounder carronades, plus two 24-pounder bow chasers.

On 13 December 1812, sailing from Boston by way of Cape Verde USS Constitution, under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, accompanied by USS Hornet, commanded by James Lawrence, arrived off the coast of Brazil at St. Salvador. On 26 December Hornet was sent into the port to communicate with the American consul stationed there. On 29 December at 9:00 AM still out at high sea in search of prizes crewmen aloft Constitution sighted strange sails on the distant horizon. Bainbridge initially was unsure of the disposition of the ships, but hours later as they drew closer he was able to discern that the approaching vessels were large and now assumed them to be British. To ascertain the disposition of the unidentified ships Constitution hoisted private signals (flags) at 11:30 AM, while the assumed British vessel also hoisted its signals, but neither ship made the correct counter-signal.

Constitution tacking the wind made her way from the neutral Portuguese territorial waters with Java giving chase. The following day at 12:30 PM Java hoisted her colors and ensign with Constitution hoisting her colors in reply. With the dispositions of each ship confirmed, Java with the weather gauge to her advantage came about to position herself to rake Constitution. Being French-built, she was comparatively light for a frigate and was consequently faster and more maneuverable than Constitution. In reply Constitution fired a shot across Java's bow with Java returning fire with a full broadside.

Java started the battle badly out-matched both in terms of the experience of her crew and the weight of her broadside. Constitution, with her experienced commander and crew, countered by not shortening sail as was standard (this reduced strain on the masts thus making it less likely to lose a mast under fire). By 2 PM both ships were heading southeast. The opening phase of the action comprised both ships turning to and from attempting to get the better position for which to fire upon and rake the other, but with little success. Bainbridge now wore Constitution to a matching course and opened fire with a broadside at half a mile. This broadside accomplished nothing and forced Bainbridge to risk raking to close Java. Another broadside from Java carried away Constitution's helm, disabling her rudder and leaving Bainbridge severely wounded; however he still maintained command refusing to sit out the battle. Both ships resumed firing broadsides but by now Java had a mast and sail falling over her starboard side that prevented most of her guns on that side from firing, which also prevented her from laying alongside Constitution. The guns that attempted to fire only managed to set the fallen sail and rigging ablaze.

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The Java surrendering to the Constitution (PAD5829)

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HMS Java exploding after being set ablaze

Constitution's accuracy of fire and the greater weight of her broadside put the much smaller Java at a large disadvantage. Within one hour, after several close encounters involving the rigging of each ship getting entangled with the other's, Java's masts collapsed. During this encounter a sharpshooter aloft in Constitution mortally wounded Lambert. Lieutenant Henry Ducie Chads now took over command, assisted by the captain in transit to his ship. Bainbridge used this opportunity to distance Constitution so as to make immediately needed repairs, taking approximately an hour. However clearing the masts and fallen rigging aboard Java had hardly begun when Constitution returned from repairing her damage and immediately took a raking position from which Java could not defend herself. This left Lieutenant Chads no choice but to surrender Java. Constitution hoisted out a boat and sent First Lieutenant Parker to take possession of the prize.

In the battle, Java suffered 22 men killed, including Lambert, and 102 wounded. Constitution lost nine men initially and 57 wounded, including Bainbridge. Some four or five later succumbed to their wounds.

In the course of battle Java was rendered a dismasted hulk that was not worth taking as a prize. Instead Bainbridge removed her helm and installed it on Constitution, replacing the one that had been shot away. On New Year's Day 1813, two days after the engagement, Bainbridge gave the order to set Java ablaze; she subsequently blew up.

Upon learning of the death of Captain Lambert, Commodore Bainbridge expressed deep sorrow for a commander he credited to be brave and noble. On 23 April 1813, Lieutenant Chads and the other surviving officers and men of Java faced the customary court martial aboard HMS Gladiator for the loss of their ship. They were honourably acquitted.

In fiction
The engagement between Java and Constitution was fictionalized in the novel The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian.


1280px-USS_Constitution_fires_a_17-gun_salute.jpg

USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy named by President George Washington after the United States Constitution. She is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. She was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Her first duties were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

Constitution is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides" and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping. She continued to serve as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons, and she circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War, she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy. She carried American artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878.

Constitution was retired from active service in 1881 and served as a receiving ship until being designated a museum ship in 1907. In 1934, she completed a three-year, 90-port tour of the nation. She sailed under her own power for her 200th birthday in 1997, and again in August 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere.

Constitution's stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy's role in war and peace through educational outreach, historical demonstration, and active participation in public events as part of the Naval History & Heritage Command. As a fully commissioned Navy ship, her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. She is usually berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard at one end of Boston's Freedom Trail.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Java_(1811)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1860 – The launch of HMS Warrior, with her combination of screw propeller, iron hull and iron armour, renders all previous warships obsolete.


HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France's launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. Obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, she was placed in reserve in 1875, and was "paid off" – decommissioned – in 1883.

She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy's torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987.

1280px-HMS_warriorjune20092.jpg

Background
The launching of the steam-powered ship of the line Napoléon by France in 1850 began an arms race between France and Britain that lasted for a decade. The destruction of a wooden Ottoman fleet by a Russian fleet firing explosive shells in the Battle of Sinop, early in the Crimean War, followed by the destruction of Russian coastal fortifications during the Battle of Kinburn in the Crimean War by French armoured floating batteries, and tests against armour plates, showed the superiority of ironclads over unarmoured ships. France's launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire, upset the balance of power by neutralising the British investment in wooden ships of the line and started an invasion scare in Britain, as the Royal Navy lacked any ships that could counter Gloire and her two sisters. The situation was perceived to be so serious that Queen Victoria asked the Admiralty if the navy was adequate for the tasks that it would have to perform in wartime. Warrior and her sister were ordered in response.

The Admiralty initially specified that the ship should be capable of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), and have a full set of sails for worldwide cruising range. Iron construction was chosen as it gave the best trade-off between speed and protection; an iron hull was lighter than a wooden one of the same size and shape, giving more capacity for guns, armour and engines.

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Graduated bar scale, approximately 1:96. A plan showing the sheer lines and longitudinal half-breadth of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860). The body was originally attached, and is catalogued separately as NPC5106B. Drawing titled 'A Design for building an Iron Frigate of 36 Guns & 1250 H.P. [horsepower] having 214 feet of its length covered on the outside with Armour Plates of 4 1/2 inches in thickness'. Signed by Rear Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake Walker [Surveyor of the Navy, 1848-1860]. Signed by Isaac Watts [1st Assistant Surveyor, 1848-1860]. Signed by Joseph Large [2nd Assistant Surveyor in 1859]. Signed by James Graff [Draftsman 1st class in 1859].

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Scale 1:96. A plan showing the body of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860). This plan is the seperated portion of plan NPC5106A.

Class and type: Warrior-class armoured frigate
Displacement: 9,137 long tons (9,284 t)
Length: 420 ft (128.0 m) (o/a)
Beam: 58 ft 4 in (17.8 m)
Draught: 26 ft 10 in (8.2 m)
Installed power:

  • 5,772 ihp (4,304 kW)
  • 10 rectangular boilers
Propulsion: 1 shaft, 1 Trunk steam engine
Sail plan: Ship rig
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range: 2,100 nmi (3,900 km; 2,400 mi) at 11 kn (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Complement: 706 officers and enlisted men
Armament:

  • 26 × Smoothbore muzzle-loading 68-pounder (206 mm) guns
  • 10 × Rifled breechloading 110-pounder (178 mm) guns
  • 4 × Rifled breechloading 40-pounder (121 mm) guns
Armour:
large (7).jpg Scale 1:96. A plan showing the inboard profile of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860). In addition to the main drawing there is a small section through the upper deck beam at frame 3. Undated minor alterations carried out at Portsmouth are picked out in red ink. Signed by George Turner [Master Shipwright, Woolwich Dockyard from 12 July 1859].

Design and description
Overview

Chief Constructor of the Navy Isaac Watts and Chief Engineer Thomas Lloyd designed the ship. To minimise risk they copied the hull design of the large wooden frigate HMS Mersey, modifying it for iron construction and to accommodate an armoured box, or citadel, amidships along the single gun deck, which protected most of the ship's guns. Ships with this configuration of guns and armour are classified as broadside ironclads.

The Warrior-class design used many well-proven technologies that had been used in ocean-going ships for years, including her iron hull, steam engine, and screw propeller; only her wrought-iron armour was a major technological advance. Naval architect and historian David K. Brown wrote, "What made [Warrior] truly novel was the way in which these individual aspects were blended together, making her the biggest and most powerful warship in the world." Being faster, better armoured and harder to hit than her rivals, she was superior to any existing naval ship. The Admiralty immediately stopped the construction of all wooden ships of the line, and ordered another eleven ironclads over the next few years. Jacky Fisher, who was the ship's gunnery lieutenant in 1863–64, later wrote that in spite of this, most people did not realise at the time what a significant change it would bring about: "It certainly was not appreciated that this, our first armourclad ship of war, would cause a fundamental change in what had been in vogue for something like a thousand years."

Although built in response to Gloire, the Warriors had a very different operational concept from the French ship, which was meant to replace wooden ships of the line. The Warriors were designed by Watts as 40-gun armoured frigates and were not intended to stand in the line of battle, as the Admiralty was uncertain about their ability to withstand concentrated fire from wooden two- and three-deck ships of the line. Unlike Gloire, they were planned to be fast enough to force battle on a fleeing enemy and to control the range at which a battle was fought to their own advantage. In contrast to Gloire's square profile, Warrior has a clipper bow, but she is twice as long as a typical clipper ship.

HMS Warrior is 380 feet 2 inches (115.9 m) long between perpendiculars and 420 feet (128.0 m) long overall. She has a beam of 58 feet 4 inches (17.8 m) and a draught of 26 feet 9 inches (8.2 m). The ship displaces 9,137 long tons (9,284 t) and has a tonnage of 6,109 tons burthen. The ship's length made her relatively unmanoeuvrable, making it harder for her to use her strengthened stem for ramming, an ancient tactic that was coming back into use at the time. The ends of the hull are subdivided by watertight transverse bulkheads and decks into 92 compartments, and the hull has a double bottom underneath the engine and boiler rooms.

Armament

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One of the replica 110-pounder breech-loaders on the restored Warrior

The armament of the Warrior-class ships was originally intended to be forty smoothbore, muzzle-loading 68-pounder guns, nineteen on each side on the main deck and one each fore and aft as chase guns on the upper deck. The 7.9-inch (201 mm) 68-pounder had a range of 3,200 yards (2,900 m) with solid shot. During construction the armament was changed to include ten Armstrong 110-pounder guns, an early rifled breech loader (RBL) design, along with twenty-six 68-pounders, and four RBL Armstrong 40-pounder guns with a calibre of 4.75 inches (121 mm) and a maximum range of 3,800 yards (3,500 m). It had been planned to replace all the 68-pounders with the innovative 110-pounder, whose 7-inch (178 mm) shell could reach 4,000 yards (3,700 m), but poor results in armour-penetration tests halted this. During the first use in action of a 110-pounder aboard HMS Euryalus in 1863, the gun was incorrectly loaded and the vent piece was blown out of the breech when fired. They were labour-intensive to load and fire, and were henceforth only used with a reduced propellant charge, which left them ineffective against ironclad ships.

All the guns could fire either solid shot or explosive shells. The 68-pounders could also fire Heated iron shells, filled with iron heated in a furnace between the two forward boilers. The 40-pounder Armstrong guns were replaced with a better design of the same calibre in 1863. Warrior's original armament was replaced during her 1864–67 refit with twenty-four 7-inch and four 8-inch (203 mm) rifled muzzle-loading (RML) guns. The ship also received four RBL Armstrong 20-pounders for use as saluting guns. The RML 8-inch gun could penetrate 9.6 inches (244 mm) of wrought iron armour at the muzzle, and the RML 7-inch gun could pierce 7.7 inches (196 mm).

Armour

HMS_Warrior_(1860)_bulkhead_armour.jpg
Cross section of Warrior's bulkhead armour. Iron on the right backed by teak.

Warrior's armour consisted of 4.5 inches (114 mm) of wrought iron backed by 18 inches (457 mm) of teak. The iron armour was made up of 3-by-12-foot (0.91 by 3.66 m) plates that interlocked via the tongue and groove method. It was bolted through the teak to the iron hull. The teak consisted of two 9-inch-thick (229 mm) layers laid at right angles to each other; they strengthened the armour by damping the shock waves caused by the impact of shells that would otherwise break the bolts connecting the armour to the hull. Unlike most later ship armour HMS Warrrior's armour was made via a process of hammering rather than rolling. Based on tests at Shoeburyness in October 1861 when the Warrior was launched, it "was practically invulnerable to the ordnance at the time in use".

The armour covered the middle 213 feet (64.9 m) of the ship and extended 16 feet (4.9 m) above the waterline and 6 feet (1.8 m) below it. The guns on the main deck were protected from raking fire by 4.5-inch transverse bulkheads. The ends of the ship were unprotected, but were subdivided into watertight compartments to minimise flooding. The lack of armour at the stern meant that the steering gear and rudder were vulnerable.

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Scale: 1:24. Sectional model showing the midship framing of HMS 'Warrior' (1860), a 40-gun ironclad sailing and single screw steam vessel. This cutaway model depicts a half midship section and is complete with all the structural ironwork and wooden decking. The outer hull is painted a pink/red below the waterline, with a thin white line below the black topsides. The interior of the model is painted a grey indicating the ironwork of webframes deck beams, pillars, together with wooden decking, working gunports and scuppers. The model is supported by three keelblocks and two wooden shores just above the bilgekeels, all fixed to its original wooden varnished baseboard.

Crew
The ship's crew comprised 50 officers and 656 ratings in 1863. The majority of the crew had to do physically demanding tasks; one such duty was the raising of the heaviest manually hauled anchors in maritime history. The day-to-day life of her crew differed little from those on the navy's traditional wooden-hulled vessels.

The majority of the crew lived on the single gun deck of the Warrior; these crewmen slept in hammocks slung from the sides and deck beams, with up to 18 men between each pair of guns. The officers berthed in the rear of the ship in small individual cabins; the wardroom was also the officers' mess. The captain had two spacious, well-furnished cabins.

Of the ratings, 122 were Royal Marines. As an experiment during the ship's first commission, all of Warrior's marines were from Royal Marine Artillery; subsequently some marine infantrymen were assigned as was the usual naval practice. The marines manned the aft section of guns and slung their hammocks between the crew's accommodation and the officers' cabins.

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Scale: 1:192. A contemporary full hull model of the HMS 'Warrior' (1860), a single-screw, broadside ironclad battleship. Model is carved from the solid and is decked, fully equipped and rigged. The ‘Warrior’ was built by Thames Ironworks, Blackwall, and measured 380 feet in length by 58 feet in the beam and a tonnage of 9210. Carrying 40 breech loading guns along the single deck, it was built in reply to the French warship ‘Gloire’, a powerful ironclad wooden hulled frigate of 1859. The powerful Penn horizontal trunk steam engine produced a speed of 14 knots and as a result of the ships superiority over any afloat, it never fired a shot in anger. The ‘Warrior’ spent its sea-going service with the Channel Fleet until 1872 and was then re-fitted as a coastguard ship at Portland. It was eventually paid off in 1900 and converted as a torpedo depot ship at Portsmouth, being renamed ‘Vernon III’ in 1904. In 1923, the hull was stripped and used as a floating pontoon oil jetty at Pembroke. Finally in 1979, the ‘Warrior’ was towed to Hartlepool for restoration and is now moored afloat in Portsmouth Dockyard fully restored and open to the public.

Propulsion


A reproduction of the pistons of HMS Warrior's engines

Warrior had a two-cylinder trunk steam engine, made by John Penn and Sons, driving a single propeller using steam provided by 10 rectangular boilers. The engine produced a total of 5,772 indicated horsepower (4,304 kW) during Warrior's sea trials on 1 April 1868 giving a speed of 14.08 knots (26.08 km/h; 16.20 mph) under steam alone. The ship carried 853 long tons (867 t) of coal, enough to steam 2,100 nautical miles (3,900 km; 2,400 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph).

The ironclad was ship rigged and had a sail area of 48,400 square feet (4,497 m2). Warrior reached 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) under sail alone, 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) faster than her sister ship Black Prince. She had the largest hoisting propeller ever made; it weighed 26 long tons (26 t), and 600 men could raise it into the ship to reduce drag while under sail. To further reduce drag, both her funnels were telescopic and could be lowered. Under sail and steam together, the ship once reached 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph) against the tide while running from Portsmouth to Plymouth.

to be continued in next post.....




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Warrior_(1860)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior-class_ironclad
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-359096;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=W
 
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Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1860 – The launch of HMS Warrior - Part II History


Construction and service
Warrior was ordered on 11 May 1859 from Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company in Blackwall, London. The ship was laid down some time after 6 June 1859 on the West Ham side of Bow Creek when the P&O ocean liner Seine was launched, and the slipway was reinforced to support Warrior's weight. Full-scale production of the ship's iron began in August, and the construction probably began in mid-August. Indecision by the Admiralty and frequent design changes caused many delays and nearly drove her builders bankrupt before a grant of £50,000 was awarded to keep them solvent. Her launching on 29 December 1860 was during the coldest winter for 50 years. She was frozen to her slipway and required the use of hydraulic rams, additional tugs, and dockworkers running from side to side on the upper deck to rock her free. Warrior was commissioned in August 1861 to conduct her sea trials; she was completed on 24 October for £377,292, almost twice the cost of a contemporary wooden ship of the line. Between March and June 1862, defects exposed during her trials were rectified, and damage repaired. Changes included the fitting of a lighter bowsprit and a shorter jib boom, along with the provision of extra heads amidships.


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Scale 1:48. A plan showing a midships half-section and midships plating expansion from the gunwales to the keel. The plan is entitled 'Sketch shewing Butts of Armour Plating & Hull Plating' of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860). The plan has been signed and dated by W. B. Baskcombe. This man does not appear in the Navy List for the period, but it is known that he was appointed by the Admiralty to oversee the construction of 'Warrior' at Thames Iron Works at Blackwall.

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Scale 1:48. A plan showing a midships half-section of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860), illustrating the transverse framing structure.

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No scale. A plan showing the arrangement of armour plates on both the port and starboard sides of the armoured 'citadel' for the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860). The plates shaded in grey represent armour installed at the time of the plan's drafting. The plan is signed 'John Ford', but this name does not appear in any of the appropriate sections of the Navy List for that period. It is possible that he was a representative of Ditchburn & Mare of Blackwall.

The ship was initially assigned to the Channel Squadron under the command of Captain Arthur Cochrane. In March 1863, Warrior escorted the royal yacht that brought Princess Alexandra of Denmark to Britain to marry the Prince of Wales. The princess appreciated the conduct of the ship's crew, and requested Admiral Sir Michael Seymour to convey that "she was much pleased" to the ship. Cochrane had the message engraved on a brass plate and fitted to the ship's wheel. Her descendant, Princess Alexandra of Kent, is now patron of the HMS Warrior 1860 Trust.

In mid-1863 the Channel Fleet toured British ports for 12 weeks; the ship received 300,000 visitors, including as many as 13,000 a day in port.

HMS_Warrior_1872.jpg
A painting of Warrior under sail

Warrior began a refit in November 1864 during which the Armstrong guns, which had not proved successful in use, were removed and her armament was upgraded to the latest rifled muzzle-loading guns. She was recommissioned in 1867, under the command of Captain John Corbett, to relieve her sister as the guardship at Queenstown in Ireland, but instead both ships participated in the Fleet Review held on 17 July in honour of the visits made by the Khedive of Egypt and the Sultan of Turkey to Britain. After the review, the Admiralty paid off the ship on 24 July; the following day Warrior was recommissioned with Captain Henry Boys in command. After working up at Spithead, she sailed to join the Channel Squadron on 24 September. At the end of the year she was deployed to Osborne Bay to guard Queen Victoria at Osborne House. The Fenian Rising was under way, and there was intelligence suggesting that the Queen might be in danger from Irish nationalists. While Warrior was performing this duty, she received an informal visit from the Queen. The ship was part of a squadron that escorted the royal yacht HMY Victoria and Albert II to Dublin in April 1868 for an official visit by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. In August, while cruising to Scotland, Warrior collided with HMS Royal Oak, losing her figurehead and jib boom and smashing Royal Oak's cutter. Boys was court-martialled and acquitted over the incident.

From 4 to 28 July 1868, Warrior, with Black Prince and the wooden paddle frigate HMS Terrible, towed a specially built floating drydock, large enough to accommodate ironclads, 2,700 nmi (5,000 km; 3,100 mi) across the Atlantic from Madeira to Bermuda. Upon her return to England in late August, Boys was relieved by Captain Frederick Stirling. After a refit to clean her hull and replace the figurehead lost in the collision, Warrior rejoined the Channel Squadron. On 2 March 1870, Captain Henry Glyn assumed command of the ship. While returning from a joint cruise with the Mediterranean Fleet, the ship was present when HMS Captain was lost during a severe storm on 7 September. Further cruises followed, including trips to Madeira and Gibraltar. Warrior narrowly missed colliding with HMS Agincourt when she was following her out of Gibraltar and Agincourt grounded on Pearl Rock.

1280px-Portsmouth_HMS_Warrior_citadel_13-10-2011_13-38-31.png
Warrior's gun deck after restoration

The rapid evolution of warship design, for which Warrior was partly responsible, meant that she started to become obsolete only ten years after she had been launched. In 1871 the Royal Navy commissioned its first mastless capital ship, HMS Devastation. In the absence of masts, the main armament could move from the broadside and traverse more freely from a higher position. In the same year, Warrior began a refit that lasted until 1875; it added a poop deck and steam capstan, a shorter bowsprit, and replacement boilers. In April 1875, the ship was recommissioned, and assigned to the First Reserve, where she served as a guardship at Portland. In this role, she went on annual summer cruises to various ports. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, she was mobilised due to concerns that the victorious Russians might be about to attack Constantinople, forcing Great Britain to intervene, but nothing transpired and Warrior cruised to Bantry Bay instead. In April 1881 she was transferred to the Clyde District, where she served as guardship until 31 May 1883. Two of her masts were discovered to be rotten that month and with no replacements available, the ship was decommissioned and the masts removed.

Warrior was reclassified as a "screw battle ship, third class, armoured" in 1887 and again in May 1892 as a first-class armoured cruiser, although no changes were made to her. She was considered for modernization as late as 1894, but this was rejected as uneconomical after at least one new boiler was installed. She was struck off the effective list at Portsmouth and classified as hulk in March 1900. The ship was used as a storage hulk from May 1901 to July 1902. In preparation for her service as a depot ship for a flotilla of destroyers, the ship had her engines and boilers removed and part of her upper deck roofed over. Warrior served in this role from July 1902, under the command of Captain John de Robeck. She was in March 1904 assigned to the Portsmouth-based Vernon, the Royal Navy's torpedo-training school. Her name was changed to Vernon III that month and six new Belleville boilers and four electric generators were installed so that she could supply steam and electricity to the neighbouring hulks that made up Vernon. Most of the upper deck was roofed over to form classrooms for radio training, and her fore and mizzen masts were reinstalled. In October 1923, the school was transferred to a newly built shore installation, rendering Warrior and her companion hulks redundant; Warrior resumed her name on 1 October and the Royal Navy declared her redundant six months later.

HMS_Warrior_Pembroke_Dock_July_1977_B.jpg
Warrior used as an oil jetty in Llanion Cove (1977)

The mass scrapping of obsolete ships after World War I had caused a downturn in demand for scrap iron by the time the Navy decided to sell off Warrior on 2 April 1925. There was no commercial interest in scrapping the old ship, and she remained at Portsmouth for another four years. She was modified into a mooring jetty beginning on 22 October 1927. This entailed the removal of all of her equipment and masts other than her boilers and generators, and the installation of two diesel-driven emergency pumps. The space under the poop was converted into accommodation for a shipkeeper and his family. The hulk was towed to her new home, Pembroke Dock in Wales, on 13 March 1929 where she served as a floating oil jetty. For the next fifty years, the ship lay just offshore from an oil depot at Llanion Cove. The Navy covered the ship's upper deck with a thick layer of concrete during one of her maintenance dockings before World War II. In the war, she served as a base ship for coastal minesweepers and, on 27 August 1942, was renamed as Oil Fuel Hulk C77 to release her name for use by a light aircraft carrier, HMS Warrior, then under construction. She refuelled 5,000 ships during her service at Llanion Cove.

Preservation

Captain's_day_cabin_HMS_Warrior.jpg
The reproduction captain's day cabin

Restoring Warrior was discussed in the early 1960s, but did not develop into a serious project. In 1967, the Greater London Council proposed to restore the ship as an attraction in London, but Warrior was still required in Pembroke by the Royal Navy and the scheme went no further. In 1968 the Duke of Edinburgh chaired a meeting that discussed preserving and restoring Warrior and other historic vessels, and a year later The Maritime Trust was established to save the decrepit ironclad and other historic ships. The Maritime Trust and a major supporter, the Manifold Trust led by the Conservative MP John Smith, maintained an interest in Warrior. In 1976 the Royal Navy announced that the Llanion Oil Depot would close in 1978, and the Manifold Trust began to seek funds to restore her. With the promise of financial support for restoration, the Royal Navy donated the ship to the trust in 1979. The Ship's Preservation Trust acquired ownership of the ship in 1983; it became the Warrior Preservation Trust in 1985.

Restoration
In August 1979 Warrior began her 800-mile (1,300 km) journey to her temporary home in the Coal Dock at Hartlepool for restoration as a museum ship. She arrived on 2 September 1979 and began the £9 million restoration project, largely funded by the Manifold Trust. The Maritime Trust decided to restore Warrior to her 1862 condition with the aim that no further major work would be necessary for the next 20 years. The first two years of the restoration were generally devoted to safely removing material added after her first commission, like the poop deck and the 200 long tons (200 t) of concrete decking. Intensive research was done to find detailed descriptions of the ship and her equipment as of 1862 to make the restoration as accurate as economically feasible. Sources included surviving official records, and the papers of those who had served on the ship during her active service. Bolt-holes and ridges in the paint gave clues to the location of some fittings and fixtures, and the sketch plans of Midshipman Henry Murray, found in Captain Cochrane's Letter Book, showed the locations of the armament, moveable fittings and stores.

HMS_Warrior_Figurehead_-_geograph.org.uk_-_548079.jpg
Warrior's figurehead in 2007

Work on carving a replacement for Warrior's figurehead, which was destroyed in the 1960s, began in 1981 using photographs of the original as a guide. The 12-foot (3.7 m) work-in-progress was displayed at the 1982 London International Boat Show with the carvers still at work; it dominated coverage of the show. Before it was finished in mid-1983, the figurehead appeared on the BBC children's television programme Blue Peter. For much of 1984 it was displayed at the Main Gate of the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. It was mounted on the ship on 6 February 1985.

Replacement of the ship's 86-foot-3-inch (26.3 m)-tall, 42-inch (1.1 m)-wide lower masts in wood was not feasible, so they were made of steel tube cut and welded to shape, with a ladder inside each mast to allow access to the platforms on the masts. The three masts and the bowsprit were stepped in place between September 1984 and February 1985. Warrior's engines, boilers and auxiliary machinery were considered too expensive to rebuild, so replicas were built from sheet steel with a few components made from cast iron to duplicate the look of the real equipment. The replica engines can rotate slowly, using electrical power, to allow visitors to imagine how they might have looked in operation.

The Woolwich Rotunda Artillery Museum and the States of Jersey lent examples of Warrior's original primary guns, the muzzle-loading 68-pounder and the breech-loading 110-pounder, which were used as moulds for fibreglass replicas. The Armstrong guns were built with working breeches; they, and the muzzles of all the guns, had to be sealed to prevent people leaving rubbish in them. Little information was available on the wooden gun carriages despite extensive research, and a prototype had to be developed and tested before they could be built.

Museum ship
In 1985 a new berth beside Portsmouth Harbour railway station was dredged, and a new jetty constructed in preparation for Warrior's arrival in Portsmouth. The ship left Hartlepool on 12 June 1987 under the command of Captain Collin Allen and was towed 390 miles (630 km) to the Solent in four days. When she entered Portsmouth Harbour she was welcomed by thousands of people lining the town walls and shore, and by over 90 boats and ships. She opened as a museum on 27 July. The restored ironclad was renamed HMS Warrior (1860) to avoid confusion with the Northwood Headquarters, commissioned as HMS Warrior in 1963, which was at the time the operational headquarters of the Royal Navy.

Warrior is part of the National Historic Fleet, and is berthed in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard complex, which is also the home of Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and the Tudor warship Mary Rose. In 1995 she received over 280,000 visitors, and the whole dockyard receives between 400,000 and 500,000 visitors annually. Warrior continued to be managed by the Warrior Preservation Trust until 2017. In April of that year, the trust was taken over by the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Warrior became part of the museum's fleet. The ship continues to be used as a venue for weddings and functions to generate funds for her maintenance. The trust also maintained a collection of material related to the ship and an archive, although it is not yet open to the public.


large (5).jpg
Scale 1:96. A plan showing the hold of the broadside ironclad 'Warrior' (1860), along with sections at Stations 39, 41, 45, 70, 87 and 89. This plan is a copy of plan NPC5126.

A huge number of drawings is available for download at the NMM - see link


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Warrior_(1860)
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-359096;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=W
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
29 December 1942 - USS Wasmuth (DMS 15) eventually sinks, 35 miles off Scotch Cape, the southwest point of Unimak Island, Aleutians, two days after a pair of her depth charges exploded during a gale. USS Ramapo (AO 12) comes alongside in the heavy seas and heroically rescues Wasmuths crew.


SS Wasmuth (DD-338/DMS-15) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy following World War I. She was named for Henry Wasmuth.

Wasmuth was laid down on 12 August 1919 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California; designated DD-338 on 17 July 1920; launched on 15 September 1920; sponsored by Miss Gertrude E. Bennet, stepdaughter of Lieutenant Colonel R. H. Davis, USMC, an officer on duty at Mare Island; and commissioned on 16 December 1921, Cmdr. W. P. Gaddis in command.

USS_Wasmuth_(DD-338).jpg

Wasmuth was fitted out at Mare Island until 27 February 1922, when she sailed for Richmond, California, to commence her shakedown cruise. Operating off Sausalito and Mare Island, the new destroyer completed her trials on 14 March, putting into her builder's yard on that day for post-shakedown repairs.

Fate
Two days after Christmas of 1942, Wasmuth was escorting a convoy through a heavy Alaskan storm when two depth charges were wrenched from their tracks by the pounding sea, fell over the side, and exploded beneath the ship's fantail. The blasts carried away part of the ship's stern and the ship began to founder; in the gale, the pumps could not make headway against the inexorably rising water below.

Despite the heavy sea, Ramapo (AO-12) came alongside the foundering Wasmuth. For three and a half hours, the tanker remained with the sinking high-speed minesweeper, battling the waves while successfully transferring her crew and two passengers.

After completing that rescue, Ramapo pulled away; Wasmuth eventually sank early on 29 December 1942. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 3 September 1943.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Wasmuth_(DD-338)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clemson-class_destroyer
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 29 December


1736 - British Fifth Rate ship HMS Princess Louisa (1728 - 40), ex HMS Launceston (1711 - 42), was bilged on the Hinder Sands, off Holland losing 16 men drowned

HMS Princess Louisa was a 42-gun fifth rate launched as HMS Launceston in 1711. She was rebuilt in 1728 and renamed HMS Princess Louisa. She was wrecked in 1736.

https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5042
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=5043


1751 – Launch of French Sage, 64 at Toulon - condemned 1767 and taken to pieces in 1768.

Lion class. Designed and built by Pierre-Blaise Coulomb.
Lion 64 (launched 22 May 1751 at Toulon) - hulked 1783 and sold 1785.
Sage 64 (launched 29 December 1751 at Toulon) - condemned 1767 and taken to pieces in 1768.


1798 - Secretary of Navy Benjamin Stoddert sends in his first annual report to Congress, requesting naval forces be increased "to make the most powerful nation desire our friendship - the most unprincipled respect our neutrality."


1812 - HMS Royalist (1807 - 18), George Downie, captured French privateer lugger La Ruse (1812 - 16) off Hythe.

HMS Royalist was a Cruizer-class brig-sloop of 18 guns, built at Sandwich, Kent in 1807. She had an active career during the Napoleonic Wars and was sold in 1819.

Posted by AvM on Tuesday 11th of July 2017 15:06
Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser - Wednesday 08 December 1813
At the CASTLE INN, RAMSGATE,

On SATURDAY, the llth Instantt,

(To follow the Sale of La Neptune),

fine French Lugger Privateer LA RUSE, captured by, and condemed as prize to, his Majesty's brig Royalist, George Downie, Esq. Commander; clinker-built, length 68 feet 10 inches, breadth 17 feet 8 inches, depth 7 feet 10 inches, and admeasures about 92 tons; nearly new, having been captured her first cruize ; Sails uncommonly fast, and well worth the attention of persons wanting vessel her description. -Further particulars may had application to Goodwin. Curling, Friend, and Co. Agents; or to

LARA and HINDS, Brokers, Ramsgate.

https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=6295
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=23192


1856 – Launch of French Dryade, at Lorient as a steam transport – deleted 13 February 1883.

Astrée class (50-gun type, 1845 design by Pierre-Félix Le Grix):
Dryade, (launched 29 December 1856 at Lorient as a steam transport) – deleted 13 February 1883.
Astrée, (launched 24 December 1859 at Lorient as a steam frigate) – deleted 3 May 1877.
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1778 – Launch of French Héros, 74 gun Annibal class – designed by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb, at Toulon


Héros was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, known mostly for being the flagship of Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez during the Anglo-French War.

800px-Heros_img_3178.jpg

Length: 168 ft (51 m)
Beam: 436 ft (133 m)
Draught: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: sail
Armament:

  • 74 guns:
  • Lower battery: 28 36-pounders
  • Upper battery: 30 18-pounders
  • Castles: 16 8-pounders
Armour:timber


Career
Construction
She was built in 1778 at Toulon on a design by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb.

Six battles in 27 months

Medaille_en_honneur_Suffren_1784_en_argent_par_Augustin_Dupre_nmm.ac.uk.jpeg
Héros was the flagship of admiral Suffren during his 1781-83 campaign in the Indian Ocean (National Maritime Museum).

1280px-Bonne_-_Carte_hydro-geo-graphique_des_Indes_Orientales.jpg
Les « Indes orientales ». Le Hérosfought in five battles under Suffren.

In 1781 she became part of Suffren's force, consisting of the 16-gun frigate Fortune, five ships of the line, eight troopships and a thousand soldiers, all entrusted with carrying the French war effort into the Indian Ocean. The other warships were one other 74 gun ship (the Annibal) and three 64-gun ships (the Vengeur, the Sphinx and the Artésien). Suffren had been allowed to choose his officers and non-commissioned officers and so these were mainly from Provence, despite the fact that the force set off from Brest. There were around ten men per gun, making a total crew of 712.

On 22 March 1781 the force sailed for the south Atlantic and on 16 April it met a force under commodore George Johnstone waiting off Cape Verde to attack the Cape. Suffren sailed the Héros into the centre of the enemy formation to try to destroy it while it was still at anchor, in what became the battle of Porto Praya. The ship almost fought the battle alone, since the other French ships were not so well commanded or manoeuvred and so engaged the enemy little or not at all. For more than an hour the Héros was under continual fire from the British ships - she fired "as fast as it was possible to load and reload" noted a British report of the battle. The Annibal was completely dismasted and her captain was killed, leaving the Héros to take her in tow after the battle.

Héros was stationed off the Cape from 21 June to 29 August to defend the Dutch colony from a British attack and to repair the damage done to her at Porto Praya. On 25 October she arrived at Mauritius Island to join the French ships already stationed there - these were the ships of the line Orient (74 guns), Sévère (64), Bizarre (64), Ajax (64), Brillant (64) and Flamand (56), the frigates Pourvoyeuse (38), Fine (36) and Bellone (32), the corvettes Subtile (24), Sylphide (12) and Diligent (10) and the fireship Pulvérisateur (6 or 4 guns). With Héros as Suffren's flagship, the eleven ships left the island on 7 December 1781 to attack the British force in the Indian Ocean

large (1).jpg
large (2).jpg large (3).jpg large.jpg
Scale: unknown. A contemporary full hull model of the French 74-gun, two-decker ‘Le Heros’ (1770). This unusually large-scale model is constructed plank on frame using wood, with the addition of horn for the wales. The name ‘Le Heros’ is inscribed on the stern. As is typical with POW models, the masts and bowsprit are slightly over-scaled in height and rake. The deck is complete with numerous fittings including the hammocks stowed in the netting on top of the bulwarks, which has then been covered by a white painted canvas as protection against the weather. Built in 1770, the ‘Le Heros’ was present on the 16 April 1781, as one of the squadron commanded by De Suffren in the action at Porto Praya. On 20 June 1783, it was in action off Cuddalore and later in the year, when in the East Indies in company with the 64 gun ‘Artesian’, it pursued and engaged ‘HMS Hanibal’, 50 guns, compelling it to strike. The ‘Le Horos’ was finally destroyed by Captain Sir W. Sidney Smith at the evacuation of Toulon in 1793.

On 17 February 1782 the Héros fought at the battle of Sadras off the coast of Coromandel, attacking the centre of the British formation and seriously damaging below the waterline Edward Hughes' flagship, the 74 gun HMS Superb. Héros and the rest of the squadron then called at Pondichéry and Porto-Novo to disembark general Duchemin's troops (21 February to 23 March 1782).

On 12 April, still Suffren's flagship, she fought in the bitter battle of Providien off Sri Lanka. She attacked HMS Superb again at pistol-shot range, causing a fire to break out aboard the British ship. She then de-masted HMS Monmouth, forcing her to leave the British line. However, the Héros was also heavily damaged, losing the top of her foremast. This meant she was no longer maneuverable and so was forced to leave the battle, with Suffren switching his flag to the 64 gun Ajax mid-battle. The Héros then called at Batticaloa on Sri Lanka with the rest of the squadron for repairs and to rest her crew.

On 6 July Héros fought in the battle of Negapatam. The wind suddenly changed direction mid-battle and broke up the two lines of battle, turning the engagement into a general mêlée. Héros saved the 64 gun Brillant, which had lost her mainmast, then try to engage HMS Superb, but the British ship refused to engage and the two squadrons disengaged for the third time after an indecisive battle. Héros called at Cuddalore on 8 July and she and the squadron were based there until 1 August. There Suffren met nabab Haidar Ali, who had come with his army to ally with Suffren against the British. The force then sailed again for Sri Lanka.

She and the squadron called at Batticaloa again from 9 to 23 August 1782 to be reinforced by the 74 gun Illustre and the 60 gun Saint-Michel and seventeen transports with troops and supplies. Héros was also placed on her side at Batticaloa to repair her hull, caulking and upperwork. Meanwhile, Suffren prepared an attempt to recapture Trincomalee, the main port on Sri Lanka. On 25 August, en route to Trincomalee, Héros had her stern and aftcastle lightly damaged in a collision with the Artésien. She was still able to take part in the French landings on 26 August which ended in the surrender of the British garrison on 31 August and the port's recapture.

On 3 September 1782, in the battle of Trincomalee, Héros was again engaged against Hughes' squadron, which had come to the aid of Trincomalee. Héros, Illustre and Ajax attacked the British centre but the wind dropped on part of the French line and the rest of the squadron was unable to follow - several captains only bombarded the British ships from a distance contrary to Suffren's orders. A sketch by one of Suffren's officers shows Héros spending several hours at the height of the action in the crossfire of HMS Superb, HMS Monmouth (64 guns), HMS Burford (74 guns) and HMS Eagle (64 guns). She lost her mainmast then her mizzenmast - the latter dragged the French flag into the water with it and for a moment the British thought that Suffren had struck his colours. Unengaged French ships of the line finally managed to tack into the battle and get the Héros to safety. Suffren moved to Orient and Héros was taken in tow by Sphinx, staying at Trincomalee for repairs until 1 October - she was repaired with matured timber and supplies taken from other ships of the line and transport ships.

She and the squadron sailed to Cuddalore in October to support the French garrison there, then under threat of siege. It wintered, resupplied and rested at Sumatra in November and December. On 12 November Héros became a floating embassy when Suffren received Alauddin Muhammad Syah, Sultan of Aceh on board her. This was the first French squadron of such size to visit the region and - fearing it was an invasion - Syah wished to find out whether or not its intent was hostile towards him. On 8 January 1783, Héros returned to the Indian coast and took part in a deception which captured a British frigate. She then arrived in Cuddalore on 6 February.

From February to June 1783 Héros cruised between the Coromandel and Trincomalee coasts, with Suffren making Trincomalee his main base. She was present on 10 March when the squadron was reinforced by a large force under Bussy (consisting of the 74 gun Fendant and Argonaute, the 66 gun Hardi and transports carrying 2,500 men). Suffren ordered this force to attack the British forces heading for Madras. Héros escorted the force before returning to Trincomalee and on 20 June she and the squadron fought the battle of Cuddalore. This was the final engagement between Hughes' and Suffren's squadrons - Suffren decided to give battle despite being outnumbered 18 to 15 in an attempt to lift the encirclement of Bussy's forces at Cuddalore. Héros took part in the battle, but orders received from the French king forced Suffren to lead the squadron from a frigate instead to avoid being wounded or captured - this directive had come into force after de Grasse's capture from the Ville de Paris at the battle of the Saintes on 12 April the previous year. Hughes' squadron was forced to flee, saving Bussy's force as Suffren had hoped. However, Suffren was unable to capitalize upon the victory since nine days later he received a dispatch reporting the signing of a preliminary peace agreement in Europe five months earlier (what would become the Treaty of Paris).

Héros sailed back to France in triumph - she and Vengeur sailed on 6 October and arrived at Mauritius on 12 November, where its governor M. de Souillac came on board to salute Suffren. On 29 November, now accompanied by the frigate Cléopâtre, she sailed from the Cape, which she reached on 22 December. Nine British ships of the line were calling at the Cape at the same time - most of them had fought against Suffren but his renown was such that all the British officers came on board the Héros "to salute in person a master of their profession, in a unique scene in French naval history. On 3 January 1784 the ship resumed her journey, reaching Toulon on 26 March to a rapturous reception and festivities at the city's hôtel de l’Intendance. On 6 April a local newspaper, the Courrier d'Avignon, reported a surprise dessert served to Suffren:

"It is written of this town [Toulon] that she presented to one diner a symbol, whose allegory was expressed with equal ingenuity and delicacy. As a dessert, it served a small sugar ship of the line modeled on the Héros, sailing the commander's flag; it was placed in a glass bowl below which was placed a laurel crown; at the poop of the ship was written the ship's name in large letters, Le Héros, and lower one read "At this table where everything flatters taste / With a shining circle around it, / This one must admire above all / It's Le Héros who virtue crowns"."
Impressed by the quality of Hindustani textile manufacture and hoping to set up a textile industry on Malta, Suffren had embarked fifty Indian cotton manufacturers on the Héros for the voyage home. They were immediately sent from Toulon to Malta to use its local cotton.

Evolution during the Indian Campaign

Soldat_de_marine_et_matelot_pechant_sur_une_ancre_1775.jpg
'Marine and sailor at rest - Héroslost 40% of her crew over the three years of the campaign.

The ship was on station for 27 months and then took 9 months to get back to France, meaning she was away from home waters for almost three years. This made her one of the most heavily engaged French warships of the time, though she was much-changed when she returned to Toulon - she had been dismasted twice (at Providien and Trincomalee) and repaired with modified rigging and masts from other ships and her launch had been so badly damaged by gunfire that Suffren suspended it from the stern at the level of the gallery.

The good health and discipline of the ship's crew (or at least those who remained on the flagship) is also instructive as to the kind of men being recruited in Brest in March 1781. However, it is difficult to trace changes in personnel over the course of the campaign - for example, the ship's muster does not take into account the presence of slaves, Lascars and sepoys, who at times formed a considerable proportion of the crew. This was especially true during the final months in the Indian Ocean, when large numbers of the original crew had been killed in action or lost to sickness, wounds or desertion. The Indian sailors' pay was different and records of their service are incomplete.

Of the 19 officers and gardes de la marine who left Brest with the ship in March 1781, only 8 returned to Toulon aboard her - 8 had left the ship during the campaign, 2 had been killed in combat and 1 had died of his wounds. 88 of the seamen were killed in battle, 99 died of sickness or wounds at sea and 399 were hospitalized at least once - of that 399, it is recorded that 41 died in hospital, though that is definitely an under-estimate. 49 men deserted. Total losses were 365 out of a complement of 712 men on departure from Brest. Suffren made up these losses by taking men from frigates and transport ships, recruiting locally and redistributing among the squadron the crews of Orient and Bizarre, which both ran aground in 1782. Research is complicated by these crew movements and by the fact that Suffren gave preference to sailors from Provence for the voyage home, so that they could return home more easily to their family, since he chose Toulon not Brest as his destination. It is estimated that around 40% of the original crew did not return to Toulon.

Later career
Suffren died in December 1788 and Héros remained stationed at Toulon with the Levant squadron. Early in 1793 war broke out again between France and Britain and Héros was seized by the British as she was moored at Toulon when a Royalist cabale surrendered the city to them on 29 August. As the Siege of Toulon ended in the liberation of the city, Captain Sidney Smith had her scuttled by fire on 18–19 December along with Thémistocle and six other ships of the line which he was unable to take with him as prize ships.


Glorieux_combats_de_juin_1794.jpg


Achille (left) being dismasted by HMS Brunswick at the Glorious First of June

The Annibal class was a class of two 74-gun ships of the French Navy. The type was one of the first achievements of Jacques-Noël Sané. His first design - on 24 November 1777 - was for a ship of 166 pieds (176 feet 11 inches) length, but he produced an amended design on 10 January 1779 for the Annibal, and a further amended design on 3 March 1780 for her near-sister Northumberland. Both ships were captured during the Third Battle of Ushant ("Bataille du 13 prairial an II" or "Glorious First of June") on 1 June 1794 off Ushant, and were added to but never commissioned into the British Navy.

Builder: Brest Dockyard
Ordered: 20 February 1778
Launched: 5 October 1778
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 1 June 1794 and renamed HMS Achille, but broken up at Plymouth in February 1796.

Builder: Brest Dockyard
Ordered:
Launched: 3 May 1780
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 1 June 1794 and named HMS Northumberland, but broken up at Plymouth in November 1795.

large (4).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board detail, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Northumberland' (1794), a captured French 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker, prior to being broken up at Plymouth Dockyard in November 1795. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-circa 1802].

large (6).jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with sternboard decoration and the name on the counter in a cartouche, the sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Achille (captured 1794), a captured French Third Rate. The plan illustrates the ship as she was taken off prior to being broken up at Plymouth Dockyard in February 1796. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-1801].

large (5).jpg
Scale: 1:96. Plan showing the quarterdeck, forecastle, upper deck, lower deck, and orlop deck with fore and aft platforms for 'Northumberland' (1794), a captured French 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker, prior to being broken up at Plymouth Dockyard in November 1795. Signed by John Marshall [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1795-circa 1802].



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Héros_(1778)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annibal-class_ship_of_the_line
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...el-289041;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=A
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collectio
ns.html#!csearch;authority=vessel-335278;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=N
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1794 - HMS Blanche (1786 - 32), Cptn. Robert Faulknor, silenced a fort at the island of Desirade and captured French national schooner (8)


HMS Blanche was a 32-gun Hermione-class fifth rate of the Royal Navy. She was ordered towards the end of the American War of Independence, but only briefly saw service before the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793. She enjoyed a number of successful cruises against privateers in the West Indies, before coming under the command of Captain Robert Faulknor. He took the Blanche into battle against a superior opponent and after a hard-fought battle, forced the surrender of the French frigate Pique. Faulknor was among those killed on the Blanche. She subsequently served in the Mediterranean, where she had the misfortune of forcing a large Spanish frigate to surrender, but was unable to secure the prize, which then escaped. Returning to British waters she was converted to a storeship and then a troopship, but did not serve for long before being wrecked off the Texel in 1799.

HMS_Blanche_and_Pique.jpg
HMS Blanche tows the captured Pique into port, depicted by Robert Dodd

Construction and commissioning
Blanche was ordered from the yards of Thomas Calhoun and John Nowlan, of Bursledon on 9 August 1782 and laid down there in July the following year. She was launched on 10 July 1786 and proceeded to Portsmouth where she was coppered in August. She was then laid up for some time, before commissioning in January 1789. Work to fit her for sea had been completed by 25 April that year.

Class and type: 32-gun Hermione-class fifth rate
Tons burthen: 722 48⁄94 bm
Length:
  • 129 ft (39.3 m) (overall)
  • 107 ft 0 1⁄2 in (32.6 m) (keel)
Beam: 35 ft 7 1⁄2 in (10.9 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 220
Armament:
  • Upper deck: 26 × 12-pounder guns
  • QD: 4 × 6-pounder guns + 4 × 18-pounder carronades
  • Fc: 2 × 6-pounder guns + 2 × 18-pounder carronades

large (8).jpg
Lines (ZAZ2941)

Career
Blanche's first period of service took her to the Leeward Islands in May 1789, under the command of Captain Robert Murray, but she had returned to Britain by June 1792, when she was paid off. A brief period of refitting at Deptford lasted from July to October, before she returned to the Leeward Islands under the command of Captain Christopher Parker. Parker undertook several successful cruises while in the West Indies in 1793, capturing the 12-gun Vengeur on 1 October, the 20-gun Revolutionnaire on 8 October and the 22-gun Sans Culotte on 30 December. Command of the Blanche passed to Captain Robert Faulknor in 1794, who continued Parker's work by capturing a large schooner at La Désirade on 30 December 1794, with the loss of two killed and four wounded.

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This painting, by English artist John Thomas Baines (1820–75), refers to an incident between the British frigate ‘Blanche’ and the French vessel ‘Pique’ off Guadeloupe in the early hours of 5 January 1795. In the course of the violent and extended action the English captain, Robert Faulknor, was killed, but the dismasted ‘Pique’ finally had to surrender. The ‘Pique’ is shown in a port-broadside view on the right, totally dismasted, her bowsprit lashed to the ‘Blanche’s’ stern, shown port-quarter view on the left. The ‘Blanche’ is firing through her stern windows, raking the ‘Pique’, which still wears her ensign on the staff. The ‘Blanche’ has only her foremast standing and is towing the ‘Pique’ before the wind. By focusing on the two ships in the middle ground, but reducing the depiction of human activity aboard the vessels, and by merging the calmly rippled sea and the cloudy sky in a grey tonality as a backdrop, the artist manages to portray the devastation of the scene effectively. He has, however, erroneously shown 'Blanche' flying post-1801 Union colours: the Union at the main and the red ensign should not have the red St Patrick saltire (diagonal) cross of Ireland - which was only added in that year. The painting is signed and dated lower right but this is very hard to read: it has been recorded as 'JOHN T. BAINES / LYNN FEB` SL 1830' but Baines would only have been ten in that year so it may be 1850.

Battling the Pique
Faulknor then proceeded to patrol off Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe, where the 36-gun French frigate Pique was known to be refitting. The French ship came out of the harbour on 4 January, and the two frigates spent several hours manoeuvring and circling each other, trying to gain an advantage. The battle started early on the morning of 5 January, with the two ships closing and exchanging broadsides, before Pique turned and ran afoul of Blanche, with her bowsprit caught across her port quarter. While the French made several attempts to board, which were repulsed, the crew of Blanche attempted to lash the bowsprit to their capstan, but during the attempt Captain Faulknor was killed by a musket ball to the heart. Pique then broke away from Blanche and came round her stern, this time colliding on the starboard quarter. Blanche's men quickly lashed the bowsprit to the stump of their mainmast, which held her fast. Heavy volleys of musket fire were now exchanged between the two ships, while the men of Blanche attempted to manoeuvre their guns into a position to fire on the trapped Frenchman. They eventually had to blow away part of Blanche's woodwork to achieve this. They now raked the Pique until she was forced to surrender, over five hours since the battle had begun. Casualties for the British were eight killed, including Captain Faulknor, and 21 wounded. Pique had lost 76 killed and 110 wounded. The two ships were joined later that morning by the 64-gun HMS Veteran, which helped exchange and secure the prisoners and tow the ships to port. Pique was taken into the Royal Navy, as HMS Pique. In 1847 the Admiralty authorized the award of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Blanche 4 Jany. 1795" to all surviving claimants from the action.

Later career
Captain Charles Sawyer took command of Blanche in January 1795, and captured a small privateer off Saint Lucia on 17 April. Blanche returned to Portsmouth for a refit in late 1795, before sailing to the Mediterranean in December.

In 1796 a court martial dismissed Sawyer from his vessel and from the service. Sawyer had lost control of Blanche and the respect of his crew due to his increasingly blatant homosexual relations with two young midshipmen, his coxswain, and another seaman. Blanche's first lieutenant, Archibald Cowan, eventually wrote to Captain George Cockburn, senior captain of the fleet. The charges were "odious misconduct, and for not taking public notice of mutinous expressions muttered against him"; the court martial dismissed Sawyer from His Majesty's service on 17 October 1796, ruling that he was "incapable of ever serving in any military capacity whatever."

Even before the court martial verdict, Admiral John Jervis in June placed Blanche under the command of Captain D’Arcy Preston. On 19 December Blanche was involved in an action with HMS Minerve against the Spanish frigates Santa Sabina and Ceres. The Minerve captured Santa Sabina, but though the Blanche forced Ceres to surrender, she was unable to secure her prize, which subsequently escaped.

Command passed to Captain Henry Hotham in 1797, who continued Blanche's successful cruises by capturing the 14-gun privateer Coureur on the Lisbon station on 20 November, followed by the 6-gun privateer Bayonnais on 27 December that year.

Fate
Blanche was paid off in August 1798 and fitted out as a storeship the following year. She was further converted to a troopship and commissioned under Commander John Ayscough. While under his command she grounded in the entrance to the Texel on 28 September 1799 and was declared a constructive total loss.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Blanche_(1786)
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collec...6;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=B;start=0
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1796 - Collapse of the French expedition to Ireland


The French expedition to Ireland, known in French as the Expédition d'Irlande ("Expedition to Ireland"), was an unsuccessful attempt by the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars to assist the outlawed Society of United Irishmen, a popular rebel Irish republican group, in their planned rebellion against British rule. The French intended to land a large expeditionary force in Ireland during the winter of 1796–1797 which would join with the United Irishmen and drive the British out of Ireland. The French anticipated that this would be a major blow to British morale, prestige and military effectiveness, and was also intended to possibly be the first stage of an eventual invasion of Britain itself. To this end, the French Directory gathered a force of approximately 15,000 soldiers at Brest under General Lazare Hoche during late 1796, in readiness for a major landing at Bantry Bay in December.

The operation was launched during one of the stormiest winters of the 18th century, with the French fleet unprepared for such severe conditions. Patrolling British frigates observed the departure of the fleet and notified the British Channel Fleet, most of which was sheltering at Spithead for the winter. The French fleet was subject to confused orders as it left port and was scattered across the approaches to Brest: one ship was wrecked with heavy loss of life and the others widely dispersed. Separated, most of the French fleet managed to reach Bantry Bay late in December, but its commanders were driven miles off course and without them the fleet was unsure of what action to take, with amphibious landings impossible due to the weather conditions, which were the worst recorded since 1708. Within a week the fleet had broken up, small squadrons and individual ships making their way back to Brest through storms, fog and British patrols.

Collapse of the expedition

Anchor from the French expedition of 1796, discovered off northeast of Whiddy island, Bantry Bay, 1981.

For four more days Bouvet's ships were battered by the high winds, none able to approach the shore without severe risk of being destroyed on the rocky coast. Losing their anchors as the cables snapped, many ships were forced to run before the wind and scatter into the Western Approaches. Others were destroyed: an American ship named Ellis, passing close to Crookhaven on 29 December, encountered a vessel wallowing in the waves, dismasted and with the deck strewn with bodies. The American captain, Harvey, reported that he approached the ship but was unable to assist her due to the storm and as he watched, the ship was driven ashore and destroyed. This was the 44-gun frigate Impatiente, of which only seven men survived from her complement of 550 crew and passengers. Harvey also recounted coming across the Révolution and frigate Scévola. Captain Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley was in the process of removing the crew and passengers from Scévola before she foundered, the heavy weather having reduced the 40-gun razee frigate to a sinking condition. Ellis was not the only ship to discover Révolution; the long-delayed Fraternité encountered the ships and observed the destruction of the Scévola, which was burnt once she had been abandoned.

Bouvet had been driven offshore in his flagship Immortalité during the storm, and when the wind fell during 29 December he decided to abandon the operation. Signalling to the ships within view, he ordered his remaining squadron to sail southeast towards Brest. Some ships failed to receive the message and continued to the second rendezvous off the River Shannon, but they were few and scattered and in the continuing storms no landing was possible. With provisions running low, these ships also turned and sailed for Brest, as the weather worsened once more.[28] As their expeditionary force sailed home, Morard de Galles and Hoche arrived in Bantry Bay on 30 December, discovering that the fleet had gone. With their own provisions almost exhausted, Fraternitéand Révolution were forced to return to France as well. The British response to the attempted invasion continued to be inadequate, Colpoys arriving at Spithead on 31 December with only six of his ships still in formation. Only a handful of ships based at Cork under Rear-Admiral Robert Kingsmill, principally HMS Polyphemus under Captain George Lumsdaine and a frigate squadron, interfered with the French fleet: Polyphemus seized the transport Justine on 30 December and HMS Jason captured the transport Suffren shortly afterwards, although she was later recaptured by the French frigate Tartu.


The Impatiente was a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy.
She took part in the Expédition d'Irlande, where she was wrecked on 29 December 1796. Only 7 survived, and 420 were lost.

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Poursuivante, sister-ship of Impatiente

The Illustre was a 74-gun Magnanime class ship of the line of the French Navy.
She took part in the campaigns of Suffren before staying in Brest between 1788 and 1791. She was razeed into a 44-gun frigate in 1793.
In February 1794, she was renamed Mucius Scévola, and Scévola the next month.
She took part in the Expédition d'Irlande. On 30 December 1796, she was wrecked in a storm and was so badly damaged that she was scuttled. The crew was evacuated by Révolution.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_expedition_to_Ireland_(1796)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Illustre_(1781)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Impatiente_(1795)
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1915 - HMS Natal, a Warrior-class armoured cruiser, was sunk by an internal explosion near Cromarty with the loss of at least 390 crewmen and civilians.


HMS Natal was a Warrior-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She escorted the royal yacht in 1911–1912 for the newly crowned King George V's trip to India to attend the Delhi Durbar. During World War I the ship was assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, but did not participate in any battles. Natal was sunk by an internal explosion near Cromarty on 30 December 1915 with the loss of at least 390 crewmen and civilians. Most of her wreck was slowly salvaged over the decades until the remnants were demolished in the 1970s so they were no longer a hazard to navigation. The remains of her wreck are designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 as a war grave.

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Description

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Right elevation and plan view from Brassey's Naval Annual; the shaded areas show her armouring

Natal displaced 13,550 long tons (13,770 t) as built and 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) fully loaded. The ship had an overall length of 505 feet 4 inches (154.0 m), a beam of 73 feet 6 inches (22.4 m) and a draught of 27 feet 6 inches (8.4 m). She was powered by four-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, driving two shafts, which developed a total of 23,650 indicated horsepower (17,640 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 23.3 knots (43.2 km/h; 26.8 mph). The engines were powered by 19 Yarrow water-tube boilers and six cylindrical boilers. The ship carried a maximum of 2,050 long tons (2,080 t) of coal and an additional 600 long tons (610 t) of fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate. At full capacity, she could steam for 7,960 nautical miles (14,740 km; 9,160 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).

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Inscribed by the artist, 'Natal', lower right. This 'Warrior'-class armoured cruiser of 13,550 tons was built by Vickers Maxim at Barrow, launched on 30 September 1905 and completed on 5 March 1907. The class as a whole was rendered obsolete by development of the heavier 'Invincible' class - the first battle-cruisers - of which 'Invincible' was laid down in 1907. They remained useful, however, until proved inadequate by the demands of the First World War, and in 1911 'Natal' escorted the liner 'Medina' to India when she was used as a royal yacht to take King George V and Queen Mary to India for the Delhi durbar. Late in the following year, 1912, she had the unusual task of taking home to New York the body of the US Ambassador to Britain, Whitelaw Reid, who had died in London on 15 December. From this duty she gained the naval nickname of 'the Sea Hearse', which proved all too true later. She was assigned to the Grand Fleet at the start of the First World War then was sent to Cromarty in January 1915 for refit and to operate with a squadron of other cruisers. On 30 December that year, at anchor in the Cromarty Firth, she was capsized and sunk by a massive explosion: 404 of her crew were killed, together with some women and children on board as holiday visitors, though around 400 of her complement were rescued from the water. U-boat attack was immediately suspected but it was in fact an accidental magazine explosion. This reasonably accurate drawing shows her dressed overall and firing a salute with an awning rigged aft, so it is likely to be at the review of the Home Fleet off Cowes by HM King Edward VII on 3 August 1907.

Armament
Her main armament consisted of six BL 9.2-inch (234 mm) Mark X guns in single Mk V turrets distributed in two centerline turrets (one each fore and one aft) and four turrets disposed in the corners about the funnels. Her secondary armament of four BL 7.5-inch (191 mm) Mark II or Mark V guns in single Mk II turrets was carried amidships, between the wing 9.2-inch guns. Twenty-six Vickers QF 3-pounderswere fitted, ten on turret roofs and eight each on the forward and aft superstructures. The last four ships of the Duke of Edinburgh-class cruisers had a secondary armament of turreted 7.5-inch guns rather than the 6-inch (152 mm) guns in open barbettes of the first two ships; these latter four were sometimes referred to as the Warrior class. Because of the extra topweight of the turrets in comparison to their half-sisters their stability was reduced which made them very good seaboats and steady gun platforms. The ship also mounted three submerged 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes, one of which was mounted in the stern.

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Service
Natal was ordered as part of the 1903–04 naval construction programme as the second of four armoured cruisers. She was laid down on 6 January 1904 at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers, Sons & Maxim. She was christened on 30 September 1905 by Louisa Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire and completed on 5 March 1907 at the cost of £1,218,244. Her name was assigned because the funds required to build her came largely or completely from the inhabitants of Colony of Natal. Like her sister ships, she joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron in 1907, and was later transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1909. Captain William Reginald Hall assumed command after the premature death of Captain F. C. A. Ogilvy in December 1909 and remained in command until June 1911. She escorted the ocean liner RMS Medina in 1911–1912 while the latter ship served as the royal yacht for the newly crowned King George V's trip to India to attend the Delhi Durbar. Natal also had the duty of carrying the body of the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Whitelaw Reid, back to New York in December 1912. After completing this mission, her crew gave her the nickname of Sea Hearse.

On 5 June 1913, while under the command of Captain John Green, Natal collided in fog with a fishing vessel. A court of inquiry convened to investigate the collision concluded that Natal′s speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph; 18.5 km/hr) when she struck the fishing vessel was excessive for the foggy conditions, but the Admiralty declined to endorse this finding.

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A drypoint etching showing Victory and HMS Natal in Portsmouth Harbour. The HMS Natal dominates the work at the centre right, and the Victory sails second from the left. The atmospheric treatment of the sky emphasizes the steam pouring from the HMS Natal. In his juxtaposition of the early twentieth century armoured cruiser and the eighteenth century warship, Wyllie represents the co-existence of the modern and traditional within the seafaring tradition. Technique includes drypoint.; Signed by artist.; Exhibition Print Room Gallery 1975-6. 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.

World War I
At the outbreak of war, she joined the Grand Fleet and in January 1915 was refitted at Cromarty. Natal spent much of 1915 uneventfully patrolling the North Sea until she began a brief refit at the Birkenhead shipyard of Cammell Laird on 22 November. On 5 December the ship rejoined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow. Twelve days later the squadron sailed to Cromarty Firth.

Sinking

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The upturned hull of Natal in Cromarty Firth

On 30 December 1915, Natal was lying in the Cromarty Firth with her squadron, under the command of Captain Eric Back. The captain was hosting a film party aboard and had invited the wives and children of his officers, one civilian friend and his family, and nurses from the nearby hospital ship Drina to attend. A total of seven women, one civilian male, and three children were in attendance that afternoon.

Shortly after 15:25, and without warning, a series of violent explosions tore through the rear part of the ship. She capsized five minutes later. Some thought that she had been torpedoed by a German U-boat or detonated a submarine-laid mine, but examination of the wreckage revealed that the explosions were internal. The divers sent to investigate the ship reported that the explosions began in either the rear 9.2-inch shellroom or the 3-pounder and small arms magazine. The Admiralty court-martial into the causes of her loss concluded that it was caused by an internal ammunition explosion, possibly due to faulty cordite. The Admiralty issued a revised list of the dead and missing that totaled 390 in January 1916, but did not list the women and children on board that day. Losses are listed from 390 to 421.

With her hull still visible at low water, it was Royal Navy practice on entering and leaving Cromarty right up to World War II for every warship to sound "Still", and for officers and men to come to attention as they passed the wreck. After numerous attempts, much of the ship was salvaged. The remainder was blown up in the 1970s to level the wreck so that it would not be a hazard to navigation


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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1915 - SS Persia was torpedoed and sunk without warning by German U-boat U-38, killing 343 of the 519 aboard


SS Persia was a P&O passenger liner, built in 1900 by Caird & Company, Inverclyde, Greenock, Scotland. It was torpedoed and sunk without warning on 30 December 1915, by German U-boat U-38.

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Postcard of SS Persia at Aden, c.1900

History
It was 499 feet 8 inches (152.30 m) long, with a beam of 53 feet 3 inches (16.23 m), draft of 24.5 feet (7.5 m) and a size of 7,974 gross register tons (GRT), Persia carried triple expansion steam engines capable of driving the ship at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph).

Persia was sunk off Crete, while the passengers were having lunch, on 30 December 1915, by German World War I U-Boat ace Max Valentiner(commanding SM U-38). Persia sank in five to ten minutes, killing 343 of the 519 aboard. One reason for the large number of casualties was that only four of the lifeboats were successfully launched. The sinking was highly controversial, as it was argued that it broke naval international law that stated that merchant ships carrying a neutral flag could be stopped and searched for contraband but not sunk unless the passengers and crew were put in a place of safety (for which lifeboats on the open sea were not sufficient). The Persia was a British ship presenting itself openly to another belligerent. The U-Boat fired a torpedo and made no provision for any survivors, under Germany’s policy of unrestricted submarine warfare but against the Imperial German Navy’s own restriction on attacking passenger liners, the Arabic pledge.

At the time of sinking, Persia was carrying a large quantity of gold and jewels belonging to the Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, though he himself had disembarked at Marseilles. Among the passengers to survive were Walter E. Smith, a British Member of Parliament, Colonel Charles Clive Bigham, son of Lord Mersey, and John Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. His secretary (and mistress) Eleanor Thornton, who many believe was the model for the Rolls-Royce "Spirit of Ecstasy" mascot by Charles Sykes, died. Also among the dead were Robert Ney McNeely, American Consul at Aden and a former North Carolina state senator from Union County, Robert Vane Russell, American missionary Rev. Homer Russell Salisbury and Frank Morris Coleman, the co-owner of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

The survivors on the four lifeboats were picked up during the second night after the sinking by the minesweeper HMS Mallow. Only 15 of the women on board survived, among them British actress Ann Codrington (The Rossiter Case), who was pregnant with her daughter, Patricia Hilliard. Ann lost her mother, Mrs. Helen Codrington.

Sixty-seven crewmen from the then Portuguese colony of Goa perished. Most of them were stewards.

The sinking was front-page news on many British newspapers, including the Daily Mirror and the Daily Sketch.


The door to the bullion room, salvaged and now located at Buckler's Hard.

The wreck of Persia was located off Crete in 2003 at a depth of 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and an attempt was made to salvage the treasure located in the bullion room. The salvage attempt met with limited success, retrieving artifacts and portions of the ship, and some jewels from the bullion room. Some of the gems have since been made into commemorative jewelery.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Persia_(1900)
 
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