June 27 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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22 May 853 – Sack of Damietta
A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys undefended Damietta in Egypt.



The Sack of Damietta was a successful raid on the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta by the Byzantine navy on 22–24 May 853. The city, whose garrison was absent at the time, was sacked and plundered, yielding not only many captives but also large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Emirate of Crete. The Byzantine attack, which was repeated in the subsequent years, shocked the Abbasid authorities, and urgent measures were taken to refortify the coasts and strengthen the local fleet, beginning a revival of the Egyptian navy that culminated in the Tulunid and Fatimid periods.

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Map of the Arab–Byzantine naval conflict in the Mediterranean, 7th–11th centuries

Background
During the 820s, the Byzantine Empire suffered two great losses that destroyed their naval supremacy in the Mediterranean: the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Sicily and the fall of Crete to Andalusian exiles. These losses ushered in an era where Saracen pirates raided the Christian northern shores of the Mediterranean almost at will. The establishment of the Emirate of Crete, which became a haven for Muslim ships, opened the Aegean Sea up for raids, while their—albeit partial—control of Sicily allowed the Arabs to raid and even settle in Italy and the Adriatic shores. Several Byzantine attempts to retake Crete in the immediate aftermath of the Andalusian conquest, as well as a large-scale invasion in 842/43, failed with heavy losses.

Byzantine expedition against Damietta
In 853 the Byzantine government tried a new approach: instead of attacking Crete directly, they tried to sever the island's lines of supply, principally to Egypt, which was, in the words of Alexander Vasiliev, "the arsenal of the Cretan pirates". The Arab historian al-Tabari reports that three fleets, totalling almost 300 ships, were prepared and sent on simultaneous raids of Muslim naval bases in the Eastern Mediterranean. The precise targets of the first two fleets are unknown, but the third, comprising 85 ships and 5,000 men under a commander known from Arab sources only as "Ibn Qaṭūnā", headed for the Egyptian coast.

Various identifications have been proposed by modern scholars for "Ibn Qaṭūnā", but without any firm evidence. Based on the similarity of consonants in their names, Henri Grégoire variously suggested an identification with Sergios Niketiates, who however probably died in 843, and with Constantine Kontomytes. In a later work in 1952 he suggested that he might be identified with the parakoimomenos Damian, considering the Arabic name a rendering of the Byzantine title epi tou koitonos ("in charge of the imperial bedchamber"). Previously, in 1913, the Syriac scholar E. W. Brooks had suggested an identification with the strategos Photeinos.

Egyptian naval defences were weak. The Egyptian fleet had declined from its Umayyad-era peak and was mostly employed in the Nile rather than in the Mediterranean. Fortifications along the coastal marshes, which had been manned by volunteer garrisons, had been abandoned in the later 8th century. The Byzantines had exploited this in 811/12 and again in c. 815, launching raids against the coasts of Egypt. The Byzantine fleet arrived at Damietta on 22 May 853. The city garrison were absent at a feast for the Day of Arafah, organized by the governor Anbasah ibn Ishaq al-Dabbi in Fustat. Damietta's inhabitants fled the undefended city, which was plundered for two days and then torched by the Byzantine troops. The Byzantines carried off some six hundred Arab and Coptic women, as well as large quantities of arms and other supplies intended for Crete. The fleet then sailed east and attacked the strong fortress of Ushtun. Upon taking it, they burned the many artillery and siege engines found there before returning home.

Aftermath and impact
Although the raid at Damietta was, according to historian Vassilios Christides, "one of the brightest military operations" undertaken by the Byzantine military, it is completely ignored in Byzantine sources, probably because most accounts are warped by their hostile attitude to Michael III (r. 842–867) and his reign. As a result, the raid is known only through two Arab accounts, by al-Tabari and Ya'qubi.

The Byzantines returned and raided Damietta again in 854. Another raid possibly took place in 855, as the Arabic sources indicate that the arrival of a Byzantine fleet in Egypt was anticipated by the Abbasid authorities. In 859, the Byzantine fleet attacked Farama. Despite these successes, Saracen piracy in the Aegean continued unabated, and reached its height in the early 900s, with the sack of Thessalonica, the Byzantine Empire's second city, in 904, and the activities of the renegades Leo of Tripoli and Damian of Tarsus. It would not be until 961 that the Byzantines reconquered Crete, and secured control of the Aegean.

In the more immediate aftermath, according to the Arab chroniclers, the raid led to the realization of Egypt's vulnerability from the sea. After a long period of neglect, Egypt's maritime defences were urgently strengthened by Governor Anbasah. Within nine months of the raid, Damietta was refortified, along with Tinnis and Alexandria. Various works were undertaken at Rosetta, Borollos, Ashmun, at-Tina, and Nastarawwa, while ships were constructed and new crews raised. Most seamen were forcibly conscripted from among the Copts and the Arabs of the interior, which earned Anbasah a bad reputation in contemporary sources, and complaints against him were directed to Caliph al-Mutawakkil. Later Arabic sources like al-Maqrizi and Coptic sources confirm that the new fleet was used in raids against the Byzantines in subsequent years, although no details are recorded. This activity is generally held to have marked the rebirth of the Egyptian navy, which came to number 100 ships under the Tulunid dynasty (868–905) and reached its peak later under the Fatimids (969–1171).



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1652 - Action of 22nd May 1652


Description of the action

On May 12th, 1652, Captain Anthony Young, in the President, accompanied by two other "frigates," fell in off the Start with a small squadron of a dozen ships. Taking them to be Ayscue's vessels, he stood towards them, but, on coining up, discovered that they were homeward-bound Dutch merchant ships, convoyed by three men-of-war wearing flags as admiral, vice-admiral, and rear-admiral. The Dutch admiral, on being summoned, struck his 'flag and held his course, but the vice-admiral who followed him refused point-blank, bidding Young come aboard and strike it himself. Young naively sent his master aboard, only to meet with a further refusal. On this the President ranged up on the Dutchman's weather quarter and again called on him to strike. The vice-admiral refused, and Young at once gave him a broadside, which was as promptly returned. The Dutch admiral hauled his wind the wind seems to have been north-west and tried to weather Young, who found himself obliged to put his helm down to prevent the admiral from getting out to windward of him and boarding. Meanwhile, Captains Chapman and Reynolds had fired on the rear-admiral astern. They now came up with the vice-admiral, but, as they overhauled him, the Dutchman struck his flag, and the rear-admiral did the like.

Young demanded that the vice-adrniral should be sent into port with him to make good the loss to the "frigates." To that the admiral said that so long as the dispute concerned the flag alone he did not interfere, but that he would resist to the uttermost any interference with the possession of the ship.

Nothing further was done. Young, who had lost one man killed and four wounded, wrote, " I do believe I gave him his bellyful of it; for he sent me word he had orders from the States, that if he struck he should lose his head; but at length he did strike, which makes me conceive he had enough of it." Whitelocke, who repeats many hearsay reports, records that the Dutch admiral offered in explanation the suggestion that his vice-admiral was drunk. When he goes on to say that after the fight the Hollanders gave Young " such loving salutes, confessing their faults, and so they parted good friends," he rather discredits his story.

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https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=229
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1654 – Launch of English ship Tredagh


The ship that became the first HMS Resolution was a 50-gun third-rate frigate built under the 1652 Programme for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Sir Phineas Pett at Ratcliffe, and launched in 1654 under the name Tredagh (Tredagh is an alternative name for the Irish town of Drogheda, scene of the Siege of Drogheda, a Roundhead victory, during the English Civil War).

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After the Restoration in 1660, Tredagh was renamed HMS Resolution. On 25 February 1665 (Julian calendar, then still in use; 7 March 1666 in the Gregorian calendar) Resolution fought in the Battle of Lowestoft as the flagship of Rear Admiral Robert Sansum. On 25 July 1666 Julian (4 August 1666 Gregorian) she fought in the St. James's Day Battle under the command of Captain Willoughby Hannam as the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir John Harman. In the battle she ran aground and was burnt by a Dutch fireship.

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Scale: 1:48. A full hull model of the 55-gun three-decker ‘Prince Royal’ (circa 1610), built plank on frame in the Navy Board style. The model is equipped, fully rigged with a highly decorated hull, nearly all of which is based on the fine contemporary painting of her by the Dutch artist Adam Willaerts (see BHC0266 and BHC0267). Designed and built by the well-known shipwright Phineas Pett, the ‘Prince Royal’ was floated out of the building dock at Woolwich on 25 September 1610, and had the distinction of being the first three-decker in the Royal Navy. It was common practice during the 17th century for major warships of this size to undergo several repairs during their careers and this ship in its last configuration had a gun deck measuring 160 feet in length and was capable of mounting up to 90 guns in total. It was not until her 40th year, under her Commonwealth name ‘Resolution’ that she saw action engaging successfully at the battles of Kentish Knock, North Foreland and Scheveningen, during the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–54). During the reign of Charles II, she survived the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665, but during the Four Day’s Battle, 1–4 June 1666, she ran aground and was captured and subsequently burnt by the Dutch


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1681 - HMS Kingfisher (46) engages seven Algerine pirates.


Kingfisher was a 46-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She was specially designed to counter the attacks of Algerine corsairs, or pirates, in the Mediterranean by masquerading as a merchantman, which she achieved by hiding her armament behind false bulkheads. She also was provided with various means of changing her appearance.

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Painting signed by Peter Monamy, and dated 1734, which was probably intended to depict Kingfisher's fight with seven Algerines

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This may be the ‘Kingfisher’s action against seven Algerine ships, 23 May [OS]/2 June 1681. An action between and English two-decker and six ships wearing Dutch colours and a seventh (cut off on the right) of which only an English jack is shown. In the foreground is a port broadside view apparently of the ‘Kingfisher’, engaged with a ship close on her starboard quarter, which has a Dutch ensign, a Dutch flag at the main, a plain flag at the fore, and an English jack. On the left is a bow view of another ship firing at the ‘Kingfisher’. Four other ships are across the background. Land is in the distance. The ‘Kingfisher’ (commanded by Captain Morgan Kempthorne) encountered seven Algerine ships soon after leaving Naples. They tried to deceive the ‘Kingfisher’ by changing their colours; first they had French, then Dutch and then some of them Algiers colours; one hoisted an English jack and a Turkish or Algerine flag at the main topmasthead. After a sharp engagement, in which Kempthorne was killed, the Algerines were driven off. A painting in Buckingham Palace apparently of the same action is singed and dated ‘W.V.Velde, de oude, f 1683’; it bears no relation in its composition to this drawing. This is part of a series of over 80 drawings of Charles II’s visit to the ‘Tiger’ at Woolwich and the subsequent passage down the Thames to Sheerness and Chatham, with the return up the river the following day


Active service
In 1679, Commander Morgan Kempthorne, the 21-year-old son of John Kempthorne, took command of Kingfisher, sailing her to the Mediterranean with a convoy.

Battle with seven Algerines
On 22 May 1681, soon after leaving Naples, Kingfisher encountered seven Algerine men-of-war and a settee.

The Algerines tried to deceive the English by changing their colours; first they had French, then Dutch and then some of them Algiers colours. One hoisted an English jack and a Turkish or Algerine flag at the main topmasthead.

After a long fight, the Algerines gave up, though Kempthorne was killed during the action. Including her captain, Kingfisher lost eight dead and 38 wounded in a fight that had lasted 12 hours. Kingfisher was repaired at Livorno and Kempthorne was buried there.

The battle is the subject of several works of art. James II, at the time Duke of York, commissioned an oil painting from Willem van de Velde the Elder depicting the moment when the leading Algerine ship entered the battle and engaged with Kingfisher. There also exists a mezzotint by Elisha Kirkall of the battle, previously thought to depict a similar battle by John Kempthorne, Morgan's father; the original is either a painting by Willem van de Velde the Younger, or a copy by someone such as Cornelius van de Velde of a lost painting by the Younger.

Kirkall's mezzotint is the likely basis for a 1734 painting by Peter Monamy in the National Maritime Museum (BHC0297). Although it bears the inscription "Capt Kempthorne's Action in the Mary Rose a small Frigate with seven Algerines in the Mediterranean in 1669", this inscription was probably added in the late eighteenth century, according to Geoffrey Callender and Michael S. Robinson, and is erroneous; there is no correspondence between this image and Hollar's eyewitness version, but in the centre of the painting is a small enemy boat that corresponds directly to one referred to in an account of the 1681 action in the Kingfisher. The painting had previously been attributed to Willem van de Velde the Younger, or speculated to be by van de Velde the Elder, before Monamy's signature and the date of 1734 were found when it was catalogued in the early 1930s. The inscription also contains a couple of lines recounting, with some exaggeration, the action:

Two we burnt, and two we sank, and two did run away;
But one we carried to Leghorn Roads to show we'd won the day.


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Grayscale image of van de Velde's oil painting of the action, based on the previous sketch

After Kempthorne
Three months later, Francis Wheler, formerly captain of Nonsuch, took command of Kingfisher from her lieutenant, Ralph Wrenn, who took command of Nonsuch. In October, Kingfisher fought and captured a large Sallee pirate, which however sank shortly after striking.

In 1685, during the rebellion of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, against King James, Kingfisher bombarded Carrick Castle, badly damaging the keep, which lost its roof. She also captured Sophia, of 145 tons (bm) and 12 guns, which the navy took into service as HMS Sophia.

Fate
Kingfisher was rebuilt at Woolwich in 1699, as a Fourth Rate of 46-54 guns. She was hulked in 1706, and was broken up in 1728.


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An action between an English two-decker and a Barbary two-decker, showing three small ships and four galleys. Although naval historians are unable to relate the action to a specific event, the painting significantly identifies the danger to English ships from such pirates during the 1660s and 70s and was initially thought to show the 'Kingfisher' in action in 1681. In the left foreground is an English two-decker, in starboard-bow view, with a light breeze from the port bow, firing guns on both sides. She flies a Union jack and a red ensign, and a pendant with the cross of St George at the main. In the middle-distance a little to the right is a Barbary two-decker, viewed from the port bow, on fire amidships and flying a dark flag at the main. Black smoke from the burning Barbary ship covers most of the left half of the painting. In the right foreground there is a galley sinking with only the forepart and the foremast showing, and a broad red pendant flying at the masthead. A galley or possibly some other lateen-rigged vessel is visible behind this, showing only the after part in starboard quarter view, including the after mast and its lateen sail. On the right the masts of one or two ships can be seen above the smoke. The artist was the younger son of Willem van de Velde the Elder. Born in Leiden, he studied under Simon de Vlieger in Weesp and in 1652 moved back to Amsterdam. There he worked in his father's studio and developed the skill of carefully drawing and painting ships in tranquil settings. He changed his subject matter, however, when he came with his father to England in 1672, by working on views of royal yachts, men-of-war and on storm scenes. From 1672 the depiction of sea battles from the English side became a priority but unlike his father's they were not usually eyewitness accounts. However, from early 1674 both the van de Veldes were expressly patronized by Charles II for this purpose, the father to draw sea fights and the son - who was by far the more more accomplished painter - 'for putting the said Draughts into Colours'. After his father's death in 1693 he was officially engaged to be present at and record significant maritime events. He continued to run a substantial and influential studio until his own death and with his father, especially as a painter, he is regarded as founder of the English school of marine painting

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An English ship, on the left, battles with a ‘Barbary’ ship and two galleys. Smoke fills the sky and the gunfire, which reflects in the sea, illuminates the sails of the ships and their flags. In the left foreground is the forepart of the Barbary ship which is much damaged and listing to port. She appears to be on fire amidships. There is a boat on her port bow which is picking up survivors. Beyond her are the masts of another ship which is blowing up. On the right is a galley sinking and, beyond her, another galley viewed from the starboard quarter. The masts and sails of three other galleys appear above the smoke. In the centre background, above the smoke, is a Barbary ship with a flag at the main. She has listed to starboard. On the left a large English two-decker, viewed from the port quarter, is heavily engaged with Barbary ships to port and starboard. The two-decker flies a Union flag at the mizzen and a red pendant at the main which may be a signal for help. The Barbary corsairs operated from the main coastal cities of northern Africa. Naval expeditions against these centres were carried out by various European nations from the seventeenth century. This is one of van de Velde’s most dramatic battle scenes and is painted in an unusually flamboyant manner. It echoes earlier paintings by Dutch artists such as 'Spanish Men-of-War Engaging Barbary Corsairs' (BHC0799) by Cornelis Hendricksz Vroom which shows combat against vessels of the corsair states of northern Africa. This painting is believed to depict an action which took place after the burning of the ships in Tripoli on the night of 14/15 January 1676 and before Sir John Narborough's departure for Malta in early February. Therefore this painting could have been commissioned by Narborough and he may have supplied van de Velde with the details for the scene. However while many of van de Velde’s paintings depict clearly identifiable events, such as the battles of the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars, a large proportion of his paintings of English ships fighting Barbary opponents have defied historical identification. This suggests that, similar to his Dutch predecessors, van de Velde never intended them as literal depictions. Barbary subjects, with their strong suggestion of the exotic and oriental, gave van de Velde the opportunity to show off his skills as a painter. Such subjects freed him from the constraints which accompanied the more usual battle scenes for example those painted for his English patrons. This painting has a dramatic composition and colouring, a strong sense of rhythmic movement across the picture surface as well as a freedom of handling. This is in contrast with the dry and factual scenes painted for the Duke of York. The composition relates to that of the much smaller painting over the fireplace in the Duke of Lauderdale’s closet at Ham House. This would clearly have been conceived as having a decorative function rather than a commemorative one and a similar case may be made for this painting. A rapidly made drawing which relates to it, possibly made in preparation, is in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Among the Museum’s collection there are at least two drawings by van de Velde which show fights in boats with Barbary corsairs. They are presumably studies for paintings of this kind. Van de Velde was the younger son of Willem van de Velde the Elder. Born in Leiden, he studied under Simon de Vlieger in Weesp and, in 1652, moved back to Amsterdam. He worked in his father's studio and developed the skill of carefully drawing ships in tranquil settings. He changed his subject matter, however, when he came with his father to England in 1672-73. Increasingly he concentrated on royal yachts, men-of-war and storm scenes. From this time painting sea battles for Charles II and his brother (and Lord High Admiral) James, Duke of York, as well as other patrons became a priority. Unlike his father's works, however, they were not usually eyewitness accounts. After his father's death in 1693 his continuing role as an official marine painter obliged him to be present more frequently at significant maritime events. The painting is signed 'W.V.Velde'



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1703 - The Battle of Cap de la Roque was a naval battle between a Dutch convoy protected by captain Roemer Vlack and a French squadron under Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, during the War of the Spanish Succession.


The Battle of Cap de la Roque was a naval battle that took place on 22 May 1703 between a Dutch convoy protected by captain Roemer Vlack and a French squadron under Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, during the War of the Spanish Succession.

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The Battle of the Cap de la Roque (1803 print).

During this war the French and Spanish fleet could not face the English and Dutch in an open sea battle and therefore had switched to privateering. The allies were thus forced to protect their merchant convoys.

On May 21, 1703 a large merchant fleet consisting of about 110 English and Dutch ships transporting mainly salt, but also wine and sugar, left Lisbon for England. There were five escorting Dutch ships: the ships of the line Muiderberg (50), Gaesterland (46) and Schermer (44) and the frigates Rotterdam (34) and Rozendaal (36), under the command of Captain Roemer Vlacq on board the Muiderberg.

The next day near Cabo da Roca (fr: Cap de la Roque) they encountered the squadron of Coëtlogon composed of five larger warships : Vainqueur (84), Monarque (90), Éole (64), Orgueilleux (90) and Couronne (76).

Vlacq, after signalling the merchantmen to save themselves, lined up his ships to protect the fleet and engaged the French. The Dutch fought valiantly but the French were too strong and ship after ship had to capitulate.

Vlack and the Muiderberg fought on until half of the crew was dead or wounded. Vlack lost an arm and part of his shoulder, but he only surrendered when the main mast came down and the ship was on the point of sinking. The survivors were evacuated and what was left of the Muiderberg was burnt and sank.

Thanks to the sacrifice of Vlacq, the convoy got away intact, meaning this Dutch defeat had little impact on the cause of the Grand Alliance.

Vlacq, his men and the four surviving Dutch warships were taken as prizes to Toulon, were Vlacq died of his wounds on July 17, 1703. The Dutch ships were added into the French Navy.

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Alternative name
This battle is sometimes called "The Battle of the Bay of Biscay", but this is geographical not correct, as Cabo da Roca is situated in the southern part of Portugal.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cap_de_la_Roque
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=89
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1745 – Launch of HMS Weazel or Weazle, a 16-gun ship-sloop of the Royal Navy,


HMS Weazel
or Weazle was a 16-gun ship-sloop of the Royal Navy, in active service during the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War. Launched in 1745, she remained in British service until 1779 and captured a total of 11 enemy vessels. She was also present, but not actively engaged, at the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1747.

Weazel was captured by the French in 1779, and was later sold into private hands.

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Construction
The vessel that would become Weazel was built by shipwrights James Taylor and John Randall of Rotherhithe, and was initially intended to be a private merchant craft. The Royal Navy purchased the half-built vessel on 22 April 1745 and hired Taylor and Randall to complete her for naval service. The fee for the vessel and her completion was £2,387, or the equivalent of £361,000 in 2015 terms.

Once ownership of the vessel had passed into Navy hands, Randall and Taylor were directed to complete her in accordance with an experimental design, as the Royal Navy's first three-masted ship rigged sloop. The quarterdeck was lengthened from the original plans in order to incorporate a mizzen mast, with the intention that the additional sails would enhance speed and maneuverability compared to the traditional two-masted snow rig sloop. This proved sufficiently successful that from 1756 ship rigging became the standard for all subsequent 14-gun and 16-gun sloops in Royal Navy hands.

As built, Weazel was 94 ft 6.75 in (28.8 m) long with a 76 ft 4.5 in (23.3 m) keel, a beam of 27 ft 6.25 in (8.3884 m), and a hold depth of 12 ft 0 in (3.7 m). She was constructed with eighteen broadside gunports and two bow chasers, although in practice she carried only sixteen cannons with the remaining ports left unused. Despite this, at the time of her launch she was the most heavily armed sloop in the Navy. Her designated complement was 110 officers and ratings from 1745 to 1749, rising to 125 thereafter.

Navy service
European waters

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Waterfront at Deptford, where Weazel was commissioned for service in 1745.

Weazel was launched on 22 May 1745 and sailed to Deptford Dockyard for fitout and to take on armament and crew. She was formally commissioned on 24 June under CommanderThomas Craven, entering Royal Navy service at the height of the War of Austrian Succession which pitted coalitions broadly comprising France, Prussia and Spain, against Britain, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Dutch Republic. Craven's orders were to take Weazel into the English Channel and the Downs to patrol for enemy privateers. The new-built sloop was swiftly in action, capturing the privateer Le Renard in the Channel on 23 November. In February 1746 Craven was replaced by Lieutenant Hugh Palliser, who immediately pressed Weazel back into active service. The 8-gun French privateer La Revanche was captured on 27 March, followed by La Charmante on 1 April. One further privateer narrowly avoided capture off Spithead in early April when Weazel's approach was slowed by light winds. The French vessel escaped only after throwing its cannons overboard to increase its speed.

Further victories followed that year with Weazel capturing the privateers L'Epervier on 29 July, Le Delangle on 3 August and both La Fortune and La Jeantie on 8 October. In November she encountered a large 30-gun French privateer in the Bay of Biscay, and opened fire despite being considerably outgunned. A contemporaneous newspaper report describes Weazel's crew as fighting "very bravely for a considerable time," before the advantage swung to the British with the arrival of the 58-gun fourth rate HMS Princess Louisa. The privateer turned to flee but was driven ashore and wrecked near Port-Louis, Morbihan.

At the end of the year Commander Palliser was to post-captain and assigned to the 70-gun ship of the line HMS Captain; his place on Weazel was taken by Commander Samuel Barrington. On 24 April 1747 Weazel was off the Dutch coastline and in company with HMS Lys, when she encountered and defeated the privateers La Gorgonne and La Charlotte.

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In June 1747 Weazel returned to port at Plymouth, where Barrington was replaced by Commander John Midwinter. There she remained until 30 August when she was joined to a squadron under Admiral Peter Warren, with orders to reinforce a British fleet in position off the French island of Ushant. Poor weather delayed the voyage, and Weazel did not reach her destination until 26 September. The fleet commander, Admiral Edward Hawke immediately allocated her the role of carrying messages between his ships of the line. On the morning of 14 October the fleet was offshore from Cape Finisterre when it encountered a French force of eight ships of the line, escorting a convoy of 252 merchant vessels. Hawke approached from the leeward while the French sailed close-hauled in a line ahead, expecting that he would engage in a long-range artillery duel. Instead, Hawke made the signal for a general chase, freeing his captains from the constraints of a formal battle; the British then overhauled the French line and enveloped it from rear to van, capturing six ships. Around 4,000 French sailors were captured or killed, against 757 British casualties.

During the battle the merchant convoy, and the remaining two French naval vessels, had escaped to the west with the intention of reaching the French Caribbean. Weazel had been too small to join the line of battle the previous day, but Admiral Hawke now deputised her to sail in haste for the Royal Navy's Jamaica Station with a message advising the likely course of the French convoy. Weazel reached the Caribbean before most of the French convoy; the Royal Navy squadron based in the Leeward Islands put immediately to sea and was successful in intercepting 40 French ships and taking 900 prisoners.

During the Seven Years' War, Commodore John Moore dispatched the Weazel to the neutral Dutch island of Sint Eustatius in December 1757. The ship warned the island's governor that nearby French islands were being blockaded and any ships attempting to defy the blockade would be attacked. The Weazel's appearance caused a panic on the island as the governor quickly halted all outgoing trade.

Final voyage
In 1779 Weazel was off the Caribbean island of St Eustatius when she was captured by the 32-gun French frigate Bodeuse. The French took their prize to the Antilles where she was disarmed and her guns transferred to Admiral d'Estaing's squadron. They then sold her at Guadeloupe in 1781.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1748 – Launch of HMS Mermaid, a 24-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy, built in 1748-49, which served in the Seven Years' War.


HMS Mermaid
was a 24-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy, built in 1748-49, which served in the Seven Years' War.

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Construction and commissioning
Mermaid was ordered on 4 February 1748, with the contract being awarded to Henry Adams, of Bucklers Hard, with the keel being laid on 2 April. She was built to a design by the Surveyor of the Navy Joseph Allin, named Mermaid on 6 December, launched on 22 May 1749 and completed on 7 August 1749 at Portsmouth Dockyard, having cost £4,211.16.7d to build, and with a further £3,829.3.11d spent on fitting her out.

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Scale: 1:48. A plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines, and the longitudinal half-breadth 'Mermaid' (1749), a 24-gun Sixth Rate. Note that while this plan is unnamed, the dimensions correspond to Joshua Allin's design for 'Mermaid' (1749). Signed by Joseph Allin [Surveyor of the Navy, 1749-1755]

Career
Her first commander was Captain John Montagu, who commissioned her in June 1749, and sailed her to New York in August 1749. Montagu was succeeded by Captain Edward Keller in 1750, then later that year by Captain Elias Bate. On 15 September 1752, she was driven ashore in a hurricane at Charles Town, South Carolina, British America. In 1753, command was taken by Captain John Hollwall. Mermaid served this first commission in North American and Caribbean waters, and was decommissioned in July 1753. She refitted and underwent repairs over the next few months, and recommissioned in January 1754 under Captain Washington Shirley, sailing for New England in July 1754. Captain Alexander Innes took command in 1756, and was succeed by Captain James Hackman in 1758. She bilged on a sandbank off Big Grand Cay in the Bahamas on 4 December 1759 and was abandoned as a wreck on 6 January 1760.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Mermaid_(1749)
https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;authority=vessel-330785;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=M
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.


Protecteur was a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.

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Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. This model is a 64-gun, probably mislabeled.

Career
She was laid down in 1757 and launched in 1760.

In 1762, under Captain de L'Ilsle Calian, Protecteur was part of Bompart's squadron. In 1766, she escorted merchantmen under Captain de Broves.

In 1788, Under Captain Dapchon, Protecteur was appointed to Admial d'Estaing's squadron and took part in the American revolutionary war. She was present at the Battle of Grenada.

In 1782, Protecteur was part of the escort of a 20-sail convoy, along with the ship Pégase and the frigates Indiscrète and Andromaque. The English HMS Foudroyant and HMS Queen intercepted, yielding the Third Battle of Ushant in which they captured Pégase and four transports, but where the rest of the French convoy escaped.

From 1784, Protecteur was hulked and used as a hospital in Rochefort.

Legacy
A model of a 64-ship of the line on display at the Musée de la Marine is labelled as representing Protecteur, probably as the result of an error of Admiral Pâris. The model is probably that of Protée (1748–1771).



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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1774 – Launch of HMS Centurion, a 50-gun Salisbury-class fourth rate of the Royal Navy.


HMS Centurion
was a 50-gun Salisbury-class fourth rate of the Royal Navy. She served during the American War of Independence, and during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

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During the war with America, Centurion saw action in a number of engagements and supported British forces in the Caribbean and the North American coasts. Spending the period of peace either serving as a flagship in the Caribbean or laid up or under refit in British dockyards, she was recommissioned in time to see action in the wars with France, particularly in the East Indies.

Her most important action came in the Battle of Vizagapatam in 1804, in which she fought against the French squadron of Contre-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Durand Linois that consisted of a 74-gun ship, and two frigates. Despite sustaining severe damage, she continued fighting, and survived the assault by the considerably heavier forces.

Returning to Britain shortly afterwards, she was refitted and transferred to Halifax, where she served as a hospital and receiving ship for the rest of her career. She sank at her moorings there in 1824, and was raised the following year and broken up, ending 50 years of Royal Navy service.

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Defence of the Centurion in Vizagapatam Road, Septr. 15th 1804, Engraving by Thomas Sutherland after a painting by Sir James Lind

Construction
Centurion was ordered on 25 December 1770 and laid down in May 1771 at the yards of Barnard & Turner, of Harwich. She was launched on 22 May 1774 and had been completed by 9 September 1775. She cost a total of £20,537.17.9d, including masts and rigging, with a further £4,205.16.10d spent on fitting her out for sea. Centurion was commissioned in July 1775 under her first commander, Captain Richard Braithwaite.

American War of Independence
Under Braithwaite, Centurion sailed to North America in late 1775, and was present at the occupation of Rhode Island in December of the following year. Centurion was part of Richard Howe's fleet at its encounterwith the comte d'Estaing on 11 August 1778, after which she briefly became Howe's flagship between 14 and 15 August.[1] By November, she was in the West Indies with William Hotham's forces, where she supported the landings on St. Lucia on 14 and 15 December. Remaining in the Leeward Islands throughout 1779, Centurion took part in the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780, followed by periods of action in the indecisive clashes that took place on 15 and 19 May. Centurion, then returned to Britain and was paid off in September 1780.

After a period spent being repaired and refitted at Portsmouth, she returned to North America in July 1781 under the command of Captain Samuel Clayton. On 22 January 1783, she came upon a battle between the frigate HMS Hussar and the 36-gun French frigate Sibylle off the Chesapeake, prompting Sybille's surrender. At the end of the American War of Independence Centurion returned home, where she was paid off in October 1783 and fitted to be laid up in ordinary at Sheerness.

Inter-war period
After a year spent laid up, Centurion began a Great Repair at Woolwich in December 1784, which was completed in December 1787. She returned to active service in February 1789, as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Philip Affleck, with William Otway as her captain. Otway sailed her to Jamaica in May 1789, returning to Britain in August 1792, where she underwent another repair and refit, this time at Chatham. She was recommissioned during this work, in November 1792, under Captain Samuel Osborn. With the dockyard completed by January 1793 she sailed to the Leeward Islands in February.

French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
After some time spent on the Leeward islands, Centurion sailed to the East Indies in November 1793 and was present at the Action of 5 May 1794. On 22 October the following year, she and HMS Diomede fought an action with the 44-gun French frigates Prudente and Cybèle, plus the 22-gun Jean-Bart and 14-gun Coureur off Mauritius. She went on to take part in the capture of Ceylon in July and August 1795, and of Amboyna and Baada in February 1796.

Captain John Sprat Rainier took command in April 1797, remaining initially in the East Indies, but shifting to the Red Sea in 1799 and 1800. The British had received information that the French had transferred warship frames to Suez to build some warships for the Red Sea. Centurion sailed to Mocha, where she met up with Albatross and sailed with her to Suez. During 1799 William Hugh Dobbie, first lieutenant of Centurion, surveyed the Jeddah and Crossire (also spelled "Cossir" and "Kossir") roads, the harbour at the Jaffatine islands, and several other anchorages. His efforts would prove of use to a later British expedition under Sir David Baird and Rear-Admiral Blanket.

Centurion returned to Batavia in August 1800. She came under the command of Captain James Lind, in an acting capacity, in 1804. On 23 August 1800, Centurion, with Sybille, Daedalus, and Braave captured or destroyed several Dutch vessels at Batavia Roads. One vessel, a Dutch brig, the Royal Navy took into service as Admiral Rainier.

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines and longitudinal half-breadth for Salisbury (1769) and later for Centurion (1774), both 50-gun Fourth Rate, two-deckers

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board detail, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Centurion (1774), a 50-gun Fourth Rate, two-decker, as built by Barnard & Turner at Harwich. She was completed at Chatham Dockyard between June 1774 and September 1775

Battle of Vizagapatam
Main article: Battle of Vizagapatam
By September 1804, Admiral Peter Rainier, the commander of the fleet Centurion was attached to, had become concerned about the presence of a French squadron in the area under Contre-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Durand Linois which was raiding British shipping. He therefore substituted the small frigate HMS Wilhelmina with the Centurion as a convoy escort for a small convoy of two East Indiamen, the Barnaby and the Princess Charlotte. The convoy was anchored at Vizagapatam early on 15 September when Linois's squadron approached the harbour. The Centurion's commander, James Lind was ashore, leaving Lieutenant James Robert Phillips in command. Phillips sighted the approaching ships and, suspecting them to be French, opened fire. Linois continued to approach, causing one of the East Indiamen to run ashore, where she was wrecked, while Lind hurried to return to his ship.

The three main French ships, the 74-gun Marengo and the frigates Sémillante and Atalante, continued to approach under fire from Centurion and the shore batteries protecting the harbour. When the French frigates came within 200 yards (180 m), Phillips opened fire on Atalante as Sémillante attempted to reach the other side of the British ship and surround her. Linois did not want to risk the Marengo when there might be uncharted shoals about, and so he fired from a longer range. After several hours of fighting Centurion had suffered severe damage. She had been severely holed, with her rigging wrecked and her anchor cable shot through, which caused her to slowly drift away from the shore, out of control. The French took the opportunity to capture the remaining East Indiaman and withdraw from the harbour. The Centurion lost one man killed and nine wounded. The French suffered slightly heavier losses, Marengo losing two men killed and an officer wounded and Atalante three killed and five wounded. Sémillante, which had not been closely engaged in the battle, suffered no casualties. Damage to the French ships was severe, and Linois was forced to abandon further operations.

Both nations claimed the encounter as a victory, the French for the capture of the East Indiaman and the British for the survival of Centurion in the face of overwhelming French numerical superiority.

Retirement from active service
Centurion did not remain much longer in the East Indies, being sent home in November as needing an extensive repairs, due at least in part to the damage inflicted by an infestation of white ants. The letter sent back with her from the commanding officer of her station declared that he was sending her home as she "will require an expensive repair if detained any longer in this Country; in her present state she may be converted by the Navy Board to some useful inferior establishment, as I know of no other mean of effectively getting rid of the White Ants onboard her, who have at times discovered themselves by serious depredations aloft".

Centurion was duly fitted at Chatham for service as a hospital ship, and sailed to Halifax in 1808 under the command of Lieutenant Edward Webb. She became a receiving ship and stores depot there under Captain George Monke, followed by a return to being a hospital ship in 1809. She was back in use as a receiving ship under Captain William Skipsey in June 1813, during which time she served as flagship of Rear-Admiral Edward Griffith. Captain Justice Finley took over command in June 1814, followed by Captain David Scott from October 1814.

Fate
Centurion was finally hulked in 1817, in which state she spent the next seven years. She sank at her moorings on 21 February 1824; was raised and broken up in 1825.

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Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the ‘Centurion’ (1774), a 50-gun small two-decker. The model is decked and rests on a slipway. It has the name ‘Centurion’ painted on the stern. The figurehead depicts a centurion wearing a helmet. The ‘Centurion’ was built at Woolwich by Barnard & Co. and designed by Sir T. Slade. It measured 146 feet along the gun deck by 40 feet in the beam. Between 1775 and 1780, it served in the Caribbean taking part in the Battle of Martinique (1780). It then returned home and had its hull coppered – a relatively new technique employed to protect the underwater hull from the attack of marine boring worms, molluscs and weed growth. Between 1795 and 1805 the ‘Centurion’ served in the East Indies taking part in the Capture of Ceylon (1795) and was involved in Red Sea operations around Suez (1799–1800). It was broken up at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1825 having been a receiving ship there since 1809



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1807 – The naval Battle of the Dardanelles took place on 22-23 May 1807 during the Russo-Turkish War (1806–12, part of the Napoleonic Wars).
It was fought between the Russian and Ottoman navies near the Dardanelles Strait. Russians under Admiral Seniavin defeat Turks



The naval Battle of the Dardanelles took place on 22-23 May 1807 during the Russo-Turkish War (1806–12, part of the Napoleonic Wars). It was fought between the Russian and Ottoman navies near the Dardanelles Strait.

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As the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, heavily depended on maritime supply, Russia's Vice-Admiral Dmitry Senyavin, in charge of ten ships of the line and a frigate, established a blockade of the Dardanelles on 6 March 1807. He maintained the blockade for two months, by the end of which period food riots broke out on the streets of Constantinople and Sultan Selim III was deposed. His successor, Mustafa IV, ordered his captains to break the blockade at any cost.

Pursuant to these orders, 8 ships of the line, 6 frigates and 55 smaller vessels under Kapudan Pasha Seyid Ali (who had fought against Senyavin two decades earlier in the Battle of Caliacria) slipped out of the Straits and prepared to land in the island of Tenedos, which served as a base for the Russian squadron in the Aegean. Senyavin decided to forestall Seyid Ali's plans and advanced against the Ottoman fleet.

After having to wait for two days against contrary winds, the wind shifted, blowing from Tenedos toward Imbros, where the Turkish fleet was moored, Senyavin ordered an immediate attack, although it was late afternoon. The Russians attacked as evening fell, continuing on into the night. After several hours of fighting, the Russians appeared victorious and the Turks had to retreat to the Dardanelles. Senyavin pursued them into the Straits and attempted to destroy three badly damaged Ottoman ships of the line, but the heavy fire of the shore batteries and darkness compelled him to give up the pursuit. Although about 1,000 Turkish sailors were killed or wounded and no Russian ship was sunk, the battle appeared indecisive. Senyavin continued to blockade the Dardanelles before engaging the Turks in the Battle of Monte Sancto a month later.

The book Naval wars in the Levant indicates that Senyavin allowed the Turks to attack Tenedos, while trying to approach from the southeast of this island to cut off their retreat to the Dardanelles, but was unable due to lack of wind, and the battle was a running battle, with the fleets ending up mixed together in the straits that night, eventually separating. Three Turkish ships of the line were left outside the straits, and these were attacked the next day, running aground just inside, but eventually were refloated, although they may not have been seaworthy.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Dardanelles_(1807)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1810 - Boats of HMS Alceste (38), Cptn. Murray Maxwell, captured four feluccas, drove two on the rocks at Agaye.


On 22 May 1810, Alceste encountered some French feluccas — lightly-armed merchant vessels with lateen rigs — that were forced to seek refuge under the guns of the bay of Agay. Under cover of darkness, two boats from Alceste, one under Lieutenant Andrew Wilson, the other led by the ship's master, Henry Bell, attacked the shore batteries. This was only partially successful; Wilson was unable to achieve his objective, while Bell's section managed to spike the guns of the second battery but only after taking heavy fire. Alceste stood out to sea for three days, and on the night of 25 May, Maxwell sent two armed boats to lay in wait in a rocky cove. The following morning Alceste set sail. The French, assuming Alceste had gone, attempted to leave, but the two British boats lying in ambush attacked. Despite fierce resistance and fire from the guns on shore, four ships of the French convoy were captured and two driven on to the rocks. The remainder made it safely back to their anchorage.


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Combat de la Fregate Francaise la Pomone contre les Fregates, Anglaises l' Alceste et l' Active. Galrie Histque de Versailles (PAD5813)

HMS Alceste was built at Rochefort in 1804 for the French Navy as Minerve, an Armide-class frigate. In the spring of 1806, prior to her capture, she engaged HMS Pallas, then under Lord Cochrane. During the duel she ran aground but Cochrane had to abort his attack when French reinforcements appeared.

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The British seized her in an action on 25 September 1806, and the Royal Navy took Minerve into service as Alceste in March 1807; Alceste then continued to serve throughout the Napoleonic Wars. On 29 November 1811, Alceste led a British squadron that captured a French military convoy carrying more than 200 cannon to Trieste in the Balkans. After this loss, Napoleon changed the direction of his planned eastward expansion in 1812 from the Balkans to Russia. The British historian James Henderson has suggested that the two events were linked, and may have changed the course of the war.

In 1814, Alceste was converted to a troopship and used to transport British soldiers to North America during the War of 1812. Following the Treaty of Paris in 1815, Alceste carried Lord Amherst on his 1816 diplomatic mission to China. On the return journey, she struck a reef in the Java Sea; her wreck was subsequently plundered and burned by Malayan pirates.

La-fregate-de-18-la-penelope-1802-1816-par-francois-roux-18772.jpg
An Armide-class frigate similar to Alceste, illustrated by François-Geoffroi Roux

Construction and armament
Alceste was built to a design by Pierre Rolland for the French Navy as Minerve, an Armide-Class frigate. Her construction began at Rochefort in May 1804, she was launched in September 1805 and finished that November. Measuring 152 feet 5 inches (46.46 m) along her gundeck with a beam of 40 feet 0 inches (12.19 m) and a depth in the hold of 12 feet 8 inches (3.86 m); she had a capacity of 1,097 71⁄94 tons burthen. When first fitted out, Minerve carried twenty-eight 18 pounders (8.2 kg) as her main battery and fourteen 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades on her quarter-deck; her forecastle had two 9-pounder (4.1 kg) long guns and two 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Alceste_(1806)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1811 – Launch of French Pacificateur, a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané.


The Pacificateur was a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané. She is notable for being the first ship to sustain damage from Paixhans shells.

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Robuste-Antoine_Roux.jpg
The Robuste, sister-ship of the Pacificateur

History
Commissioned in Antwerp in 1814, Pacificateur remained anchored at the entrance of the harbour to protect it until the Bourbon Restoration. In September 1814, she arrived in Brest, where she stayed until she was condemned, in 1824.

For her disposal, it was decided to use Pacificateur as a target ship to test new 22 cm canon-obusiers invented by Henri-Joseph Paixhans. The wooden sides of Pacificateur sustained devastating damages from the explosive shell, starting the decline of wooden warships and rise of the ironclads.


Bucentaure class 80-gun ships designed by Jacques-Noël Sané, a modification of the 80-ship Tonnant class listed above. 21 ships were launched to this design, of which 16 were afloat by the end of 1814

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  • Bucentaure 80 (launched 13 July 1803 at Toulon) – Flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, captured there by the British and wrecked in the subsequent storm
  • Neptune 80 (launched 15 August 1803 at Toulon) – Captured by the Spanish at Cadiz in June 1808, renamed Neptuno, BU 1820
  • Robuste 80 (launched 30 October 1806 at Toulon) – Driven ashore by the British and burnt near Frontignan in October 1809
  • Ville de Varsovie 80 (launched 10 May 1808 at Rochefort) – Captured and burnt by the British in the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809
  • Donawerth 80 (launched 4 July 1808 at Toulon) – BU 1824
  • Eylau 80 (launched 19 November 1808 at Lorient) – BU 1829
  • Friedland 80 (launched 2 May 1810 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Dutch Navy in August 1814 and renamed Vlaming, BU 1823
  • Sceptre 80 (launched 15 August 1810 at Toulon) – Condemned 1828
  • Tilsitt 80 (launched 25 August 1810 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Dutch Navy in August 1814 and renamed Neptunus, BU 1818
  • Auguste 80 (launched 25 April 1811 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Dutch Navy in August 1814 and renamed Illustre, returned in September 1814, BU 1827
  • Pacificateur 80 (launched 22 May 1811 at Antwerp) – BU 1824
  • Illustre 80 (launched 9 June 1811 at Antwerp) – Transferred to the Dutch Navy in August 1814 and renamed Prins van Oranje,BU 1825.
  • Diadème 80 (launched 1 December 1811 at Lorient) – 86 guns from 1837; condemned 1856.
  • Conquérant 80 (launched 27 April 1812 at Antwerp) – Condemned 1831.
  • Zélandais 80 (launched 12 October 1813 at Cherbourg) – renamed Duquesne in April 1814, but reverted to Zélandais in March 1815 then Duquesne again in July 1815. Condemned 1858.
  • Magnifique 80 (launched 29 October 1814 at Lorient) – 86 guns from 1837; condemned 1837.
  • One further ship begun at Venice to this design was never launched – Saturne, which was broken up on the stocks by the Austrian occupiers.


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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1812 - The Action of 22 May 1812 took place off Groix when a small French two-frigate squadron returning from a commerce raiding campaign in the Atlantic, met the 74-gun HMS Northumberland while trying the slip to Lorient through the British blockade.
HMS Northumberland (74) and HMS Growler (12) drove ashore and destroyed French frigates Arianne (44) and Andromaque (44) and brig Mameluke (18) off Port Louis.



The Action of 22 May 1812 took place off Groix when a small French two-frigate squadron comprising Ariane and Andromaque, returning from a commerce raiding campaign in the Atlantic, met the 74-gun HMS Northumberland while trying the slip to Lorient through the British blockade.

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After a gunnery exchange that left all ships damaged, the frigates attempted to lose the ship of the line by sailing through a shallow pass, but they ran aground. Northumberland, her repairs completed, returned to the scene and bombarded Andromaque until her rigging caught fire, setting the entire ship ablaze. Unable to refloat herself and trapped by Northumberland, Ariane was scuttled by fire by her crew, and the French evacuated on the brig Mameluck.

Captains Jean-Baptiste-Henri Féretier and Nicolas Morice were found guilty of negligence in the loss of their ships, and forbidden from commanding for three years.

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Destruction of the French Frigates Arianne & Andromaque 22nd May 1812. Nineteenth century British school, after Thomas Whitcombe
The image shows the last stages of the Action of 22 May 1812. From left to right: Mameluck, Ariane, Andromaque and Northumberland.

Background
By 1812, the Royal Navy enjoyed an absolute supremacy on all seas, and even blockaded French harbours, preventing French squadrons from leaving and conducting naval operations of significance. The French Navy was thus forced into commerce raiding: small frigate squadrons (usually just a pair of frigates) would attempt to slip through the blockade and roam the seas, patrolling to capture lightly armed merchantmen.

On 9 January 1812, a French frigate squadron left Nantes to attack British and American shipping in the Atlantic, off the Azores and Bermuda. The squadron comprised the two 18-pounder 40-gun frigates Ariane and Andromaque, under Captains Jean-Baptiste-Henri Féretier and Nicolas Morice respectively, and the 16-gun brig Mameluck, under Captain Galabert. Feretier was the commanding officer of the squadron.

In the early afternoon of 15 January, the French cruise met a British squadron comprising the 50-gun HMS Leopard and the large 40-gun HMS Endymion, which mounted 24-pounders. In the face of overwhelming odds, the French fled and in the evening had successfully outrun their pursuers.

The French squadron, free to continue on its mission. reached its patrolling area and started preying on merchant shipping. In the course of four next months, it took 36 prizes (9 British, 3 Portuguese, 1 Spanish, 1 Swedish and 11 American), and made 217 prisoners.

The British, however, were now informed of the presence of a French frigate squadron, and warned the blockade of Brest, under Rear-admiral Sir Harry Neale, to watch for its return. Neale tasked the 74-gun HMS Northumberland, under Captain the Honourable Henry Hotham, to attempt to intercept the frigates and bring them into action. Northumberland detached on 19 May and took position off the point of Isle Groix.

Meanwhile, the French squadron was on its course back to France. Through prisoners and logs of captured ships, Feretier had learned of Allemand's escape from Lorient to Brest; he thus expected the British blockading ships to be sailing in pursuit of the French fleet or cruising off Brest, and attempted to seize the opportunity to slip through to Lorient.

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The Northumberland Captn Hotham engaging two French frigates 22 May 1812. From a painting in the possession of Sir H. Hotham (PAD5814)

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Destruction of the French Frigates L'Arianne & Andromache [ and the 'Mamelouk', by 'Northumberland' and 'Growler'] From a painting in the possession of Sir H. Hotham (PAD5815)

Action
In the morning of 22 May, the French squadron arrived off the Roches de Penmarch. Around 11:30, a large sail appeared in the North, which was soon recognised to be the 74-gun HMS Northumberland. Feretier decided to sail through by force.

However, Morice signaled that one of his crewmembers, Ensign Legrand, was familiar with the area and thought himself capable of leading the frigates through a shallow pass where they could slip and distance Northumberland. Feretier decided to take his chance with this idea, and ordered Andromaque to lead, leaving Mameluck free to manoeuver at will.

Around 15:00, the frigates came within range of Northumberland, which waited near Pointe du Talut. Northumberland fired a few shots, to which Andromaque, supported by coastal defence batteries, responded with her whole broadside. A full artillery exchange broke out, obscuring the view of the ships with smoke and killing Ensign Legrand on Andromaque. Officer Legros, the only other officer on Andromaque familiar with these waters, took over the pilotage, but around 17:45, Andromaque ran aground on the Northern part of Basse Grasie reef. Ariane reacted by turning on her right, but soon also ran aground. Seeing the danger, Northumberland immediately retreated, and took the opportunity to repair the damage caused to her rigging by the cannonade, particularly her fore topmast.

With Mameluck the only ship able to manoeuver, Feretier ordered the brig to sail to Lorient and request assistance. Mameluck attempted to execute the order, but also ran aground, close to Ariane. With the resceding tide, the frigates started to list so much that they threw their starboard artillery overboard, emptied their water reserves and removed all unnecessary cargo.

Soon afterwards, Northumberland returned, along with the 12-gun Growler, anchored North of the frigates, and started a two-hour bombardment, to which the frigates were unable to respond, save for a handful of carronades on Andromaque. After the first few shots, at 5:55, a fire broke out in the fore top of Andromaque; with his fire pump shattered, Morice ordered the mast cut down, but all the men assigned to the task were killed or wounded by British shots, and fire soon engulfed the forecastle. With the water intake well above the sea, it was impossible to flood the powder room. Feretier sent an ensign to Andromaque, who returned to bring the news that the fire was beyond control; he then ordered the 86 sick and the prisoners taken to the boats that had come from Lorient.

Northumberland having departed, the préfet maritime went to the site of the battle. Feretier reported that the hull of Ariane was riddled with shot to starboard and filled with water, and that the pilots deemed her impossible to refloat. The préfet then ordered Arianeabandoned, and Feretier had her set afire to prevent her capture. By 8:20, the crew had come ashore and the officers embarked on boats for Lorient; Andromaque exploded soon afterwards. Ariane exploded in the night, at 2:30.

Mameluck had cut her topmasts and thrown her artillery overboard in fruitless attempts to refloat, and had been abandoned by her crew because a number of the shots below the waterline made her impossible to sail into combat. However, she had not suffered as much as the frigates, and the next day, a party returned to Mameluck and succeeded in refloating her. She reached Lorient on 24, only survivor of the squadron.

Aftermath
The frigates, loaded with the most valuable items captured on their prizes, were particularly low in the water, which contributed to their grounding; moreover, the pass that Legrand, a native of Ploemeur, recalled, could only be used by boats, and would never have accommodated a frigate. James remarks that the grounding of the smaller Mameluck is a testimony of the hopelessness of the attempt to sail a frigate through the pass.

Feretier and Morice were court-martialled, as was customary for the loss of a ship. Captain Le Gouardun blamed them for not having diverted to Brest, Cherbourg or Saint Malo, or even returned to Lorient after a feint to lose the British ship; he furthermore remarked that the frigate squadron could only fight the 74-gun in a melee, and not by forming a line of battle; he suggested that Feretier could have lacked bravery in following Morice's Andromaque and leaving her to sustain the brunt of the fight, and that this line was also a navigation error, as it sent Ariane onto the same rocks as Andromaque. Both captains were declared guilty of incompetence, stripped of rank and forbidden from commanding a ship for three years. However, as the Navy suffered from a lack of personnel, they were quickly appointed as first officers on other ships.

James mentions that a "fine French two-decker, with sails bent and topgallant yards across, in the harbour of Lorient, lay a mortified spectator of this gallant achievement"; the ship in question was the 80-gun Diadème, that could not intervene due to the unfavourable winds.

On the British side, Lieutenant Weeks, captain of Growler, and Lieutenant John Banks, first officer of Northumberland, were promoted to Commander for their role in the battle.

Discovery of the wreck

In 1986, Jean-Claude Abadie discovered the traces of one of the wrecked frigates at the site of Grasu, off Lorient-Ploemeur. Expertise the DRASSM (Département des Recherches Archéologiques Subaquatiques et Sous-marines, Ministry of Culture) confirmed the interest of the site. Another wreck was found nearby, though it turned out to be that of a merchantman, of the same era but unrelated to the event.

A bronze cannon was found by an amateur diver shortly thereafter.

In 1996, an underwater excavation was undertaken to salvage remains of the wreck, with 54 divers searching the area between 1 and 10 metres deep. Another excavation in June 2000 located the second frigate. The fruits of the search were put on display at the Cité de la Mer.


HMS Northumberland was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at the yards of Barnard, Deptford and launched on 2 February 1798.

j2911.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Northumberland' (1798) and 'Renown' (1798), both 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers based on the draught of the captured French Third Rate 'America' (captured 1794), later 'Impetueux'. Alterations to the quarterdeck and forcastle deck gun ports and channels were ordered in July 1797


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Ariane_(1811)
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=782
 

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22 May 1819 – SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.


SS
Savannah
was an American hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer built in 1818. She is notable for being the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, transiting mainly under sail power from May to June 1819. In spite of this historic voyage, the great space taken up by her large engine and its fuel at the expense of cargo, and the public's anxiety over embracing her revolutionary steam power, kept Savannah from being a commercial success as a steamship. Originally laid down as a sailing packet, she was, following a severe and unrelated reversal of the financial fortunes of her owners, converted back into a sailing ship shortly after returning from Europe.

Savannah was wrecked off Long Island in 1821. No other American-owned steamship would cross the Atlantic for almost thirty years after Savannah's pioneering voyage. Two British sidewheel steamships, Brunel's SS Great Western and Menzies' SS Sirius, raced to New York in 1838, both voyages being made under steam power alone.

SS-Savannah.jpg

Development
Savannah was laid down as a sailing packet at the New York shipyard of Fickett & Crockett. While the ship was still on the slipway, Captain Moses Rogers, with the financial backing of the Savannah Steam Ship Company, purchased the vessel in order to convert it to an auxiliary steamship and gain the prestige of inaugurating the world's first transatlantic steamship service.

Savannah was then fitted with an auxiliary steam engine and paddlewheels in addition to her sails. Moses Rogers himself supervised the installation of the machinery, while his distant cousin, and later brother-in-law, Stevens Rogers oversaw installation of the ship's rigging and sails.

Since Savannah crossed the Atlantic mainly under sail power some sources contend that the first transatlantic steamship was the SS Royal William, crossing in 1833. It used sail only during boiler maintenance. Another claimant is the British-built Dutch-owned Curaçao, which used steam power for several days when crossing the Atlantic both ways in 1827.

Description
The Allaire Iron Works of New York supplied Savannah's engine cylinder, while the rest of the engine components and running gear were manufactured by the Speedwell Ironworks of New Jersey. The 90-horsepower low-pressure engine was of the inclined direct-acting type, with a single 40-inch-diameter (100 cm) cylinder and a 5-foot stroke. Savannah's engine and machinery were unusually large for their time, and after the ship's launch, Moses Rogers had difficulty locating a suitable boiler, rejecting several before settling on a copper model by boiler specialist Daniel Dod. The ship's wrought-iron paddlewheels were 16 feet in diameter with eight buckets per wheel. For fuel, the vessel carried 75 tons of coal and 25 cords of wood.

Diagram_of_SS_Savannah.jpg
Diagram of Savannah, showing lines and sail plan.

As the ship was too small to carry much fuel, the engine was intended only for use in calm weather, when the sails were unable to provide a speed of at least four knots. In order to reduce drag and avoid damage when the engine was not in use, the paddlewheel buckets were linked by chains instead of bars,[9] enabling the wheels to be folded up like fans and stored on deck. Similarly, the paddlewheel guards were made of canvas stretched over a metal frame which could also be packed away when not required.[8] The whole process of retracting the wheels and guards took no more than about 15 minutes. Savannah is the only known ship to have been fitted with retractable paddlewheels.

Savannah's hull and rigging were constructed under the direction of Captain Stevens Rogers, who later became the ship's sailing master. The ship was full rigged like a normal sailing ship, excepting the absence of royal-masts and royals. Contemporary engravings suggest that Savannah's mainmast was set further astern than in normal sailing ships, in order to accommodate the engine and boiler.

Interior
Savannah was fitted with 32 passenger berths, with two berths in each of the 16 state rooms. The women's quarters were reported to be "entirely distinct" from that of the men's. Three fully furnished saloons were also provided, complete with imported carpets, curtains and hangings, and decorated with mirrors. The state rooms were large and comfortable and the interior has been described as more closely resembling a pleasure yacht than a steam packet.

Early service
When it became known that Savannah was intended for transatlantic service, the vessel was quickly dubbed a "steam coffin" in New York and Moses Rogers was unable to hire a crew there. Stevens Rogers then traveled to New London, Connecticut, his hometown, where his reputation was well established, and he could find seamen prepared to serve on the vessel.

Savannah conducted a successful trial of approximately two hours duration in New York Harbor to test her engine on Monday 22 March 1819. On Sunday, March 28 at 10 a.m., Savannah commenced her maiden voyage, under sail power, from New York to her operating port of Savannah, Georgia. The following morning the ship got steam up for the first time at 11 a.m., but the engine was in use only half an hour before rough weather persuaded the captain to stow the paddlewheels and revert to sail power once again. The ship reached her destination April 6, having employed the engines for a total of 41½ hours during the 207-hour voyage. In spite of arriving at 4 a.m., a large crowd was on hand to welcome the vessel into port.

Presidential excursion

President James Monroeof the USA took an excursion aboard Savannah shortly before her historic voyage.

A few days after Savannah's arrival in Savannah Harbor, the President of the United States, James Monroe, visited the nearby city of Charleston, South Carolina as part of an extended tour of inspection of arsenals, fortifications and public works along the Atlantic Coast. On hearing of the visit, Savannah's principal owner, William Scarbrough, instructed Rogers to sail north to Charleston to invite the President to return to the city of Savannah aboard the steamship.

Savannah departed under steam for Charleston on April 14, and after an overnight stopover at Tybee Lighthouse, arrived at Charleston two days later. Scarbrough's invitation was sent, but as the locals objected to the President leaving South Carolina on a Georgian vessel, he pledged to visit the ship at a later date. On April 30, Savannah made steam for her home port once again, arriving there the following day after a 27-hour voyage.

On May 7 and 8 Savannah took on coal, and on May 11, President Monroe made good on his promise and arrived to take an excursion on the ship. After the President and his entourage had been welcomed aboard, Savannah departed under steam around 8 a.m. for Tybee Lighthouse, arriving there at 10:30 a.m., and departing for town again at 11. Monroe dined on board, expressing enthusiasm to the ship's owner, Mr. Scarbrough, over the prospect of an American vessel inaugurating the world's first transatlantic steamship service. The President was also greatly impressed by Savannah's machinery, and invited Scarbrough to bring the ship to Washington after her transatlantic crossing so that Congress could inspect the vessel with a view to purchasing her for use as a cruiser against Cuban pirates.

Historic transatlantic voyage
In the days following Monroe's departure, Savannah's crew, with Captain Moses Rogers in command and Stevens Rogers as sailing master, made their final preparations for the Atlantic crossing. On May 15, the ship broke free from her moorings during a squall, but apart from slight damage to her paddles, the ship was unharmed.

Savannah's owners made every effort to secure passengers and freight for the voyage, but no-one was willing to risk lives or property aboard such a novel vessel. On May 19, a late advertisement appeared in the local paper announcing the date of departure as May 20. In the event, Savannah's departure was delayed for two days after one of her crew returned to the vessel in a highly inebriated state, fell off the gangplank and drowned. In spite of this delay however, still no passengers came forward, and the ship would make her historic voyage purely in an experimental capacity.

The voyage
SS_Savannah_from_Chatterton.jpg
Savannah under both sail and steam power

After leaving Savannah Harbor on May 22 and lingering at Tybee Lighthouse for several hours, Savannah commenced her historic voyage at 5 a.m. on Monday May 24, under both steam and sail bound for Liverpool, England. At around 8 a.m. the same day, the paddlewheels were stowed for the first time and the ship proceeded under sail. Several days later, on May 29, the schooner Contract spied a vessel "with volumes of smoke issuing", and assuming it was a ship on fire, pursued it for several hours but was unable to catch up. Contract's skipper eventually concluded the smoking vessel must be a steamboat crossing for Europe, exciting his admiration as "a proud monument of Yankee skill and enterprise".

On June 2, Savannah, sailing at a speed of 9 or 10 knots, passed the sailing ship Pluto. After being informed by Captain Rogers that his novel vessel was functioning "remarkably well", the crew of Pluto gave Savannah three cheers, as "the happiest effort of mechanical genius that ever sailed the western sea." Savannah's next recorded encounter was not until June 19, off the coast of Ireland with the cutter HMS Kite, which made the same mistake as Contract three weeks earlier and chased the steamship for several hours believing it to be a sailing vessel on fire. Unable to catch the ship, Kite eventually fired several warning shots, and Captain Rogers brought his vessel to a halt, whereupon Kite caught up and its commander asked permission to inspect the ship. Permission was granted, and the British sailors are said to have been "much gratified" by the satisfaction of their curiosity

On June 18, Savannah was becalmed off Cork after running out of fuel for her engine, but by June 20, the ship had made her way to Liverpool. Hundreds of boats came out to greet the unusual vessel, including a British sloop-of-war, an officer from whom hailed Savannah's sailing master Stevens Rogers, who happened to be on deck. The New London Gazette of Connecticut later reported the encounter in the following terms:

The officer of the boat asked [Rogers], "Where is your master?" to which he gave the laconic reply, "I have no master, sir". "Where's your captain then?" "He's below; do you wish to see him?" "I do, sir." The captain, who was then below, on being called, asked what he wanted, to which he answered, "Why do you wear that penant, sir?" "Because my country allows me to, sir." "My commander thinks it was done to insult him, and if you don't take it down he will send a force to do it." Captain Rogers then exclaimed to the engineer, "Get the hot-water engine ready." Although there was no such machine on board the vessel, it had the desired effect, and John Bull was glad to paddle off as fast as possible.
On approaching the city, Savannah was cheered by crowds thronging the piers and the roofs of houses. The ship made anchor at 6 p.m. The voyage had lasted 29 days and 11 hours, during which time the vessel had employed her engine for a total of 80 hours.



Good read:



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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1852 – Launch of HMS Agamemnon, a Royal Navy 91-gun battleship ordered by the Admiralty in 1849 in response to the perceived threat from France by their possession of ships of the Napoléon class.


HMS Agamemnon
was a Royal Navy 91-gun battleship ordered by the Admiralty in 1849 in response to the perceived threat from France by their possession of ships of the Napoléon class.

HMSAgamemnon2.jpg

Design
She was the first British battleship to be designed and built from the keel up with installed steam power, although, due to the inefficiency of steam engines of the period, it was expected that she would spend much of her time travelling under sail power. She therefore carried a full square rig on three masts, in common with large sailing warships of the period.

pw8125.jpg
Launch of HMS Agamemnon, 22 May 1852.
The ship-rigged steam battleship 'Agamemnon' was the first warship to be built with screw propulsion, though other sailing vessels had been fitted with engines after commissioning. 'Agamemnon's' success was such that she remained the basic model for the first decade of Britain's steam battlefleet. During the Crimean War she took part in the bombardment of Sebastopol on 17 October 1854 and the shelling of Fort Kinburn, at the mouth of the Dnieper, one year later. In 1857 the government fitted out 'Agamemnon' to carry 1,250 tons of telegraphic cable for the Atlantic Telegraph Company's first attempt to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable. Although this was unsuccessful, the following year the project was resumed. 'Agamemnon' and her American counterpart USS 'Niagara' spliced their cable ends in midatlantic on 29 July 1858 and then sailed for their respective continents. On 16 August Queen Victoria sent a ninety-nine-word message to President Buchanan, a process that took more than sixteen hours. Three weeks later the cable failed and service was interrupted for several years until the 'Great Eastern' successfully laid a new cable. After service on the Caribbean and North American stations, 'Agamemnon' was paid off in 1862 and sold in 1870. Hand-coloured lithograph

She carried an armament of muzzle loading smooth-bore cannon, typical of warships at this time, on two decks. She was completed in 1852.

She was not the first British battleship to be completed with steam power; HMS Sans Pareil, a pre-existing square-rigged second-rate, was converted to ancillary steam power (retaining her rig) and completed in 1851.

pw8126.jpg
This watercolour shows the 'Agamemnon' of 1852 lying off Greenwich, probably in about June1857, when the ship appears to have made a visit to the Thames, probably as part of events marking the end of the Crimean War. At that time the Governor of Greenwich Hospital was asked to give members of the crew free admission to the Naval Gallery in the Painted Hall and, although he approved, the Hospital Board refused citing a previous Admiralty order of 1846 on the subject (TNA ADM67/108,11 June 1857). Why this watercolour should have been made nearly 30 years later is unknown. It is signed and dated on the lower left corner, W.T.Q/83. The steamer on the left appears to be in London County Council colours. The 'Agamemnon' itself was broken up in 1870

Name
The ship was named after Agamemnon, the King of Mycenae, who led the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Service
Naval

Agamemnon was attached to the Mediterranean Fleet and served in the Crimean War as flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons. She participated in the bombardment of Sevastopol on 17 October 1854. On 14 November 1854, She was driven ashore on the Russian coast of the Black Sea. Agamemnon participated in the shelling of Fort Kinburn, at the mouth of the Dnieper river, in 1855.

Francis_Seymour_Haden_-_Breaking_Up_Of_The_Agamemnon_1870.jpg
Agamemnon being broken up, 1870

Transatlantic cable
pu6204.jpg
Drawing showing a whale crossing the cable line, as the ship lays the trans-atlantic cable.

In 1857 the government fitted out Agamemnon to carry 1,250 tons of telegraphic cable for the Atlantic Telegraph Company's first attempt to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable. Although this initial cable attempt was unsuccessful, the project was resumed the following year and Agamemnon and her US counterpart USS Niagara successfully joined the ends of their two sections of cable in the middle of the Atlantic on 29 July 1858.

l0694.jpg
Scale: 1:48. A half block model of HMS Agamemnon (1852), a 80 gun two-decker 2nd rate warship. The model is made in wood with some metal fittings and constructed in bread and butter fashion. The hull has been hollowed out internally and is painted a copper colour below the waterline with the upperworks and bulwarks painted black and divided by a thin white line. The gun decks are highlighted by a pair of thick, horizontal bands painted creamy-white and the gunports, complete with guns and portlids, are painted black. The model is complete with a rounded stern and quarter gallery, a rudder fitted to the sternframe, a set of drift rails and a cathead. The figurehead is missing. The hull is also fitted with three sets of channels, complete with chain plates and deadeyes, most of which are painted black. The decks have been finished just below the level of the bulwarks and painted a light brown-cream colour. There are three stump masts and a bowsprit of the same colour, together with a funnel mounted on deck. The model is mounted on a wooden backboard painted creamy-white with a mahogany stained edging. Plaque inscribed '217 AGAMEMNON - 80 guns - 1852. Built at Woolwich. The first battleship designed as screw ship. Took part in laying of the first Atlantic cable 1857-8. Sold in 1870. Dimensions: - Length 230ft 6in. Speed 11 knots.'. The model has been recently restored with the additions and repairs finished in a natural wood colour



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Agamemnon_(1852)
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1878 – Launch of Holland Boat No. I, a prototype submarine designed and operated by John Philip Holland.


Holland Boat No. I was a prototype submarine designed and operated by John Philip Holland.

Construction
Work on the vessel began at the Albany Iron Works in New York City, moving to Paterson, New Jersey, in early 1878. The boat was launched on 22 May 1878. It was 14 feet long, weighed 2.25 tons, and was powered by a 4-horsepower Brayton petroleum engine driving a single screw. The boat was operated by Holland himself.

Paterson_Museum_(NJ)_images_(45)_number_35_Early_submarine.jpg
Images from the Paterson Museum in Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson was the location of early manufacturing, much of it powered by the Great Falls nearby in which the Passaic River drops 77 feet. Early manufacturing included clothing, guns, railroad locomotives, submarines and aircraft engines. In this image: early submarine (about 10 feet long and a few feet high).

Testing
After several tests, on 6 June Holland conducted his first proper trial. The boat ran on the surface at approximately 3.5 knots, then submerged to a depth of 12 feet, before eventually surfacing. However, problems with the engine, meant that Holland eventually connected the engine, by a flexible hose, to a steam engine in an accompanying launch and powered the boat externally. In a second trial, Holland remained submerged for an hour. Holland eventually stripped the boat of usable equipment and scuttled it in the Passaic River.

These trials impressed Holland's backers, the Fenian Brotherhood, who on the strength of this success financed the Holland Boat No. II, which became known as the Fenian Ram.

The vessel was recovered in 1927 and is now on display at the Paterson Museum in New Jersey



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1941 - cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji and other ships sunk during the Battle of Crete


HMS Gloucester (62) was one of the last batch of three Town-class light cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the late 1930s. Commissioned shortly before the start of World War II in August 1939, the ship was initially assigned to the China Station and was transferred to the Indian Ocean and later to South Africa to search for German commerce raiders. She was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in mid-1940 and spent much of her time escorting Malta Convoys. Gloucester played minor roles in the Battle of Calabria in 1940 and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. She was sunk by German dive bombers on 22 May 1941 during the Battle of Crete with the loss of 722 men out of a crew of 807. Gloucester acquired the nickname "The Fighting G" after earning five battle honours in less than a year.

HMS_Gloucester.jpg

Design and description
The Town-class light cruisers were designed as counters to the Japanese Mogami-class cruisers built during the early 1930s and the last batch of three ships was enlarged to accommodate more fire-control equipmentand thicker armour. Gloucester displaced 9,400 long tons (9,600 t) at standard load and 11,650 long tons (11,840 t) at deep load. The ship had an overall length of 591 feet 6 inches (180.3 m), a beam of 62 feet 4 inches (19.0 m) and a draught of 20 feet 7 inches (6.3 m) She was powered by four Parsons geared steam turbine sets, each driving one shaft, which developed a total of 82,500 shaft horsepower (61,500 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph). Steam for the turbines was provided by four Admiralty 3-drum boilers. The ship carried a maximum of 2,075 long tons (2,108 t) of fuel oil which gave her a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,110 km; 6,900 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The ship's complement was 800–815 officers and ratings.

The Town-class ships mounted twelve BL six-inch (152 mm) Mk XXIII guns in four triple-gun turrets. The turrets were designated 'A', 'B', 'X' and 'Y' from front to rear. Their secondary armament consisted of eight QF four-inch (102 mm) Mk XVI dual-purpose guns in twin mounts. Their light anti-aircraft armament consisted of a pair of quadruple mounts for the two-pounder (40 mm) AA gun ("pom-pom") and two quadruple mounts for 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) Vickers AA machine guns. The ships carried two above-water, triple mounts for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes.

The Towns lacked a full-length waterline armour belt. The sides of Gloucester's boiler and engine rooms and the sides of the magazines were protected by 4.5 inches (114 mm) of armour. The top of the magazines and the machinery spaces were protected by 2 inches (51 mm) of armour. The armour protecting the main gun turrets had a thickness of 1–2 inches (25–51 mm).

Gloucester, the ninth ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy, was laid down on 22 September 1936, launched on 19 October 1937 and completed on 31 January 1939.

Sinking
HMS_Gloucester_sinking.jpg
Photograph taken by a German airman recording the sinking of Gloucester off the coast of Crete, 22 May 1941

Gloucester repeatedly bombarded targets in Libya during April. After covering another convoy to Malta, the ship, together with the battleships Warspite, Valiant, and Barham, and various destroyers, attacked Tripoli harbour on the night of 20/21 April with some success. At the end of the month, the ship was briefly transferred to Force H at Gibraltar before escorting a convoy eastward to Malta and rejoining the Mediterranean Fleet in Operation Tiger in early May.

After German paratroopers landed on Crete on 20 May, Gloucester was assigned to Force C that was tasked with interdicting any efforts to reinforce the German forces on the island. On 22 May, while in the Kythira Strait, about 14 miles (12 nmi; 23 km) north of Crete, she was attacked by "Stuka"s of StG 2 shortly before 14:00, together with the light cruiser Fiji and the destroyer Greyhound. The latter was sunk and the two cruisers were each hit by 250-kilogramme bombs, but not seriously damaged. Two other destroyers were ordered to recover the survivors while the two cruisers covered the rescue efforts. Gloucester was attacked almost immediately and sustained three more hits and three near-misses and sank. Fiji, under heavy fire, dropped rafts as it passed the Gloucester but was unable to stop and was itself sunk within a few hours.

The 5th Destroyer Flotilla, led by Kelly, was dispatched to search for survivors of both the Gloucester and the Fiji in the evening but was diverted to bombard the Germans at Maleme airfield before reaching the search area. Eventually the Germans picked up the survivors and brought them to Kythira. Of the 807 men aboard at the time of her sinking, only 85 survived to reach shore. of whom two died shortly thereafter.

The circumstances of the sinking were featured by a BBC programme. According to this, the despatch of Gloucester, alone and low on fuel and anti-aircraft ammunition (less than 20% remaining), into danger was a "grievous error". Furthermore, the failure to attempt to rescue survivors after dark was "contrary to usual Navy practice". A survivor commented "The tradition in the Navy is that when a ship has sunk, a vessel is sent back to pick up survivors under cover of darkness. That did not happen and we do not know why. We were picked up by Germans." On 30 May 1941, in a letter to the First Sea Lord, Sir Dudley Pound, Cunningham wrote, "The sending back of Gloucester and Fiji to the Greyhound was another grave error and cost us those two ships. They were practically out of ammunition but even had they been full up I think they would have gone. The Commanding Officer of Fiji told me that the air over Gloucester was black with planes."

The ship's wreck is a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. Amongst the crewmen lost was the former Southampton footballer Norman Catlin.


HMS Fiji was a Crown Colony-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy, named after the Crown colony of Fiji. She has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name.

HMS_FIJI,_28_August_1940_FL13125.jpg

Sinking
On completion of these duties she participated in the Battle of Crete. On 22 May 1941 she was acting in company with the destroyers Kandahar and Kingston shortly after the loss of the cruiser Gloucester. These ships fought on and shot down one attacker and damaged two others.[2] She finally expended all of her anti-aircraft ammunition fighting off numerous air attacks that persisted for two hours. She was attacked and hit by several bombs from Messerschmitt Bf 109s of LG2 before an aircraft of Jagdgeschwader 77 dropped a bomb close alongside to port. This blew in Fiji’s bottom plates and caused a list to port. Fiji lost power and came to a standstill. She was now largely defenceless, having practically exhausted her 4 inch ammunition. She was then hit by three bombs dropped by a Junkers Ju 88 from Lehrgeschwader 1 piloted by Gerhard Brenner. Captain Peveril William-Powlett gave the order to abandon ship and Fiji rolled over and sank. The destroyers dropped floats and withdrew to the south. They returned after dark to pick up 523 survivors. 241 men were killed when the ship sank to the sea floor.

On 30 May 1941, in a letter to the First Sea Lord, Sir Dudley Pound, Admiral Cunningham wrote, "The sending back of Gloucester and Fiji to HMS Greyhound was another grave error and cost us those two ships. They were practically out of ammunition but even had they been full up I think they would have gone. The Commanding Officer of Fiji told me that the air over Gloucester was black with planes."


HMS Greyhound
was a G-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the 1930s. Greyhound participated in the Norwegian Campaign in April 1940, the Dunkirk evacuation in May and the Battle of Dakar in September before being transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in November. The ship generally escorted the larger ships of the Mediterranean Fleet as they protected convoys against attacks from the Italian Fleet. She sank two Italian submarines while escorting convoys herself in early 1941. Greyhound was sunk by German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers north-west of Crete on 22 May 1941 as she escorted the battleships of the Mediterranean Fleet attempting to intercept the German sea-borne invasion forces destined for Crete.

HMS_Greyhound_WWII_FL_2766.jpg




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gloucester_(62)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Fiji_(58)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 May 1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) – A nuclear-powered submarine that sank (most likely due to an internal explosion) on 22 May 1968 460 nautical miles (850 km) southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. In late Oct. 1968, her remains are found on the sea floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface by a deep-submergence vehicle towed from USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11).


USS Scorpion (SSN-589
)
was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine of the United States Navy and the sixth vessel of the U.S. Navy to carry that name. Scorpion was lost on 22 May 1968, with 99 crewmen dying in the incident. USS Scorpion is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being USS Thresher. It was one of four mysterious submarine disappearances in 1968, the others being the Israeli submarine INS Dakar, the French submarine Minerve and the Soviet submarine K-129.

Uss_scorpion_SSN589.jpg


Skipjack_class_submarine_3D_drawing.svg.png
Skipjack-class submarine drawing:
1. Sonar arrays
2. Torpedo room
3. Operations compartment
4. Reactor compartment
5. Auxiliary machinery space
6. Engine room

Disappearance: May 1968
Scorpion attempted to send radio traffic to Naval Station Rota for an unusually long period beginning shortly before midnight on 20 May and ending after midnight on 21 May, but it was only able to reach a Navy communications station in Nea Makri, Greece, which forwarded the messages to COMSUBLANT. Lt. John Roberts was handed Commander Slattery's last message that he was closing on the Soviet submarine and research group, running at a steady 15 kn (17 mph; 28 km/h) at a depth of 350 ft (110 m) "to begin surveillance of the Soviets".[6] Six days later, the media reported that she was overdue at Norfolk.

Search: 1968
USS_Scorpion_(SSN-589);U136658.jpg
U.S. Navy photo 1968 of the bow section of Scorpion, by the crew of bathyscaphe Trieste II

The Navy suspected possible failure and launched a search, but Scorpion and her crew were declared "presumed lost" on 5 June. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 June. The search continued with a team of mathematical consultants led by Dr. John Piña Craven, the Chief Scientist of the Navy's Special Projects Division. They employed the methods of Bayesian search theory, initially developed during the search for a hydrogen bomb lost off the coast of Palomares, Spain in January 1966 in the Palomares B-52 crash.

Some reports indicate that a large and secret search was launched three days before Scorpion was expected back from patrol. This and other declassified information led to speculation that the Navy knew of Scorpion's destruction before the public search was launched.

At the end of October 1968, the Navy's oceanographic research ship Mizar located sections of the hull of Scorpion on the seabed, about 400 nmi (740 km) southwest of the Azores under more than 9,800 ft (3,000 m) of water. This was after the Navy had released sound tapes from its underwater "SOSUS" listening system which contained the sounds of the destruction of Scorpion. The court of inquiry was subsequently reconvened, and other vessels were dispatched to the scene to collect pictures and other data, including the bathyscaphe Trieste II.

Craven received much credit for locating the wreckage of Scorpion, although Gordon Hamilton was instrumental in defining a compact "search box" wherein the wreck was ultimately found. He was an acoustics expert who pioneered the use of hydroacoustics to pinpoint Polaris missile splashdown locations, and he had established a listening station in the Canary Islands which obtained a clear signal of the vessel's pressure hull imploding as she passed crush depth. Naval Research Laboratory scientist Chester Buchanan used a towed camera sled of his own design aboard Mizar and finally located Scorpion.

Observed damage
The bow of Scorpion appears to have skidded upon impact with the globigerina ooze on the sea floor, digging a sizable trench. The sail had been dislodged, as the hull of the operations compartment upon which it perched disintegrated, and was lying on its port side. One of Scorpion's running lights was in the open position, as if it had been on the surface at the time of the mishap, although it may have been left in the open position during the vessel's recent nighttime stop at Rota. One Trieste II pilot who dived on Scorpion said that the shock of the implosion may have knocked the light into the open position.

The secondary Navy investigation – using extensive photographic, video, and eyewitness inspections of the wreckage in 1969 – suggested that Scorpion's hull was crushed by implosion forces as it sank below crush depth. The Structural Analysis Group, which included Naval Ship Systems Command's Submarine Structures director Peter Palermo, plainly saw that the torpedo room was intact, though it had been pinched by excessive sea pressure. The operations compartment collapsed at frame 33, this being the king frame of the hull, reaching its structural limit first. The conical/cylindrical transition piece at frame 67 followed instantly. The boat was broken in two by massive hydrostatic pressure at an estimated depth of 1,530 feet (470 m). The operations compartment was largely obliterated by sea pressure, and the engine room had telescoped 50 ft (15 m) forward into the hull due to collapse pressure, when the cone-to-cylinder transition junction failed between the auxiliary machine space and the engine room.

The only damage to the torpedo room compartment appeared to be a hatch missing from the forward escape trunk. Palermo pointed out that this would have occurred when water pressure entered the torpedo room at the moment of implosion.

The sail was ripped off, as the hull beneath it folded inward. The propulsion shaft came out of the boat; the engineering section had collapsed inward in a telescoping fashion. The broken boat fell another 9,000 feet (2,700 m) to the ocean floor.

Photos taken in 1986 by Woods Hole Alvin, released by Navy in 2012, shows the broken inboard end of the propulsion shaft.

Shaft_end_still.jpg
Broken inboard end of Scorpion shaft lying on ocean bottom

Bow_part_Scorpion.jpg
Bow section of the Scorpion

Navy investigations and Theories about the loss - read further on wikipedia .....


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 22 May


1563 - Siege of Le Havre, 22nd May 1563 - 31st July 1563

The Protestant Reformation experienced relative success in Normandy. From 1557, John Venable, library colporteur from Dieppe disseminated in Pays de Caux and Lower Normandy the writings of Martin Luther and John Calvin. The first Protestant church was built in Le Havre in 1600 in the district of Sanvic at 85 rue Romain Rolland. It was destroyed in 1685 on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. It was not until 1787 and the Edict of Toleration of King Louis XVI that Le Havre reopened a Protestant place of worship in the district of Saint-François.

Le Havre was affected by the Wars of Religion: On 8 May 1562 the reformers took the city, looted churches, and expelled Catholics. Fearing a counter-attack by the royal armies, they turned to the English who sent their troops. The occupants of the city built fortifications under the Treaty of Hampton Court. The troops of Charles IX, commanded by Anne de Montmorency, attacked Le Havre and the English were finally expelled on 29 July 1563. The fort built by the English was destroyed and the tower of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame was lowered on the orders of the King. He then ordered the construction of a new citadel which was completed in 1574. New fortifications were established between 1594 and 1610. In 1581 the construction began of a canal between Harfleur and the estuary of the Seine.



1649 – Beginning of the Blockade of Kinsale, 22nd May 1649 - October 1649

https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=312


1654 – Launch of HMS Fagons – launched 22 May 1654, renamed HMS Milford in 1660


1751 – Launch of French Lion 64 (launched 22 May 1751 at Toulon)
- hulked 1783 and sold 1785.

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.


1755 - British attack on Fort Beauséjour, 22nd May 1755 - 14th June 1755

https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=1113


1768: Der erste französische Weltumsegler, Graf Louis Antoine de Bougainville, entdeckt auf seiner Reise mit der Fregatte La Boudeuse die später von James Cook benannte Pentecost-Insel in der Südsee.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Boudeuse
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Antoine_de_Bougainville


1793 – Launch of French Carmagnole, 40 guns (launched 22 May 1793 at Brest) – wrecked at Vlissingen 9 November 1800.

Hébé class, (36/38-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 18-pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18-pdr guns, plus 10 x 8-pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).
Hébé, 38 guns (launched 25 June 1782 at Saint-Malo) – captured by British Navy 4 September 1782.
Vénus, 38 guns (launched 14 July 1782 at Brest) – wrecked 31 December 1788 in the Indian Ocean.
Dryade, 40 guns (launched 3 February 1783 at Saint-Malo) – condemned 1801 and BU.
Proserpine, 40 guns (launched 25 June 1785 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 13 June 1796, becoming HMS Amelia.
Sibylle, 40 guns (launched 30 August 1791 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 17 June 1794.
Carmagnole, 40 guns (launched 22 May 1793 at Brest) – wrecked at Vlissingen 9 November 1800.



1798 USS Ganges (24), Cptn Richard Dale, is the first US warship to set sail since independance



1799 - His Majesty's Hired armed cutter Brave served the British Royal Navy from 29 August 1798 until 22 May 1799 when the transport Eclipse ran her down off Beachy Head.

His Majesty's Hired armed cutter Brave served the British Royal Navy from 29 August 1798 until 22 May 1799 when the transport Eclipse ran her down off Beachy Head. Brave is sometimes described as a lugger and sometimes as a cutter.
During her brief service with the Royal Navy her captain was Lieutenant Gardiner Henry Guion (or John Guion or Guyon or Gunion). On 21 January 1799 Brave captured Jemmy Nosten. Then on 3 March Brave, together with the hired armed cutter Lord Nelson, captured Baron Von Hopkin and Sverige Lycka.
On 22 April, or 22 May, while Brave was escorting a convoy through the Channel, the transport Eclipse ran her down. Brave's crew was saved.
On 13 September 1804 prize money for Baron Von Hopkin and Sverige Lycka was paid.



1801 Nelson created Viscount Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe.


1802 – Launch of french Colibri, a brig launched in 1802 for the French Navy


Colibri was a brig launched in 1802 for the French Navy. Between 14 and 16 August Colibri cruised the Atlantic as she sailed to Cadiz. She was under the command of enseigne de vaisseau Jourdain.
She was renamed Saint Pierre on 1 September 1802. Napoleon ordered the name change preparatory to donating her to Pope Pius VII. Saint Pierre left Toulon on 14 December and arrived at Civitavecchia on 16 December.[3] She sailed in company with a second gift, the somewhat over-aged brig San Paulo, escorted by Alcyon. Lieutenant Dornaldéguy performed the official transfer of the ships to the papal delegate.
In the service of the Papal Navy she was renamed San Petro. The French Navy seized her at Civitavechia in June 1806 and listed her as San Petro. The French Empire annexed Civitavecchia in May 1809; at that time she reverted to the name Saint Pierre. She remained at Civitavechia until January 1813. At that time the French Navy found her to be unserviceable and had her struck from the Navy list.
The schematics of the ornamentation of Colibri are stored at the Service Historique de la Marine in Paris (8DD1.2 no 6) and were published in Lepelley's monograph on Manche.



1814 - On 22 May 1814 HMS Majestic recaptured Dominica.

HMS Dominica
was the French letter of marque schooner Duc de Wagram, which the British captured in 1809 in the Leeward Islands and took into the Royal Navy in 1810. The American privateer Decatur captured her in 1813 in a notable single-ship action. However, Majestic recaptured her in 1814. She was wrecked in 1815

Decatur_vs_Dominica.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dominica_(1810)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Majestic_(1785)


1822 – Launch of HMS Russell, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford.

HMS Russell
was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 22 May 1822 at Deptford.
She was fitted with screw propulsion in 1855, and was broken up in 1865.

j3307.jpg

pu8611.jpg
HMS Russell on stocks at Deptford Yard, c. 1822 (PAD8611)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Russell_(1822)


1826 – HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.

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


1840 – The penal transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.

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


1849 – Launch of HMS Megaera was originally constructed as an iron screw frigate for the Royal Navy, and was one of the last and largest ships built by William Fairbairn's Millwall shipyard.

HMS Megaera
was originally constructed as an iron screw frigate for the Royal Navy, and was one of the last and largest ships built by William Fairbairn's Millwall shipyard.
Launched on 22 May 1849, HMS Megaera was one of the first iron ships ordered by the Royal Navy. She was named after the mythological figure Megaera, one of the Erinyes (or Furies, in Roman mythology).
Megaera never saw service as a frigate; just as she entered service, a series of experiments showed that the iron then used in shipbuilding exhibited splintering characteristics which rendered unprotected ships of her type unsuitable for use as warships. The Royal Navy opted to remove the armament from Megaera and her four sister ships and instead employ them as storeships and transports. However, Megaera and her sister ships were not well suited to their new role. Their accommodation was unsuited to carrying large numbers of personnel and their steaming power was poor.
On her maiden voyage as a troopship on 7 June 1851, she broke down and had to be towed back to port. Megaera was refitted and sailed again, ordered to use her sails to conserve coal. She subsequently saw service as a storeship in the Crimea, and some of her crew saw action in a shore landing-party. Following the end of the war in 1856 she resumed routine voyages with stores and replacement personnel for military and naval units.

HMS_Megaera_(1849).jpg
HMS Megaera in 1869

l0610.jpg
HMS Megaera (1849); Warship; Frigate; Steam; Second Class (SLR0836)



1849 – Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.

Abraham Lincoln's patent
relates to an invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea of inventing a mechanism that would lift a boat over shoals and obstructions when on two different occasions the boat on which he traveled got hung up on obstructions. The original documentation of this patent was rediscovered in 1997.

1280px-Lincoln_patent_drawings.jpg

This device was composed of large bellows attached to the sides of a boat that were expandable due to air chambers. His successful patent application led to his drafting and delivering two lectures on the subject of patents while he was President. Lincoln was at times a patent attorney and was familiar with the patent application process as well as patent lawsuit proceedings. Among his notable patent law experiences was litigation over the mechanical reaper; both he and his future Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, provided counsel for John Henry Manny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln's_patent


1863 – American Civil War: Union forces begin the Siege of Port Hudson which lasts 48 days, the longest siege in U.S. military history.

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


1912 - Marine Corps 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham reports to the Naval Academy, where he receives flight instruction, later becoming the first Marine Corps pilot. This date is considered the Birthday of Marine Corps Aviation.


1943 - During the battle to protect British Royal Convoy (ON 184) in the North Atlantic, TBFs from (VC 9) based on board USS Bogue (ACV 9) sink German submarine (U 569) and damage (U 305).


1982 The Battle of Seal Cove was a minor naval action west of Lively Island, during the 1982 Falklands War


 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 May 1685 – Launch of Coronation, a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677


Coronation was a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677, and launched in 1685. She was lost in a storm off Rame Head, Cornwall on 29 October 1690 and is designated as a protected wreck under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The area has been subjected to a geophysical survey and it is possible to acquire a licence and dive on the site.

1.JPG 2.JPG

HMS_Coronation.jpg


Service
Coronation was commissioned on 14 February 1690 under Captain John Munden, as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Ralph Delavall, under whom she took part in the Battle of Beachy Head, against the French, on 30 June 1690. The French won the battle and had temporary control of the English Channel. Captain Charles Skelton took command of the ship on 29 October 1690.

Loss
On 3 September 1691 Coronation was patrolling the channel with the English Fleet and made for Plymouth. The exact circumstances are unclear but it is thought she dragged her anchors while trying to sit out a south-east gale in the lee of Rame Head and was driven aground in Lady Cove to the west of Penlee Point; approximately 600 men drowned, including Skelton. Only circa twenty survived.

Diver trail
Part of the wreck was discovered, close to the shore in 1967 and a second offshore site was found in 1977. The area is subject to strong tidal flows, especially during spring tides. The main wreck site extends in a south-west direction, over 1300m, from the southern side of Penlee Point and artefacts are spread over a large area. The site is a protected wreck, but divers can visit it under licence. Many cannon are visible.


 
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