Archive for February, 2015

Royal Australian Navy

February 19, 2015

In existence since 1911, the Royal Australian Navy has evolved over time from a purely defensive organization to a sophisticated fleet with regional responsibilities. (An informative timeline with links is online). Its website hosts a plethora of information of both primary and secondary natures. You can find about the composition of the current fleet and its senior commanders as well as ship histories of both past and present vessels including the HMAS Australia, the Navy’s first flagship. In addition, you can peruse: Admiralty Fleet Orders from 1910-1945 (of interest because they so closely mirror their British counterparts) and Commonwealth Fleet Orders from 1946-1975; Daily Operational Narratives, 1939-1954; Lord Jellicoe, Admiral of the Fleet was invited to assess the Australian navy, here is his four-volume 1919 report; World War I Naval Staff Monographs; and World War II Naval Staff Histories. These titles do not begin to exhaust the amount of information available; this publications link serves as a valuable guide. The book Flagships three (1916) deals with the early years of the navy in a rather florid style.


Patrick O’Brian Interview

February 17, 2015

This 1994 Paris Review interview stands out as one of the best of this reclusive author.

Hitler and the German Navy

February 11, 2015

Fuehrer conferences on matters dealing with the German Navy, 1939-[1945] are translations of documents found in the German Naval Archives. These and other compilations form the basis for the monograph Hitler and his admirals

British Naval Fiction – A Learned Opinion

February 10, 2015

Although this blog is devoted mainly to non-fiction, every once in a while I am compelled to point out something of interest from the fiction side as well. Today, I direct your attention to this fine article by Richard WoodmanNathaniel Drinkwater and the British Maritime Novel. Most informative on many levels. (BTW, I possess all the Drinkwater novels, most in their first English editions. And I have read them all as well!)

The Naval History Society

February 9, 2015

This short-lived organization had as a main purpose the collection of primary source material documenting the naval engagements of the 18th and 19th centuries. A brief history is online as well as a comprehensive finding aid. Under its auspices, some primary sources were published between 1911 and 1938; most are online: The logs of the Serapis–Alliance–Ariel, under the command of John Paul Jones, 1779-1780, with extracts from public documents, unpublished letters, and narratives (1911); Fanning’s narrative : the memoirs of Nathaniel Fanning, an officer of the revolutionary army, 1778-1783 (1912; repr 1968);  The despatches of Molyneux Shuldham, vice-admiral of the Blue and commander-in-chief of His Britannic Majesty’s ships in North America, January-July, 1776 (1913); Out-letters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, August, 1776-September, 1780 (2 vols., 1914); Letters and papers relating to the cruises of Gustavus Conyngham, a captain of the continental navy, 1777-1779 (1915); Catalogue of the books, mauscripts and prints and other memorabilia in the John S. Barnes memorial library of the Naval history society (1915); The Graves papers and other documents relating to the naval operations of the Yorktown campaign, July to October, 1781 (1916 – the spine reads “The Despatches of Thomas Graves, R.N., 1781 – but the title page is what is above); The papers of Francis Gregory Dallas, United States navy (1917); Confidential correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865 (2 vols., 1920); Letter-books and order-book of George, lord Rodney, admiral of the White squadron, 1780-1782 (2 vols., 1932); The life of William Bainbridge, esq. of the United States Navy (1931 or 32); and the multi-volume  Naval Documents related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France to which the Society contributed material (7 vols., 1935-38). Its annual report makes for illuminating reading, from its lists of founding members to its Congressional incorporation.



Biographies of current U.S. Navy senior officers and leaders

February 6, 2015

The title above really says it all, doesn’t it? Biographies of retired flag officers and civilian leaders are also online.

Online Book Bibliography of the Royal Navy

February 4, 2015

This listing of linked titles, by no means comprehensive, will provide a jumping off point for those interested in the history of the Royal Navy. Many classic works, both primary and secondary, as well as tomes published by the Navy Records Society are available here.