Archive for June, 2015

Bibliography of the Royal Navy in World War II

June 30, 2015

The Derek Law Bibliography (his biography here) now stands at over 4,000 items and is updated as needed. Items covered include “published books and monographs, generally greater in length than 32 pages; published conference proceedings; Official Despatches and Battle Reports; Reports of Government Commissions; Command Papers; Official Histories.” One can search via text or browse by category. Complete bibliographical information accompanies every reference. A valuable tool.


Cases Argued Before the High Court of the Admiralty

June 29, 2015

This multi-volume work – Cases Argued and Determined in the High Court of Admiralty – covers the years from 1798 to 1847. Each volume presents the names of the cases reported as well as cases cited (in fact, some volumes have the same case falling into both categories) along with the text of each case itself. An index accompanies each volume as well. The earlier volumes are of interest to those who wish to see what matters went before the Court during times of war.

Letters from Napoleon Captured by Nelson’s Fleet

June 11, 2015

Speaking of Nelson and letters, look at this three-volume work Copies of original letters from the army of General Bonaparte in Egypt, intercepted by the fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Nelson … With an English translation published in 1800(?, various editions conflated). These are official as well as private letters captured at various times during Napoleon’s sojourn in Egypt.

Letters of Horatio Nelson

June 11, 2015

To say that Lord Nelson penned a lot of letters would be an understatement. Over the course of his life he authored many missives to a diverse audience, from Lady Hamilton to his superiors at the Admiralty. As of yet, there has been no complete edition of his letters, although for the past two centuries various editions of his writings have been published as new material has been uncovered. The following information is culled from Colin White’s introduction to his Nelson, the New Letters (2005). His undertaking of the Nelson Letters Project unearthed hundreds of previously-unknown letters by Nelson found in archives around the world and many are incorporated into his above work. (A great one, btw.) He reviews the often tortuous history of previous compilations; what I have done is located these predecessors in digital form. It must be emphasized that Dr White’s book contains newly discovered letters, not ones already collected, so these previous volumes do offer access to other letters by Nelson. Herewith, guided by Dr White, are some older collections: he mentions an 1809 edition of which I find an 1810 abridgement – The life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K. B. from his lordships manuscripts and a three-volume 1840 edition; in 1814, there is the two-volume The letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton; and the mid-1840s saw the publication of the seven-volume The dispatches and letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson. Believe it or not, this collection was the last full compilation published, with additional letters being either discovered or re-edited in the two-volume 1849 Memoirs of the life of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson; the 1894 Catalogue of the collection of autographs letters and historical documents formed by Alfred Morrison. Second series. volume II – The Hamilton & Nelson Papers; and the 1903 Nelson and the Neapolitan Jacobins. Documents relating to the suppression of the Jacobin Revolution at Naples. June 1799. Other post-1903 works are few and far between and are not available freely online; however, there is surely enough in these works to give the reader a sense of the man.

Recent CRS Reports on the U.S. Maritime Topics

June 9, 2015

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress; and Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress; Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress; and Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. (All courtesy of Secrecy News.)

Transactions of the Royal Historical Society

June 8, 2015

Volumes from 1873-1922 of this important research journal are available online; a useful title even if the volumes are listed a little bit out of sequence. Indexes for these early volumes are available: TRHS First (Old) Series (1877-1882) ;TRHS Second (New) Series (1884-1906); TRHS Third Series (1907 – 1917); TRHS Fourth Series (1918 – 1950). Among the articles to be found: survivors of the Armada in Ireland, commercial treaties between France and England, a biography of Admiral Strachan, the imperial policy of Elizabeth I, and a discourse on the Hanseatic League. These are all papers read at the annual meeting of The Society so they give an indication of the state of historical research in Britain at the time. Very instructive.

Memoirs of British Commanders During the Age of Sail

June 1, 2015

This is a list that is by no means compete, but it will give you an idea of the wealth of information that is freely available online. A memoir is a strange literary genre, and it is doesn’t even have to be autobiographical in origin. For an informed discussion of this type of writing, please come here – Why Memoirs Matter. This list will be updated as I come across additional titles. The enumeration is by name of the party in question; where the subject of the memoir is not obvious, I have provided the name.

Memoir of Captain Edward Pelham Brenton, R.N., C.B (1842)

Memoir of the life and services of Vice-admiral Sir Jahleel Brenton (1846)

A curtail’d memoir of incidents and occurrences in the life of John Surman Carden, vice admiral in the British navy. Written by himself, 1850 (1912)

The autobiography of a seaman [Thomas Cochrane] (2d ed., 2 vols, 1861) (NAM Rodger, in his Command of the Ocean, labels this work as “A mendacious work of self-justification….” 794)

Memoir of the life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington. With selections from his public and private correspondence (2 vols., 1873)

Reminiscences of a naval officer, during the late war [Abraham Crawford] (1851)

Memoir of the life and services of Admiral Sir William Hargood compiled from authentic documents (1841)

A sailor of King George; the journals of Captain Frederick Hoffman, R. N. 1793-1814 (1901)

Memoirs and letters of Capt. Sir William Hoste (2 vols., 1833)

Memoirs of the English affairs, chiefly naval, from the year 1660, to 1673. Written by his Royal Highness James, duke of York, under his administration of the lord high admiral, &c. Pub. from his original letters, and other royal authorities [James II of England] (1729)

Letters and papers of Admiral of the fleet Sir Thos. Byam Martin (3 vols, 1898 -1903

A biographical memoir of the late Sir Peter Parker, baronet, captain of His Majesty’s ship Menelaus (1815)

Memoirs of Josias Rogers, esq. : commander of His Majesty’s ship, Quebec (1808)

Historical memoirs of Admiral Charles Stirling (1826)

A memoir of William Wolseley : Admiral of the Red Squadron (1895)