Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Hundreds of Volumes on British Naval History

March 6, 2019

You can come here for a great number of works dealing with Great Britain and her navy.


Volumes on United States Naval History

February 27, 2019

Dozens and dozens of monographs are freely available online; this list is certainly worth a perusal.

A List of Those Who Fought at Trafalgar

August 7, 2018

We owe a great deal to The Trafalgar roll : containing the names and services of all officers of the Royal navy and the Royal marines who participated in the glorious victory of the 21st October 1805, together with a history of the ships engaged in battle (1913; repr 1969) for its attempt to have a complete reckoning of all the officers who fought for Great Britain.

A more modern and inclusive approach is realized with Trafalgar Ancestors, an online, growing database containing information on the 18,000 men (and one woman) who were present at Trafalgar. Unlike the Trafalgar roll, this interactive resource has searched through disparate records to also include the ships’ crews as well. In addition, if any biographical information can be culled from these sources, this information is also provided. There are numerous access points into this database, allowing for sophisticated retrievals. For example, Cuthbert Collingwood’s service records can be traced from when he was rated as an able seaman in 1761 to when he served as Vice Admiral of the Blue at Trafalgar, and beyond. Active links direct you to the appropriate ADM files most of which are not available online, but this does provide you with an accurate inventory of what you might want to request at the National Archives. And speaking of able seamen, William Abraham’s records give an insight into his service as well; almost 3500 able seamen have their lives recorded here. A great resource allowing us a peek into ordinary seamen’s lives as well as fleshing out commissioned and non-commissioned officers’ careers.



CIA Documents on the Soviet Navy

July 18, 2018

This collection – CIA Analysis of the Soviet Navy – contains dozens of documents (where necessary, translated into English) tracing the development of the now-Russian navy from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ranging from onsite eyewitness reports to National Intelligence Estimates, this trove follows changing Soviet doctrine through the Cold War. An explanatory booklet – Soviet Navy: Intelligence and Analysis during the Cold War – is a worthy read in and of itself.

Sea Terms in Everyday Language

May 30, 2018

People do not realize how the English language has been enriched by borrowing nautical terms and incorporating them into daily life. This list goes a long way in showing how the sea has contributed to the complexity of our mother tongue. For a more scholarly approach, please consult the various pages you find here.

Officials in Modern Great Britain

July 31, 2017

When I am reading my various British naval fiction series, I sometimes come across office titles that I am not aware of. Thankfully, there is recourse to the multi-volume Office-Holders in Modern Britain, a post-medieval enumeration of who held what office, whether in the Home Office or the Foreign Office or in any of what seem to be innumerable bureaucratic entities. Each volume opens with a brief history of the office in question, followed by a list of appointees, dates where possible, and notes to further sources. These volumes constitute the ONLY published source of this type of information. It can be supplemented by the Database of Court Officers, “…an online computer database providing the career histories of every remunerated officer and servant of the English royal household from the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.”

Terms of Naval Armistice That Ended World War 1

March 22, 2017

The full text of the document is here; in it are listed the names of the interned High Seas Fleet ships.

Royal Navy Sailing Ships’ Histories

December 17, 2015

Ships of the Old Navy provides not only an enumeration of ships between 1750 and 1840, but also recounts their history and in some cases prints contemporary source documents involving the ship in question. Entries can range from a terse description like this one for the cutter Hector to a comprehensive history for the first rate Victory. Another worthwhile resource is Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels and some of their movements that includes 5,000 ships and recounts their exploits, many of them from William James’ six-volume Naval History of Great Britain (1837).

Royal Navy Command Lists

November 17, 2015

Two detailed  directories of interest are available online.  Royal Navy Senior Appointments with some data going back to 1859; it includes present appointments as well. Appointments are not just at the top levels but include various departments within the Royal Navy; i.e. Controller of the Navy, the Torpedo Division, etc. The second list – Captains Commanding Royal Navy Ships – features commands back to the mid-1860s and is broken down by type of ship.

Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy

September 1, 2015

The Royal Navy may have had command of the oceans, but no navy has ever mastered them. Shipwrecks are an inevitable consequence from which the Royal Navy was not immune. In Narratives of shipwrecks of the Royal Navy between 1793 and 1857 / compiled principally from official documents in the Admiralty (3d ed., 1864), W. O. Gilly presents selected examples of these maritime disasters as well as a list of all shipwrecks between 1793 and 1857. A rather lengthy preface by W. S. Gilly (The author’s father, a writer in his own right, who possessed “…a warm interest in all that concerns the navy”. vii) makes for fascinating reading.