Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How Admiral Nelson Really Looked

December 13, 2017

Most depictions of Admiral Nelson reflect an idealistic image of Great Britain’s leading sailor; the toll that his wounds took on him are almost always glossed over. A newly restored portrait shows what the rigors of war wreaked upon his visage; it is a sobering realization.


Naval Biographies from the DNB

August 8, 2016

The Sea” is a topical feature of the online Dictionary of National Biography; it contains “The stories of 37 men and women remembered for lives spent on, over, beside, and under the sea.” Among those profiled are the Nore mutineer Richard Parker and naval hero John Crawford. These biographies are well-researched and are based on primary and secondary resources.

American Shipping Forms and Documents, 1776-1860

July 25, 2016

American Maritime Documents, 1776-1860 is a work that explores the various forms and records that were an integral part of American shipping. It defines and, in some instances, gives examples of such items as pilot licenses, abstract logs, oaths, etc. It is a very informative guide to the vast engine of paperwork that grew and developed as the maritime trade of the United States became evermore global.

H M S Challenger Scientific Expedition

June 2, 2016

The Space Shuttle Challenger, the lunar module Challenger, and the Glomar Challenger (on which I had the pleasure of working) are named after H M S Challenger, the vessel that was the platform for the first oceanographic expedition. Taking almost four years (December 1872 to May 1876) and logging over 68,000 miles, this ship and her crew circumnavigated the world taking samples from over three hundred locations (follow the journey here). A massive fifty volume reports series was eventually published; it took almost two decades to print it all. A linked index to all the reports as well as additional publications pertaining to the epic voyage are available. Three very readable; i.e., not scientific, works are The log letters of the “Challenger” (1876), The Cruise of H.M.S. Challenger (1878) and the profusely illustrated Preliminary Account: The Atlantic, Vol. I and Vol II (1878) that features woodcuts of the ships’ working laboratories. Please look at the July 31, 1875 edition of the Pacific commercial advertiser (Honolulu) for some fascinating information on the voyage.


Dudley Pope, 1925-1997

May 30, 2016

I do not know if everyone is familiar with Dudley Pope, but he was one of my favorite authors of both naval fiction and non-fiction. His Ramage books rank as one of the best series of British naval fiction taking place during the Napoleonic Wars; I am proud to say I own the entire collection in hardcover. An example of his non-fiction writing is his well-received 1981 book – Life in Nelson’s Navy. Description of his works can be found here. Biographical information is available at: Naval Marine Archive, Kay Pope (his wife), and The New York Times.


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.

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December 17, 2009

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