naval history

  1. Seaweed

    Zeebrugge 1918 by Christopher Sandford

    St George's Day 2018 marks the centenary of the attempt by a British force under Rear Admiral Roger Keyes to block the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend. Britain was on the verge of starvation due to the depredations of Germany's submarines; her desperate situation called for desperate measures...
  2. Seaweed

    In Action with Destroyers by JAJ Dennis, ed. Anthony Cumming

    Alec Dennis joined Dartmouth as a cadet in 1931 and in 1939 was hauled off his sub lieutenants' courses to join the destroyer HMS Griffin, under the exemplary leadership of Lt Cdr Johnny Lee-Barber, under whom he progressed from sub lieutenant under training, to navigating officer, and then to...
  3. Seaweed

    By Fire and Bayonet by Steve Brown

    In 1793 Republican France declared war on Britain. As usual we went to war in our socks and the Government dithering made that even worse. The need to service operations in Flanders, and on the French Atlantic coast, as well as in the West Indies, resulted in endless shuffling of what few...
  4. Seaweed

    Bayly's War by Steve R Dunn

    This is four stories skilfully woven together. The backdrop is the story of RN antisubmarine warfare in the Western Approaches and Irish Sea during the First World War. Within this it is the biography of Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly who ran the campaign from Queenstown (now Cobh), consolidating under...
  5. Seaweed

    Battleship Warspite by Robert Brown

    This is a technical (as opposed to operational) history of one of our most famous battleships, brought to us via the actual drawings used in the construction of the ship and the addition of her armament. It is grouped by the principal epochs of her life - initial construction; modernisation in...
  6. Seaweed

    The Other Norfolk Admirals by Simon Harris

    This is a triple biography of three of the Royal Navy's fighting admirals, all of whom came from a small area on the north Norfolk coast, Christopher Myngs (1625–1666), John Narbrough (c. 1640–1688), and Cloudesley Shovell (1650-1707). Myngs (who died of wounds after the Four Days Battle) and...
  7. Subsunk

    British Destroyers and Frigates – the Second World War and After

    A welcome re-publishing of Norman Friedman’s landmark study, this book comes at a timely moment for anyone who follows British defence procurement, and in particular, naval procurement. Matelots of my generation tend to shake their heads at the woes sustained by current MoD procurement...
  8. Seaweed

    The Most Dangerous Moment of the War by John Clancy

    clutter-free and useful maps at the start of the book and diagrams of two major actions."
  9. Seaweed

    The Naval War in the Baltic 1939-1945 by Poul Groos

    Like (I suspect) many British readers, I came to this book remarkably ignorant of what went on in the Baltic during WW2. My own Cold War sea trips to Kiel, Aabenraa, Korsor, Copenhagen. Gdynia, Stockholm, Helsinki and Leningrad were all within the frame of their time; they had no recent...
  10. Seaweed

    The Glovemaker's Son by Nick Carter

    Piecing together the career of a junior naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars is no easy thing and years of effort by Carter have certainly paid off in this case. This is backed up by three generations of general family information and again it requires hard work to put together a picture...
  11. Seaweed

    The Challenges of Command: The RN’s Executive Branch Officers, 1880-1919 by Robert L Davison

    As I understand it this is the published PhD thesis of Robert L Davison, a Canadian academic historian, which explores in deeply researched detail what for some may be a rather niche subject. Davison comes to his subject as an outsider, and it shows - in some ways he never really gets under the...
  12. Seaweed

    British Warship Recognition Vol.IV by Richard Perkins

    This is the fourth of eight volumes of facsimiles of truly accomplished water-coloured line drawings of British naval vessels from Victorian times to 1939. The RN built a lot of cruisers and Perkins had to split this part of his work over two volumes. This one covers early cruiser development...
  13. Seaweed

    Very Special Intelligence by Patrick Beesly

    This is a history of the Operational Intelligence Centre of the RN's Naval Intelligence Division in WW2, and its satellite the Submarine Tracking Room. The author was an early recruit to the OIC and brings this story to us as an informed insider rather than a speculative journalist. In compiling...
  14. Seaweed

    British Cruisers of the Victorian Era by Norman Friedman

    Up funnel, down screw! This is an exhaustive survey of the development of the 'cruiser' (the category includes warships called variously frigates, corvettes and sloops before the formal term cruiser was adopted late in the period) in the RN, from the paddle sloop Hermes completed in 1835 to the...
  15. Seaweed

    Resolution by David Rutland & Emma Ellis

    This is the story of Charles, 5th Duke of Rutland (1754-87), and his sailor brother Robert (1758-82), sons of the Marquis of Granby after whom many English pubs are named - the surest popular accolade Britain has to offer - and thus grandsons of the 4th Duke. The family context is provided by...
  16. Seaweed

    The Dutch in the Medway by PG Rogers

    'A dishonour never to be wiped off' - John Evelyn, 28 June 1667 In 1967 I spent a week in the Dutch destroyer Limburg. Contrary to RN practice, the Dutch officers each had a particular place at their wardroom table. The one assigned to me meant that I had to eat all my meals for a week looking...
  17. Seaweed

    Canaris: The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster by Michael Mueller

    Who sups with the devil must use a long spoon .. Michael Muller's biography of the enigmatic Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (1887-1945), WW2 head of Hitler's Abwehr, was first published in 2005 in German. Here we have a welcome Pen and Sword paperback reprint of the 2007 English translation. Canaris'...
  18. Seaweed

    Nelson's Right Hand Man by EJ Hounslow

    This is a biography of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle GCB, 1765-1819, an important contributor to Nelson's success against Napoleon. We have Fremantle the sailor, well drawn, with vivid accounts of his major fights - Santa Cruz in Tenerife, Copenhagen and Trafalgar, well supported...
  19. Seaweed

    Battleships of the World (1820-1945) by John Fidler

    140 pages is not a lot for an account of the development of the battleship, particularly as about half the content is illustrations – but these are not to be grudged, as they are excellently selected and informative. Indeed they are the redeeming feature of this short work, bringing to us many...
  20. Seaweed

    The Wager Disaster by Rear Admiral CH Layman

    In September 1740 Commodore George Anson set off from England with five other warships and two supply ships and 1854 men (many actually unfit for any service, let alone what they were actually to experience), ordered to round the Horn and attack the Spanish on the west coast of the Americas...