Tag: Naval Page 1 of 2

Epidemics in Britain’s Old Sailing Navy by Hilary L. Rubinstein

While we socially isolate, we might spare a thought for seafarers battling the main diseases that often reached epidemic proportions among ships’ crews in the Age of Sail, a period in which the ‘miasma theory’ — that disease was contracted by inhaling foul air — still prevailed. We glimpse the theory in the laments of a former ship’s doctor writing early in the 18th century, regarding unventilated ships’ holds, in which ‘stagnant salt water’ tended to accumulated, and regarding their lower decks, in which ‘a multitude of people breathing and constantly perspiring’ were crowded together. The long-held theory is reflected in the name of that well-known scourge of tropical climes including the coast of West Africa, malaria (‘bad air’), which we, of course, know is spread by mosquitoes. But before we look briefly at epidemics involving infectious diseases, let’s look at that well-known non-communicable disease, scurvy, which had a devastating impact on seamen’s health ever since long voyages came to be undertaken.

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Meet the author: Jim Crossley – Churchill’s Admiral in Two World Wars

We have an exclusive interview with Jim Crossley, author of the newly released Churchill’s Admiral in Two World Wars. Enjoy!

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Guest Post: Dr Stephen Ellis

Russia re-discovers its naval history.

Over the last decade most Western European nations and most of the English-speaking world have been commemorating the centenary of the First World War, from its beginning in the Balkans through the many theatres of war to its end in the forest near Compiegne. In virtually all of these commemorations there has been little or no recognition of the contribution of one of the great allies of the western nations, the Russian Empire. This is not new – almost from the moment of the armistice Russia’s massive effort in the four preceding years of the war appear to have been written off, a debt sunk by the Treaty at Brest Litovsk and regarded at Versailles as void. Millions of its soldiers killed and its treasure and lands devastated counted for nothing.

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David Hobbs: British aircraft carrier design that led the world – Part 2

We hope you enjoyed our recent guest post from David Hobbs. Here is the second part. Enjoy!

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David Hobbs: British aircraft carrier design that led the world – Part 1

British aircraft carrier design that led the world

The Royal Navy designed and built the world’s first aircraft carrier, HMS Argus, in 1918. It has led the world in the design and development of the technologies that have allowed bigger and faster jets to take-off and land on their flight decks and continues to do so today.

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Author Guest Post: Aaron Stephen Hamilton

A Re-evaluation of U-853’s Final War Patrol within the Evolving U-Boat Operations and Tactics of ‘Total Undersea War’

By Aaron Stephen Hamilton

The published historical record of the Battle of Atlantic during the Second World War, and more specifically, the development and employment of German U-Boats, is weighted disproportionately on the period of mid-Atlantic convoy battles through mid-1943. The absence of a broader historiographic survey that includes a detailed accounting of evolving U-boat technology and tactics during the final year of war has eluded serious study for over seventy-five years. More importantly, it has distorted the interpretation of some U-boat combat actions during the final year of the war, as well as the maritime archeology of U-boat’s sunk in this period, particularly along the US East Coast. The new study Total Undersea War: The Evolutionary Role of the Snorkel in Dönitz’s U-Boat Fleet 1944-1945 provides the first comprehensive look into this period of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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The Lancastria Tragedy

Today on the blog we have a guest post from author Stephen Wynn, whose new book The Lancastria Tragedy is available to preorder now.

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Author Guest Post: Aidan Dodson

The Mystery of the Medway U-boats: solved.

Aidan Dodson

University of Bristol

Among the mud-flats of the Medway estuary rest the remains of three First World War German U-boats. One, in East Hoo Creek, still displays some features a submarine, with its raked stem still visible – although broken off and resting at a crazy angle – and its hull structure and ballast tanks visible, the outer plating having largely disappeared. See more here.

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Author Guest Post: Jim Crossley

Roger Keyes – Churchill’s Admiral in two World Wars

I had eight relations at the Battle of Jutland. My father was not among them, he was busy working up HMS Resolution a super dreadnaught battleship. The most distinguished of my family’s sailors was Commodore William Goodenough who gained well deserved plaudits for his performance, scouting for the battlefleet and sinking a German cruiser with a torpedo. I’ve never done anything brave like that -actually I have done nothing brave at all, but I have felt a curious affinity for the Royal Navy and I have an enormous admiration for the officers and men who served in it early in the last century. It was no place for milksops. The Commodore and his fellows were brought up under sail. They had to climb masts and fight with flapping heavy canvass a hundred feet over a raging sea. They had to handle small sailing cutters dodging around big ships in gigantic ocean waves. Ashore they were sometimes expected to establish order among frightened or furious crowds, drawing on the authority invested in a Royal Navy officer in those days. It is impossible not to admire the courage and the self confidence of that generation of British sailors.

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Author Guest Post: Steve Dunn

How the Royal Navy fought to save Estonia and Latvia

The thriving modern republics of Estonia and Latvia emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and are still threatened by the revanchist policies of the USSR’s successor state. But the fact that they exist at all is in large part due to the Royal Navy and particularly the role it played immediately after the First World War in helping fight off the expansionist ambitions of a post-Armistice Germany and the greed and aggression of the nascent Russian Bolshevik Empire.

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