USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes (PB)

Author Mark Lardas has a new book USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes which is now available for pre-order in paperback. It will be released in the UK on 18 May 2017 and in the US on 23 May 2017.

The most critical naval fighting during the War of 1812 took place, not on the high seas, but on the inland lakes of North America: the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Carrying between 12 and 22 cannon, the British and American sloops-of-war were ship-rigged, brig-rigged or schooner-rigged vessels. Lakes actions often involved two ships facing each other broadside to broadside, the best example of which was the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 where HMS Detroit led a Royal Navy squadron against the USS Lawrence-led US Navy.Featuring full-colour artwork, this lively study investigates the prolonged struggle between British and US sloops-of-war, highlighting the differences between the war on the lakes and the war on the oceans during the Age of Fighting Sail. It reveals the circumstances under which these ships were built, how they were armed, and the human story behind their construction and use in battle.

Source: USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes (PB)

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The Warship Anne (HC)

Richard Endsor has a new book available for pre-order in hardcover, The Warship Anne. It is will be released in the UK on 23 February 2017 and in the US on 23 May 2017.

If you go down to the shore at Hastings on the UK’s south coast at low tide you will come upon an amazing sight. There, revealed by the receding waves are the remarkably complete mortal remains of a seventeenth century warship. The Anne was launched in 1678 and was lost in 1690 at the battle of Beachy Head. As she lay beached, she was torched to prevent her from falling into enemy hands. Today the wreck is owned by the Shipwreck Museum at Hastings and in the past few years there have been some intriguing attempts to bring the ship back to life using advanced simulation and modeling techniques. Ship’s historian and draughtsman Richard Endsor has written a history of this wonderful and accessible ship, bringing the ship fully back to life using his beautiful and accurate drawings and paintings. Richard Endsor’s previous book, The Restoration Warship inspired the locals at Deptford to plan a full size replica of Lenox, the warship covered in that book.

Source: The Warship Anne (HC)

Re-release to Mark 350th Anniversary of Dutch in the Medway

This year sees the 350th anniversary of the Dutch attack on the Medway in June 1667 during the Second anglo-Dutch war. A number of events are planned to mark this anniversary. Also a book first published in 1970, The Dutch in the Medway by P. G. Rogers, is to be re-released and as few original copies are available this will be the first chance many who want to know more about this conflict will have to read it.

According to J. D. Davies, author of The Journals of Matthew Quinton, an expert on the navies of the period who is writing a foreword for the new edition “….. his account remains the fullest available in English, and is highly readable”. It is available for pre-order and will be released in the UK on 28 February and in the US on 15 April.

To quote the cover “The daring raid on the Medway in June 1667, when the Dutch navigated the treacherous shoals and sandbanks of the Thames estuary and the Medway in order to attack King Charles’s ships laid up below Chatham, was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy’s history, and a serious blow to the pride of the English crown. Perhaps the greatest humiliation was the removal by the Dutch of the flagship Royal Charles, towed down river after the raid and taken back to Holland. Her stern piece resides in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to this day. The raid, intended to bring to an end English procrastination at the peace negotiations in Breda, was to cause simmering resentment and lead eventually to the Third Dutch War. As Pepys wrote in his diary on 29 July 1667, Thus in all things, in wisdom, courage, force, knowledge of our own streams, and success, the Dutch have the best of us, and do end the war with victory on their side. P G Rogers account of the raid, and its significance within the Second Anglo-Dutch War between Britain and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, is vividly told and he sheds much interesting light on the English navy of Pepys’s day. His particular knowledge of the Medway and the topography of Gillingham and Chatham also enables him to describe the manoeuvres at a level of detail that has not been replicated.”

Source: Re-release to Mark 350th Anniversary of Dutch in the Medway

Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates (HC)

Heather Noel-Smith & Lorna M. Campbell have just released a new book, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The Young Gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable. It is available worldwide in Hardcover.

This book sets out the lives of seventeen ‘young gentlemen’ who were midshipmen under the famous Captain Sir Edward Pellew. Together, aboard the frigate HMS Indefatigable, they fought a celebrated action in 1797 against the French ship of the line Les Droits de l’Homme. C. S. Forester, the historical novelist, placed his famous hero, Horatio Hornblower, aboard Pellew’s ship as a midshipman, so this book tells, as it were, the actual stories of Hornblower’s real-life shipmates. And what stories they were! From diverse backgrounds, aristocratic and humble, they bonded closely with Pellew, learned their naval leadership skills from him, and benefited from his patronage and his friendship in their subsequent, very varied careers. The group provides a fascinating snapshot of the later eighteenth-century sailing navy in microcosm. Besides tracing the men’s naval lives, the book shows how they adapted to peace after 1815, presenting details of their civilian careers. The colourful lives recounted include those of the Honourable George Cadogan, son of an earl, who survived three courts martial and a duel to retire with honour as an admiral in 1813; Thomas Groube, of a Falmouth merchant family, who commanded a fleet of boats which destroyed the Dutch shipping at Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, in 1806; and James Bray, of Irish Catholic descent, who was killed commanding a sloop during the American war of 1812

Source: Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates (HC)

The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee (HC)

Steven Park’s new book, The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution will be released in Hardcover in the US on 4 November 2016 and in the UK on 28 February 2017. It is now available for pre-order.

Considered one of the first acts of rebellion to British authority over the American colonies, a fresh account placing the incident into historical context.

Between the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773—a period historians refer to as “the lull”—a group of prominent Rhode Islanders rowed out to His Majesty’s schooner Gaspee,which had run aground six miles south of Providence while on an anti-smuggling patrol. After threatening and shooting its commanding officer, the raiders looted the vessel and burned it to the waterline. Despite colony-wide sympathy for the June 1772 raid, neither the government in Providence nor authorities in London could let this pass without a response. As a result, a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Rhode Island governor Joseph Wanton zealously investigated the incident.

In The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution, historian Steven Park reveals that what started out as a customs battle over the seizure of a prominent citizen’s rum was soon transformed into the spark that re-ignited Patriot fervor. The significance of the raid was underscored by a fiery Thanksgiving Day sermon given by a little-known Baptist minister in Boston. His inflammatory message was reprinted in several colonies and was one of the most successful pamphlets of the pre-Independence period. The commission turned out to be essentially a sham and made the administration in London look weak and ineffective. In the wake of the Gaspee affair, Committees of Correspondence soon formed in all but one of the original thirteen colonies, and later East India Company tea would be defiantly dumped into Boston Harbor.

Source: The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee (HC)

Faces of the Civil War Navies (HC/K)

Ronald S. Coddington has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors will be released worldwide on 30 October 2016.

During the American Civil War, more than one hundred thousand men fought on ships at sea or on one of America’s great inland rivers. There were no large-scale fleet engagements, yet the navies, particularly the Union Navy, did much to define the character of the war and affect its length. The first hostile shots roared from rebel artillery at Charleston Harbor. Along the Mississippi River and other inland waterways across the South, Union gunboats were often the first to arrive in deadly enemy territory. In the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, blockaders in blue floated within earshot of gray garrisons that guarded vital ports. And on the open seas, rebel raiders wreaked havoc on civilian shipping.In Faces of the Civil War Navies, renowned researcher and Civil War photograph collector Ronald S. Coddington focuses his considerable skills on the Union and Confederate navies. Using identifiable cartes de visite of common sailors on both sides of the war, many of them never before published, Coddington uncovers the personal histories of each individual who looked into the eye of the primitive camera. These unique narratives are drawn from military and pension records, letters, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources. In addition to presenting the personal stories of seventy-seven intrepid volunteers, Coddington also focuses on the momentous naval events that ushered in an era of ironclad ships and other technical innovations.The fourth volume in Coddington’s series on Civil War soldiers, this microhistory will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Civil War, social history, or photography. The narratives and photographs in Faces of the Civil War Navies shed new light on a lesser-known part of our American story. Taken collectively, these “snapshots” remind us that the history of war is not merely a chronicle of campaigns won and lost, it is the collective personal odysseys of thousands of individual life stories.

Source: Faces of the Civil War Navies (HC/K)

13 Sharks (HC)

A new hardcover book by John D. Grainger, 13 Sharks: The Careers of a Series of Small Royal Navy Ships, from the Glorious Revolution to D-Day, is now available in the UK. It will be released in the US on 2 November 2016.

John D Grainger charts the careers of the thirteen vessels that have served the Royal Navy under the name HMS Shark. Despite the ferocious name, they have all been relatively small vessels including one brigantine, five sloops, one Sixth Rate, a gunvessel, four destroyers and a submarine. Collectively they therefore give a good representation of the various roles of these types, which receive far less attention than larger, more glamorous ships. Furthermore, as the first entered service in 1699 and the last was sunk in 1944 (having the dubious distinction of being the only Allied vessel lost on D-Day), they illustrate the changes and continuities in the Royal Navy and war at sea across almost 250 years. In each case the author considers the origin of the ship, the purpose for which it was designed and employed, its captains and where possible its crew, as well as the activities of the ship itself and its final fate; in addition background information of a general nature is included as a necessary context for those actions.

Source: 13 Sharks (HC)