Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
BOOK REVIEW – Admiral Insubordinate: The Life and Times of Lord Beresford
By Richard Freeman, Self-Published, Great Britain, (2012)
Reviewed by Nathan Albright
Richard Freeman is a historian of several (mostly self-published) books, including The Great Edwardian Naval Feud, Britain’s Greatest Naval Battle, and A Close Run Thing: the Navy and the Falklands War. It is clear that much of the research for this book flowed out the author’s previous research in the Edwardian British navy, of which Lord Beresford was a noisy figure.
New Video Series on the War of 1812
RH Rositzke & Associates, LLC, has completed work on five videos for the U.S. Navy’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration. We’ve posted previously about some of their recent work, including a video on last year’s Centennial of Naval Aviation and a series on the U.S. Navy in the Civil War. This latest release on the War of 1812 will be displayed as part of Navy exhibits at venues across the country, where the Bicentennial is being observed.
BOOK REVIEW: Nile 1798 – Nelson’s first great victory
By Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Osprey Publishing, UK (2011).
Reviewed by Captain John A. Rodgaard USN (Ret.)
Osprey Publishing’s Campaign Series of books are noted for their concise quality in conveying military history. One of their latest offerings, written by Dr. Gregory Fremont-Barnes, is no exception. Nile 1798: Nelson’s first great victory is well laid-out; succinctly written and beautifully illustrated, to include many examples from the author’s own collection of prints.
BOOK REVIEW: The Great Expedition – Sir Francis Drake on the Spanish Main, 1585-86
By Angus Konstam, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, (2011).
Reviewed by Charles Bogart
For the past decade, Osprey Publishing has been producing high quality, well illustrated books on various military affairs. This book is part of their Raid Series and tells the story of Sir Francis Drake’s raid on Spanish possessions in the Caribbean Sea. With a force of 21 small ships and 1,800 men, Drake, in 1585, captured and plundered the cities of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Cartagena (Columbia). This raid was planned to show the military weakness of the Spanish colonial empire, from which the Spanish Crown drew the gold and silver it needed to fight its battles of conquest in Europe.
On 4 April 1776, the Continental Navy frigate Columbus captured His Majesty’s Tender Hawke, the first American capture of a British armed vessel during the American Revolution. This painting in oils by W. Nowland Van Powell, shows Columbus, under the command of Captain Abraham Whipple, bringing in the British brig Lord Lifford, while operating off the New England coast in 1776. (NHHC Photo NH 85210-KN)
On 23 March 1815, sloop of war USS Hornet captured brig-sloop HMS Penguin in a battle lasting 22 minutes in the South Atlantic. The Treaty of Ghent had been ratified in February, but word of the end of the War of 1812 was slow to reach ships far out at sea. Thus, this battle occurred well after the war was technically “over.”
In this halftone reproduction of an artwork by Carlton T. Chapman, the badly damaged Penguin is seen at right with Hornet at left. (NHHC Photo NH 1857)
BOOK REVIEW: How Britain won the War of 1812, The Royal Navy’s Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815
By Brian Arthur (Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2011)
Review by Naval Historical Foundation Director, Dr. William Dudley (Note: this review and the author’s response originally appeared in Reviews in History. We thank them for allowing this republication.)
Among the new books that have emerged coincident with the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Brian Arthur’s How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy’s Blockades of the United States, 1812–1815 is one that should win attention, both for its provocative title and its revelatory content. This is the most carefully researched book on the effectiveness of the British blockade of the United States during this conflict to have yet been published. Arthur demonstrates how a bold use of sea power, with its advantages of mobility and surprise, can be a very effective weapon.