HMS Victorious Association Web Community

General Posts => Naval History => Topic started by: stokerstan on June 17, 2020, 05:44:34 PM

Title: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 17, 2020, 05:44:34 PM
 
   Press Gangs.
Much has been made in stories and films of the "press Gangs",that roamed after dark round the bars and taverns of the naval ports of England in the eighteen hundreds.
Most of the tales are myths, although not all.An act of 1744 had allowed magistrates to send the Service "rogues and vagabonds",together with "idle and disorderly persons.
However it seems that at that time the Navy was extremely reluctant to take any class of prisoner,except smugglers and debtors.The handling of a ship was not a simple matter, and the vast majority of the crew would need to be men skilled at working sails at a great height often in gale force conditions, and be skilled in the manning of heavy guns and the use of side arms.
Pressure put on the Navy during the American war when more war ships were needed to be manned,led to a further act being passed in 1795 which widened the scope of those who might lawfully be sentenced to naval service,to smugglers, embezzlers of naval stores and men of no lawful trade.Some county magistrates made a practise of sending thieves and petty criminals to the Navy, but it is unclear how many of these "landsmen" the navy actually accepted.
      I rather think that the title of man with no lawful trade, could be gainfully applied today quite widely, must drop a line to the recruitment office to see if the '95 act still holds good.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 18, 2020, 11:10:09 PM
Prisons
  Those of us of a certain age, probably remember the now long gone, infamous Royal Naval Detention Quarters sited neatly in Pompey barracks ! Anyone unlucky enough to have had a spell of
their hospitality, 28 days? 60 days ??, will certainly remember the place. I had a half day inside the place, when I had been roped in as a no badge killock,to act as escort to a bad lad who was in for an extended stay.
The royal Navy had a prison far worse than our D.Q's,and much older. Marshalsea Prison based in London, was hundreds of years old,and the navy section entitled Admiralty Division was in the oldest dampest part of the place.The prison housed sailors and on occasion quite senior officers, all who had been weighed off via the Court Martial process.Their offences ranged from mutiny,
desertion, fraud and the crime of unnatural acts between men!(one ships parson accused of an "Act" was sentenced by his captain to be hanged while they were still at sea,but he jumped over board
Prisoners judged to be dangerous were often kept chained to bolts in the floor, in rooms with no window and often with rotten floors. Inmates were expected to pay for their own keep, and family members could meet with inmates to supply food, and could stay over night if they so wished. Lady inmates were housed in the same squalor,and there appears to have been little or no oversight
to control corruption and violence by staff. Charles Dickens father served a tern in this prison,as did the Lord Thomas Cochrane the best fighting captain of the Napoleonic Wars. Tough times.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 21, 2020, 08:43:34 PM
 
The Royal Navy that Nelson knew had nearly 1000 ships at its peak in 1814.These were divided into six rates according to size and gunpowder, and there was numerous smaller vessels which were unrated.

First Rate      100+guns     850+men
Second Rate  90-98 guns   750  men
Third Rate     64-84 guns   500-720 men
Forth Rate     50-60 guns   350-420 men
Fifth Rate      30-40 guns   215-294 men
Sixth Rate     20-28 guns   121-195 men.   
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 21, 2020, 08:56:51 PM
Unrated ships included sloops of 10-18 guns, brigs,bomb vessels, fire-ships,storeships, cutters, schooners, luggers,hospital ships, prison ships and gun boats.

  After service as a midshipman and lieutenant, a successful naval officer would expect to take command of a sloop, with the rank of Commander.
After promotion to Post Captain,he would rise through ships of the different rates, perhaps reaching a third rate after seven to ten years in command of frigates.
   
    (Not an easy ladder to climb).

 Brian Lavery
Jack Aubreys Ships.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 22, 2020, 10:49:33 PM
 Sick Bays ??
In Nelsons  time, late 1700, early 1800's there existed nineteen medical licensing bodies in Great Britain, each with different and often conflicting powers and rights.
 A medical  practitioner may have been to university,and have a degree of some form, but his studying may well have been to teach him to read medical tracts in Latin or Greek,or he may have served a period of time working in a chemist shop,(an apothecary's shop) and doing little more than sweeping up and keeping the place tidy.
Medical men at this time were divided into three orders,physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, and each order had distinct area of work. Physicians, top of the medical profession generally held a recognised degree from a university,but his training only allowed him to define a patients sickness,and in some cases to recommend medicine.He was not supposed to actually treat anything.
Being a Physician seems to have been as much about status as about medical skills. A surgeon,seemed to have been considered more as craftsmen rather as scientists,and much of their skills would have been gained "on the job"Not many naval surgeons would have had any formal experience in surgery as we know it, cutting up corpses was a rare and expensive show.A surgeon on joining a ship would get to appoint a surgeon's mate, and identify some members of the crew as Loblollyboys. A man who had worked in an abattoir ashore , and was able to restrain a body while limbs were being removed, usually got the job working in the sickbay. A reasonably educated sailor with experience of working as a surgeons mate,could apply to the Admiralty for a surgeons licence, with a fair chance of getting one.
Apothecaries, were about the bottom of the medical world, their role was to make and sell drugs to surgeons, and anyone else who would buy them.
 Whilst there was increasing pressure to regulate these sales,the profession had many quacks, and taking medicine in this period was a chancy experience.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 25, 2020, 09:56:44 PM
  Wood !
  To build a 74 Gun war ship for Nelsons navy,as incredible as it may sound, took about two thousand oak trees.and Britain had run out of oaks. By 1801 Britain was more or less totally dependent on the import of timber, not only to build new ships, but increasingly, to repair the existing battle fleet. Oak was garnered from all corners of the globe,Fir,Pine and Spruce,was in demand for masts.Riga could supply trees for larger masts,whilst Norwegian spruce was used for top masts and yards.Wood supply was as critical to the Napoleonic war effort,as oil became in the fight against Hitler.
North American timber became difficult to source when America withdrew support, and actually joined in the war supporting  Napoleons ,and when Denmark agreed to close the Baltic sea lanes to British ships,obtaining wood became a dominating factor in the war strategy.The absolute need to keep open the sea routes for supply purposes, might be compared to the Battle of Britain. Fortunately we had Nelson and his victory at Copenhagen.That sorted a major problem. But Timber was never plentiful during this war,ships requiring specific timber replacement might wait months to get the work completed. The capture of enemy ships needed to be done in such a manner as to ensure that the captured vessel could be given a coat of paint and in some cases a new name,
, and the prize money that went with it.and the White ensign run up, and the tricolour taken down. It seems to be the case that many of Nelsons captains much preferred a French or Spanish built ship.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 27, 2020, 09:26:09 PM
 
  Wood 2.
 
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: Topsey on June 29, 2020, 10:29:54 AM
 It seems to be the case that many of Nelsons captains much preferred a French or Spanish built ship.
[/quote]

This is probably because they were easier to get hold of............sneak up on a cold wet night with three booties and take the Frenchie.........I've seen it on Hornblower
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: Topsey on June 29, 2020, 11:03:31 AM
I'm sure the 2 1/2 ring doc on the Fife was a Physician . He left me for 1/2 an hour whilst he finished his breakfast bent double when my back locked up, his miracle cure was a cold shower and two paracetamol
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 29, 2020, 04:30:49 PM
 Oak was the dominant wood used in the construction of British war ships in Nelsons war,it was tough,water resistant, and bent well.However, there was a further reason why oak was always chosen,
which i will return to a little later when I have allowed a "well informed" seaman to enlighten us with this interesting fact, one not referred to in television fiction!! You are on a 24 hour deadline sailor,.....(well informed seaman... a contradiction in terms ). A little help for  less literate branch. Page 66- Noel Mosterts  "The LINE upon a Wind". 1793--1815. ... 24 HOURS AND COUNTING .Turner !! I know where you live.
 As I was saying before i was rudely interrupted, a lot of oak was required to service the fleet, and Napoleons blockades, and his almost total conquests in Europe made this extremely difficult to sort. The Royal Navy was increasingly sending ships into action barely able to stay afloat. Ships on the crucial blockade duties of keeping French and Spanish ships away from convoy routes,
were noted as being so afflicted with rot, that to fire a broadside would probably lead to their ship sinking. The British crews,were generally considered to be the better trained men,but their ships 
long past their best in almost every way. The tactic of boarding the enemy and taking said ship as a prize became increasingly a preferred Admiralty tactic. However, it could be very expensive in man power. It was not unheard of for a successful cutting out action to end up with half the crew, dead or injured.Captain Thomas Cochrane took large numbers of enemy ships in the early part of his naval career, at least 50 vessels and probably more. One of his final actions was to pursue several slave carrying ships, and freeing large numbers of slaves.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on June 30, 2020, 09:54:21 PM
  Wood Three.

  Oak, has a further property when used in the building of a ship in the Napoleonic war, it does not splinter easily in action.
    Flying wood splinters was the shrapnel of that war, they were one of the principal causes of injuries and death in Nelsons war.
The surgeons faced with the wounded men with broken or smash limbs, had little recourse other than to amputate limbs. It seems that major splinter wounds, or compound fractures of limbs, would invariably become gangrenous if not removed.
  Teak wood available in Various parts of the world was seen as a good substitute in the absence of oak but convoying it from places like India was not too successful,and expensive and slow.
 In 1812 plans for a modern frigate were to be sent out to a Master ship builder in Bombay, who was to construct a ship from prime Teak and rush it back to the fight. Unfortunately HMS Java, the ship carrying the plans to India was captured by an unfriendly American war ship. New plans eventually arrived in Bombay in late 1813.The ship was eventually launched in 1817.but by this time Wellington had sorted out the French,and the ship sailed to Portsmouth and to be placed "in ordinary" A solid Teak ship,the hull sheathed in sheets of copper. H.M.S. Trincomalee. Still sitting in Hartlepool.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on July 07, 2020, 10:19:35 PM

 Fighting Captains.
 On the 2nd September 1805, Lord Nelson had been appointed to overall command of the British Fleet,by Admiral Lord Barham. Nelson had been given a copy of the Navy Lists which contained
the names of all the officers available to serve at that time, and told to choose which officers would take command of which ships. Nelson made no changes to the ships officers, leaving all the vessels under the control of their existing officers, remarking that he had full competence in all the men, and was sure of their fighting spirit.
  The British Fleet had 33 ships  variously commanded by 2 Flag officers, 25 Captains of ships of the line, 2 lieutenants in command of ships of the line (in the absence of the captains), 4 frigate captains. and two lieutenants in command of minor vessels. All the officers had served in earlier battles, several of them under Nelsons command.
 All the commanding officers had similar service back grounds,all had gone to sea as boys in their early teens, some as young as eight or nine. On Average they had become midshipmen by the age of fourteen. The promotion path up the ranks of the Royal Navy, was a complicated affair,family connections helped, length of service was required, and the Fleet boards run by officers who had been there and done it. 
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on July 12, 2020, 04:25:39 PM
The Captain not on the Trafalgar List.   Thomas Cochrane,

Cochrane, came from one of the most distinguished military families in Scotland,he was the eldest son of the ninth Earl of Dundonald, a title he eventually inherited. Whilst he was definitely
a member of the aristocracy, the family had very little by way of money, and his father, spent a lot of his time trying to invent things. One item that his father discovered was that heated coal gave off highly inflammable gas, and he set about trying to harness the gas to use as a means of lighting homes.He was involved in smelting coal to obtain pitch, which he believed could be sold to the navy for water proofing ships hulls, but the navy had already begun to use copper sheeting for this purpose, and it is doubtful if Thomas's father ever actually ever got any returns on his inventions.
 Certainly young Thomas does not seem to have been affluent in his youth, and it is possible that the chance of gaining wealth by the capture of enemy ships, (taking prizes),was not a thing he would pass up on, when he was eventually made Post Captain, and took command of a frigate.
 Cochrane had a real talent for making enemy's, and as a lieutenant was up in front of a court martial for disrespect, but survived with just a censure, and got his first command, a 14 gun brig in  1800. He was taking or sinking French and Spanish ships almost immediately, but when he took on a Spanish 32 gun frigate, he became famous almost over night, and rather rich from prize money.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on July 23, 2020, 05:20:47 PM
 
  Thomas Cochrane has been cited as"Probably the greatest proven leader never to have commanded a British fleet in battle". Cochrane might well have agreed with this sentiment, he certainly seems to have been at his best when he had a decent ship, like a 38 gun frigate,and allowed to roam the seas tracking down the enemy.Fleet actions were not really his strong points.and serving under an admiral who he did not respect,caused him considerable problems.
!806 found Cochrane probably as popular as Nelson, he was rich with prize money, had been awarded a K.B. and was member of parliament in his spare time !!  !809, was a defining year for Cochrane,he had accumulated a long list of successful actions against the French fleets,but it seems that he had been too critical and outspoken against the way the navy worked to have many friends in high places.A number of French ships of the line had taken refuge in the Aix roads, and Cochrane was ordered to attack and destroy the French ships. Cochrane serving under Admiral Lord Gambier was to use fire ships loaded with explosives to destroy the French ships, a plan fraught with much risk. Cochrane said openly that if the plan worked, Lord Gambier wouldgain the praise, if it failed he, Cochrane, would get the blame.
The attack was a brilliant success, and Cochrane created havoc in the French port, however he felt that an even greater victory could have been gained if Admiral Gambier had chosen to release the remaining British ships into action  as French ships fled in disarray.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on July 28, 2020, 09:09:04 PM
  1806 was not a good year for Cochrane. The Battle of Aix Roads, was a significant victory that cost the French ships and men, and scuppered a major French plan to take Martinique, which would have cost Britain dearly. Cochrane had done what many thought impossible blowing his way into highly protected French port setting enemy ships ablaze and causing others to flee.
Admiral Gamier had laid off nine miles from the coast, and allowed French ships to scatter and escape. Cochrane believed the Admiral had failed to grasp the opportunity to capture enemy vessels,
badly needed in England.
   Admiral Gambier's report of the battle gave little credit to Cochrane,and in fact he removed Cochrane from his command and sent him home to deliver the report to the Admiralty.
 The arrival back in England of other ships and captains who had been present at the battle and who let it be known that the Admiral had in fact viewed the action from some nine miles out at sea,
soon gave rise to a general outcry. Cochrane had been awarded the Order of the Bath, and was the national hero, but he felt that there needed to be a formal investigation into Gambier's behaviour,
and broadened his demands in Parliament to a complete overhaul of the workings of the Admiralty. Not a Wise Move for a young captain to make however good he was, he was never going to win.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on July 28, 2020, 09:50:55 PM
 
 Cochrane Ashore.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 02, 2020, 08:13:24 PM
   Admiral Gambier, requested that a formal court martial be held to refute allegations being made against him by the popular press, and loudly expressed in Parliament by Captain Cochrane.
The court martial was never going to find in favour of a captain,when an Admirals reputation was on the line. the board hearing the case was comprised of seven Admirals. The issue was turned into an administration question. Gambier simply stated that he believed keeping the fleet safe was in the best interest of the navy, and no officer as junior as Cochran, regardless of his outstanding experience and succession should question orders. No person who was actually present at the battle was allowed to give evidence in support of Cochrans submission, that the whole French fleet could and should have been taken or sunk. and for him to raise the issue was deemed deeply disrespectful. Gambier, as Admiral of the home fleet had not been on a ship for over seventeen years, but his neither his fitness to serve or his obvious incompetence were questioned. Gambiers sword was returned to him, and soon after,parliament voted overwhelmingly to grant a vote of thanks to him with no mention Cochrane.
 The opinion of the general public and universally among serving men in the service was that Admiralty had conducted a white wash. However what Cochrane had done was to expose that a large and dangerous part of the establishment was irreparably corrupt,and he had signalled his intention to expose it further. He had made a lot of enemies in high places.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 03, 2020, 04:23:22 PM
 
  Cochrane, was captain of HMS  Imperieuse at the time of Aix Roads Battle, and had already performed remarkably well both at sea in her, and on two occasions when he had conducted extraordinary amphibious actions at Mongat and Port Vendres. He had further won international acclaim for a spectacular defence of Fort Trinidad, landing gunners and other members of his crew to set up defences that thwarted a French operation to take the Fort.
  It was obvious throughout the navy, and similarly acknowledged by senior officers of the army, that Cochrane with his highly trained crew, was an irreplaceable force for the allied cause.
 Britain, and the rest of Europe at this time was being beaten down at virtually every turn. The sole star being a young Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, who was struggling in the
Spanish peninsula, and was desperate for support that was seldom supplied. Senior officers in England had committed 40,000 men and most of the British fleet to the battle Walcheren, against
the advice of more experienced soldiers and sailors (Cochrane being one). Cochrane had offered plans for this battle which were ignored, and it proved to be the most expensive fiascos in British military history. 3000 soldiers died of disease in the swamps that they were expected to fight in. Leading the army was the Earl of Chatham( the prime ministers brother),reported to be an
appalling and inexperienced general. Wellesley was winning the bloody battle of Talavera, and getting very little praise at this time.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 04, 2020, 12:41:10 PM
 When Cochrane continued to express his view on Gambiers court marshal. He was summarily told to report to his ship, and take up a position in the long standing blockade of Toulon.
He would be under the tight control of an Admiral,and his days of chasing (and catching) enemy ships would be at an end.Admiralty thinking was that he would be quietly forgotten, and the systems
that made them rich would continue. Cochrane declined the instruction, and was immediately "brought ashore", but having retained his parliamentary seat in the Commons, he had a ready made base to start a his campaign against the "Establishment.
    Cochrans campaign was waged with same fury he had shown against the French ships.He toured navy dockyards, checking for obvious corruption, he found it in vast amounts.
 Cochrane was particularly loud about the vast sums of money that was filtering out of the system, and could be traced all too easily up to very senior establishment figures. The navy was and always had been a hard life on the lower deck. Even senior captains were paid very poorly in a world where injury and death were a normal part of the job .Cochrane exposed massive amounts of money that should have been paid to injured men being diverted to senior officials, like wise widows pensions for men killed in action that had never been paid. In a famous speech made in the Commons Cochrane produced detailed accounts of sailors having served twelve or fourteen year on ships without a break, or pay, even when prize money running into millions of pounds had been won, and divided up in such a manner that an admiral thousands of miles away became millionaires without ever seeing action.Corruption was endemic through lowly dockyard clerk up to Admirals of the Fleet.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 04, 2020, 04:51:29 PM
  Fraud.  For almost five years Cochrane chased the trails of corruption, he was without doubt obsessed. He likened the life of seaman to that of a slave, pointing out that the slave could hope to live
out a reasonable life time, in the navy it was unusual to live on the lower deck into advanced years.He had a small group of like minded M.Ps. and together they carried their protests round the country. Cochran often came close serious action when the group were threatened with force.On one occasion he got himself thrown into prison, and escaped with the help of sailors, and the warder turning a blind eye. On another occasion when one of the radicals was threatened with prison, Cochrane located a large barrel of gun powder in the adjacent house and nobody could say if he would have blown up the whole road, but the authorities decided not test the matter and withdrew, Cochrans friends persuaded him to move the barrel to a safer place. Cochrans campaigns were not limited to naval matters, he exposed the conditions prevalent in prisons, and the whole judicial system, its with hangings and floggings.Not everything Corchran campaigned on were popular, but he continued to be a major thorn in the side of the established order. Cochrane also upset his very wealth Uncle Basil. The uncle had decided to restore the wealth and fortune of the Dundonald dynasty
by leaving most of his lands and fortune to Thomas, providing Thomas married a rich lady.The bride to be was to be the daughter of an official at the Admiralty court who had become rich by the exact means that Thomas was fighting against. He eloped instead with a sixteen year old house maid called Katherine who had nothing they got married in Scotland.Thomas inherited nothing
Cochrane was a "Whistle Blower" and for almost five years he campaigned against establishment corruption, and financial inequality, he made many enemies, and he was without a command or a ship.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 07, 2020, 09:17:09 PM
Early in 1814 it seemed his naval career might be restored. England was at war with America, and Thomas was offered the chance to act as Captain aboard HMS Tonnant, one of the best ships in the fleet. Tonnant was an 80 gun vessel, and was to be the Flagship of Thomas's uncle Sir Alexander Cochrane who believed that his nephew deserved to be back in action.
 Thomas was to take command of the ship immediately, and see to the provisioning of her in preparation for an Atlantic crossing and her entering the fight.Thomas was over the moon, and whilst he was aware he had many enemies in high places,he felt he could make a new start in a new theatre of war.
 Cochrane, had not reckoned on the deep reserves of hatred that were still in place in parts of the establishment, particularly among the governing political diehards many who he had so offended.,
and subsequent events soon swept over Thomas Cochrane in a way no enemy ship had been able to do.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 10, 2020, 05:19:06 PM
Sir Alexander Cochrane held a dinner party to finalise his departure for America, and at the dinner Thomas was introduced to Captain De Berenger,a friend of Lord Yarmouth. Thomas Cochrane had been persuaded to invest some of his prize money into Stock on the London Stock Exchange by a Richard Butt,an astute money man and the pay clerk at Portsmouth.
  When everything seemed to be going well for Thomas, he was arrested and held under close house arrest.
 A rumour had spread round the city of London that Napoleon Bonaparte who was winning lots of battles, which caused the English Stock Market to be very depressed, had been ambushed by a party  of Cossacks,and that a French delegation was on their way to England to end the war . Thomas always claimed that he had heard the story, and had no reason to doubt it, and admitted openly,to passing on the story to friends, some of whom borrowed money to invest in the rapidly rising Stock Market prices. Within a couple of days when reliable English agents
reported that Napoleon was alive and well and eating out in Paris, the English stock market crashed.
  Lord Thomas Cochrane, was formally charged with fraudulently manipulating the Stock Exchange for gain. He was tried and found guilty and sentenced to two years imprisonment, a period in the stocks, and stripped of his Bath banner, his naval commission and debarred from his Parliamentary seat. Few people who knew him believed there was any truth in the conviction, details still available on record tend to imply that Cochrane was set up by persons in high places, when it seemed likely that Cochrane could possibly return to office from an American war ever more popular.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 12, 2020, 02:06:47 PM
Thomas Cochrane, and his supporters seemed never to have believed that he could be found guilty, the evidence available even when viewed  today, was so slender. It is likely that they failed to appreciate the power of the prevailing corruption both of the law, and the politics. Stripped of his honours, expelled from parliament, and possibly worst of all he was cashiered from the navy. In the space of a few weeks the international hero, with money and a comfortable home, with a wife and servants, on the verge of taking command of England's newest Flagship was locked up in a prison housing common criminals.
   Cochrane was sentenced to two years imprisonment, fined a thousand pounds, and to be pilloried in public. The general public were up in arms when the news was released, Cochrane refused to pay any fine
.A Cochrane supporter stood in the bye election for Cochrans seat, as a Cochrane representative, and won the seat by a huge majority. The court withdrew the pillory punishment, in fear of a major mob uprising. But Cochrane was imprisoned, but refused to pay any fine.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 12, 2020, 05:46:13 PM
 Thomas Cochrane , though still  a young man, his health had suffered, and he was only moved from the worst conditions by sustained pressure from his friends. He escaped once, having been supplied with rope by persons unknown, (but probably his wife). All ports went on alert,in the belief that he would flee the country, but it transpired he had gone home. He was rearrested when he turned up in  Parliament, and attempted to make a speech and returned to prison. Cochrane was eventually persuaded to pay the thousand pound fine, and subsequently released. July 1815.
  Cochrane's case had fallen out of public interest, Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and new heroes had been created, but Cochrane took up where he had left off, raising issues that caused embarrassment to the government,and even gaining votes in the Commons to block a government bill that would have given a pension rise to George III hightly unpopular son, the Duke of Cumberland.
  Thomas Cochrane continued his campaigns for over three years,, but his finances were far from secure. Prize money owed to him from his naval battles, often promised to be released to him, was constantly blocked, and he was rapidly heading to the poor house.
  His situation took a remarkable turn round in early 1817, when a messenger arrived at his house requesting to meet him, with an offer of "professional employment" in South America.Thomas accepted the job virtually without question
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 14, 2020, 10:15:05 PM
 
 Spain in 1808, had been occupied by Napoleon,and the Spanish royal family arrested. Spain had a provisional government in exile, and it created "juntas" both in Spain and in its over seas
dominions who would rule in the name of the King whilst he remained out of power, South America with its gold and silver mines was now expected to again underpin the Spanish economy.
  By 1817 when the Spanish Royalist attempted to return power back to Spain,they found that the juntas had developed a taste for home rule, and were prepared to fight for it.
 Various battles were fought, and the local republicans made good headway in establishing freedom from the Spanish Royalist factions However a  major obstacle was the  powerful Spanish navy which excised total control of most of the Pacific Ocean. The Royalist navy were able to patrol the coasts virtually unhindered, moving men and supplies at will, and it was known that Spain was in the process of building and manning a bigger more powerful fleet specifically for their Pacific war.
  The government of the newly established Chile,sent a special envoy, one Don Jose Alvarez, to recruit experienced Royal Naval Officers to build and train a navy capable of contending with the
quite decent Spanish fleet, his first call was to the home of Cochrane, they made him an offer he could not resist.
 Thomas Cochrane with his wife and two children arrived at Valparaiso on the 28th November 1818, to be greeted by the Supreme Director General ..General O'Higgins.Bands and Bunting !!
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 18, 2020, 03:36:00 PM
 Word soon reached the English parliament, and bill was passed prohibiting British subjects from fighting for a foreign power( difficult to explain when much of the English army and navy had been made up from men all round the globe).However it was too late to make any difference to Cochrane, he has sailed from Rye in a small fishing boat bound for Boulogne, whence he took passage to South America.He was 42 years old and had not been to sea for nine years, and it was to launch him into a career that was to prove even greater than his time in the English navy, it would seem that his fight against the French was an apprenticeship for greater fame and more surprising victories.
   Surprisingly enough, it was the rumour that Cochrane (always a complex character), had let it be know that he may well attempt to rescue Napoleon from his exile, to aid the cause of the Republics
fighting Royalist and Aristocrats  in South America. It never came to pass, Napoleon being too ill to bother when it was suggested to him. The issue however was confirmed in Cochran's               
 autobiography, written and published years later.
         Cochrane could probably have easily accomplished the rescue when he was passing on his way to Chile, but it was unlikely that Whilst Cochrane ultimately became a folk hero, Napoleon would most certainly have not been welcome.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 21, 2020, 02:52:45 PM
Cochrane in South America. Supreme Admiral of the Fleet
 Cochrane rounded Cape Horn and he landed at the port of Valparaiso to a huge welcome on the 28th of November 1818. A grand ball had been laid on for the now Admiral Cochrane, and the main leaders of the republican uprising were presented to him. The enormous task that he had set himself, (to drive the Spanish out of the Pacific) soon became obvious.The Spanish had fourteen first class frigates and numerous smaller craft.However, starting with a two frigates and a few guns boats he set about the task. He cut out and captured the Flag ship of the Spanish fleet, and after a couple of set backs, he got into his stride, and drove Spain out of Chile. Cochrane made a few mistakes, but given a free hand, and the opportunity to earn a great deal of money from prizes,he proved that many of the ideas he had wanted to implement into the Royal Navy were valid and effective. Experienced naval officers, and men on the lower decks proved happy to serve under his command,when  the men who won the money and the victories, got a share of the spoils and the due recognition. Cochrane was ready to return to England following the liberation of Chile, however he was asked to form and train navies for the emerging republics of Brazil, Peru,and eventually, Greece Cochrane's ability as a seaman, together with his flair for seeing and exploiting opportunities to act where others did not, produced many victories for him. But as in his life in the Royal Navy, he inevitably crossed swords with the Establishments, and it often cost him vast amounts of money and lost him friends. It seems that nothing at sea, and very little on a fighting ship caused Cochrane any real problems. Politics and Politicians were the stumbling blocks in his life.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 29, 2020, 06:13:05 PM
Cochran's time in Brazil, grew increasingly complicated.The Brazilians were fighting for independence from Portugal. However, as independence became a reality, it seems that fresh problems constantly arose among the administrations that took over government. Cochran's effortless control of the eastern seaboard of South America,with ,in effect only one major ship consolidated Brazilian independence. By mid June 1824, Cochrane was complaining that prize money and crews wages were not being paid as promised, and a major insurrection had broken out in
 Pernambuco,and Cochrane was asked to take overall control to sort the matter out. The Emperor himself offered Cochrane huge sums of money and full wages for the crews. Cochrane arrived on the scene of the battles, in mid August,he used his crews to establish some control, but it seems he simple got tired of the politics of the are He had moved his admirals flag into a small ship
 Piranga, and saying that he was returning to Rio,in fact set sail for England. He later said that he always intended to return to Brazil, (the Piranga was the property of the Brazilian government),
but he arrived in Spithead two weeks later, advising people he had left the employment of Brazil.
When he anchored at Spithead, he was not sure whether his status as First Admiral of Brazil would be recognised,he had been away six years, but his cannon salute was answered, although technically he was still officially an "out-law".
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on August 31, 2020, 08:31:07 PM
Cochrane had been away for over six years, his achievements the stuff of legends. The problems that he had highlighted were still much the same, and for the most part his enemies much the same.
Cochrane had decided to have nothing to do with politics,but he still needed to make money! He headed up to Scotland where he was greeted as a hero. He was too popular for the government to think of taking any actions against him.
    Cochrane, liked money, and having little to do other than tour Scotland, when a large cash sum was offered to him to take on the job of sorting out the Greek navy he accepted it.. He was again warned about taking up arms for a foreign power, but he again slipped over the channel to France. The Duke of Wellington, (never a fan of Cochrans) attempted to warn Cochrane against the job. However, Cochrane was never a great fan of Wellington or Wellingtons politics, and he just ignored him.
    It was probably a mistake,and eventually Cochrane did return to England in1829. He had achieved very little. The Greeks were fighting the Turks, and the French were constantly getting involved.
Cochrane did not approve of the wide spread slaughter being carried out by both main propagandists, and a hard fight against a heavily armed slave ship,turned out  to be his last sea battle.
 The Greek problem was eventually solved by Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, who commanded a combined squadron of English, French and Russian warships that annihilated the Turkish fleet in
the battle of Navarino Bay in October 1827.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on September 05, 2020, 08:42:41 PM
1829 things looked up for Cochrane. King George IV died. King George did not like Cochrane, who many years before had managed to stop some members of the Royal Family getting a huge totally unearned rise in their spending money!! However King William IV had always been a fan of Thomas Cochrane, nicknamed the sailor king, he had long taken an interest in Cochrane's career, and was in total agreement of much on what he had campaigned.Same year the Wellington party lost the general election, and in 1830 when the famous Earl Grey (of tea fame) took power and began enacting the very parliamentary reforms that Cochrane had been advocating years before, to the detriment of his naval career and reputation. Cochrane lived to see many of his old enemies in the Admiralty turfed out of power. Politics still dogged Cochrane, the government privately wrote letters to him assuring him that he had their full approval, and that he should have his name completely cleared, and his naval record put right. But as in politics on most issues things never got done. Cochrane's wife Kitty,was not satisfied at all, and at a function attended by the king, Kitty told the king of her dissatisfaction at the treatment still being meted out to her husband. On the 2nd of May 1832 Cochrane was appointed rear Admiral of the fleet,and a complete pardon was issued to him by the king at St. James Palace. Cochrane however was still not happy, his Order of the Bath that was stripped from him when he went to prison, did not get reinstated until 1846, when he was seventy years old.Word had it that Queen Victoria had personally intervened in the matter, she was a huge admirer of the man, and the first vacancy that occured she had reserved for her hero.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on September 07, 2020, 09:45:06 PM
!847- Cochrane was amazed to receive a letter from Lord Aukland, First Lord of the Admiralty. Cochrane at the age of seventy two was made Commander-in Chief for the North American and West Indian Station. It seems that Cochrane was very pleased indeed. There was no war going on in that part of the world, so it was unlikely that Cochrane  was going to lead any boarding parties on cutting out ventures.
  However Cochrane had not been idle during his enforced years ashore. Thomas had struck up a friendship with Marc Isambard Brunel. Brunel had come up with some very plausible plans to build steam tugs that could be used to tow warships. Cochrane had always claimed that steam driven war ships would and should be developed, if Britain wished to keep control of the seas. Predictably the Admiralty poured scorn on the idea, but again Cochrane saw steam development making sailing ships redundant. Cochrane also produced a compressed air device that made a tunnel under the Thames at Blackwall viable. Cochrane also worked with Brunel to produce a steam engine that would drive propellers on a ship.
   Cochrane however, being obsessed with inventions, poured much of his own money into the schemes, often to the detriment of his wife and family, his wife reportedly said in a letter to Cochrane,
" I hate the inventive faculty", it seems that he did not spend much time at home.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on September 09, 2020, 05:31:52 PM
 An Epitaph For a Hero. In the central part of the nave of Westminster Abbey where Cochrane was buried is a stone bearing the following statement.

  Here rests in his 85th year Thomas Cochrane tenth Earl of Dundonald Baron Cochrane of Dundonald of Paisley and of Ochiltree in the Peerage of Scotland Marquess of Maranham in the Empire of Brazil G.C.B. and Admiral of the Fleet who by the confidence which his genius his science and extraordinary daring inspired, by his heroic exertions in the cause of freedom and his splendid
services alike to his own country Greece Brazil Chile and Peru achieved a name illustrious throughout the the world for courage patriotism and chivalry.

  Born Dec.14th 1775. Died Oct.31st 1860.
 At the top of the stone is his coat of arms, crest and motto  "Virtute et Labore" and at each corner are the shields of Chile, Brazil, Peru and Greece.

 No paint or graffiti here. Each year a dignified remembrance service takes place by representatives of the above nations who see Cochrane as their original liberator.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on October 04, 2020, 09:53:44 PM
   Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB.
     In 1937, the author C.S.Forester published his first Hornblower novel. It went on sale in U.K. with the title "The Happy Return "and in the U.S.A as "Beat to Quarters". On both sides of the Atlantic, it was  a great success, and it seems that the public were very keen to hear more about the middle aged Royal Naval Captain who became a hero overcoming impossible odds.
Forester was a professional author with an in-depth knowledge of Nelson's navy, he purchased 3 Volumes of The Naval Chronicle, a magazine written by serving naval offices for naval officers,
and obtained the issues published between1790 and !820. The Chronicles travelled with Forester when he undertook a long sea voyage from California to England ,visiting many Central American ports and passing through the Panama Canal. The ship was no luxury cruise liner, and Forester reportedly said that he read every line in the magazines several times over.
 There has, for a number of years now been disputes in some literally circles as to who the Hornblower character  is based upon, and Forester never seems to have really identified the real life fighting captain on who he based his Hornblower. However the period in which Forester's Hornblower sailor is set, is awash with heroes, many now forgotten.
  When Collins brought out the first of Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander novels in 1970, a similar flutter went through the ranks of particular readers, who wished to know on who or what were O'Brian's sources, and how do they compare with Forester's work. Bryan Perrett has produced an excellent book to delve into the issue. For myself, I think the court is still out on the matter, and I am just about to start a second read of O'Brian's superb  "The Yellow Admiral" 18th book of the Aubrey/ Maturin series... Pandemic ?? what's that all about. To Be continued.
 
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on October 25, 2020, 05:43:43 PM
Forester, would be very familiar with the exploits of Thomas Cochrane, and it seems highly likely that the various battles, particularly the single ship actions fought by him were picked over in detail
for his Hornblower to fight. However, I am not sure that I could ever define much of the detail sufficiently well to pontificate on the matter. Cochrane was often in the news, and some times for the wrong reasons, for me this does not detract from the man as a Fighting Captain, and he well deserves his place as among the Royal Naval Hero's.
  I had heard about Cochrane, and read the fictional stories of his exploits,(and am still reading them). However, Admiral Sir James Gordon, for some reason seems to have sunk down into the annals of history, yet his exploits and career almost run parallel to Cochran's. Gordon died in January 1869 and his Times Obituary, reads as follows.
   Sir   J.A.Gordon was Admiral of the Fleet and had served in the Royal Navy for the extraordinary period of 75 and 3/4 years and was, we believe,
                 the last survivor of Nelsons noble band of Captains.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on October 31, 2020, 02:07:00 PM
 
  Excellent books have been written about both fighting captains, and biographies of both men run to lengthy detailed works, and it is not unreasonable to say that for me the truth of their
histories, is definitely stranger than fiction. Cochrane was widely written about in the popular press, often for the wrong reasons. I would suggest that his fictional character is a pleasanter person
than the original, and his battles with authorities and the Admiralty probably made his life difficult to say the least. However, history has tended to show that much of what he attempted to change,
did change, he had great insight, but not a lot patience. He still ended up as an Admiral of the Fleet.
   Gordon seems to have dealt well with the ups and downs of the Royal Navy systems. Gordon had by March 1796, served three years in the service, the minimum period needed before he could be considered for the position of midshipman. It seems that Captain Cole, the captain of the ship he had been serving in, did not see the young James Gordon as a future naval officer, and gave him leave to go home and see if his family could find him a more suitable job. However, Gordons family must have had have some influence at the Admiralty, because Gordon though quite quite shaken by the event buckled down, learned his lessons and stayed in the service. He climbed up the promotional ladder, and from all accounts he was recognised as a first rate officer, who does not seemed to have dabbled in either politics of the stock market, not antagonised senior officers too much. Gordons fighting actions, victory's, and prize money was probably a match with Cochran's, and as fighting officers it was often mentioned that both officers led from the front in any action.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 02, 2020, 05:15:11 PM
 !808, found James Gordon now a very well respected Post Captain with numerous victories to his credit,  well recognized by the public at large. He had command of a 38 gun frigate, HMS Active,(which in later life he said, was the best ship he ever served on). The main English Naval base at this time was Malta, and Gordon was detached and instructed to join a flotilla in the Adriatic, which was creating chaos for Napoleon's navy. It was said the Adriatic was seen as a French lake, but in practice it was proving a great hunting ground for very active English frigate captains. The senior captain, was a very active and experienced officer, Captain William Hoste.
   Hoste also in a 38 gun frigate, had been party to the capture or destroying of 218 vessels of varying size, and had already accumulated prize money of over £60,000.
 A major drive by the English ships involving both cutting out operations, very successfully and profitable, landing shore parties to destroy shore side guns and stores, was probably the final straw for the French, and the senior French officer by the name of  Dubordieu, was reinforced with decent ships and crews, and ordered to clear the English out of the region, once and for all.
                                                 At about 0300 on 13th of March Gordon's lookout, spotted a French fleet approaching the English ships.
Single ship duels between frigates were commonplace, but a battle between opposing frigate squadrons was almost unheard of. The subsequent action became known as the "Battle of Lisa".
  The French line comprised of 7 major units against Hoste's four. The odds very much in favour of the French. Hoste, hoisted the signal. REMEMBER NELSON .. AND ENGAGED
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 05, 2020, 03:37:52 PM
       The Battle of Lissa.
  Dubordieus fleet comprised of 7 well armed vessels, Hoste had four frigates. The combined weight of shot carried by the French was over doubled that of of the English.
The actual battle followed the traditional start of fleet actions of this time. The English ships formed a line, and the French having the weather gauge attempted to smash through the line, after the style of Nelson at Trafalgar. Unfortunately for the French, the plan did not work for them, and the battle broke down into a series of single ship actions. The French seemed to unable to
use their superior numbers, effectively, and in the end, two ships broke off and ran for the protection in the harbour, (covered by heavy shore based batteries), one taken and repaired(Corona)
and put into RN service named Daedalus ( a name that may ring a bell for a few members) a second ship taken Bellona, later converted by the navy into a Troopship named Dover.  Another French ship Favourite was run ashore where she struck rocks and eventually caught fire. To add insult to injury, Gordon had landed a shore party headed by two young Midshipmen who were to take charge of the prize captures The crew from the burning Favorite who made it ashore surrendered to the two young midshipmen, and were made prisoners of war.
English Casualties.45 killed --145 wounded.  French loses.500 killed or wounded. Approx 500 prisoners taken
 Four Captains received Naval Gold medal. First Lieutenants promoted to Commanders. 
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 10, 2020, 11:55:35 PM
 
 PELAGOSA !! Following the victory at Lissa, there seemed little activity from the French. and Hoste returned home to get major repairs done to his ship. The two other frigates in the Lissa battle went back to the dockyards at Malta for their repairs. Gordon, still in Active, for a period was a free agent,. But he used his free time constructively, and when hearing of a convoy of 28 French supply ships loaded with grain passing through the region, he hunted it down, and followed it until the convoy reached, what they thought was a safe anchorage, in an area too shallow for a frigate to enter. Gordon waited for nightfall, and sent in two ships boats ,they successfully took out all 28 craft, either setting them on fire, or taking them them as prizes if they appeared to have some value.
    Late November found Gordon still patrolling the Adriatic  serving now under the command of Captain Maxwell. Maxwell received intelligence that the French may be mustering a force to to retake Lissa or to attack somewhere along the Adriatic coast. A vast area of sea to cover. On the 27th November Maxwell's squadron was sheltering from heavy weather in Port St. George, when a telegraph station began blinking a message to Maxwell, that three suspicious sails had been sighted off shore, Maxwell got his ships to sea despite foul weather, and got further information from a passing neutral ship. Maxwell made sail to intercept and he found them. Two 40 gun frigates and a 26 gun frigate, French. It was later found that French 26 gun vessel was transporting a cargo of iron and brass gun barrels ,(more guns than Napoleon would later deploy at Waterloo),the 40 gun ships were there to protect it. Maxwell's three ships were well out gunned, but in the tradition of the time, he attacked, first raising a signal   
            "REMEMBER LISSA"          do not think Gordon would have forgotten it ?
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 18, 2020, 03:34:07 PM
  Maxwell was aware of the potential fire power of the two new French frigates, but fully believed from past experience, that whilst the French would put up a gallant battle, they would be beaten by the much superior rate of fire that the English ships regularly achieved,(it had often been the case that Captains like Maxwell and Gordon had drilled their gun crews to the level of two shots to a decent French crews, one). Maxwell took the lead, aiming to engage the nearest enemy ship,( Pauline, captained by Commodore Montfort),he signalled HMS Unite to chase and engage the smaller French transport, that was making sail obviously having been signalled to run, and Gordon to follow in with his Active to engage the second French Frigate when able.
Maxwell in full sail was rapidly closing with the French ships, his plan was to overtake the first ship, and engage the second vessel, content that Gordon would take it. The French ships had still not broken their colours as Maxwell drew near he fired a shot at the enemy, which struck home and  sent splinters flying from its stern. The French ship  (Pomone) immediately ran up its flags and fired a brilliantly placed shot back at Maxwell's HMS Alcestis,  shattering her main topmast and bringing down a mass of sails and rigging, which hung dangerously over the starboard side. Whilst the tangle was being cut free, the ship lost way, and she found herself in danger of being sandwiched between two competent heavily armed French Frigates.
     Gordon, seeing the potentially fatal position Maxwell was facing, crammed on all sailed, and forced his Active between Maxwell and the Frenchman. Maxwell, and Gordon's gunners poured a relentless series of broadsides into the enemy, and slowly forced the enemy ship to break off and move away.  The action continued from 1100 hrs. through to 1505 often in virtually hand to hand battle. One enemy frigate sunk, one very valuably transport full of guns captured.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 19, 2020, 04:04:15 PM
Captain Gordon was experienced enough to recognise that the two French ships could and probably would put up a hard fight. Gordon had spoken to his officers and advised them to expect tough resistance. The fighting was done at close range, and Gordons prediction was true, the French ship stood and exchanged broadsides, both ships taking great punishment.
  At about 1430,Gordon was fighting Active from his usual position, standing on a shot rack beside the capstan. A 36 pound ball smashed through a gun port grazed a carronade carriage, and took off
 the leg of a sailor, and struck Gordons left knee joint, taking his leg clean off. Gordon retained consciousness, and as he was carried down to the surgeon, he was able to pass a message to his First Lieutenant to take command, and to ensure that the second lieutenant was aware of the situation and should be ready to step up, should the First officer be unlucky. Dashwood, the first officer, was not lucky, minutes later he had his right arm shot off, and the second officer (Lt Haye) although also wounded continued to fight the ship for the rest of the action. Lt. Haye who commanded the main deck was faced with a French attempt at boarding Active, he led the crew with such vigor, they not only drove off the French boarders, but so damaged the French frigate that sheshortly struck her colours. The French frigate(Pomone) lost over fifty men killed or wounded, Active lost a midshipman, five seamen one officer five  marines killed, three marines and twenty seamen wounded. Lt. Haye survived, and Captain Gordon arrived alive at a Malta hospital. He discharged himself one week later, rejoined his ship and took command for the voyage home to England. He had a wooden leg made and made it all the way up to Admiral of the Fleet.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on November 28, 2020, 08:59:52 PM
 Would C.S.Forester write 11 Hornblower stories, based solely on one fighting captain? particularly a captain who for much of his heroic Royal naval service possessed only one leg. Not too likely.
In fact its probably that when Forester, wrote his first Hornblower book, he commenced with his hero already past his youth. When he realised that he could write more with his Hornblower, he started with Hornblower the Midshipman, and went on through his semi fictional adventures, using some of Gordons actual battles and a good smattering of Thomas Cochranes, history.
 
 It is difficult today to appreciate the scope of tasks undertaken by ships and men fighting this war. The reality was that the Navy was fighting a world war, encompassing every ocean and sea lane.
on the globe. The Royal Navy was considered to be the most effect fighting force in the world at that time, and it played a major part in every aspect of the war against the dictatorship that Bonaparte
sought to impose. Wellington was not always a fan of some the "buccaneering "frigate captains, but he is said to have admitted at a Waterloo dinner many years after Waterloo, that if the Navy had not snatched General Moors retreating army off the beach at Corunna, England would never had an army to put into the war.
   Nelsons navy had a good bit further to sail for that rescue than they did for Dunkirk, but just as important, and they got there on time.
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on December 03, 2020, 09:52:02 PM
Books I have been browsing in the Lockdown.
Bryan Perrett's "The real Horn Blower"-- The life and times of Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB
Bernard Ireland's "Naval Warfare in The age of Sail. War at sea 1756-1815".
T.A Heathcote "Nelson's Trafalgar Captains and their Battles".
Robert Harvey "Cochrane The life and exploits of a fighting Captain"
Admiral Lord Cochrane "Memoirs of a Fighting Captain"
I have just completed a second reading of Patrick O'Brian's brilliant (Master and Commander Jack Aubrey series).  20 novels, mostly paper back editions, mostly charity shop purchases .I was thinking of reading some Horn Blower books. I have seen odd ones in the charity shops. However, I noted that in America recently a set of first edition Hornblower sold for £2000 !
 Keep your eyes open !! 
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: stokerstan on December 20, 2020, 08:24:16 PM

   Have managed to obtain two of C.C. Forester's Hornblower books --- My Midshipman Hornblower, it has been reissued by Penguin Books in 2017(the original came out in 1950)
More difficult to get is the second book of the Hornblower novels,"Lt.Hornblower". The book is actually the seventh novel, but the story line has been designed to follow on from Hornblowers early years, and he is still a Midshipman. The book is in a rather poor condition, and was published in the U.S.A. It was written in 1951, and Forester claimed copyright in 1952.

    It seems we are to be kept indoors a while longer by the pandemic, so i may have to seek out more "Hornblowers" to help me through it. Its a rough old life, so off we go back to sea. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Nelsons Navy.
Post by: Topsey on January 01, 2021, 08:20:03 PM
I could tell you some salty tales over the phone if you like but I'm not too sure you're strong enough for them.