Book Review-‘Broke of the Shannon and the War of 1812’ by T. Voelcker (ed.)

By John R.Grodzinski, published November 2020


In early 1815 the Admiralty reported to the House of Commons that during the recent Anglo-American war the US Navy had captured 16 of its warships and armed vessels, with a total of 266 guns and 2,015 men and boys from a fleet that averaged 644 commissioned ships, and 140,000 seamen and marines. The list of ‘Ships of War and Armed Vessels belonging to the United States of America, taken or destroyed by His Majesty’s Ships’ totalled 34, with 407 guns and 1,956 men and boys. The American losses amounted to 10 of its 16 seagoing purpose-built warships, the remainder being blockaded in harbour or having serious shortfalls in their ship’s companies. Between the British capture of USS Nautilus in July 1812 and the loss of HMS Penguin to an American brig in March 1815, individual vessels and squadrons of both navies fought a number of duels on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Caribbean Sea, which in American historiography, as one study notes, ‘proved the prowess of a fleet that has remained unrivalled to this day’…

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Filed under: War of 1812
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Weapons

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