Archive Results For: American Revolution

H.M. Armed Ship Vigilant, 1777-1780

By David Syrett

During the American Revolutionary War H.M. Armed Ship Vigilant made her way up the Delaware River to slip into the inside channel at Mud Island, from where her unexpected broadsides played a crucial role in the bombardment that expelled the Americans from Fort Mifflin. David Syrett traces Vigilant’s progress, from when as a collier she […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Navies | Weapons

Some Danish Indiamen at the Cape of Good Hope

By W. Wilfried Schuhmacher

This provides a brief record of Danish ships stopping off at the Cape of Good Hope in 1775, during the golden period of Danish trade with India and China. One of these ships was seen there that year by Captain James Cook on his Second Voyage. Cook described the ship as an ‘Indiaman’ but it […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution | Indian Ocean | East India Company
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Miscellaneous

The Gaspee Affair

By W.E. May

In June 1772, 18 months before the more notorious insult in Boston, Massachusetts, the inhabitants of Providence, Rhode Island assaulted and burned the Royal Navy schooner Gaspee, which had been intercepting their smuggling activities.  They injured her commander, Lieutenant Dudingston, who on his return was promoted even before his honourable acquittal at court-martial.   A Commission […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves and the North American Squadron 1774-1776

By Donald A. Yerxa

The failure of the Royal Navy’s North American squadron between 1774 and 1776 contributed to the momentum gained by colonial protests that led to the American War of Independence. This article considers the activities of the squadron including blockade, commerce warfare and amphibious assault. The factors contributing to the perceived failure of the squadron are […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Biography | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

The Organisation of British Trade Convoys During the American War, 1775-83

By David Syrett

The war with America saw a sustained attack on British overseas trade by the Americans, French and Spanish. Convoys were the main British response, and this article considers the problems involved in convoying commercial shipping, and whether it was a success. Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Merchant Marines | Strategy & Diplomacy

Pilfering and Theft from the Dockyards at the Time of the American War of Independence

By R. J. B. Knight

A culture of stealing from the royal dockyards has allegedly plagued their history. Knight’s narrative draws mainly on official documents to explore its characteristics and underlying causes during a particular wartime period, namely: poor wages, the difficulty of maintaining tight security, the ready market for stolen goods coupled with the ingenuity of their receivers in […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution
Subjects include: Administration | Harbours & Dockyards | Logistics

D’Estaing’s Decision to Steer for Antigua 28 November 1778

By David Syrett

No satisfactory explanation has ever been adduced for the erroneous decision by the French Admiral D’Estaing to steer for Antigua in order to intercept a British troop convoy which he should have known was heading for Barbados. The author reviews the treatment of the incident by previous historians and shows that the possibility of the […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution | Caribbean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

The Bagaduce Blunder: Commodore Saltonstall and the Penobscot Expedition

By Dean R. Mayhew

The occupation of the Bagaduce Peninsula in what today is Maine by British land and sea forces in 1779 prompted a hasty response by the Massachusetts government. Dudley Saltonstall was placed in overall command of a fleet of Continental and provincial warships, transports, privateers and a substantial military force, primarily of militia. Despite initial success […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography

Lord George Germain and the Protection of Military Storeships 1775-1778

By David Syrett

In 1775, there were three independent agencies sending supplies to the army in America; the Treasury were responsible for provisions, the Board of Ordnance for munitions and the Navy Board for clothing and tents. Their lightly armed ships were captured by American commerce raiders. The solution was to arm store-ships with guns and soldiers under […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Administration | Logistics | Navies | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

The Methodology of British Amphibious Operations During the Seven Years’ and American Wars

By David Syrett

Transporting, deploying, and supporting armed forces by sea required sophisticated organization and logistics. After a failure at Rochefort in 1757, the British learned to specify the joint and separate responsibilities of commanders of the navy and army and their subordinate officers. Troops and their prepared weapons were landed under the command of naval officers, after […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Seven Years’ War | American Revolution | Caribbean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Logistics | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons

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