The Mariners Mirror Archive

Book Review; ‘Tribals, Battles and Darings: The genesis of the modern destroyer’ by A. Clarke

By Michael Leek

This is one of those books where the subtitle has greater significance than is actually the case. Subtitles by default provide context for the title. Combining the two is often a deciding factor on whether a book might be of interest. In this particular case, the expectation was of a technical study showing how three […] Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons

Book Review: ‘Abandon Ship: The real story of the sinkings in the Falklands War’ by P. Brown,

By David Bowen

In this anniversary year of the Falklands war, our minds turn to the details of that conflict. But do we know all the facts? We of course knew of the sinkings as and when they actually happened, and understood the patent circumstances. But this book demonstrates that until its publication we have not heard the […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Twentieth C)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Submarines

Book Review: ‘Harwich Submarines in the Great War: The first submarine campaign of the Royal Navy in 1914’ by M. Harris

By Richard Channon

On 31 July 1914 12 D and E class ‘overseas’ submarines of the 8th Submarine Flotilla of the Royal Navy arrived at Harwich as part of the prescient deployment of the entire fleet to its planned war stations. They were accompanied by their depot ships Maidstone and Adamant and were joined four days later by […] Read More

Filed under: WW1
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Submarines

Book Review: ‘The Laird Rams: Britain’s ironclads built for the Confederacy, 1862–1923’ by A. R. English

By Howard J. Fuller

Here is an important new work about two early ironclad warships often overlooked in the historiography, or worse, side-lined as ‘failed’ specimens; freaks with a bad history that went nowhere fast. Admiral George Ballard’s articles for the Mariner’s Mirror (1929–35) simply ignored HMS Scorpion and HMS Wivern as part of Britain’s ‘Black Battlefleet’. Oscar Parkes […] Read More

Filed under: American Civil War | Other (Twentieth C)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

Book Review: ‘Reilen en zeilen van de admiraliteit van Rotterdam in de jaren 1630–1640’ by J. R. Bruijn

By N. A. M. Rodger

It is now more than 50 years ago that the young Leiden scholar Jaap Bruijn published his doctoral thesis on the Admiralty of Amsterdam ‘in the peaceful years’ (De Admiraliteit van Amsterdam in rustige jaren, 1713–1751). At a time when naval history was usually written by retired naval officers recounting their professional triumphs, Bruijn chose […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Strategy & Diplomacy

Book Review: ‘To Rule Eurasia’s Waves: The new great power competition at sea’ by G. F. Gresh,

By Duncan Connors

Since Napoleonic times experts have made naval and geopolitical predictions that have rarely come true. This can be seen comparatively recently in the widely speculative assessments of Soviet naval power between 1970 and 1990, which after the end of the Cold War were shown to be false. This extended review tackles a prediction by author […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Arctic
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

Naval Interrogations of PoWs in the Black Sea War, 1914 and 1916

By Toby Ewin

This article describes two cases where prisoners of war captured in the 1914–17 Black Sea naval conflict were interrogated. In the first case a captured Russian naval officer witnessed an operationally significant event after his interrogation, and covertly reported this via a coded letter. The second case, of an Armenian engineer, reflected a wider Russian […] Read More

Filed under: WW1
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

Bloody Orkney? A comparison of the perceptions held by sailors and the reality of leisure and recreational opportunities at Scapa Flow during the First World War

By Ian Watson

Abstract Scapa Flow became the primary naval base for the main Royal Navy fleet during the First World War. The ‘newness’ of Scapa as a naval base meant that it lacked any of the leisure and recreational opportunities that the ‘home’ naval ports, such as Portsmouth, offered. This led to Scapa gaining a reputation as […] Read More

Filed under: WW1 | North Sea
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Manpower & Life at Sea

Indian Figureheads: Carvings from Royal Navy ships built at Bombay

By Clare Hunt

In the first half of the nineteenth century, dozens of ships were built in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, for the British Admiralty. The combination of timber from the Malabar teak forests and a skilled Indian workforce produced vessels of the highest quality. But of the ships built in India, only five original, Indian-carved figureheads survive. […] Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Ship Models & Figureheads

A Ticklish Craft’: Viewing Britain’s empire from inside a birch-bark canoe in the eighteenth century

By T. Kurt Knoerl

At the end of the French and Indian War elements of the British Empire moved quickly into the western Great Lakes and central Canada in an effort to partake in and control the lucrative fur trade. To do this both the British army and fur traders adopted a piece of Native American technology: birch-bark canoes. […] Read More

Filed under: Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration

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