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uncas
11-27-2004, 10:35 AM
Had such good luck with the previous post...thought I would change the subject slightly...
I would like to thank all of those who put politics aside for the most part...at least briefly to participate...
I guess after reading them all..There is no set answer although the original post was about the turning point of the civil war not the reasons for the final demise of the south's efforts.
The final result...which will not be appreciated by many in the south, the Yankees won. Sorry to many below the Mason Dixon line! :D
Regarding naval battles....
Three in mind...
The Aramada
Trafalgar
Jutland
any thoughts

Hal Forsen
11-27-2004, 10:44 AM
Midway.
HF

uncas
11-27-2004, 10:46 AM
Midway...add it to the list...Was not thinking about ww2?
Thanks

Captain Pre-Capsize
11-27-2004, 10:49 AM
Yorktown.

It pains me to say it but the French saved the day by ambushing the English on our behalf. Let it be clear though that it was more out of hatered of the English rather than love of America that the French were on our side.

Lo these two hundred years later there are still those who feel we are indebted to them. As for me, I feel that we have repaid in spades our debt during the two world wars. Time to move on.

I still like my Opinel knife though... ;)

uncas
11-27-2004, 10:52 AM
Captain..DeGrace certainly helped...Then again, if you back up a few days...There was a threat of a battle in the Chesapeake which sent the British fleet back to NYC. Early Oct. if I am not mistaken...gettin old and forget exact dates.
One assisted the other...

uncas
11-27-2004, 10:53 AM
As I said...gettin old...Yorktown the battle was supported by a fleet from France..it was not a naval battle perse...Not that it was unimportant to have the French fleet out there...in support!

[ 11-27-2004, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Jonathan Kabak
11-27-2004, 11:06 AM
Couple spring to mind...

Battle of the Nile
Monitor v. Virginia
Kersarge v. Alabama
Constitution v. Guerier

Jack Heinlen
11-27-2004, 11:07 AM
Leyte Gulf.

George.
11-27-2004, 11:15 AM
Salamis, of course. Its outcome determined that Western civilization would prevail.

Lepanto.

Phillip Allen
11-27-2004, 11:32 AM
Decatur firing the "Philadelphia" at Tripoli...It established the United States as a power to be reckoned with (except among the Arabs, who never seem to get past "God ordained it so it doesn't count"). Lord Nelson called it "The most bold and daring act of the age!” That act made service with the US navy, along with much better conditions as to food and pay, the most desirable billet to be had in the world. The US navy then was much better prepared for the War of 1812 when the British were still resorting to kidnapping and torture to man their ships under the inhumane conditions afforded their seamen.

uncas
11-27-2004, 11:41 AM
Jonathan K.
The battles were important..however, they did not change the direction of the war...The Virginia and the Monitor...or Merrimack..was a stalemate.
The battle of the Nile was importnat in that it limited Napoleon's access to the middle east but I think Trafalgar put the finishing touches to the naval power of France and Spain.
Not many people would remember the Alabama...not even sure whether it is any of the history books except perhaps as a side bar...The same holds true with the Constitution...Most people know who she is but...the battle I don't know...
I have yet begun to fight...well, OKAY but ask your friends for the name of Old Ironsides competitor...I have a feeling you would draw a complete blank.
Salamis...Now that did change the entire perspective of the war bewteen Greece and what is now Turkey etc. Xerxes (sp) was in trouble as he could not supply his troops.
Decatur....and the Philedelphia brought the attention of foreign countries to America's potential...but this all came before the War of 1812 where anything Decatur did came to naught. We still could not match our navy against the British except for small wins and a lot of losses.
As PR all of the above did have an effect...Salamis is in a different league though

Phillip Allen
11-27-2004, 12:03 PM
"Decatur....and the Philedelphia brought the attention of foreign countries to America's potential...but this all came before the War of 1812 where anything Decatur did came to naught. We still could not match our navy against the British except for small wins and a lot of losses.
As PR all of the above did have an effect...Salamis is in a different league though"

The battles which made America LOOK dangerous is important in that the British had to strengthen all their stations and that kept them "bottled up" on the outside, unable to launch or support much in the way of campaigns against US ports and installations...A significant tax against the British strength.

uncas
11-27-2004, 12:15 PM
So, what we have here is the psycological effect...May be true...Keep in mind, British interests were elsewhere...at least until 1815. Decatur may have thrown a wrench into the system but how much of one...Another tax on the British navy perhaps...Perhaps, England considered the war in the US as a flea bite and not worth the effort.
Certainly, the British did land here and did raise havoc on shore. How afraid of the US navy were they? I honestly don't know.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 12:25 PM
Let me start with an observation. To have a naval battle, one must first have two navies. Then they must meet, and for the battle to be of historic importance then one must at least defeat the other
(this was not good enough for Nelson, who demanded "not victory, but annilation" but it has sufficed for every other Admiral) in such a manner that the defeated opponent never attempts anything again, but withdraws permanently from the seas.

Single ship actions however admirable cannot change the course of history, so I have relegated them to a footnote.

Navies are incredibly expensive. Only the very richest peoples have ever been able to afford them. To keep a large fleet in being, throughout times of peace, so that it is effective in war, is more expensive still and only five nations have ever really done it, in terms of keeping, not just a lot of ships, but a fleet of the most modern vessels in a high state of readiness.

The five are Athens, Venice, Britain, Japan and the United States. Of these, the Venetians and the British did it for much the longest time.

So, here is my list of decisive naval battles:

Salamis (stopped the Persian invasion of Europe)

Lepanto (stopped the Turkish invasion of Europe)

Trafalgar (stopped Napoleon)

Tsu-Shima (broke Imperial Russia, start of the rise of modern Asia)

Midway (stopped Japanese expansion in the Pacific)

There are many other battles which I have excluded, either because there were outside factors, eg the defeat of the Armada, which was as much a matter of weather and luck as of actual fighting, or because, whilst they were tremendous victories, such as Quiberon Bay, the Glorious First of June, the Nile and many more, they did not decisively change the course of history as my "top five" did.

uncas
11-27-2004, 12:33 PM
Andrew...this is what I was getting at...You put it better than I...not being a history major but a scientist. I only have a love for the subject.
The destruction of the Czarist navy inb 1905 was one I had not thought of.
Certainly weather played a part in the Armada's demise...as did the raids in Spain in 1686-87...So many of the Spanish ships were wrecked along the Irish coast we now have people who are called " Black Irish ".
The British also learned in detail the composition of the ships as far as design and realized that their smaller...more mobile ones with different canon had a chance against the larger Spanish foe.
The battles you submitted not only were victories but changed the final outcome.
I wish I could have said it better...Again...just a damn't yankee and a scientist to boot. :D

[ 11-27-2004, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 12:41 PM
And here is the footnote:

My list of single ship actions would have to include the captures of the Manila Galleon by. first Drake, and then Anson. The destruction of the French 74 "Droits de L'Homme" by the British frigate "Indefatigable" (Edward Pellew) is in my opinion one of the greatest single ship actions of the Napoleonic wars, but we should also include the capture of the 32 gun frigate "El Gamo" by the 14 gun brig "Speedy" (Cochrane, of course) and local partisanship compels me to include the capture of the "Chesapeake" by the "Shannon" (Broke).

Jack Heinlen
11-27-2004, 12:44 PM
Much unsung is Leyte Gulf. The little I can glean, some of the bravest actions of the Pacific war, and the last engagement of 'ships of the line'.

Midway was crucial. The Japanese had superior force, but for some reason the American dive bombers off our carriers struck home. After, I will mention, our torpedo planes being decimated, without a single hit.

Talk about bravery in the face of fire! The men who flew those TBFs, with bad torpedoes, rank right up there in my book. Out of several dozen men, only one survived, on a life raft for a day or two, after being machine gunned by Zekes. He watched the dive bombers come in, and provided a first hand account of the sinking of the flower of the Japanese navy.

It's not unlike the American Civil War. Bath, one town in Maine, produced 82 destroyers between Pearl Harbor and VJ day, as opposed to 63 for the entire nation of Japan. America, at the time, was an industrial juggernaut, on a leash of economic dpression. Unleash us in war in 1941 and suffer it hard.

Captain Pre-Capsize
11-27-2004, 12:47 PM
Anybody else on this thread feeling just a bit lacking now that ACB has weighed in? ;) Yeowww, the guy knows his stuff...

uncas
11-27-2004, 12:49 PM
It also came down with our intelligence...especially with Midway.
Lyte Gulf...The Coral Sea were mostly mopping up operations. Terrible in their own right but I agree with Andrew as far as their effects and importance to the overall war.
Also, my hat is off to those who fought in these battles.

Phillip Allen
11-27-2004, 12:53 PM
I still believe the "incidents" of single actions are very important...it is in the realm of faints and demonstrations. Perhaps "bang for the Buck" would be a better way to describe the advantage of those actions. Shannon defeating a much superior ship would be in that category. Bear in mind the cost in Decatur's burning of Philadelphia...no hands lost at all and on a captured ketch at that so less risk.

uncas
11-27-2004, 12:54 PM
No...Andrew definately knows his stuff. I am glad that I recognize half the battles he is talking about. :D And...I am glad he is adding to this thread as I for one am leanring things or looking at situations I had not before.

George.
11-27-2004, 12:59 PM
The Battle of the Atlantic. Not a conventional sea-battle, but arguably the most important of WWII.

Andrew, in your list of great naval powers I think you might want to add Rome, from the first Punic War to the decline of the Byzantine fleet. A case could also be made for Portugal during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, when the Portuguese fleet ruled the Atlantic and Indian oceans unchallenged.

And as for honorable mention, Aegospotami.

uncas
11-27-2004, 01:03 PM
Phillip..am not trying to negate the importance of a single battle...Many have been mentioned...All in their own rights have played roles. I guess the question I asked intially was which battles changed the course of history...
Again, I'm a dumb scientist...not a historian...Can't help it for asking questions...that is the scientist in me...
Again, I enjoy the ideas and thoughts which are coming out in this thread...please note, I have made no effort to castigate anyone for an idea or a thought...That has not been my intent...
Look at the Russo-Japanese war...it raised the importance of Japan's navy and was one of the factors...not the only one needless to say, for the demise of the Romanof family...This was world shattering...long term effects.Leading right up to ww2 if one thinks about it...

yorgie
11-27-2004, 01:09 PM
Has there been any evidence of descendency from Armada survivors on British shores?There was such a story on my Hardanger norwegian side explaining their dark looks.This however seems doubtful from accounts I've read of the treatment of shipwreck survivors by coastal peoples.The dark irish look tends to be more dominant inland while some coastal Irish are larger with lighter or redder looks.I believe the same holds true in Scotland and Wales.This would infer that the 'black irish' are the descendents of an earlier migration.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 01:09 PM
George - you raise the interesting question of blocade as a war tactic, which is the real use of Navies - to keep command of the seas.

The British surface blocades of France, in the wars of the 18th century and the Napoleonic Wars, and of Germany, in WW1 and WW2 were incredibly effective, but I think the American submarine campaign against Japan was, in the event, more important than the German submarine campaign against Britain and North America, because the USN won.

Japan, a maritime and trading nation, was cut off from food, fuel and raw materials and brought to the verge of defeat and starvation. Nimitz sent an affidavit in support of Doenitz to the Nuremberg Trials saying that he had done exaclty the same thing as Doenitz.

uncas
11-27-2004, 01:23 PM
Yorgie!
I have no answer...I have heard of what many refer to as " black Irish " and as one would expect, the Irish...due to the Scandinavian cultures should be blond haired and blue eyed...
The black would, I would think come from southern countries such as Spain...I don't know of any ancestral connections.

Jack Heinlen
11-27-2004, 01:31 PM
You gentlemen almost always impress me. And yes, I wonder how Andrew has the time to raise a family, given his wide erudition.

I decided a couple year ago that I'm not much of a scholar. I'm a browser in the field. Ooh, that tastes good! smile.gif But I like history, arguing about it and such. Learning.

And I don't consider the battles of Leyte Gulf a footnote or a mopping up. They contain the last major engagement of capital ships, and also some of the most heroic of any era's decisions made by individual commanders of ships at sea.

A thumbnail.

http://www.angelfire.com/fm/odyssey/LEYTE_GULF_Summary_of_the_Battle_.htm

Thanks.

[ 11-27-2004, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

George.
11-27-2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
I think the American submarine campaign against Japan was, in the event, more important than the German submarine campaign against Britain and North America, because the USN won.

Well, the US and British navies won the battle of the Atlantic, didn't they? And in the event, if they had not won, England and probably Russia would be out of the war, Germany would rule Eurasia, and in the long run it might not much matter how the US Navy fared against Japan...

BTW, I assume there must have been a decisive naval battle in the first Punic War. That would have to be a strong candidate for top sea-battles of all time - if Rome had lost we would all be using the Phoenician alphabet, among other things! Anyone know?

uncas
11-27-2004, 01:49 PM
I probably should used a different term...mopping up does sound a bit strong.
I guess what I am thinking is that the Japanese Navy's back was broken at Midway...It was living on borrowed time. Lyte Gulf...although a horrendous battle put the final nail in the coffin.

Boomkin Joe
11-27-2004, 01:50 PM
The Vendee Globe.

George.
11-27-2004, 02:37 PM
Hormuz. Definitely one of the big ones. Set the stage for European domination of the world and its oceans.

Ross M
11-27-2004, 03:42 PM
If you ever find yourself in Bamamick's territory, the tour of USS Alabama (BB60) is really something. Inspecting the internals of a 16" turret redefines the term heavy metal

http://www.aviation-militaire.com/Galerie/USS_Alabama_00/039_17P.jpg

If this pic causes anyone trouble let me know...

Ross

[ 11-27-2004, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: Ross M ]

George.
11-27-2004, 04:13 PM
http://members.aol.com/crossbow42/trireme.jpg

rbgarr
11-27-2004, 04:35 PM
If blockades are included in 'naval actions', how about the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

N. Scheuer
11-27-2004, 05:28 PM
Midway certainly stands out in the history of Naval Battles.

But I always like the story of the USS CONSTELLATION's first engagement at sea. She had left Baltimore manned by a crew of green farmhands, and some good officers and noncoms having experience. Each day they practiced gunnery, American ships being fairly well-provisioned with powder and shot.

They didn't come across a French Ship for something like three months, and by that time they'd had a lot of practice with their guns.

The first Frenchie they spotted turned out to be the best in the French Navy (name fails to come to mind). The CONSTELLATION engaged in a knock-down drag-out battle which lasted four hours, after which the Frenchie had been reduced to a floating wreck.

Not bad for openers, eh? Moby Nick

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by rbgarr:
If blockades are included in 'naval actions', how about the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.But that was ineffective!

The most terrifying revelation since the end of the Cold War must surely be the news that Soviet troops on the ground in Cuba already had battlefield nuclear weapons and had authority to use them at discretion in the event of an American landing!

Boomkin Joe
11-27-2004, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by N. Scheuer:
The CONSTELLATION engaged in a knock-down drag-out battle which lasted four hours, after which the Frenchie had been reduced to a floating wreck.
Not bad for openers, eh? Moby NickA squall had engulfed both vessels just before the fight started, to the effect that the French ship (l'Insurgente, a meaningful name) having lost her main topsail, could not manoeuver. As the guns could not be turned around aboard those vessels, this was an easy victory for the Constellation.

N. Scheuer
11-27-2004, 08:53 PM
Perhaps you're correct. Difficult to believe that one topsail would render a Frigate so unmanageable.

When I toured the CONSTELLATION (twice) I was told that the battle lasted four hours. If the one ship could not manuever, it shouldn't have taken that long.

Apparently it was during that engagement that the french started referring to the CONSTELLATION as "the Yankee Racehorse".

Moby Nick

paul oman
11-27-2004, 09:03 PM
I suppose you might consider Pearl Harbor because it indirectly lead to the developement of the Atomic Bomb to reduce Japan. And our A bomb lead to the Russian's A bomb and on and on. .....

paul oman
progressive epoxy polymers

Jack Heinlen
11-27-2004, 09:32 PM
The most terrifying revelation since the end of the Cold War must surely be the news that Soviet troops on the ground in Cuba already had battlefield nuclear weapons and had authority to use them at discretion in the event of an American landing! Jack Kennedy is a difficult man to get a handle on. He was sick and in pain for all of his public life, and yet his PR made a different picture of bon vivance. Much is made of his meeting with Kreus-joff in 1961, before the Cuban invasion, and well before the missile crisis. He apparently came off as weak and indecisive, to which many attribute the causes of what followed.

Most don't know that he could only walk with great difficulty at times. Like Roosevelt, he refused to be photographed as a cripple.

I can't help like him, in some fundamental way that is missing...has been missing for forty years. I think he was a libertine, and a playboy with daddy's money, but he was also very smart.

And yes, if he'd followed the advice of the US joint chiefs we'd have had a world melting nuclear war in 1963. His intelligence, and some wisdom that is hard to put a finger on, avoided that.

Phillip Allen
11-27-2004, 10:31 PM
Insurgente, 40 vs. Constellation, 44...

"Insurgente was reputed to be the fastest sailing frigate in the world. But the ship the British had laughed at, walked right up on her, and when Insurgente tried to put on more sail, she lost a spar and they were side to side. With balls whistling through his rigging Truxtun held his fire till every gun bore; then let the Frenchman have the entire broadside, and the divisions fired at will. One of Insurgente's shots damaged the American frigate's foretopmast; young David Porter, kept in the navy by Truxtun, lowered the yard in its slings without orders and saved the mast. Meanwhile, Insurgente was being hit very hard below, half the guns in her starboard battery dismounted, her braces and headsail cut away, so that she slowed, Constellation gained and swung under her bow for one, two, three, four raking broadsides that made a wreck of the French ship. Turxtun turned down her other side, and before the enemy could change batteries, gave her two more broadsides, turned under Insurgente's stern, and her flag came down in a little over an hour after the first gun."

The above taken from “The Compact History of the United States Navy” by Fletcher Pratt (copyright 1957) Hawthorn

I just thought someone would like to read Pratt’s take on it.

edited to correct Porters lowering of a yard during battle "from with to without" orders...oops

[ 11-28-2004, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: Phillip Allen ]

seafox
11-28-2004, 12:13 AM
marinaous(sp) turkey shoot I thoink deserves a mention because it broke the back of the japaneese air arm. it destroyed most of the remaining carriors that had not been lost at midway or before and because of this layete gulf for the japaneese was a surface action. but the biggest effect of the turkey shoot was the loss of pilots after this battal even if the japaneese could have built another fleet of carriors they could not man them
jeffery
ps the capture of the marianas islands tipain and sipain gave the army air corp bases close enough for the B29s to hit japan that were much easyer to supply than the earlyer b29 attacks from china.

Meerkat
11-28-2004, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by rbgarr:
If blockades are included in 'naval actions', how about the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.But that was ineffective!

The most terrifying revelation since the end of the Cold War must surely be the news that Soviet troops on the ground in Cuba already had battlefield nuclear weapons and had authority to use them at discretion in the event of an American landing!</font>[/QUOTE]No, the blockade was not ineffective: the weapons in Cuba got there before the blockade. AFAIK, once the blockade was in place, no further weapons made it to Cuba.

It's news to me that those weapons had been released to field commander control! How very un-Soviet! :eek:

If you want to talk about successful blockades, consider the Union blockade of the Confederacy. It leaked ships, as all blockades do, but it squeezed the south pretty well all the same.

Incidentally, speaking of the USSR, they kept a pretty substantial navy afloat and often at sea for ~50 years or so...

Trivia: probably the most productive war ship effort was that of the Venetians: at it's peak their military shipyard produced a war galley a day! Imagine the timber and labor force needed to do that!

What was the Constellation doing fighting a French ship? :confused:

[ 11-28-2004, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

capnharv
11-28-2004, 03:16 AM
OK, this thread brings up another question burning in my mind. . .

In the age of sail, were there any weather limits (wind speed, wave height) where the combatants stopped fighting?

I just finished watching Master and Commander, and was thinking about going around the Horn, wondering how many sea battles were fought there. . .

For that matter, were there weather limits in WW2 where it just wasn't practical to fight?

Thanks,

Harvey

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-28-2004, 03:39 AM
The answer to both questions is "yes".

Sailing warships were limited because as the weather grew worse they were unable to open their lower deck gunports and ship handling grew more difficult.

The destruction of the Droits De L'Homme, and the Battle of Quiberon Bay, both took place in a rising gale on a dead lee shore, and there were other single ship actions fought in a gale, such as the capture of the Bordelaise by the Revolutionnaire, (both ships were French privateers, the RN captured the Revolutionnaire and she then captured the Bordelaise) but as the weather grew worse fighting became impossible.

WW2 ship operations were affected by weather; aircraft carriers more than other types; by all accounts the best big gun ship, from the point of view of weather, was the very last one Britain built, HMS Vanguard.

rbgarr
11-28-2004, 03:55 AM
I recommend the documentary 'The Fog of War' about Robert S. (Strange... how appropriate) McNamara. In the film, the local control of tactical nuclear warheads during the Cuban Missile Crisis is discussed, as well as the fact that two Soviet submarines armed with nuclear-tipped torpedoes were near the blockade area. The commanders of those subs did not get the word that the blockade had ended until ten days after the fact, and were prepared to use the torpedoes if attacked.

George.
11-28-2004, 05:39 AM
Galleys and triremes pretty much needed a near-calm to fight - common enough in the Med during the summer fighting season.

More triremes were lost due to storms than enemy action, as they were not very seaworthy at all - built for ramming speed rather than wave-riding ability. But since they could not carry food, wood, and water for their huge crews for more than a couple of days, they stayed close to shore anyway...

Art Read
11-28-2004, 06:05 AM
"What was the Constellation doing fighting a French ship?"

Meer, Google "Quasi-War with France"... Our first post revolutionary hostilities. Before even that first "War on Terrorism", the so called "Barbary Wars" were attended to...

Art Read
11-28-2004, 06:12 AM
Here... I found one myself...

"Quasi-War with France 1798-1801

With independence won, the last ship of the Continental Navy was sold in 1785, and the Nation soon experienced the consequences of neglecting sea power. The actions of Mediterranean pirates caused Congress in 1794 to provide a Navy for the protection of commerce. Subsequently, depredations by the privateers of Revolutionary France against the expanding merchant shipping of the United States led to an undeclared war fought entirely at sea.

In this quasi-war the new U.S. Navy received its baptism of fire. Captain Thomas Truxtun's insistence on the highest standards of crew training paid handsome dividends as the frigate Constellation won two complete victories over French men-of-war. U.S. naval squadrons, operating principally in West Indian waters, sought out and attacked enemy privateers until France agreed to an honorable settlement.

3 Bronze Stars

1. Constellation-L'Insurgente (9 February 1799)
2. Constellation-La Vengeance (1-2 February 1800)
3. Anti-privateering operations"

imported_Dutch
11-28-2004, 08:15 AM
well i am going to pile right into this discussion because i think i have the clincher. many years back when i was a young lad serving his country in one of americas finest ships of the line, i developed a bad case of the piles. now wed been steamin hard all through the middle east seas and it was summer and my sleeping quarters were thoughtfully perched one deck above one of the main propulsion boilers. a good nights rest took on a new meaning as you lay in your bunk sweating thru the nite listening to the steam driven forced draft blowers spool up and down.
well all the heat and sweatin didnt make anything down below more comfortable so i was forced into a clamdestine rendevous to our much malilgned sick bay where i told a grinning medical corpsman of my assways predicament, whereupon he heartily endorsed some little waxy suppository thingies that needed to be placed just so, to relieve the swelling ( and itching)
i accepted his happy advice and sauntered off to the head and dove into an unoccupied stall yanking down my trousers in one quick move. opening the box i extracted one of the lovely torpedoe shaped pills and placed it as the doc had instructed. ahhhhh. within minutes sweet relief! i wandered back to my space and deposited the remainder of the losenges under my pillow so theyd remain safe. later that nite after the dog watch, i returned to my stateroom and grabbed the package from its nest and headed down to officers country and the head. after depositing my naked bum on the crapper i opened the package carefully to find that my beloved little babys had fused togeter into an unrecognizable mass of grey colored goo in the heat of my room! oh good god in heaven!
well it was after sick call, but i happened to know that the chief corpsman was going to be tuning in to an x rated version of snow white and the seven dwarves in the chiefs mess right about now so off i went to pry him off his seat.

[ 11-28-2004, 08:31 AM: Message edited by: Dutch ]

N. Scheuer
11-28-2004, 08:37 AM
Thanks, Phillip; good read from Pratt, there!

If I still had my watercolor reproduction of USS CONSTELLATION, I'd print a hard copy of your post and stick it on the back.

I once walked under the CONSTELLATION's bowsprit in the company of my boss, a British Subject, who was also a VP of the British company we worked for.

He asked, "What ship is that?"

"The USS CONSTELLATION; never defeated in a battle at sea with either the English or the French", I replied.

"I see!" said the boss.

Moby Nick

uncas
11-28-2004, 11:45 AM
The quasi war was better known for its relationship to the XYZ affair...Perhaps this affair is what doomed John Adams from getting a second term.
Keep in mind...Jefferson was very pro French...

Boomkin Joe
11-28-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Art Read:
"What was the Constellation doing fighting a French ship?"
Meer, Google "Quasi-War with France"... Our first post revolutionary hostilities. Before even that first "War on Terrorism", the so called "Barbary Wars" were attended to...What actually happened?

The 13 American States and France had signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1778.
Ye blurbe said that both countries agreed to join forces to fight their then common enemy, England.
Once the English Army and Navy were defeated and had surrendered, the latter at the Battle of Chesapeake Bay, the US gained its independence.
France had done her share, but the treaty worked both ways.

France was still at war with Britain (as with European Royalties busy trying to put back the French king to his throne), and expected the US to help her in that fight, but the US alleged the regime change in France not to do its share.

This made little sense to the French, as the US itself had moved from Kingdom to Republic just as they did, and they felt betrayed.
Many ships sent to the US had been paid for by French people in addition to their ordinary taxes (Their names began as Ville de... as City of...)
Those were the times when drums were rolling in every French village to enroll draftees to fight back foreign invaders, just as Insurgents had done on the other side of the Atlantic.

Furthermore, the US signed a treaty with the British that allowed them to seize any load from French ships in US waters.
(A contemporary equivalent would be the French letting East Germans in 1952 seize all US ships and merchandise and get away with it.)

Rather than declaring war to America, France chose to seize its vessels in retaliation, hoping he US would change its policy.
Privateers, acting on official government instructions (not pirates!) were trusted with that mission, which they carried out successfully.
The US government still refused to comply.
Instead they went to an undeclared (naval, as French troops had gone home) war with France, gunning her vessels.

By the way, the Insurgente was a 36-gun privateer frigate, by far not the biggest French ship at the time (which would come out around 118 or 130 guns)

BBC The Quasi-war between the US and France 1797-1800 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/A2026766)

The Mariner's Museum: Birth of the US Navy (http://www.mariner.org/usnavy/05/05.htm)

[ 11-28-2004, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: Boomkin Joe ]

boatlover
11-29-2004, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
And here is the footnote:

My list of single ship actions would have to include the captures of the Manila Galleon by. first Drake, and then Anson. The destruction of the French 74 "Droits de L'Homme" by the British frigate "Indefatigable" (Edward Pellew) is in my opinion one of the greatest single ship actions of the Napoleonic wars, but we should also include the capture of the 32 gun frigate "El Gamo" by the 14 gun brig "Speedy" (Cochrane, of course) and local partisanship compels me to include the capture of the "Chesapeake" by the "Shannon" (Broke).Andrew:

I believe the destruction of "Droits de L'Homme" was not caused by "Indefatigable" alone.
"Amazon" was also involved in harrying the French ship onto the rocks.

"Indefatigable" was able to claw her way off the lee shore. but "Amazon," due to damage to her rigging, was not able to do so. "Amazon" was wrecked, but most of her crew were able to reach shore safely, though they ended up as POW's.

Regards,

Ed R

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-29-2004, 09:19 AM
Ed - you are quite correct. My mistake - I was writing in too much of a hurry.

imported_Dutch
11-29-2004, 10:06 AM
so.... i mince my way down the passageway to the chiefs mess and lean my ear against the door lightly to eavesdrop. i hear grunting, groaning, moans of passion or something akin to it. yep the movie had started. i was too late. i had been hoping to catch the chief corpsman on his own. maybe id just wait till first light brought sick call.... but about that time an intense burning uncomfortableness brought me round to my senses. this wasnt going to be easy, but i had to do it. i rapped lightly on the door

Alan D. Hyde
11-29-2004, 10:26 AM
Andrew, what book contains the best account of Pellew and the Indefatigable?

Alan

Gary Bergman
11-29-2004, 10:41 AM
As far as naval 'battles', off-track but in there are Ben Franklin's privateers, Black Prince, Black Princess, and Fearnot. 118 prizes in just over a year, in 'enemy' waters.........Followed by a rather spunky 'Revenge'II

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-29-2004, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:
Andrew, what book contains the best account of Pellew and the Indefatigable?

AlanThere are no recent books, although I am looking forward to reading NAM Rodger's new general book on the history of the RN to 1815.

Here are a couple of extracts, the first is from the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea:

http://www.pellew.com/Exmouth/Exmouth%20002/Chapter%206.htm

and here is a good description of the action, and of his earlier single ship action:

http://www.flyinglab.com/pirates/catalog/ship.php?type=frigateheavy&page=6

whilst here is his own despatch:

http://www.pellew.com/Exmouth/Exmouth%20005/Dispatches%2002a.htm

Almost the entire crew of the "Droits de L'Homme" were killed, most of the "Amazon"'s crew survived and, as he says, his own crew's losses were "inconsiderable".

martin schulz
11-29-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Nimitz sent an affidavit in support of Doenitz to the Nuremberg Trials saying that he had done exaclty the same thing as Doenitz.But Dönitz like every other coeval Admiral underestimated the need for a strong "U-Boot" fleet. Like everyone else (oncluding Hitler) he was obsessed with big warships. But what were the Bismarck, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst good for? most of the times they were under attack by english bomb raids. In the end Hitler even ordered the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst from Brest to Norway via the english channel (sort of a miracle that they got through) only to have them moored useless at some Norway Bay.

So instead of strengthening the submarine fleet the money was spent on useless battlecruisers. The promised delivery of the U-Boot Typ 10, which could actually stay submerged and therefor was the first real submarine was delayed until the end of the war and when the allies used their sonar more precisely the regular Typ 7 U-Boot didn't have a chance. They were just blown out of the water once they surfaced to get air.

ccmanuals
11-29-2004, 12:49 PM
I have always been fascinated with the great WWII sea battle with the Bismark and the Hood, Prinz Eugen, heavy cruiser Dorsetshire and Prince of Wales. Commissioned in 1939 and completed in 1941, the Bismarck was one of the most feared ships afloat. With a main battery of 8 15-inch guns, she could easily wreak havoc on British convoys sailing from America. The Bismarck was spotted by a British fighter plane in Norway, and the Royal Navy was alerted. The British battlecruiser Hood was the first ship to sight the Bismarck. The ensuing battle lasted all of 6 minutes, and the Hood was destroyed by the Bismarck. Only 3 men out of a crew of 1,400 survived the Hood's sinking. However, other forces had been alerted, and the British closed in on the Bismarck. In a brave attack by British carrier-based torpedo planes, the Bismarck's rudder was damaged, and the ship could only sail in a straight line. The rest of the British battleships and cruisers now closed in. Finally, the Bismarck succumed to the British guns and slid beneath the Atlantic.
http://www.kbismarck.com/bismarck80.jpg

Alan D. Hyde
11-29-2004, 02:47 PM
http://www.wilsonsons.com.br/ingles/saga/fotos/img_08_b.jpg

Thank you, Andrew.

Spendid!

If those of you who haven't yet done so will have a look, then you'll find Pellew and the Indefatigable's action against the Droits de l'Homme makes damn fine reading.

Here's a link to that portion (along with some introductory material):

http://www.pellew.com/Exmouth/Exmouth%20002/Chapter%207 .htm (http://www.pellew.com/Exmouth/Exmouth%20002/Chapter%207.htm)

***

Alan

[ 11-29-2004, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Alan D. Hyde
12-01-2004, 03:18 PM
Here's Pellew's squadron attacking Algiers:

http://www.napoleonguide.com/images/pellew_algiers.jpg

***

Alan

Scott Taylor
12-01-2004, 04:30 PM
OK, I have to wade in and give my 2 cents worth on this one. Twice in this thread I have read that the US and Britain won the Battle of the Atlantic; not quite!!!! Canada and Canada's navy played the biggest role in that long battle. Consider the following stats:

Duration

• Considered to have been won by the Allies in 1943, although lasted the duration of the Second World War, which in Europe ended May 8, 1945.
• Began September 3, 1939 with the sinking of the Montréal-bound passenger ship SS Athenia by a German submarine west of Ireland. Of the 1,400 passengers and crew, 118, including 4 Canadians, were killed.
• Training, air cover, special intelligence and more and better equipment turned the tide in mid-1943.

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)

• Began the war with 13 vessels, of which 6 were destroyers, and 3,500 personnel, and ended it with the third largest navy in the world. At war's end the RCN had 373 fighting ships and over 110,000 members, all of whom were volunteers, including 6,500 women who served in the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Services.
• Escort of merchant ship convoys was the RCN's chief responsibility during the Battle. The first convoy sailed from Halifax on September 16, 1939, escorted by the Canadian destroyer St. Laurent. By mid-1942, the RCN, with support from the RCAF, was providing nearly half the convoy escorts, and afterwards carried out the lion's share of escort duty.
• Approximately 2,000 members of the RCN died during the war, and 24 RCN vessels were sunk.
• Canadian aircraft and ships, alone or in consort with other ships or aircraft, sank 50 U-boats.

Merchant Marine

• On August 26, 1939 all Canadian merchant ships passed from the control of their owners to the control of the RCN. No Canadian-registered ship or merchant ship in a Canadian port could sail without the RCN's authority and direction.
• When the war began Canada had 38 oceangoing merchant vessels of 1,000 tons or more. 410 merchant ships were built in Canada during the war.
• More than 25,000 merchant ship voyages were made.
• The Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance lists the names of approximately 1,600 Canadians who died at sea during the war, including those of eight women.
U-boats (Unterseebooten)
• German submarines, main threat to merchant and other surface vessels. Were capable of remaining away from port for three months and more. When submerged, operated on batteries which, until the schnorkel was invented, had to be re-charged by their diesel engines at surface level. Carried up to 21 torpedoes and also laid mines. Could dive below the surface in roughly 30 seconds.
• In one month — June 1941 — over 500,000 tons of Allied shipping were lost to U-boats.
• U-boats improved with acoustic torpedo and schnorkel, which drew air inside sub and expelled exhaust fumes, allowing vessel to recharge its batteries while beneath the surface. First appeared in late 1943.
• By March 1945, 463 U-boats were on patrol, compared to 27 in 1939

In Canada, the Battle of the Atlantic is considered one of the defining moments in our history as a Nation. As a Navy (I am a Canadian Naval Officer) the rememberence of the Battle of the Atlantic is second only to November 11th.

Scott,

Alan D. Hyde
12-01-2004, 04:39 PM
A point well taken, Scott.

Have you read Samuel Eliot Morison's History of United States Naval Operations in World War Two?

If so, any thoughts on it???

Alan

uncas
12-01-2004, 05:56 PM
Scott...ten points...Points in all directions well taken.
Morrison's book is well worth reading...

[ 12-01-2004, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Scott Taylor
12-02-2004, 09:49 AM
Thanks Alan & uncas, I didn't want to come across as sactimonious but felt some Canadian facts need to come out. I have not read Morison's account of the Battle of the Atlantic but am somewhat familiar (OK I knew it existed and have read some critiques of it). I think the US Navy's contribution to the Battle of Atlantic, significant as it was, has been hugely overshadowed by the dramatic acions (and Hollywoods depictions of them) in the Pacific. I may have to pick up Morison's book and have a look.

Scott,