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Dive beneath the waves to discover sunken ships and the incredible secrets they reveal.The extraordinary stories of shipwrecks are explored in detail through one hundred facts, fantastic images and fun cartoons. Find out how archaeologists investigate sites on the ocean floor, learn how treasures are raised from the depths and read amazing tales of survival at sea. How can robots help us learn about shipwrecks?
In June 1941, the Ark Royal won one of Britain's most famous naval victories. The German destroyer, Bismarck, had been ravaging the British fleet in the Atlantic. Sailing through a ferocious storm the Ark Royal tracked the Bismarck. A dozen swordfish bombers took off from her deck and pounded shell after shell into the German battleship, sending her to the ocean floor. It was a signal victory that resonated around the world. Hitler, furious at the loss of the German fleet's flagship, demanded that the Ark Royal be destroyed at whatever cost. HMS Ark Royal is one of the Royal Navy's most iconic ships. When she was launched in 1938 she was one of the most sophisticated weapons at the disposal of British military command. The aircraft carrier was the latest, and soon to be one of the most feared, developments in naval warfare. In her first two years of operation the Ark Royal survived countless attacks, and was considered one of the luckiest ships in the Navy. But her air of invincibility was to prove wishful thinking. Within one month of sinking the Bismarck, the Ark Royal too was destroyed while sailing off the coast of Gibraltar. And there she has rested, one kilometre below the surface of the Mediterranean, until her wreck was discovered by Mike Rossiter in 2004. In gripping detail, and using the testimony of survivors of the sinking and men who lived, flew and fought on the Ark Royal, Mike Rossiter tells the remarkable story of the life and legend of this most iconic of ships. Also, and for the first time, he reveals the story of the quest to discover the wreck of this naval legend.
In Battle at Sea, Sir John Keegan applies to maritime warfare the technique that he put to such brilliant effect in his classic of war on land, The Face of Battle. He concentrates on four key conflicts: Trafalgar, Jutland, Midway and the Battle of the Atlantic. He takes us into the very heart of the fighting while providing a remarkable panoramic view of naval warfare through the centuries.
This introduction to the years of the Napoleonic wars (1793 to 1815) tells the story of one of the keys to that great conflict, the Ship of the Line - the deadly battleships that played such a vital role in the battles. The author describes the ships' construction and armaments, the daily life of the men who served and the problems faced by commanders of the time in battles that include the Glorious First of June, the Battle of the Nile and Trafalgar.
"The Command of the Ocean" describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. It describes not just battles, voyages and cruises but how the Navy was manned, how it was supplied with timber, hemp and iron, how its men (and sometimes women) were fed, and above all how it was financed and directed. It was during the century and a half covered by this book that the successful organizing of these last three - victualling, money and management - took the Navy to the heart of the British state. It is the great achievement of the book to show how completely integrated and mutually dependent Britain and the Navy then became.
Official publication of the National Maritime Museum's exhibition "Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude". 300 years ago, amidst growing frustration from the naval community and pressure from the increasing importance of international trade, the British government passed the 1714 Longitude Act. It was an attempt to solve one of the most pressing problems of the age: how to determine a ship's longitude (east-west position) at sea. With life-changing rewards on offer, the challenge captured the imaginations and talents of astronomers, skilled craftsmen, politicians, seamen and satirists. This beautifully illustrated book is a detailed account of these stories, and how the longitude problem was solved. Highlights of the book include: * Foreword by the fifteenth Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees. * Specially commissioned photographs of the National Maritime Museum's collection. * A new description of the collaborations and conflicts in a tale of technical creativity, scientific innovation and hard commercialism. From the same publisher as Dava Sobel's Longitude, Finding Longitude tells a new story of one of the great achievements of the Georgian age, and how it changed our understanding of the world.
William Stone died on 10 January 2009 aged 108. He received a hero's funeral. Born in rural Devon, he joined the navy during the First World War, travelled the globe just before the British Empire's light began to fade and saw action in some of the most significant sea battles of the Second World War. This title presents his story.
In the early hours of the 27th of May, 1941, the German warship Bismarck - scourge of the Atlantic ocean - was sailing towards a fateful encounter. Two days previously, Prime Minister Winston Churchill had issued the order to 'Sink the Bismarck'. High winds and low visibility added to the atrocious morning weather as Fleet Air Arm pilot, John Moffat, took to the air in his open cockpit bomber. Along with twelve other brave pilots, John Moffat took down the largest warship of its time. A warship that had destroyed the famed HMS Hood within minutes, and was able to withstand anything the British military threw at them. These men, in their Swordfish, managed to avoid the fearful anti-aircraft fire and launched their torpedoes. One of them hit, holing the German warship. This is his story - of how as a young man he experienced first-hand the titanic struggle for naval supremacy, the cramped-cabins and meagre rations of WW2, the mind-numbing patrols over hundreds of miles of ocean and the adrenalin and fear of being in a fragile aircraft sought out by gunfire. As the only surviving member of his fellow pilots, John Moffat tells of everything that led him to be able to say, 'I sank the Bismarck'.
Between 1794 and 1815 the Royal Navy repeatedly crushed her enemies at sea in a period of military dominance that equals any in history. When Napoleon eventually died in exile, the Lords of the Admiralty ordered that the original dispatches from seven major fleet battles - The Glorious First of June (1794), St Vincent (1797), Camperdown (1797), The Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801), Trafalgar (1805) and San Domingo (1806) - should be gathered together and presented to the Nation. These letters, written by Britain's admirals, captains, surgeons and boatswains and sent back home in the midst of conflict, were bound in an immense volume, to be admired as a jewel of British history. Sam Willis, one of Britain's finest naval historians, stumbled upon this collection by chance in the British Library in 2010 and soon found out that only a handful of people knew of its existence. The rediscovery of these first-hand reports, and the vivid commentary they provide, has enabled Willis to reassesses the key engagements in extraordinary and revelatory detail, and to paint an enthralling series of portraits of the Royal Navy's commanders at the time. In a compelling and dramatic narrative, In the Hour of Victory tells the story of these naval triumphs as never before, and allows us to hear once more the officer's voices as they describe the battles that made Britain great.
An engaging and informative first-hand account of the last 'grain race' of maritime history, from respected travel writer Eric Newby. In 1939, a young Eric Newby - later renowned as a travel writer of exceptional talent - set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe. Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home - 'the grain race' - in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft. First published in 1956, 'The Last Grain Race', featuring many photographs from the author's personal collection, celebrates both the spirit of adventure and the thrill of sailing on the high seas. Newby's first-hand account - engaging and informative, with frequent bursts of humour and witty observations from both above and below deck - chronicles this classic sailing voyage of the Twenties and Thirties, and records the last grain race of maritime history.
In February 1793 France declared war on Britain and Holland and by 1815, established dynasties and kingdoms were overthrown, the United States had been established as a world power and a new age was dawning. This title tells the tale of ordinary men and extraordinary bravery, of the building and navigation of fearsome warships.
In the tercentenary year of the Longitude Act, Fourth Estate present an anniversary edition of Dana Sobel's bestselling history of an epic scientific quest and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With an introduction by Neil Armstrong. Anyone alive in the 18th century would have known that 'the longitude problem' was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day - and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The quest for a solution had occupied scientists and their patrons for the better part of two centuries when, in 1714, Parliament upped the ante by offering a king's ransom (GBP20,000) to anyone whose method or device proved successful. Countless quacks weighed in with preposterous suggestions. The scientific establishment throughout Europe - from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton - had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution. Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, 'Longitude' is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation and clockmaking.
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