The Return of Ranty McRantface

[Note: those not interested in naval stuff, or in a good old-fashioned rant, can look away now, watch repeats of The West Wing or Jeremy Kyle on daytime TV, and come back next week instead. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in naval stuff or good old-fashioned rants, what the heck are you doing here […]

The Ghosts of Swarbacks Minn

My fourth and final post about the naval heritage I visited during our recent holiday in Shetland… By complete coincidence (honest!), our rented cottage looked out directly over Busta Voe, at the head of the Swarbacks Minn anchorage. During World War I, this was the base of the Tenth Cruiser Squadron, responsible for enforcing the […]

Dead Admirals Society (and Much, Much More) in New Zealand

This week, I’m delighted to welcome back Sam McLean as my guest blogger! Sam runs the excellent British Naval History website, and recently paid a lengthy visit to New Zealand, where he has family. Over to you, Sam! *** Occasionally, opportunities arise for rest and recreation to include some research. My recent trip to New […]

The Anglo-Dutch Fleet at the Battle of Barfleur/La Hogue 1692

I’m delighted to be able to start the New Year with a really important guest blog from Frank Fox. Following on from his previous contributions on this site, which provided the most definitive listings of the fleets at the Battle of the Texel/Kijkduin (11/21 August 1673), Frank has now turned his attention to the twin […]

The Warship Anne

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Richard Endsor as my guest blogger! Richard will be known to many of you as the leading authority on the design and construction of seventeenth century British warships. His book The Restoration Warship, focusing on the Third Rate Lenox of 1677, has justly become a classic, and has, indeed, inspired an […]

The Return of That Other Guy

Conference season again. Last week – ‘Statesmen and Seapower’ at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. This week – Naval Dockyards Society conference at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Next week – hitting my head slowly and repetitively against a wall in yet another attempt to remind myself that agreeing to give papers […]

Dutch Ships at the Battle of Beachy Head as Related to the Normans Bay Wreck

This week, I’m delighted to welcome an illustrious trio of guest bloggers – my friends and colleagues in the field of Restoration naval history, Frank Fox, Peter Le Fevre and Richard Endsor. Frank, the author of The Four Days Battle of 1666 and Great Ships: The Battlefleet of King Charles II, recently posted here about important new evidence regarding the […]

The Law of Unintended Consequences

So here’s the thing. Last week, I decided at the last minute to post a tongue-in-cheek little piece that I’d knocked up very quickly, without necessarily intending ever to share it with the wider world. This, of course, was my ‘Journalist’s Guide to Writing About the Royal Navy’. The response was astonishing. During the last […]

The Journalist’s Guide To Writing About The Royal Navy

Inspired by the consistently dreadful coverage of naval matters in the British media, as highlighted by such recent stories as ‘300 admirals and captains for 19 warships’ (thank you, the Daily Fail) and the announcement of the closure of the shipbuilding yard at Portsmouth. Firstly, and above all, not all warships are ‘battleships’. The battleship […]