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Battle of Bornholm, 30 May 1563

Battle of Bornholm, 30 May 1563

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Battle of Bornholm, 30 May 1563

The Battle of Bornholm of 30 May 1563 was the first fighting of the Nordic Seven Years War (1563-70) between Denmark and Sweden. Earlier in the year, as tensions rose between the two countries, Frederik II of Denmark had ordered a naval blockade of Sweden and dispatched a fleet of eight warships under Jacob Brockenhuus into the Baltic. At the same time Erik XIV of Sweden sent a fleet of twelve ships under Jakob Bagge from Stockholm to Rostock to fetch his potential new wife, Princess Kristina of Hesse.

The two fleets met off the island of Bornholm, at the western entrance to the Baltic. The Danish fleet was at anchor off the island when the Swedes approached from the north. Open warfare had not yet broken out, and so Brockenhuus attempted to stop the Swedish fleet to investigate their intentions. He led three of his ships towards the Swedish fleet, and fired three warning shots. Unfortunately one of those warning shots hit the rigging of the Swedish flagship.

Unsurprisingly the Swedes attacked the three Danish ships. They were soon surrounded, and after four hours of fighting forced to surrender. For some reason the remaining five Danish ships do not seem to have intervened in the fighting although some Swedish accounts of the battle report damage to two more ships. The survivors of the Danish fleet returned to Copenhagen. Bagge reached Warnemünde on 3 June to await Princess Kristina, but the marriage plans soon collapsed, and on 24 June the fleet completed the return journey to Stockholm.

Where did the Red Army encounter the Nazis after their capitulation?

&ldquoOur regiment continued fighting in the Czech mountains for another five days after Nazi Germany capitulated. Some guys died in battle after Victory Day. &rdquo recalled Master Sergeant Vladimir Vostrov of the 1433th Novgorod Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment. In total, several thousand Red Army soldiers gave their lives after the war in Europe had officially ended.

What made the Germans carry on fighting when it was all over? First and foremost, it was the fear of Russian revenge. This drove them to battle their way westwards in the hope of surrendering to the British or Americans.


The day after Germany&rsquos surrender, which took effect on May 8, 1945, a small Soviet landing force of up to 200 men landed on the Danish island of Bornholm, occupied by a German garrison of over 11,000 soldiers. The Germans immediately declared that they would surrender only to the Western Allies, and the Soviets could either leave the island or face annihilation.

In response, the Russian commandos captured the port and the telegraph, cutting the island&rsquos communications. An ultimatum was then issued to the commander of the garrison, General Rolf Wuthmann: if his men did not lay down their arms, Soviet aircraft would bombard the island. The Germans capitulated a few hours later, but the liberation of Bornholm had cost the lives of 30 Soviet soldiers.

That same day, May 9, air and sea battles were fought around the island, with German convoys desperate to break through to the west. A total of ten German ships were sunk and 16 aircraft shot down.


&ldquoOur advance on Prague wasn&rsquot a bloodless stroll. All the roads were mined, the Germans were hammering us from all sides,&rdquo recalled Lieutenant Ivan Maslov, tank platoon commander of the 52nd Guards Tank Brigade. According to the plan of Field Marshal Ferdinand Schoerner, Bohemia, where the remnants of the German troops had converged, was to become a &ldquosecond Berlin.&rdquo The Germans&rsquo task was to hold out long enough to repel the Red Army offensive and surrender to the approaching Western Allies.

The battle for the Czechoslovak capital began on May 5 &mdash but not against the Red Army. Prague residents themselves rose up against the German garrison, and they were later joined by the 1st Infantry Division of the collaborationist Russian Liberation Army (RLA) in an attempt to earn leniency from the Allies

When the 1st Ukrainian Front approached the city on May 8, RLA soldiers abandoned their positions and rushed west towards the American troops. Almost all the German units that the collaborators had been fighting for days did likewise. The task of defending Prague against the Red Army was left to those Wehrmacht units and SS divisions (Wallenstein, Das Reich, Viking) that did not have time to retreat.

The battle for Prague lasted from early morning till 4pm on May 9, before the enemy finally capitulated. The Red Army&rsquos estimated losses vary widely: from more than 1,000 (according to the Russian version) to just a few dozen (according to some Czech historians).

Having liberated the city, the Soviet troops advanced west, establishing a line of contact with the Americans by midnight of May 11. That same day, near the village of Slivice, Red Army units and Czechoslovak partisans, with supporting fire from the 3rd US Army, launched an attack on the positions of the last organized formation of the German army in central Europe &mdash the 7,000-strong group under SS Gruppenführer Carl Friedrich von Pückler-Burghaus, which included what was left of the SS divisions Wallenstein and Das Reich.

As a result of the almost day-long battle, the Germans lost more than 1,000 soldiers, and the Red Army and partisans around 70. The remaining 6,000 troops were taken prisoner, and Pückler-Burghaus, having signed the surrender document, shot himself.


In mid-October 1944, during the Red Army&rsquos large-scale offensive in the Baltic, Germany&rsquos Army Group North was cut off in Courland (western Latvia). Approximately 400,000 soldiers ended up trapped in the so-called Courland Pocket (Russian: &ldquoCourland cauldron&rdquo), which the Soviets referred to humorously as the &ldquocamp for armed POWs.&rdquo

It wasn&rsquot a &ldquocauldron&rdquo in the fullest sense, since the Germans still maintained control of the large port of Libava (now Liepaja), and some troops were evacuated to the Reich by sea. This meant that Soviet reserves had to be transferred from Courland to Pomerania on the Baltic coast in early 1945, which largely prevented the 1st Belorussian Front from launching an offensive on Berlin in February.

The fierce fighting to eliminate Army Group North, which numbered about 250,000 in early May, lasted right up until Germany&rsquos final surrender. &ldquoThe entire Courland cauldron was pockmarked with lines of trenches. We&rsquod capture one trench, and another line immediately followed, there seemed to be no end to them,&rdquo recalled Private Yakov Karasin of the 140th Army Reserve Rifle Regiment.

Although the Germans began surrendering en masse in the evening of May 8 (more than 60,000), the resistance continued. Desperate soldiers clung to the last convoys departing westwards others tried to break through to East Prussia by land.

&ldquoIn Courland, we ended the war not on the eighth of May, but on the thirteenth, after we'd finished combing the liberated area, where for four days after Victory Day we continued to shed blood against the effectively suicidal enemy. By the end of the battle, our company was reduced to 11 men, including myself. &rdquo recalled Senior Lieutenant Mikhail Levin.

The last major battle in Courland took place on May 22, when the remnants of the 6th SS Army Corps (300 men) tried to break through. When this attempt failed, its commander, Obergruppenführer Walter Krueger, shot himself.

Isolated German detachments continued to resist the Red Army until as late as July 1945. What's more, after the Courland Pocket was neutralized, thousands of collaborators of Baltic origin joined the ranks of so-called "Forest Brothers", who led a guerrilla fight against the Soviet government until the 1950s.

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.


The Danish-ruled Nordic Kalmar Union lasted on and off from 1397 to 1523, until it finally collapsed following the continued Swedish resentment of Danish domination. Ώ] A successful rebellion in 1471 led to Swedish victory at the Battle of Brunkeberg, which established a powerful anti-Union movement under the leadership of the Bonde–Sture nobles. In 1520, Christian II of Denmark reconquered Sweden and took a bloody revenge on the anti-Union faction at the Stockholm Bloodbath. ΐ] More than 80 noble men and ladies, including leading citizens of Stockholm, were executed, but the result severely backfired on Christian II. Ώ] The violence elicited strong reactions in Sweden for years to come, ΐ] and the Union was broken by the successful Swedish War of Liberation from 1521 to 1523. Christian II was condemned by the Pope, and he in 1523. The subsequent Danish kings Frederick I and Christian III, turned their attention mainly on the Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein and the Count's Feud civil war, and relations with Sweden were generally peaceful. Α] In Sweden, the internal power vacuum, combined with the abdication of Christian II, provided the opportunity for Gustav Vasa to consolidate control of Sweden and claim the throne in June 1523, with the support of peasants and the Hanseatic towns of Lübeck and Danzig. Under Vasa, the Kalmar Union was finally dissolved, and Sweden began establishing itself as a rival power of Denmark–Norway. Ώ] Gustav Vasa's Sweden was in a weak position in 1523, as access to the North Sea was dominated by the Danish Sound Dues and limited to a 20 kilometer stretch on the Kattegat in the vicinity of Älvsborg Fortress, where modern Gothenburg was later founded. Furthermore, Denmark controlled the Baltic, limiting Swedish movement there.

Gustav Vasa took an action which did not bear immediate fruit in the Nordic Seven Years' War, but was to have a lasting impact on Sweden’s fortune he changed the military structure in Sweden. In 1544 he used the old Scandinavian concept of Uppbåd (levy or the prerogative to call up some fraction of men from each district in an emergency) to establish the first native standing army in Europe. The men served in standby, remaining at home in peacetime, and being paid by tax concessions, but were required to assemble and drill. This system was later expanded as the Swedish allotment system. By 1560 when Gustav Vasa died, every ten peasants were required to provide one soldier who must serve anywhere domestic or foreign as required by the king.

Archaeological History of Bornholm

Timeline – Prehistoric times

The prehistory of the Scandinavian region is very rich and it can take us back 14,000 years ago when it was inhabited by prehistoric societies in the time we call now the end of the last Ice Age. We know that during the ice age, almost all of Scandinavia was covered by glaciers, except for the southwestern parts of what we now know as Denmark. As the ice began to withdraw the landscape transformed into tundra that became soon occupied by big mammals, such as the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and the elk (Alces alces) and it is to assume that early hunters followed them to new lands to hunt them. During those times, not only the climate conditions were different, the geography of Northern Europe was also different from nowadays. The sea levels were much lower and mainland Europe was connected by a land called ‘Doggerland’ with the island of Great Britain, which at the same time was connected to the Jutlandic peninsula – now under the North Sea. What is now Denmark and Sweden were also connected and created a huge lake of freshwater, covering approximately the area of the present Baltic Sea. Bornholm was at this period the farthest point of a peninsula that connected the norther part of the nowadays Germany.

As the temperatures increased, powerful rivers of melted ice started to flow and shape the new lands, and a more vegetation and fauna gradually began to arrive, changing the landscape of the Scandinavia region and Denmark.

It took some other thousand years (around 3,000 B.C.E.) for the geography of Denmark to make another change and it was transformed approximately in what it looks today. A big part of this change was due to the increase in temperature that affected a large-scale melting of the northerly glaciers creating a rapid rise of the sea level which resulted in Bornholm becoming an island detach from Germany and Denmark turning into a country of fjords, rivers and islands. (Links)

Paleolithic and Mesolithic Bornholm (12000 3900 BCE)
The earliest records of human activity on Bornholm is limited to the finds of a flint arrow-head and a harpoon in the Vallensgård bog in the middle of the island, probably left behind by seasonal hunters that followed the game across the peninsula during the summer hunts. The first real inhabitants of Bornholm arrived around 8600 B.C.E. They were hunter-gatherer societies, who would have exploited seasonal fruits, nuts and berries as well as stalked large game and fished the surrounding sea and inland waterways. Some of the earliest finds from this period are axe made of elk’s antler and harpoons for fishing made of elk’s bone and antlers , but in general the material culture from the Mesolithic is characterized by small flint blades known as microliths. They were too small to have been used on their own and formed part of composite tools such as knives and arrows. These microliths were fragments from small flint nodules which were the only local source of flint.

It seems that societies lived in single family settlements inland during the summer period, and then, gathered in bigger camps closer to the sea in wintertime. In fact, most of the Mesolithic sites so far uncovered have been located close to water resources. This was probably because riverine and coastal locations gave access to the widest range of wild foods, and also because in such a wooded island, the sea would have allowed the quickest and easiest means of transport via dug-out canoes to the main land. Some of the surviving Mesolithic sites such as Ålyst was an inland settlement, and Kobbebro was of the few coast settlements, but most of the sea side settlements are now under water due to the rise in sea level in the period from 6800 – 3000 BCE (the Kongemose, Ertebølle and the early Neolithic), so most of the coast settlements of these periods must be submerged.

During the late Ertebølle culture the coast settlements re-appeared at 4500-3900 BCE and are located along the coastline that was 5 meters higher than it is today. At the same time, there was a shift in cultural orientation which means that the people were connected to what is now the Swedish coast, opposite to the early Mesolithic period when the inhabitants were orientated towards mainland Europe. The finds are dominated by arrowheads but it’s also from this period that we see the first ceramic.

The site Grisby have provided very rich finds of organic material, the vast amount of bones from fish and seal have provided an insight into the diet and daily life of that period.

Neolithic Bornholm (3900 – 1700BCE)

The next phase in the prehistory of Bornholm saw the arrival of the first farmers in and around 3900 B.C. Even though there had been a thriving farming community for a thousand years only 150 km away in northern Germany, the agricultural technology and way of life came from the southeastern part of Sweden with the Funnel Beaker culture. They brought with them new ideas about food production and had the knowledge to grow crops and raise domesticated animals such as cows, sheep, pig and goats. The contact must have been strong to provide Bornholm with the big amount of flint axes and tools that are found today. These were all transported from Sweden to Bornholm in dug –out canoes while there are no natural flint resources on the island. The axes were a necessity in the process of deforestation by the slash and burn technique that slowly transformed the forest of the island into farmlands.

The first farmers also introduced some of the earliest pottery vessels as well as utilizing a much wider set of artefacts, including polished stone axes, a variety of flint tools and saddle querns for grinding grains. They lived in large rectangular houses up to 44 meters long made of wooden beams with hazel wicker and daub in between, and most likely thatched roofs. These houses have been identified throughout the island, with notable examples including Limensgård, Brogård and Ndr. Grødbygård. Their inhabitants appear to have practiced a mixed farming lifestyle growing crops such as emmer wheat (triticum dicoccum) and herding cows and sheep, while wild foods would also have been exploited.

From 3500 BCE, and forward the settlements became more place bounded and were foremost located on the south-eastern part of the island 1-2 kilometer inland on fertile soil s . Near these big settlements, two enormous gateway enclosures (Vasagård and Rispebjerg) were constructed. The occupation of these area peaked in two periods, the first period comprises the constructions of ditches that were used from 3500-3300 BCE, most likely for rituals, feasts and burials that were exhumed to be later reburied in nearby long barrows. In the second period from 2900-2800 BCE elongated palisades of up to 1,5 km were constructed in up to six rows at the time to surround the area. In these extensive gateway enclosure, there is evidence of at least 40 timber circles with a diameter up to ten meters, probably used as temples or altars. Recent excavations have recovered burned grains, flint axes and bones deposited in their postholes as part of rituals. From these sites there have been found also more than 300 small ornamented stones called sunstones with stylized engravings of the sun, spider webs and field crops.

It’s also from Vasagård that we have recently found the oldest examples of rock carvings in Scandinavia starting the tradition nearly a thousand earlier than formerly assumed.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the Neolithic was the introduction of new and monumental forms of burial architecture in the guise of megalithic tombs. These included a variety of monument types with the four most notable being court tombs, portal tombs, passage tombs and wedge tombs.

Bronze Age Bornholm (1700 500BCE)
The next major phase in Bornholm’s prehistory is characterized by the arrival of metalworking. Initially these new metal objects were fashioned out of copper and mainly consisted of knives and especially axes (like the battle-axe from Elleby). They occurred in small quantity during the later part of the Neolithic period and due to the influence from central Europe the material culture slowly changed from mainly consisting of stone tool and weapons to bronze. However, bronze objects weren’t accessible for most the society and flint was used throughout the bronze age, objects like sickles, axes and arrowheads. There was a wide range of items made of stone that imitated bronze objects mainly bronze axes and daggers. A broad variety of objects were made of this new material including axes, swords, spears, knives, combs, spindle-whorls and jewelry. In addition, the Bronze Age also saw a growth in fine gold working with some beautiful objects. These items were of high status and in some cases linked to the religious sphere and suggest the presence of new social elites both controlling the richness and the religious activities of the society.

During the early bronze age, big grave mounds were constructed for individuals from the higher stratus of society who were inhumed and placed with rich grave goods that reflected their place in society. The chests where made of oak trunks, planks or where lined with stones and in several of them there have been later burials so many of the mounds contains many burials from a vast amount of time from late bronze age to early iron age. The mounds were made of stones and frequently cover with soil. The mounds of which 200 still exists were often placed on notable ridges in the landscape close to the coast and streams.

In later part of the Bronze Age cremation became the dominant ritual. After 1.100 BCE the dead were cremated and grave goods became less common. The cremations could occur in pits or sometimes within small circular barrows, and regularly the big mounds from the early bronze age were used for new smaller burials that were dug in one side of the mound.

There are at least 400 cairns and 250 standing stones that are dated to the later part of the bronze age between 1100-500 BCE. Most of the cairns are between 2-10 meters in diameter and up to 2 meters high, but there are also 15 cairns in the shapes of ships rating from 7 to 30 meters in length. A well-known location is Egeby with its 82 round and 8 ship formed cairns.

There is not much evidence of settlements, especially from the early bronze age, but it seems like some of the burials and mounds where located in the periphery of the settlements and can be considered for future excavation campaigns. Information recovered, indicates an increase in population and the pollen records suggests that extensive forest clearance took place during this period to open new farmland areas, with large field systems being laid out at sites such as Blemmelyng.

It is also this period the one that comprises most of the 220 rock carving locations. It has been considered that some sort of religious activity took place in sites. Examples of these places are Madsebakke and Hammersholm where fine pictures of ships and wheel crosses (hjulkors) along with cup marks and figures of feet were carved into the rock, probably to worship the sun. The ship and the animals (horse, snake, fish) helping the sun through the day and the night realm can be seen on several bronzes razors from Bornholm.

During this period societies organized around warrior aristocracies, but should rather be seen representing a decentralized form of chiefdom/stratified society, based on free landholding farmers, who formed an elite stratum controlling commoners and slaves through warrior might. Pottery continued to be used during this period for both domestic and ritual activity, as were flint tools such as arrowheads, knives and scrapers.

The Iron Age on Bornholm is the riches period in terms of archaeological finds with more than 300 graveyards, 130 settlements along with iron production and sacrificial sites and four hilltop enclosures. (Explain the subdivision of these period)

In Sweden, the Late Germanic Iron Age (400–750AD) is usually called the Vendel era, in Norway, the Merovinger (Merovingian) Age. (Links)

Pre-Roman Iron Age (500BC – 0 AD)
As the name of the period suggests this era was characterized by iron tools and weapons, but it was not an abrupt change and a slow development, as a matter of fact, random objects of iron appeared in bronze age graves and bronze continued to be used to make items of jewelry all through the iron age. Perhaps because the old long range trading networks, south-north between the Mediterranean cultures and Northern Europe, had broken down at the end of the Nordic Bronze Age and caused a rapid and deep cultural change in Scandinavia. Bronze, which was an imported metal, suddenly became very scarce and iron, which was a local natural resource, slowly became more abundant, as the techniques for extracting, smelting and smiting were acquired through contact with groups from nowadays Germany and Poland. Iron was extracted from bog iron in peat bogs and the first iron objects to be fabricated were needles and edged tools such as knives and sickles. The increase of iron use in Scandinavia was slow, bog ore was only abundant in southwestern Jutland and it was not until 200–100 B.C., that the iron-working techniques were generally mastered and a productive smiting industry had evolved in the larger settlements, also in Bornholm. This first part of the Iron age, the pre-roman Iron age, is very rare in archaeological finds, this is mostly due to the continuation of the cremation tradition as the pre-dominant burial rite from the later bronze age until at least the earliest roman iron age around AD. In some cases, the burning of the corpses included small personal items such as beads or jewelry that were burned along with the body before the ashes and bones were deposit in a small pit that were occasionally marked by a stone. It is common to find these graves in big clusters or cemeteries of up to 1500 graves.

The settlements were located between 500-1500m from the coast and are often found closely connected to the cemeteries. They are mainly found on the rich clay soils close to nowadays Østerlars, Ibsker, Aaker and Klemmensker, areas that up to the present have been the main producers of agricultural products.

Roman Iron Age (1 – 400 A.D.)
The term -The Roman Iron Age (1–400 AD), comes from the hold that the Roman Empire had begun to exert on the Germanic tribes of Northern Europe. In Scandinavia and Bornholm, there was a great import of goods, such as coins (more than 7,000 up to now), vessels, bronze images, glass beakers, enameled buckles, weapons, etc. Furthermore, the style of metal objects and clay vessels was unmistakably Roman.

Great ships made for rowing have been found from the 4th century in Nydam Mose in southern Denmark and they reflect the contact to the continent in form of trade and warfare, possible to detect due to the big number of archaeological finds from the beginning of the period. Most of the items and gods of roman origin that have been found in Denmark and on Bornholm came from the northern provinces of the empire and were likely traded by the northern Germanic tribes, but there is also a possibility that a few warriors that have served in the roman army had returned with some of the sparthas and roman military orders that are found from the period. The military organization is reflected in the cemeteries from the roman iron age, where a large number foot soldiers and mounted warriors can be found, as well as four of the five remaining hill forts dated to this period.

There is a shift in burial practice from the predominant cremation type to the inhumation that can also be observed in Bornholm, Slusegård, Simblegård og Enekrogen. Along with the shift in burial practice there is an increase in rich warrior graves that started in the latest part of pre-roman iron age and continued through roman and Germanic iron age and only ended in the beginning of the Viking era. The division between rich and poor graves and those with weapons or without points at a division in society that can also be seen in the concentration of wealth (imported items) in the biggest settlements. At the end of the roman iron age the amount of gold and silver roman coins arriving to Bornholm increased significantly and the total amount of these coins are higher than the rest of western Denmark all together. For this reason, it has been considered that the island’s wealth and its central role in the Baltic trade network is founded in the first centuries AD and continuous blossom in the following Germanic iron age. (Links)

Germanic Iron Age (400 – 750AD)
The Germanic Iron Age is divided into two periods: the early Germanic Iron Age and the Late Germanic Iron Age.
As the Roman Empire was in decline an abundance of gold flowed into Scandinavia and some excellent examples of these gold artifacts from this period have been found.
Most of the richness found in Bornholm for this period derives from settlements across the island but especially from Sorte Muld, the biggest central settlement in the island. Sorte Muld covers more than 1 square km, and cultural layers of up to 1,5-meter-deep, something which points at the highly active settlement. The abundant finds of gold, semi-precious stone from India, roman glass and weapons underlines its importance as a center of trade, military and belief in Scandinavia from about 500-700 AD. It has been considered that a good part of the success Sorte Muld as a trade center is due to its position in the Baltic sea and the many natural harbors on the coastline with a road, that is still visible today, leading from the coast to this site. Besides its functioning as a trade center, the discovery of more than 3000 gold-foil figures “Guldgubber”, weapons and gold ritually deposited, something that allows to consider this site as a religious center where probably the elite conducted religious practices for the society. It is still not known where the cemetery associated to Sorte Muld is located, the only location with sufficient rich graves is situated 15 km up the coast and is dated to the end of the settlements peak from 650 AD to the beginning of the Viking age and cannot be directly connected to the settlement. The cemetery, Nørre Sandegård Vest, is the biggest and wealthiest cemetery from the 6 th -8 th centuries in Denmark, with very well defined and highly militarized family groups and rich females’ graves.

At the end of the 7 th centuries the central settlements split up into single farmsteads, but lots of the religious figures and tales from the Late Germanic Iron Age in the 8th century blended into the Viking Age and the proto-historical period, with legendary or semi-legendary oral tradition recorded a few centuries later in the Gesta Danorum, heroic legend and sagas, and an incipient tradition of primary written documents in the form of rune stones. (Links)

Viking Age Bornholm (750AD -1050AD)
Vikings were societies organized around warrior aristocracies representing a decentralized form of chiefdom or stratified society, based on free landholding farmers, who formed an elite stratum controlling commoners and slaves through warrior might. Common to the Viking Age was the securing of long-distance trade and political stability, as well as the potentially disruptive forces that may destroy such political networks. This kind of decentralized political economy would need political confederacies that allowed the control of larger segments of trade routes. A Chiefdom confederacy is formed by a number of genealogically related and unrelated chiefdoms, which were unified through coercion or common agreement. Bornholm appears in the written sources for the first time as a traveler in approximate 890AD, going from Hedeby in Jutland to Truso in Poland, he wrote that Bornholm had its own king. The second-time that written sources refer to Bornholm is in Adam of Bremen’s description of Scandinavia in 1070 where Bornholm (Holmus) is described as a part of the Danish kingdom.

The Viking Age was still based on a decentralized political economy, which has only started the move towards a more centralized political economy, based on towns as administrative centers. This implies that the similarities reside in the social structure, which therefore produces a similar set of material representations. Some elements, like the use of barrows, were obviously part of an old ritual tradition, visible in the landscape, and the same is true of ship settings. On Bornholm, there are no signs of towns, barrows and rich graves are scarce as well but the island’s role as an important location in the trade routes can be identified in the amount of silver treasures found on the island. There is approximately one Viking silver treasure found every year, and the around 130 treasures from the island makes up nearly half of the Danish Viking age silver treasures.

The riches and success of the Vikings were mainly due to new maritime and shipbuilding technologies that allowed the expansion of trade networks, as well as the formation of a semi- independent maritime economy and the contacts to the rest of Scandinavia, England and in the case of Bornholm especially the Baltic coast. It is important to consider that a big amount of the silver found in Bornholm came from the Middle East and it was most likely obtained by Vikings from Bornholm who traded with merchants of the island and the Baltic coast or along the rivers of nowadays Russia.

Vikings were also farmers and there are a lot of archaeological finds of Viking age settlements and houses in Bornholm. Archaeological remains of these settlements have been found all over the island for example nearby Runegård in Aaker, and as a matter of fact, some of the farmsteads in Bornholm today are still in the same locations as those settled during the Viking period. This recurrent settlement over previous constructions has created an overlapping, which documents the entire history of the settlements in the island and its transformation.(Links)

Naval/Maritime History 17th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1565 - The Battle of Rügen
was a naval battle near the island of Rügen (in modern Germany), that took place on 21 May 1565 between an allied fleet of 6 Danish and 3 Lübeck ships, and a Swedish fleet of 48 ships with a total of 1,638 guns and 8,000 men under Klas Horn.
The Swedish fleet was victorious, and 4 of the allied ships were burned, while the remaining 5 were captured.

1692 – Launch of HMS Boyne, an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary Navy Board model of the 'Boyne' (1692),

1692 - The Action at Cherbourg was fought on 21 and 22 May Old Style (1st and 2 June New Style) 1692 as part of the aftermath of the Battle of Barfleur which had just been fought on 19 May (Old Style) 1692.
All six french ships including the Soleil Royal burned

Destruction of the French flagship Soleil Royal

1692 - The Action at La Hogue (21–24 May OS(1–4 June(NS)), 1692)
occurred during the pursuit by the English of the French fleet after the Battle of Barfleur during the Nine Years' War.
The pursuing English fleet, under the command of Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, destroyed a number of French ships that had been beached near the port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

The action at La Hogue in May 1692 formed a crucial scene in the wider context of the Battle of Barfleur

1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.

Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. This model is a 64-gun, probably mislabeled.

1768 - The Venetian Arsenal ship San Carlo Borromeo, a San Carlo Borromeo-class ship of the line 66-gun third rate, foundered

1776 – Launch of USS Raleigh, one of thirteen ships that the Continental Congress authorized for the Continental Navy in 1775

Model of the USS Raleigh in the U.S. Navy Museum

1788 – Launch of French America, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'America' (1794),

This print is one of a series depicting the six French ships captured by the British fleet under Admiral Lord Howe at the Battle of the First of June, 1794, which took place 400 (nautical) miles west of the French island of Ushant. This plate, the first in the series, portrays L'Amerique ('America'), left,

1793 - the British privateer Active was captured by French frigate Sémillante

On 21 May 1793, Sémillante captured the Liverpool privateer Active. She was under the command of Captain Stephen Bower, and was sailing under a letter of marque dated 2 May 1793. The letter of marque described her as a sloop of 100 tons burthen (bm), armed with twelve 4-pounder guns and four swivel guns, and having a crew of 40 men. The British later recaptured Active and sent her into Guernsey. The next day Sémillante captured the Guernsey privateer Betsey, of 10 guns and 55 men.

1800 - Boats of HMS Minotaur (74), Cptn. Thomas Louis, & consorts cut out a galley La Prima, Cptn. Patrizio Galleano, from Genoa.
HMS Minotaur
was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 November 1793 at Woolwich. She was named after the mythological bull-headed monster of Crete. She fought in three major battles - Nile, Trafalgar, and Copenhagen (1807) - before she was wrecked, with heavy loss of life, in December 1810.

The shipwreck of the Minotaur, oil on canvas, by J. M. W. Turner

1800 - HMS Peterel captured french Ligurienne
In March 1800, HMS Peterel was sailing near Marseille with the frigate HMS Mermaid. On 21 March, Peterel spotted a large convoy with three escorts: the brig-sloop French brig Ligurienne, armed with fourteen brass 6-pounder guns and two brass 36-pounder howitzers, the corvette Cerf, of fourteen 6-pounder guns, and the xebec Lejoille, of six 6-pounder guns.
Peterel captured a bark of 350 tons and a bombarde (ketch) of 150 tons, both carrying wheat and which their crews had abandoned, and sent them off with prize crews later that afternoon the escorts caught up to Peterel and attacked. Mermaid was in sight but a great distance to leeward and so unable to assist. Single-handedly, Peterel drove Cerf and Lejoille on shore, and after a 90-minute battle captured Ligurienne, which lost the French commander (lieutenant de vaisseaux Citoyen Francis Auguste Pelabon), and one sailor killed and two sailors wounded out of her crew of 104 men there were no British casualties. Cerf was a total loss but the French were able to salvage Lejoille. The whole action took place under the guns of two shore batteries and so close to shore that Peterel grounded for a few minutes. Austen recommended, without success, that the Navy purchase Ligurienne, which was less than two years old. In 1847 the Admiralty authorised the issue of the Naval General Service medal with clasp "Peterel 21 March 1800" to all surviving claimants from the action.

Battle between Ligurienne and HMS Peterel, 30 Ventôse an VIII (21 March 1800). Aquatint by Antoine Roux.

1809 - HMS Goldfinch (6) and HMS Black Joke (6) versus french Mouche (16), 17th May 1809 - 21st May 1809
On May 17th 1809, the Goldfinch, 10, Commander Fitzowen George Skinner, gave chase to the French corvette Mouche, 16, in lat. 44 6 ! N., long. 11 20' W. The Mouche, though greatly superior in force, attempted to avoid an action. She was overtaken on the 18th, but, firing high, inflicted so much injury upon the Goldfinch's masts and sails that she was able to escape. On the 21st, she exchanged some broadsides with the hired armed lugger Black Joke, Lieutenant Moses Cannadey, and entered the Spanish port of Santander, where she was captured on June 10th by the British frigates Amelia, 38, and Statira, 38.

1860 – Launch of French Ville de Bordeaux, a Ville de Nantes-class 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy

1879 - Naval Battle of Iquique
The Battle of Iquique (Spanish: Batalla de Iquique or Combate naval de Iquique) was a confrontation that occurred on 21 May 1879, during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific, a conflict that pitted Chile against Peru and Bolivia. The battle took place off the then-Peruvian port of Iquique. The Peruvian ironclad Huáscar, commanded by Miguel Grau Seminario, sank Esmeralda, a Chilean wooden corvette captained by Arturo Prat Chacón, after four hours of combat.

Painting by Thomas Somerscales of the sinking of Esmeralda by Huáscar during the Battle of Iquique

1879 - The Battle of Punta Gruesa - a naval action and final ending of the Battle of Iquique
The Battle of Punta Gruesa was a naval action that took place on May 21, 1879, during the War of the Pacific between Chile and Peru. This may be labelled as the second part of the Naval Battle of Iquique, although it is described in many sources as a separate battle.

Naval Combat of Punta Gruesa - The stranding of the Independencia

1918 - The Action of 21 May 1918 was a naval engagement of World War I fought between an American armed yacht and a German submarine in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain.


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Naval/Maritime History - 22nd of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

853 – Sack of Damietta - A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys undefended Damietta in Egypt.
The Sack of Damietta was a successful raid on the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta by the Byzantine navy on 22–24 May 853. The city, whose garrison was absent at the time, was sacked and plundered, yielding not only many captives but also large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Emirate of Crete. The Byzantine attack, which was repeated in the subsequent years, shocked the Abbasid authorities, and urgent measures were taken to refortify the coasts and strengthen the local fleet, beginning a revival of the Egyptian navy that culminated in the Tulunid and Fatimid periods.

1652 - Action of 22nd May 1652
On May 12th, 1652, Captain Anthony Young, in the President, accompanied by two other "frigates," fell in off the Start with a small squadron of a dozen ships. Taking them to be Ayscue's vessels, he stood towards them, but, on coining up, discovered that they were homeward-bound Dutch merchant ships, convoyed by three men-of-war wearing flags as admiral, vice-admiral, and rear-admiral. The Dutch admiral, on being summoned, struck his 'flag and held his course, but the vice-admiral who followed him refused point-blank, bidding Young come aboard and strike it himself. Young naively sent his master aboard, only to meet with a further refusal. On this the President ranged up on the Dutchman's weather quarter and again called on him to strike. The vice-admiral refused, and Young at once gave him a broadside, which was as promptly returned. The Dutch admiral hauled his wind the wind seems to have been north-west and tried to weather Young, who found himself obliged to put his helm down to prevent the admiral from getting out to windward of him and boarding. Meanwhile, Captains Chapman and Reynolds had fired on the rear-admiral astern. They now came up with the vice-admiral, but, as they overhauled him, the Dutchman struck his flag, and the rear-admiral did the like.

1654 – Launch of English ship Tredagh
The ship that became the first HMS Resolution was a 50-gun third-rate frigate built under the 1652 Programme for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Sir Phineas Pett at Ratcliffe, and launched in 1654 under the name Tredagh(Tredagh is an alternative name for the Irish town of Drogheda, scene of the Siege of Drogheda, a Roundhead victory, during the English Civil War).

1681 - HMS Kingfisher (46) engages seven Algerine pirates.
Kingfisher was a 46-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She was specially designed to counter the attacks of Algerine corsairs, or pirates, in the Mediterranean by masquerading as a merchantman, which she achieved by hiding her armament behind false bulkheads. She also was provided with various means of changing her appearance.

Painting signed by Peter Monamy, and dated 1734, which was probably intended to depict Kingfisher's fight with seven Algerines

1703 - The Battle of Cap de la Roque was a naval battle between a Dutch convoy protected by captain Roemer Vlack and a French squadron under Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, during the War of the Spanish Succession.

1745 – Launch of HMS Weazel or Weazle, a 16-gun ship-sloop of the Royal Navy,

1748 – Launch of HMS Mermaid, a 24-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy, built in 1748-49, which served in the Seven Years' War.

1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.

1774 – Launch of HMS Centurion, a 50-gun Salisbury-class fourth rate of the Royal Navy.

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the ‘Centurion’ (1774),

1807 – The naval Battle of the Dardanelles took place on 22-23 May 1807 during the Russo-Turkish War (1806–12, part of the Napoleonic Wars).
It was fought between the Russian and Ottoman navies near the Dardanelles Strait. Russians under Admiral Seniavin defeat Turks

1810 - Boats of HMS Alceste (38), Cptn. Murray Maxwell, captured four feluccas, drove two on the rocks at Agaye.

On 22 May 1810, Alceste encountered some French feluccas — lightly-armed merchant vessels with lateen rigs — that were forced to seek refuge under the guns of the bay of Agay. Under cover of darkness, two boats from Alceste, one under Lieutenant Andrew Wilson, the other led by the ship's master, Henry Bell, attacked the shore batteries. This was only partially successful Wilson was unable to achieve his objective, while Bell's section managed to spike the guns of the second battery but only after taking heavy fire. Alceste stood out to sea for three days, and on the night of 25 May, Maxwell sent two armed boats to lay in wait in a rocky cove. The following morning Alceste set sail. The French, assuming Alceste had gone, attempted to leave, but the two British boats lying in ambush attacked. Despite fierce resistance and fire from the guns on shore, four ships of the French convoy were captured and two driven on to the rocks. The remainder made it safely back to their anchorage.

1811 – Launch of French Pacificateur, a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané.

1812 - The Action of 22 May 1812 took place off Groix when a small French two-frigate squadron returning from a commerce raiding campaign in the Atlantic, met the 74-gun HMS Northumberland while trying the slip to Lorient through the British blockade.
HMS Northumberland (74) and HMS Growler (12) drove ashore and destroyed French frigates Arianne (44) and Andromaque (44) and brig Mameluke (18) off Port Louis.

Destruction of the French Frigates Arianne & Andromaque 22nd May 1812. Nineteenth century British school, after Thomas Whitcombe
The image shows the last stages of the Action of 22 May 1812. From left to right: Mameluck, Ariane, Andromaque and Northumberland.

1819 – SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
SS Savannah
was an American hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer built in 1818. She is notable for being the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, transiting mainly under sail power from May to June 1819. In spite of this historic voyage, the great space taken up by her large engine and its fuel at the expense of cargo, and the public's anxiety over embracing her revolutionary steam power, kept Savannah from being a commercial success as a steamship. Originally laid down as a sailing packet, she was, following a severe and unrelated reversal of the financial fortunes of her owners, converted back into a sailing ship shortly after returning from Europe.

1852 – Launch of HMS Agamemnon, a Royal Navy 91-gun battleship ordered by the Admiralty in 1849 in response to the perceived threat from France by their possession of ships of the Napoléon class.

Launch of HMS Agamemnon, 22 May 1852.

1878 – Launch of Holland Boat No. I, a prototype submarine designed and operated by John Philip Holland.
Work on the vessel began at the Albany Iron Works in New York City, moving to Paterson, New Jersey, in early 1878. The boat was launched on 22 May 1878. It was 14 feet long, weighed 2.25 tons, and was powered by a 4-horsepower Brayton petroleum engine driving a single screw. The boat was operated by Holland himself.

1941 - cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji and other ships sunk during the Battle of Crete
HMS Gloucester
(62) was one of the last batch of three Town-class light cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the late 1930s. Commissioned shortly before the start of World War II in August 1939, the ship was initially assigned to the China Station and was transferred to the Indian Ocean and later to South Africa to search for German commerce raiders. She was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in mid-1940 and spent much of her time escorting Malta Convoys. Gloucester played minor roles in the Battle of Calabria in 1940 and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. She was sunk by German dive bombers on 22 May 1941 during the Battle of Crete with the loss of 722 men out of a crew of 807. Gloucester acquired the nickname "The Fighting G" after earning five battle honours in less than a year.

1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) – A nuclear-powered submarine that sank (most likely due to an internal explosion) on 22 May 1968 460 nautical miles (850 km) southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. In late Oct. 1968, her remains are found on the sea floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface by a deep-submergence vehicle towed from USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11).
USS Scorpion (SSN-589)
was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine of the United States Navy and the sixth vessel of the U.S. Navy to carry that name. Scorpion was lost on 22 May 1968, with 99 crewmen dying in the incident. USS Scorpion is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being USS Thresher. It was one of four mysterious submarine disappearances in 1968, the others being the Israeli submarine INS Dakar, the French submarine Minerve and the Soviet submarine K-129.


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Naval/Maritime History - 23rd of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1685 – Launch of Coronation, a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677
Coronation was a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677, and launched in 1685. She was lost in a storm off Rame Head, Cornwall on 29 October 1690 and is designated as a protected wreck under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The area has been subjected to a geophysical survey and it is possible to acquire a licence and dive on the site.

1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
William Kidd
, also known as Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd (c. 1654 – 23 May 1701), was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians, for example Sir Cornelius Neale Dalton (see Books), deem his piratical reputation unjust.

Captain Kidd, gibbeted, following his execution in 1701.

1742 – Relaunch of HMS Swiftsure, a 70-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Sir Anthony Deane at Harwich, and first launched in 1673.

This is a ship portrait viewed from before the port beam. The ship is flying a Union flag at a staff on her forecastle as at a launching. Her mainmast, however, to the height of the fourth woulding, has been drawn in. The ‘Swiftsure’ was launched at Harwich on 8 April 1673. This is a faint offset based on an accurate original worked up with a little pencil on the figurehead and a crude wash along the side. It has also been strengthened in some places by pen-work

1762 - HMS Hussar, a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, stranded off Cape Francois and captured by the french

Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail, longitudinal half breadth for Coventry (1757), Lizard (1757),Liverpool (1757), Maidstone (1758), Acteon (1757), Shannon (1757), Levant (1757), Coberus (1757), Griffin (1757), Hussar (1757), all 28-gun,

1796 – Launch of French Poursuivante ("chaser"), a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy.

Fight of Poursuivante against HMS Hercule, 28 June 1803

1807 – Launch of HMS Elizabeth, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Blackwall

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for building 'Magnificent' (1806), 'Valiant' (1807), 'Elizabeth' (1807), 'Cumberland' (1807), and 'Venerable' (1808), all 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers, similar to the 'Repulse' (1803), 'Sceptre' (1802), and 'Eagle' (1804)

1808 – Launch of French Aréthuse, a 40-gun Pallas-class frigate of the French Navy

1864 – Launch of HMS Prince Albert, designed and built as a shallow-draught coast-defence ship, and was the first British warship designed to carry her main armament in turrets.

1918 - The armed merchant cruiser RMS / HMS Moldavia was torpedoed and sunk off Beachy Head in the English Channel by a torpedo from SM UB-57.
At the time she was carrying US troops, 56 of whom were lost.
RMS Moldavia
was a British passenger steamship of the early 20th century. She served as the Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser HMS Moldavia during World War I until sunk by an Imperial German Navy submarinein 1918.

1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.
The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect are rescued the following day.


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Naval/Maritime History - 24th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1370 - Treaty of Stralsund
The Treaty of Stralsund (24 May 1370) ended the war between the Hanseatic League and the kingdom of Denmark. The Hanseatic League reached the peak of its power by the conditions of this treaty.

1719 - The Battle of Oesel Island took place on May 24, 1719 (O.S.), during the Great Northern War.
The Battle of Oesel Island took place on May 24, 1719 (O.S.), during the Great Northern War. It was fought near the island of Saaremaa (Ösel). It led to a victory for the Russian captain Naum Senyavin, whose forces captured three enemy vessels, sustaining as few as eighteen casualties. It was the first Russian naval victory which did not involve ramming or boarding actions.

1757 – Launch of HMS Baleine, a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy

1758 – Launch of HMS Conqueror, a 68-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Harwich

1766 - Launch of HMS London, a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Chatham Dockyard.

HMS London depicted during the Action of 18 October 1782

Scale 1:48. Plan showing the above waterline profile for altering the sheer of 'London' (1766),

1766 – Launch of French Bretagne, a large 110-gun three-decker French ship of the line, built at Brest, which became famous as the flagship of the Brest Fleet during the American War of Independence.
She was funded by a don des vaisseaux grant by the Estates of Brittany.

Model of the 110-gun Bretagne, lacking anchors and boats. The figurehead features a never-completed project of a woman carrying the arms of Britanny it was actually a lion bearing the arms of Britanny. Aft sculptures are mode elaborate than on chief sculptor Lubet's drawings. The configuation is likely that of the 1777 refit.

1781 – Launch of HMS Quebec, a 32-gun fifth rate frigate launched in 1781 and broken up in 1816

Capture of the American Frigate South Carolina by the British frigates Diomede, Quebec and Astrea

1792 - Death of George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, English admiral and politician, 16th Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1718)
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney
, KB (bap. 13 February 1718 – 24 May 1792), was a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line".

1813 – Launch of USS Lawrence, one of two 493-ton Niagara-class brigs (more correctly: snows) built at Erie, Pennsylvania, by Adam and Noah Brown under the supervision of Sailing Master Daniel Dobbins and Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, for United States Navy service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

Raised hulk of Lawrence, Misery Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania, 1875

1842 – Launch of Ingermanland (Russian: Ингерманланд), a 74-gun Iezekiil‘-class ship of the line, built in Arkhangelsk
(Russian: Ингерманланд) was a three-masted, fully-rigged Iezekiil‘-class ship, built in Arkhangelsk in 1842. The third-rate ship-of-the-line belonged to the Russian Baltic Fleet, but was built by the White Sea. Ships of this type were characterized by good seaworthiness, practical location of artillery and rational interior planning. The ship was armed with 74 pcs. of 24- and 36-pound cannons.

The wreck of the Ingermanland off the coast of Norway (Painting by KV Krugovilin, 1843)

1842 – Launch of The first USS Cumberland, a 50-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy. She was the first ship sunk by the ironclad CSS Virginia.

Drawing of hull plan of USS Cumberland as a frigate

Drawing of USS Cumberland after being razeed

1865 – Launch of French Bouvet, a sail and steam aviso of the French Navy, lead ship of her class.
Bouvet was a sail and steam aviso of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. She is remembered as the opponent of the German gunboat SMS Meteor during the Battle of Havana in 1870, at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

Aviso "Bouvet" (1865-1871) and "Jérôme-Napoléon" (1865-1895)

1868 - First German North Polar Expedition
The first expedition took place in the summer of 1868 and was led by Carl Koldewey on the vessel Grönland.The expedition explored some hitherto unknown coastal tracts of northeastern Spitsbergen, but did otherwise not lead to any new scientific knowledge. However, it served as preparation for the second expedition

1876 - HMS Challenger returned to Spithead, Hampshire, having spent 713 days out of the intervening 1,250 at sea.
The Challenger expedition of 1872–1876 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger.
Prompted by Charles Wyville Thomson—of the University of Edinburgh and Merchiston Castle School—the Royal Society of London obtained the use of Challenger from the Royal Navy and in 1872 modified the ship for scientific tasks, equipping her with separate laboratories for natural history and chemistry. The expedition, led by Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England, on 21 December 1872. Other naval officers included Commander John Maclear.
Under the scientific supervision of Thomson himself, she travelled nearly 70,000 nautical miles (130,000 km 81,000 mi) surveying and exploring. The result was the Report Of The Scientific Results of the Exploring Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76 which, among many other discoveries, catalogued over 4,000 previously unknown species. John Murray, who supervised the publication, described the report as "the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the celebrated discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries". Challenger sailed close to Antarctica, but not within sight of it.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the profile illustrating the inboard details for Challenger (1858),

1887 – Launch of French Marceau, an ironclad turret ship built for the French Navy during the 1880s, the lead ship of her class.
Marceau was an ironclad turret ship built for the French Navy during the 1880s, the lead ship of her class. She served in the Mediterranean Squadron until 1900, when she was rebuilt and subsequently placed in reserve. She returned to service in 1906 as a torpedo training ship. During World War I, she served in Malta and Corfu as a submarine tender. The old ironclad was sold for scrapping in 1920, and while being towed to Toulon, she ran aground in a gale off Bizerte and became stranded. The wreck remained visible there until the 1930s.

1941 - Battle of the Denmark Strait - Bismarck and Prinz Eugen sink HMS Hood
The Battle of the Denmark Strait was a naval engagement on 24 May 1941 in the Second World War, between ships of the Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine. The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood fought the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were attempting to break out into the North Atlantic to attack Allied merchant shipping (Operation Rheinübung).
Less than 10 minutes after the British opened fire, a shell from Bismarck struck Hood near her aft ammunition magazines. Soon afterwards, Hood exploded and sank within three minutes, with the loss of all but three of her crew. Prince of Wales continued to exchange fire with Bismarck but suffered serious malfunctions in her main armament. The British battleship had only just been completed in late March 1941, and used new quadruple gun turrets that were unreliable. Therefore, the Prince of Wales soon broke off the engagement.

Profile drawing of Hood as she was in 1921, in Atlantic Fleet dark grey

1982 - HMS Antelope, a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy that participated in the Falklands War. was sunk by Argentine aircraft
HMS Antelope
was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy that participated in the Falklands War and was sunk by Argentine aircraft. Her keel was laid down 23 March 1971 by Vosper Thornycroft in Woolston, Southampton, England.
Initial budget costs for this class were £3.5 million, with final costs exceeding £14 million. She was commissioned on 17 July 1975, and was the only unit of the class never to be fitted with Exocet launchers.


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Naval/Maritime History - 25th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1622 - Tryall (or Trial), a British East India Company-owned East Indiaman launched in 1621, wrecked.
She was under the command of John Brooke when she was wrecked on the Tryal Rocks off the north-west coast of Western Australia
Her crew were the first Englishmen to sight or land on Australia. The wreck is Australia's oldest known shipwreck.

1676 – Battle of Bornholm
May 25 and 26 - Dutch/Danish fleet under Niels Juel defeat Swedes under Baron Creutz between Bornholm and Rugen in the Baltic Sea

The battle of Bornholm was a naval battle between a superior Swedish and a smaller Danish-Dutch fleet that was fought 25–26 May 1676 as a part of the Scanian War. The objective for both sides was naval supremacy in the southern Baltic Sea. The Swedish commander Lorentz Creutz sought to destroy the allied fleet and then land reinforcements in Swedish Pomerania to relieve the Swedish forces in northern Germany. The aim of the Danish fleet under Niels Juel was to prevent this reinforcement without being destroyed by the superior numbers of the Swedish forces.

Swedish ship of the line HMS Stora Kronan 1668.

1750 – Launch of HMS Swiftsure, a 70-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, and in active service during the Seven Years' War.

This engraving depicts the British naval vessel Monmouth, in port bow view, taking the French naval vessel Foudroyant, shown in port broadside view, on 28th February 1758 in the Mediterranean.The Monmouth is central to the picture, issuing starboard cannon fire into the stern of Foudroyant, on the left of the image. Although both vessels have holes in their sails and have lost their mizzen masts, Foudroyant has only her foremast intact her main mast is falling into the sea. Two other ships, Swiftsure and Hampton Court, can be seen on the right of the picture. Although the sea is relatively calm the sky seems dark and forbidding, but a full moon creates a shaft of light on the sea, illuminating four figures clinging to the floating wreckage of rigging in the foreground. Engraving PAH7694, by another artist, shows the same event moments before the present image

1793 - HMS Hyaena (HMS Hyæna), a 24-gun Porcupine-class post-ship of the Royal Navy launched in 1778, was captured by french, took her into service as Hyène

1796 – HMS Suffisante captures the privateer Revanche
The French brig Suffisante was launched in 1793 for the French Navy. In 1795 the Royal Navy captured her and took her into service under her existing name. HMS Suffisante captured seven privateers during her career, as well as recapturing some British merchantmen and capturing a number of prizes, some of them valuable. She was lost in December 1803 when she grounded in poor weather in Cork harbour.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Suffisante (captured 1803), a captured French 16-gun Brig Sloop, as taken off at Sheerness Dockyard while laid up in Ordinary. The plan includes the Table of Mast and Yard dimensions. Signed by George Parkin [Master Shipwright, Sheerness Dockyard, 1806-1813]

1801 - Boats of HMS Mercury (28), Cptn. T Rogers, re-captured and brought out bomb vessel HMS Bulldog from Ancona but had to abandon her.
then made an attempt to recapture the 18-gun bomb vessel HMS Bulldogat Ancona on 25 May 1801. The cutting out party was able to get Bulldog out of the harbour, but then the winds died down just as enemy boats started to arrive. The cutting out party were too few in numbers both to guard the captured prisoners and resist the approaching enemy, and were tired from the row in to board Bulldog. Mercury had drifted too far away to come to the rescue either. The cutting out party therefore abandoned Bulldog. Mercury lost two men killed and four wounded in the attempt Rogers estimated that the enemy had lost some 20 men killed, wounded and drowned.

1806 – Merchant ship Barton repels attack by French privateer Fairey

1814 - Boats of HMS Elizabeth (74), Cptn. Leveson Gower, took Aigle off Corfu.

1838 – Launch of HMS Peterel , a six-gun Alert-class packet brig built for the Royal Navy during the 1830s.

1855 - Sea of Azoff naval campaign begins
During the Crimean War (1853–1856), a naval campaign was fought in the Sea of Azov between the Royal Navy and the French Navy against the Russian Navybetween 25 May–22 November 1855. British and French warships struck at every vestige of Russian power along the coast of the Sea of Azov. Except for Rostov and Azov, no town, depot, building or fortification was immune from attack and Russian naval power ceased to exist almost overnight. Contrary to established images of the Russian War, here was a campaign which was well-planned, dynamically led and overwhelmingly successful. The British authorities, significantly, issued the bar "Azoff" to the British Crimean War Medal, thus acknowledging the services of those who waged the most successful operations against the Russians during the war of 1854-1856. The bar was awarded only to the Royal Navy, together with units of the Royal Marines present during the campaign. The unauthorised French clasp, reading Mer d'Azoff , was worn by sailors of the French Navy.

The French squadron during the Crimean War

1861 – Launch of The Murray, a clipper ship of the Orient Line, which sailed from London to South Australia for 20 years.

1868 – Launch of HMS Monarch, the first seagoing British warship to carry her guns in turrets, and the first British warship to carry guns of 12-inch (300 mm) calibre.

Monarch after her 1872 conversion to barque rig.

Scale: 1:48. A half frame model of the port side of the turret ship HMS Monarch (1868), made entirely in wood with metal fittings and painted in realistic colours

1911 - USS Wyoming (BB 32) launches. She is commissioned in Sept. 25, 1912 and later participates in the Veracruz Intervention and World War I.
USS Wyoming (BB-32)
was the lead ship of her class of dreadnought battleships and was the third ship of the United States Navy named Wyoming, although she was only the second named in honor of the 44th state. Wyoming was laid down at the William Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia in February 1910, was launched in May 1911, and was completed in September 1912. She was armed with a main battery of twelve 12-inch (305 mm) guns and capable of a top speed of 20.5 kn (38.0 km/h 23.6 mph).

1915 - the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Triumph was torpedoed and sunk off Gaba Tepe by U-21 in the Gallipoli Campaign.
The destroyer HMS Chelmer took off most of her crew before she capsized ten minutes later. She floated upside down for about 30 minutes then slowly sank in about 180 feet (55 m) of water. Three officers and 75 ratings were lost.

1941 – Last battle of the battleship Bismarck

2011 – Launch of Alexander von Humboldt II, a German sailing ship built as a replacement for the ship Alexander von Humboldt, which had been launched in 1906 and used for sail training since 1988.
Alexander von Humboldt II is a German sailing ship built as a replacement for the ship Alexander von Humboldt, which had been launched in 1906 and used for sail training since 1988. Constructed by Brenn- und Verformtechnik (BVT) in Bremen, the new ship was launched in 2011.


Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Naval/Maritime History - 26th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1573 – The Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a naval engagement during the early stages of the Dutch War of Independence.
Spanish under Bossu defeat Sea Beggars

The Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a naval engagement fought on 26 May 1573, during the early stages of the Dutch War of Independence. It was fought on the waters of the Haarlemmermeer – a large lake which at the time was a prominent feature of North Holland (it would be drained in the 19th century).

Battle of Haarlemmermeer circa 1621 by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum.

1603 - Battle of Sluis - Dutch under Joos de Moor beat back Spanish under Frederik Spinola
The Battle of Sluis was a naval battle during the Eighty Years' War in which a Spanish squadron commanded by the Italian captain Federico Spinola tried to break through a blockade of Sluis by Dutch ships under the command of Joos de Moor. After about two hours of fighting the heavily damaged Spanish ships returned to Sluis Federico Spinola was killed during the action.

Battle of Sluis, from the Legermuseum, Delft

1658 – Launch of Richard, a 70-gun second-rate ship of the line of the navy of the Commonwealth of England, built by the Master Shipwright Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard,
The Richard was a 70-gun second-rate ship of the line of the navy of the Commonwealth of England, built by the Master Shipwright Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard, and launched in 1658. She was named after Richard Cromwell, to honour his appointment as the Protector in succession to his late father Oliver Cromwell.

The Battle of Lowestoft, 13 June 1665, showing Royal Charles and the Eendracht by Hendrik van Minderhout, painted c. 1665

1742 – Launch of HMS Medway, a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Rotherhithe,

1758 - Action of 26 May 1758 - HMS Dolphin (24), Captain Benjamin Marlow, and HMS Solebay (28), Captain Robert Craig, engage Marechal de Belleisle (44), François Thurot.

1796 - Lord Hawkesbury, launched in America in 1781, captured and wrecked
Lord Hawkesbury was launched in America in 1781, probably under another name. She entered Lloyd's Register in 1787. She made six voyages as a whaler and was lost on the seventh after a squadron of French naval vessels had captured her.

This painting has the alternative title 'Ships of the East India Company at Sea' but was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1803 as 'The Hindostan, G. Millet[t], commander, and senior officer of eighteen sail of East Indiamen, with the signal to wear, sternmost and leewardmost ships first'. (That is, for the fleet to alter course to the opposite tack, in the sequence indicated, with the wind astern.) It is believed to represent the convoy under George Millett, as commodore, during their return voyage from China early in 1802. The 'Hindostan', in the centre, was a large East Indiaman of 1248 tons, built in 1796 to replace a previous vessel of the same name that had been sold to the Navy. The new 'Hindostan' undertook three voyages in the service of the Company, the last being the one illustrated. On 11 January 1803, at the start of a fourth voyage, she was lost during a heavy gale on Margate Sands with up to thirty of her crew. Eleven of the other vessels in the convoy depicted here are known to have reached their moorings in England between 11 and 14 July 1802: the 'Lord Hawkesbury', 'Worcester', 'Boddam', 'Fort William', 'Airly Castle', 'Lord Duncan', 'Ocean', 'Henry Addington', 'Carnatic', 'Hope' and 'Windham'. The other ships have not been identified but are also presumed to have done so. Pocock placed considerable importance on accuracy and he referred to annotated drawings and sketch plans in the production of his oil paintings. He was born and brought up in Bristol and went to sea at the age of seventeen, rising to be the master of several merchant vessels. Although he only took up painting as a profession in his early forties, he became extremely successful, receiving commissions from naval commanders anxious to have accurate portrayals of actions and ships. By the age of eighty Pocock had recorded nearly forty years of maritime history, demonstrating a meticulous understanding of shipping and rigging with close attention to detail. The painting is signed and dated 1803

'The East Indiaman General Goddard capturing Dutch East Indiamen, June 1795'.

1808 – Launch of HMS Brazen, a Bittern-class 28-gun Royal Navy ship sloop

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the framing profile (disposition) for Plover (1796) and with later alterations for Brazen (cancelled 1799) and Brazen (1808), all 18-gun Ship Sloops. Initialled by John Henslow [Surveyor of the Navy, 1784-1806] and William Rule [Surveyor of the Navy, 1793-1813]

1808 – Launch of HMS Podargus, a Crocus-class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy.

inboard works, expansion of Date: NMM, Progress Book, volume 7, folio 205, states that 'Podargus' was fitted at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1808, repaired at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1809, and had defects repaired at Plymouth Dockyard in 1810

1811 – HMS Alacrity (18), Nisbet Palmer, captured by French corvette Abeille (20) off Bastia, Corsica.

1903 – Launch of SMS Elsass, the second of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class in the German Imperial Navy.
SMS Elsass
was the second of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class in the German Imperial Navy. She was laid down in May 1901, launched in May 1903, and commissioned in November 1904, though an accident during sea trials delayed her completion until May 1905. She was named for the German province of Elsass, now the French region of Alsace. Her sister ships were Braunschweig, Hessen, Preussen and Lothringen. The ship was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h 21 mph). Like all other pre-dreadnoughts built at the turn of the century, Elsass was quickly made obsolete by the launching of the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought in 1906 as a result, her career as a frontline battleship was cut short.

1908 – Launch of SMS Emden ("His Majesty's Ship Emden"), the second and final member of the Dresden class of light cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine)
SMS Emden
("His Majesty's Ship Emden")[a] was the second and final member of the Dresden class of light cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Named for the town of Emden, she was laid down at the Kaiserliche Werft (Imperial Dockyard) in Danzig in 1906. Her hull was launched in May 1908, and completed in July 1909. She had one sister ship, Dresden. Like the preceding Königsberg-class cruisers, Emden was armed with ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two torpedo tubes.

1908 – Launch of USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state.
USS Michigan (BB-27)
, a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state. She was the second member of her class, the first dreadnought battleships built for the US Navy. She was laid down in December 1906, launched in May 1908 sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry and commissioned into the fleet 4 January 1910. Michigan and South Carolina were armed with a main battery of eight 12-inch (305 mm) guns in superfiring twin gun turrets they were the first dreadnoughts to feature this arrangement.

1941 - last battle of the German battleship Bismarck
Later on 25 May Admiral Lütjens, apparently unaware that he had lost his pursuers, broke radio silence to send a coded message to Germany.
This allowed the British to triangulate the approximate position of the Bismarck and aircraft were dispatched to hunt for the German battleship. She was rediscovered in the late morning of 26 May by a Catalina flying boat from No. 209 Squadron RAF and subsequently shadowed by aircraft from Force H steaming north from Gibraltar.

For some time, Bismarck remained under long-distance observation by the British. At about 03:00 on 25 May, she took advantage of her opponents' zig-zagging to double back on her own wake Bismarck made a nearly 270° turn to starboard, and as a result her pursuers lost sight of the battleship, thus enabling her to head for German naval bases in France unnoticed. Contact was lost for four hours, but the Germans did not know this. For reasons that are still unclear, Admiral Günther Lütjens transmitted a 30-minute radio message to HQ, which was intercepted, thereby giving the British time to work out roughly where he was heading. However, a plotting error made onboard King George V, now in pursuit of the Germans, incorrectly calculated Bismarck's position and caused the chase to veer too far to the north. Bismarck was therefore able to make good time on 25/26 May in her unhindered passage towards France and protective air cover and destroyer escort. By now, however, fuel was becoming a major concern to both sides.

Five aircrew from HMS Ark Royal who were decorated for their part in the Bismarck attack, photographed in front of a Swordfish bomber

Map of Operation "Rheinübung" and Royal Navy operations against the battleship Bismarck

1954 - Catapult explosion on USS Bennington
At 06:11 on 26 May 1954, while cruising off Narragansett Bay, the fluid in one of her catapults leaked out and was detonated by the flames of a jet causing the forward part of the flight deck to explode, setting off a series of secondary explosions which killed 103 crewmen, predominantly among the senior NCO's of the crew and injured 201 others.Bennington proceeded under her own power to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to land her injured. This tragedy caused the Navy to switch from hydraulic catapults to steam catapults for launching aircraft. A monument to the sailors who died in this tragic event was erected near the southwest corner of Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.


Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Naval/Maritime History - 27th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1770 – Battle of Nauplia (1770) or sometimes named Action of Nafplio - May 27 and 28 - Russians vs Turks near southern Greece
Fought during the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774, this indecisive battle took place on 27 and 28 May 1770 at the entrance to the Argolic Gulf, Greece, when a Russian fleet under John Elphinstone engaged a larger Ottoman fleet. No ships were lost on either side, and casualties were small.

1774 – Launch of HMS Hector, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford.

HMS Hector and Bristol in distress during the Great Hurricane of 1780

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Hector' (1774), a 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. The plan may represent her as built

1778 – Launch of HMS Nymph
HMS Nymph
was a 14-gun Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy launched at Chatham Dockyard on 27 May 1778. She was accidentally burnt and sank in the British Virgin Islands in 1783.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and quarter gallery decoration and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Nymph (1778), a 14-gun Ship Sloop as built at Chatham Dockyard. Initialled by Edward Hunt [Surveyor of the Navy, 1778-1784]

1782 – Launch of French Alcide, a 74-gun Pégase class ship of the line of the French Navy
In 1782, she took part in the American war of Independence in De Grasse's fleet.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline with decoration detail and name in a cartouche on the counter, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Pegase (1782), a captured French Third Rate, as taken off at Portsmouth Dockyard. The plan shows the ship with the French layout of fittings, and the proposed alterations for fitting her as a British 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. Signed by George White [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1779-1793]

1793 – HMS Venus (32), Cptn. Jonathan Faulknor, engaged french La Semillante (36).
On 27 May 1793, Venus, Captain Jonathon Faulkner, encountered the French frigate La Sémillante south-west of Cape Finisterre which resulted in close action.[2] "The sails, rigging and spars of the British frigate had taken the brunt of the enemy fire and were extremely cut up so that a further engagement was inadvisable. Indeed she was lucky to escape an encounter with a fresh opponent.

Action between HMS Venus (left) and French frigate La Sémillante, 27 May 1793.

1798 - HMS Seahorse versus french Sensible
After the capture of Malta by the French, the frigate Sensible, 36, Captain Bourde, was sent with dispatches and valuables to Toulon, and when on her way thither off Marittimo, was chased by the British Seahorse, 38, Captain Edward James Foote. The French ship turned and ran towards Malta, as she had but a very weak crew on board and was not properly equipped. In the night of the 26th-27th, the Seahorse gained upon her, and, after a running fight, brought her to close action at 4 A.M. Many of the Maltese galley slaves, who had been placed on board the Sensible, deserted their guns at the first broadside, and at the end of eight minutes' action the French captain, having made a vain attempt to board his enemy, hauled down his flag. He was censured by the French Directory for not having offered a more stubborn resistance, but, as a matter of fact, the force opposed to him was very superior, and he was acquitted with honour by a French court-martial on his return to Toulon.

1813 - Action of 1813/05/27, 27th May 1813 - Boats of HMS Apollo (38), Cptn. Bridges W. Taylor, and HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. Thomas Garth, took 3 gunboats at Faro.
On May 27th, observing in Otranto a convoy which, it was expected, would make for Corfu with the first favourable wind, Captain Thomas Garth, with the Cerberus, took up a station off Fano, having first sent in two boats from the Cerberus, and two belonging to the Apollo, under Lieutenants John William Montagu and William Henry Nares, to lie in wait under the Apulian shore. At 1 A.M. on the 28th, the convoy came out, protected by eight gunboats yet, in spite of the inequality of force, the boats attacked them with great determination. Nares boarded and carried one Midshipman William Hutchison mastered another. In attempting a third, Master's Mate Thomas Richard Suett was shot through the heart. He, and 1 seaman, were the only British killed, and but one other person was wounded. Each of the captured gunboats mounted three guns. Four of the convoy were taken also.

1862 - USS Bienville captures the British blockade-runner Patras off Bulls Island, S.C. and USS Santiago de Cuba captures the schooner Lucy C. Holmes off Charleston.
USS Bienville
was a 1,558 long tons (1,583 t) (burden) wooden side-wheel paddle steamer acquired by the Union Navy early in the American Civil War. She was armed with heavy guns and assigned to the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.

1905 - Battle of Tsushima - May 27–28 Tsushima - Japanese defeat Russians in large fleet battle between Korea and Japan
The Battle of Tsushima (Russian: Цусимское сражение, Tsusimskoye srazheniye), also known as the Battle of Tsushima Strait and the Naval Battle of the Sea of Japan (Japanese: 日本海海戦, Nihonkai-Kaisen) in Japan, was a major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. It was naval history's only decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets, and the first naval battle in which wireless telegraphy (radio) played a critically important role. It has been characterized as the "dying echo of the old era – for the last time in the history of naval warfare, ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas".

Admiral Tōgō on the bridge of Mikasa, at the beginning of the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. The signal flag being hoisted is the letter Z, which was a special instruction to the Fleet.

Russian battleship Oslyabya, the first warship sunk in the battle

1915 - HMS Princess Irene, an ocean liner requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer, exploded and sank off Sheerness, Kent with the loss of 352 lives.
HMS Princess Irene
was a 5,394 GRT ocean liner which was built in 1914 by William Denny and Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer. On 27 May 1915, she exploded and sank off Sheerness, Kent with the loss of 352 lives.

1915 - HMS Majestic – while stationed off W Beach at Cape Helles, Majestic became the third battleship to be torpedoed off Gallipoli in two weeks. SM fired one torpedo through the defensive screen of destroyers and anti-torpedo nets, hitting Majestic and causing a huge explosion. She began to list to port and in nine minutes capsized in 54 feet (16 m) of water killing 49 men. Her masts hit the mud of the sea bottom and her upturned hull remained visible for many months until it finally submerged when her foremast collapsed in a storm.
HMS Majestic
was a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1895, she was the largest predreadnought launched at the time. She served with the Channel Fleet until 1904, following which she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1907, she was part of the Home Fleet, firstly assigned to the Nore Division and then with the Devonport Division. From 1912, she was part of the 7th Battle Squadron.

Scale 1:48. A plan showing the inboard profile of the battleship HMS Majestic (1895). The plan shows the ship as completed in 1896, with subsequent alterations up to 1904

Scale 1:48. A plan showing the upper deck of the battleship HMS Majestic (1895). The plan shows the ship as completed in 1896, with subsequent alterations up to 1904

1941 - After being hunted by British forces following the sinking of HMS Hood, german battleship Bismarck was herself sunk three days later
Of the more than 2,200 crew aboard, over 2,000 were killed, 114 survived.

The last battle of the German battleship Bismarck took place in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 300 nmi (350 mi 560 km) west of Brest, France, on 26–27 May 1941. Although it was a decisive action between capital ships, it has no generally accepted name.
On 24 May, before the final action, Bismarck's fuel tanks were damaged and several machinery compartments, including a boiler room, were flooded in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Her intention was to reach the port of Brest for repair. Late in the day Bismarck briefly turned on her pursuers (Prince of Wales and the heavy cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk) to cover the escape of her companion, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen to continue further into the Atlantic. Early on 25 May the British forces lost contact with Bismarck, which headed ESE towards France while the British searched NE, presuming she was returning to Norway. Later on 25 May Admiral Lütjens, apparently unaware that he had lost his pursuers, broke radio silence to send a coded message to Germany. This allowed the British to triangulate the approximate position of the Bismarck and aircraft were dispatched to hunt for the German battleship. She was rediscovered in the late morning of 26 May by a Catalina flying boat from No. 209 Squadron RAF and subsequently shadowed by aircraft from Force H steaming north from Gibraltar.
The final action consisted of four main phases. The first phase late on the 26th consisted of air strikes by torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, which disabled Bismarck's steering gear, jamming her rudders in a turning position and preventing her escape. The second phase was the shadowing and harassment of Bismarck during the night of 26/27 May by British destroyers, with no serious damage to any ship. The third phase on the morning of 27 May was an attack by the British battleships King George V and Rodney supported by cruisers. After about 100 minutes of fighting, Bismarck was sunk by the combined effects of shellfire, torpedo hits and deliberate scuttling. On the British side, Rodney was lightly damaged by near-misses and by the blast effects of her own guns. British warships rescued 111 survivors from Bismarck before being obliged to withdraw because of an apparent U-boat sighting, leaving several hundred men to their fate. The following morning, a U-boat and a German weathership rescued five more survivors. In the final phase the withdrawing British ships were attacked on 27 May by aircraft of the Luftwaffe, resulting in the loss of the destroyer HMS Mashona.

1941 - German battleship Bismarckwas scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1936 and launched in February 1939. Work was completed in August 1940, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power.

HMS Dorsetshire picking up survivors


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Naval/Maritime History - 28th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel.
(It will take until May 30 for all ships to leave port.)

The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, lit. 'Great and Most Fortunate Navy') was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from Corunna in late May 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II. The aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to stop the harm caused by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in America.

English fireships are launched at the Spanish armada off Calais

1672 - Battle of Solebay - A Dutch fleet of 75 ships, under Lt.-Admirals Michiel de Ruyter, Adriaen Banckert and Willem Joseph van Ghent, surprised an Anglo-French fleet of 93 ships, under The Duke of York and Vice-Admiral Comte Jean II d'Estrées, at anchor in Solebay.
HMS Royal James (102) was destroyed by a fireship and the Earl of Sandwich was drowned. HMS Royal Katherine (84), Cptn. John Chichely, struck but was recaptured. The Dutch Jozua was destroyed, Stavoren was captured, and a third ship blew up.

Overview of the battle by Van de Velde

1672 - Battle of Solebay - 102-gun ship of the line HMS Royal James (1671) lost, appr. 700 of the crew lost their life
HMS Royal James
was a 102-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Anthony Deane at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £24,000, and launched on 31 March 1671.

The ‘Royal James’, 100 guns, was built in 1675, renamed Victory in 1691 and rebuilt 1695. Her predecessor of the same name had been burnt at the battle of Solebay in 1672

1708 - Wager's Action - British squadron, under Charles Wager, of HMS Expedition (70), HMS Kingston (60), HMS Portland (50) and HMS Vulture fireship (8) engaged Spanish treasure fleet, under José Fernández de Santillán , of eleven merchant ships (some armed), and seven escorting warships San José (64), San Joaquín (64), Santa Cruz (44), Concepción (40), Carmen (24), French Le Mieta (34) and French Saint Sprit (32) off Cartagena.
San José blew up, Santa Cruz was taken and Concepción beached itself on Baru Island where the crew set the ship alight. The rest escaped

Action off Cartagena, 28 May 1708 (O.S.). Oil by Samuel Scott. of San José during Wager's Action. Oil on canvas by Samuel Scott

1774 – Launch of the fourth HMS Diamond, a modified Lowestoffe-class fifth-rate frigate
ordered on 25 December 1770 as one of five fifth-rate frigates of 32 guns each contained in the emergency frigate-building programme inaugurated when the likelihood of war with Spain arose over the ownership of the Falkland Islands

The fourth HMS Diamond was a Modified Lowestoffe-class fifth-rate frigate, ordered on 25 December 1770 as one of five fifth-rate frigates of 32 guns each contained in the emergency frigate-building programme inaugurated when the likelihood of war with Spain arose over the ownership of the Falkland Islands (eight sixth-rate frigates of 28 guns each were ordered at the same time). Sir Thomas Slade's design for the Lowestoffe was approved, but was revised to produce a more rounded midships section the amended design was approved on 3 January 1771 by Hawke's outgoing Admiralty Board, just before it was replaced.

1791 – Launch of French La Pompée, a Téméraire class ship of the French Navy,
HMS Pompee
was a 74-gun ship of the line of the British Royal Navy. Built as La Pompée, a Téméraire class ship of the French Navy, she was handed over to the British at Spithead by French royalists who had fled France[1] after the Siege of Toulon (September-December 1793) by the French Republic, only a few months after being completed. After reaching Great Britain, La Pompée was registered and recommissioned as HMS Pompee and spent the entirety of her active career with the Royal Navy until she was broken up in 1817.

1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794
The Atlantic campaign of May 1794 was a series of operations conducted by the British Royal Navy's Channel Fleet against the French Navy's Atlantic Fleet, with the aim of preventing the passage of a strategically important French grain convoy travelling from the United States to France. The campaign involved commerce raiding by detached forces and two minor engagements, eventually culminating in the full fleet action of the Glorious First of June 1794, at which both fleets were badly mauled and both Britain and France claimed victory. The French lost seven battleships the British none, but the battle distracted the British fleet long enough for the French convoy to safely reach port. .

Lord Howe's first partial action with the of the rear of the French Fleet. May 28 1794. With inscription (PAF0009)

The Bretagne was a large 110-gun three-decker French ship of the line, built at Brest, which became famous as the flagship of the Brest Fleet during the American War of Independence. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux grant by the Estates of Brittany.
The Bretagne was one of seventeen ships of the line ordered in 1762 as a result of the Duc de Choiseul’s campaign to raise funds for the navy from the cities and provinces of France. She was completed at Brest in 1766.
She fought at the Battle of Ushant in 1778 as Orvilliers' flagship.

1797 – East Indiaman ship Friendship was launched in Salem, Massachusetts by Enos Briggs's shipyard at Stage Point on the South River for owners Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Pierce.
The original Friendship was built in Salem, Massachusetts by Enos Briggs's shipyard at Stage Point on the South River for owners Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Pierce. The Friendship was launched 28 May 1797. It weighed 342 tons and was registered at the customs house on August 18, 1797. The Friendship was 102 feet long and 27 feet 7 inches wide. She regularly recorded speeds of 10 knots and was known to have logged a top speed of 12 knots. The Friendship made fifteen voyages during her career and visited Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean and Russia.

1803 - Embuscade, a 32 gun fifth rate frigate was captured by HMS Victory, commanded by Captain Samuel Sutton in the Atlantic.
She was restored to the Royal Navy in her old name, the existing Ambuscade being renamed HMS Seine. First captured by the British during the Battle of Tory Island in 1797, recaptured by the Bayonnaise in 1798 to be recaptured by the British again in 1803

Combat de la Bayonnaise contre l'Ambuscade, 1798, by Louis-Philippe Crépin

1803 - HMS Minotaur (74), HMS Thunderer (74) and HMS Albion (74) captured French frigate Franchise (34) near Brest.
Franchise was launched in 1798 as a 40-gun Coquille-class frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her in 1803 and took her into the Royal Navy under her existing name. In the war on commerce during the Napoleonic Wars she was more protector than prize-taker, capturing many small privateers but apparently few commercial prizes. She was also at the battle of Copenhagen. She was broken up in 1815.

1810 - French privateer brig Fantôme, was captured by the british frigate HMS Melampus

1812 HMS Menelaus (38), Cptn. Peter Parker, engaged French frigate Pauline and brig Ecureuil off Toulon.

HMS Menelaus (ship in center) sailing with three other ships from a 19th century watercolor painting by artist, William Innes Pocock

1813 – The Action off James Island
During the War of 1812, the 30-gun frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, and her prize, Georgiana, capture the British whalers Atlantic, Greenwich, Catharine (burned), Rose, and Hector (burned) in the Pacific.

1813 May 28–29 Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor - US General Jacob Brown turns back British under Sir George Prevost

The Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor or simply the Battle of Sacket's Harbor, took place on 29 May 1813, during the War of 1812. A British force was transported across Lake Ontario and attempted to capture the town, which was the principal dockyard and base for the American naval squadron on the lake. Twelve warships were built here. The British were repulsed by American regulars, militia, marines and sailors.

1892 – Launch of HMS Resolution, a Royal Sovereign-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy.
HMS Resolution
was a Royal Sovereign-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. The ship was built by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, starting with her keel laying in June 1890. She was launched in May 1892 and, after completing trials, was commissioned into the Channel Squadron the following December. She was armed with a main battery of four 13.5-inch guns and a secondary battery of ten 6-inch guns. The ship had a top speed of 16.5 knots.

1906 – Launch of SMS Schlesien, one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) between 1904 and 1906.
SMS Schlesien
was one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) between 1904 and 1906. Named after the German province of Silesia, Schlesien was laid down at the Schichau-Werke shipyard in Danzig on 19 November 1904, launched on 28 May 1906, and commissioned on 5 May 1908. She was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h 21 mph). The ships of her class were already outdated by the time they entered service, as they were inferior in size, armor, firepower, and speed to the revolutionary new British battleship HMS Dreadnought.

1907 – Launch of French Vérité, a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the French Navy in the mid-1900s.
Vérité was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the French Navy in the mid-1900s. She was the second member of the Liberté class, which included three other vessels and was a derivative of the preceding République class, with the primary difference being the inclusion of a heavier secondary battery. Vérité carried a main battery of four 305 mm (12.0 in) guns, like the République, but mounted ten 194 mm (7.6 in) guns for her secondary armament in place of the 164 mm (6.5 in) guns of the earlier vessels. Like many late pre-dreadnought designs, Vérité was completed after the revolutionary British battleship HMS Dreadnought had entered service and rendered her obsolescent.


Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

please use the following link and you will find the details and all events of this day . in the following you will find some of the events

Naval/Maritime History - 29th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1416 - Battle of Gallipoli - Venetians defeat Ottoman Turks
The Battle of Gallipoli occurred on 29 May 1416 between a squadron of the Venetian navy and the fleet of the Ottoman Empire off the Ottoman naval base of Gallipoli. The battle was the main episode of a brief conflict between the two powers, resulting from Ottoman attacks against Venetian possessions and shipping in the Aegean Sea in late 1415. The Venetian fleet, under Pietro Loredan, was charged with transporting Venetian envoys to the Sultan, but was authorized to attack if the Ottomans refused to negotiate. The subsequent events are known chiefly from a letter written by Loredan after the battle. The Ottomans exchanged fire with the Venetian ships as soon as the Venetian fleet approached Gallipoli, forcing the Venetians to withdraw.

14th-century painting of a light galley, from an icon now at the Byzantine and Christian Museum at Athens

1691 – Death of Cornelis Tromp, Dutch admiral (b. 1629)
Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp
(3 September 1629 – 29 May 1691) was a Dutch naval officer. He was the son of Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp.[a]He became Lieutenant Admiral General in the Dutch Navy and briefly General admiral in the Danish Navy. He fought in the first three Anglo-Dutch Warsand in the Scanian War.

1758 - HMS Dorsetshire (70) and HMS Achilles (60), Cptn. Hon. Samuel Barrington, took French Raisonnable (64)
On 29 May 1758, she was captured in the Bay of Biscay by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Achilles at the Action of 29 April 1758, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as the third rate HMS Raisonnable. She was lost off Martinique on 3 February 1762.

1781 - Colonial frigate USS Alliance (36), Cptn. John Barry, captures HMS Atalanta (14), Cdr. Sampson Edwards, and HMS Trepassy (14), Cdr. James Smyth (Killed in Action), off Nova Scotia.
The first USS Alliance of the United States Navy was a 36-gun sailing frigate of the American Revolutionary War.
Originally named Hancock, she was laid down in 1777 on the Merrimack River at Amesbury, Massachusetts, by the partners and cousins, William and James K. Hackett, launched on 28 April 1778, and renamed Alliance on 29 May 1778 by resolution of the Continental Congress. Her first commanding officer was Capt. Pierre Landais, a former officer of the French Navy who had come to the New World hoping to become a naval counterpart of Lafayette. The frigate's first captain was widely accepted as such in America. Massachusetts made him an honorary citizen and the Continental Congress gave him command of Alliance, thought to be the finest warship built to that date on the western side of the Atlantic.

1794 – Launch of French Droits de l'Homme (French for Rights of Man), a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy
Droits de l'Homme (French for Rights of Man) was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy during the French Revolutionary Wars. Launched in 1794, the ship saw service in the Atlantic against the British Royal Navy.
She was part of the fleet that sailed in December 1796 on the disastrous Expédition d'Irlande. After unsuccessful attempts to land troops on Ireland, the Droits de l'Homme headed back to her home port of Brest with the soldiers still on board. Two British frigates were waiting to intercept stragglers from the fleet, and engaged Droits de l'Homme in the Action of 13 January 1797. Heavily damaged by the British ships and unable to manoeuvre in rough seas, the ship struck a sandbar and was wrecked. Hundreds of lives were lost in the disaster.

1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794

The Mont-Blanc off Marseille (detail of this image), by Antoine Roux.

1794 - frigate action of 29 May 1794 - HMS Carysfort (28), Cptn. Francis Laforey, re-captured HMS Castor (32) off Land's End.
The frigate action of 29 May 1794—not to be confused with the much larger fleet action of 29 May 1794 that took place in the same waters at the same time—was a minor naval engagement of the French Revolutionary Wars between a Royal Navy frigate and a French Navy frigate. The action formed a minor part of the Atlantic campaign of May 1794, a campaign which culminated in the battle of the Glorious First of June, and was unusual in that the French ship Castor had only been in French hands for a few days at the time of the engagement. Castor had previously been a British ship, seized on 19 May by a French battle squadron in the Bay of Biscay and converted to French service while still at sea. While the main fleets manoeuvered around one another, Castor was detached in pursuit of a Dutch merchant ship and on 29 May encountered the smaller independently cruising British frigate HMS Carysfort.

Captain Francis Laforey on Carysfort immediately attacked the larger ship and in an engagement lasting an hour and fifteen minutes successfully forced its captain to surrender, discovering a number of British prisoners of war below decks. Castor was subsequently taken back to Britain and an extended legal case ensued between the Admiralty and Captain Laforey over the amount of prize money that should be awarded for the victory. Ultimately Laforey was successful, in part due to testimony from the defeated French captain, proving his case and claiming the prize money. The lawsuit did not harm Laforey's career and he later served at the Battle of Trafalgar and became a prominent admiral.

Capture of the Castor May 29th 1794 (PAD5476)

1797 - Boats of HMS Lively (20) and HMS Minerve (38), Cptn. George Cockburn, cut out and captured french Mutine (14) from the roads of Santa Cruz, under command of Thomas Masterman Hardy.
Mutine was an 18-gun Belliqueuse-class gun-brig of the French Navy, built to a design by Pierre-Alexandre-Laurent Forfait, and launched in 1794 at Honfleur. She took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the British captured her. She was recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Mutine, and eventually sold in 1803.

1802 – Launch of French Surveillante, a 40-gun Virginie-class frigate of the French Navy
sistership Belle Poule

1869 – Launch of HMS Invincible, a Royal Navy Audacious-class ironclad battleship.
HMS Invincible
was a Royal Navy Audacious-class ironclad battleship. She was built at the Napier shipyard and completed in 1870. Completed just 10 years after HMS Warrior, she still carried sails as well as a steam engine.

1877 - Battle of Pacocha - Indecisive battle between HMS Shah, HMS Amethyst and Huascar
The naval Incident of Pacocha took place on 29 May 1877 when Nicolás de Piérola was leading a revolution to overthrow then Peruvian President Mariano Ignacio Prado. Piérola's supporters used the Peruvian monitor Huáscar as a raiding ship. She harassed the shipping especially off El Callao, the main commercial port of Peru. However, after she boarded some British merchant ships, British authorities sent Rear Admiral de Horsey to capture the vessel. The Peruvian warship managed to outrun the British squadron after a fierce exchange of fire. Huáscar's guns were undermanned, and she fired just 40 rounds. Shah's mast was damaged by splinters. On the British side, Shah fired 237 shots and Amethyst 190, but none of them carried armour-piercing ammunition. Huáscar was hit 60 times, but her armour shield defeated all the rounds. There was a last-ditch effort to stop or sink the rebels when two small torpedo rams from Shah attempted to find the Huáscar, but the Peruvian ship managed to escape under the cover of darkness. The rebel crew was forced to surrender their ship to the Peruvian government just two days later.

1914 - the passenger liner RMS Empress of Irelandsank after colliding with the cargo ship Storstad on the Saint Lawrence River, killing 1,012 people. About 465 survived.
RMS Empress of Ireland
was an ocean liner that sank near the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River following a collision in thick fog with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Although the ship was equipped with watertight compartments, and in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster two years earlier, carried more than enough lifeboats for all onboard, she foundered in only 14 minutes. Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 died, making it the worst peacetime marine disaster in Canadian history.

Damage sustained by Storstad after its collision with Empress of Ireland.

1940 - while taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, the British destroyer HMS Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk by E-Boat S-30. Of the 750 crew and troops aboard, 724 were killed.
HMS Wakeful
was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built under the 1916-17 Programme in the 10th Destroyer order. Wakeful was assigned to the Grand Fleet after completion, and served into the early years of the Second World War. Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk during Operation Dynamo by a German E-Boat on 29 May 1940.

1944 - USS Block Island (CVE 21) is torpedoed and is sunk by German submarine U 549, USS Barr (DE 576) is also damaged.
Block Island is the only U.S. carrier lost in the Atlantic during World War II. U-549 is later sunk that night by USS Eugene E. Elmore (DE-686) and USS Ahrens (DE 575).
USS Block Island (CVE-21/AVG-21/ACV-21)
was a Bogue-class escort carrier for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the first of two escort carriers named after Block Island Sound off Rhode Island. Block Island was launched on 6 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in Tacoma, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract sponsored by Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, wife of Commander Hutchinson transferred to the United States Navy on 1 May 1942 and commissioned on 8 March 1943, Captain Logan C. Ramsey in command. Originally classified AVG-21, she became ACV-21 on 20 August 1942, and CVE-21 on 15 July 1943. She was named after Block Island, an island in Rhode Island east of New York.

1950 – The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
St. Roch is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner, the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America, and the second vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. She was the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage in the direction west to east (Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean), going the same route that Amundsen on the sailing vessel Gjøa went east to west, 38 years earlier.


Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Naval/Maritime History - 30th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1213 - Battle of Damme - May 30 and 31 - Damme - English under William Longsword sink most of fleet of France's King Philip II in the harbor of Damme
The Battle of Damme was fought on 30 and 31 May 1213 during the 1213–1214 Anglo-French War. An English fleet led by William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury accidentally encountered a large French fleet under the command of Savari de Mauléon in the vicinity of the port of Damme, in Flanders. The French crews were mostly ashore, pillaging the countryside, and the English captured 300 French ships at anchor, and looted and fired a further hundred beached ships. The main French army, commanded by King Philip II of France, was nearby besieging Ghent and it promptly marched on Damme. It arrived in time to relieve the town's French garrison and drive off the English landing parties. Philip had the remainder of the French fleet burned to avoid capture. The success of the English raid yielded immense booty and ended the immediate threat of a French invasion of England.

Philip II awaits his fleet

1563 - The Battle of Bornholm (1563) was the first naval battle of the Northern Seven Years' War (1563–70).

Naval battles of the Northern War: Battle of Bornholm (1563)

1564 - The first battle of Öland (Swedish: Första slaget vid Ölands norra udde) took place on 30–31 May 1564 between the islands of Gotland and Öland, between a fleet of Allied ships, the Danes under Herluf Trolle and the Lübeckers under Friedrich Knebel, and a Swedish fleet of 23 or more ships under Jakob Bagge. It was an Allied victory.

1757 – Launch of HMS Coventry, a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy
HMS Coventry
was a 28-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, launched in 1757 and in active service as a privateer hunter during Seven Years' War, and as part of the British fleet in India during the Anglo-French War. After seventeen years' in British service she was captured by the French in 1783, off Ganjam in the Bay of Bengal. Thereafter she spent two years as part of the French Navy until January 1785 when she was removed from service at the port of Brest. She was broken up in 1786.

1757 - Action of 30 May 1757, 30th May 1757
french Duc d'Aquitaine, French East-India ship, of 1,500 tons, mounting 50 long 18-pounders, with a crew of 463 men, was captured, after an hour's action, by the HMS Eagle and HMS Medway, 60 gun ships, Captains Hugh Palliser and Charles Proby. The Eagle had 10 men killed, and the Medway 10 wounded, before they compelled the French ship to strike.

1781 - HMS Flora (36), Capt. William Pere Williams, and HMS Crescent (28), Cptn. T. Packenham, engaged 2 Dutch ships off the Barbary coast.
Flora took Castor (32) but Crescent struck to Brille (32) before she was driven away by Flora.

Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Toulon

1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794 – the days before the Glorious June
Between the actions

On the morning of 30 May, Howe sent a signal to all his captains asking if they considered their ships ready for combat. All but Caesar replied in the affirmative and Howe pushed his ships after the retreating French. Despite holding the weather gage, Howe's pursuit was soon hampered by descending fog, and unable to see or come to grips with the enemy throughout the whole day, the admiral feared he may have lost his opportunity for battle. However, by 31 May the fog had cleared and the French were still within sight to the north. To the surprise of the British, none of the 26 battleships in the French fleet appeared to show battle damage, whereas many of the British ships were nursing damaged rigging and battered hulls. Villaret had made use of the fog to reorganise his force, losing Montagnard and the frigate Seine to the convoy but gaining the independently sailing battleship Trente-un-Mai and Nielly's squadron of Sans Pareil, Trajan, and Téméraire. Villaret had also dispatched the battered Indomptable for home, escorted by an undamaged French ship.
Throughout 31 May Howe's fleet closed with the French, making full use of the advantage of the weather gage. By 17:00 the fleets were five miles (9 km) apart, but at 19:00 Howe gave orders to keep his ships out of shot range but within easy sailing of the French. He did not want a repeat of the confusion of 29 May and preferred to delay any combat until he was assured of a full day in which to conduct it, in order that his signals not be obscured or misinterpreted. During the night the fleets remained in visual contact, and by first light on 1 June the British were just six miles (11 km) from Villaret's fleet and organising in preparation to attack once more. Both fleets were now sailing in a western direction, Villaret still hoping to draw Howe away from the convoy.

1798 - The Action of 30 May 1798 - HMS Hydra (38), Cptn. Sir Francis Laforey, and consorts destroyed Confiante (36)
The Action of 30 May 1798 was a minor naval engagement between a small British squadron and a small French squadron off the coast of Normandy, France during the French Revolutionary Wars. A British blockading force, which had been conducting patrols in the region in the aftermath of the battle of St Marcou earlier in the month, encountered two French vessels attempting to sail unnoticed between Le Havre and Cherbourg. Closing with the French, the British commander Sir Francis Laforey sought to bring the French ships to battle as they attempted to turn back to Le Havre before the British squadron could attack. The French were unable to escape, and Laforey's ship, the fifth rate HMS Hydra, engaged the French corvette Confiante, while two smaller British ships chased the Vésuve.

Capture of La Confiante, May 31st 1798 by Thomas Whitcombe, 1816. NMM.

1845 – The Fatel Razack coming from India, lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first Indians to the country.
Fatel Razack (Fath Al Razack, Victory of Allah the Provider, Arabic: قتح الرزاق‎) was the first ship to bring indentured labourers from India to Trinidad. The ship was built in Aprenade for a trader named Ibrahim Bin Yussef, an Indian Muslim merchant in Bombay. It was constructed from teak and had a carrying capacity of 415 tons. When the British decided they were going to bring Indians to Trinidad in 1845, most of the traditional British ship owners did not wish to be involved. The confusion as to the proper name possibly stems from the name "Futtle Razak", which was on the ship's manifest.
The ship was originally named Cecrops, but upon delivery it was renamed to Fath Al Razack. The ship left Calcutta on 16 February 1845 and landed in the Gulf of Paria on 30 May 1845, with 227 immigrants.

Early Indian indentured laborers.

1906 - HMS Montagu, a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy, wrecked
HMS Montagu
was a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy. Built to counter a group of fast Russian battleships, Montaguand her sister ships were capable of steaming at 19 knots (35 km/h 22 mph), making them the fastest battleships in the world. The Duncan-class battleships were armed with a main battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns and they were broadly similar to the London-class battleships, though of a slightly reduced displacement and thinner armour layout. As such, they reflected a development of the lighter second-class ships of the Canopus-class battleship. Montagu was built between her keel laying in November 1899 and her completion in July 1903. The ship had a brief career, serving for two years in the Mediterranean Fleet before transferring to the Channel Fleet in early 1905. During wireless telegraphy experiments in May 1906, she ran aground off Lundy Island. Repeated attempts to refloat the ship failed, and she proved to be a total loss. She was ultimately broken up in situ.

An elevated middle-distant starboard bow view, taken from the cliffs, of the battleship HMS Montagu (1901) aground off Shutter Point, south-west point of Lundy. A large number of the battleship's pinnaces, whalers and boats are afloat between the rocks and the starboard broadside. A large dumb barge is tied alongside the ship. There is a lot of human activity on board the Montagu and in the boats. On 30 May 1906, the battleship was on its way back to an anchorage off Lundy having conducted wireless telegraphy experiments when it struck Shutter Point in increasingly dense fog. The ship was stuck fast and a salvage operation was conducted over two months to remove the guns and other equipment

1907 - Chanzy, an Amiral Charner-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the 1890s, wrecked
Chanzy was an Amiral Charner-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the 1890s. Upon completion, she served in the Mediterranean Squadron and she was assigned to the International Squadron off the island of Crete during the 1897-1898 uprising there and the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 to protect French interests and citizens. The ship was in reserve for several years in the middle of the first decade of the 20th century before she was transferred to French Indochina in 1906. Chanzy ran aground off the Chinese coast in mid-1907, where she proved impossible to refloat and was destroyed in place after her crew was rescued without loss.

Outbreak of war

The war became inevitable when, in February 1563 , Denmark arrested Erik's envoys, whom he had sent to Hesse to start marriage negotiations with the local Princess Christine of Hesse . At about the same time, Erik had integrated the Danish and Norwegian coats of arms into his coat of arms. The Hanseatic city of Lübeck , without much support from the Hanseatic League, joined Denmark in June because Sweden was obstructing trade with Russia . Poland followed in autumn, hoping to gain further power in the Baltic region. When the Swedish fleet sailed back from Rostock with the negotiating delegation, it was destroyed on May 30, 1563 in the sea ​​battle off Bornholma Danish squadron. In June 1563, the Danish declaration of war on Sweden followed.

Naval/Maritime History 17th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1667 – The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent.
It lasts for five days and results in the worst ever defeat of the Royal Navy.

The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent. At the time, the fortress of Upnor Castle and a barrier chain called the "Gillingham Line" were supposed to protect the English ships.
The Dutch, under nominal command of Willem Joseph van Ghent and Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, over several days bombarded and captured the town of Sheerness, sailed up the Thames estuary to Gravesend, then sailed into the River Medway to Chatham and Gillingham, where they engaged fortifications with cannon fire, burned or captured three capital ships and ten more ships of the line, and captured and towed away the flagship of the English fleet, HMS Royal Charles.
Politically, the raid was disastrous for King Charles' war plans and led to a quick end to the war and a favourable peace for the Dutch. It was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy's history, and one of the worst suffered by the British military. Horace George Franks called it the "most serious defeat it has ever had in its home waters."

Attack on the Medway, June 1667, by Van Soest

"Burning English ships" by Jan van Leyden. Shown are the events near Gillingham: in the middle Royal Charles is taken on the right Pro Patria and Schiedam set Matthias and Charles V alight

Dutch in the Medway. Capture of the Royal Charles June 1667 (PAF4520)

Royal Charles stern piece at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Scale: 1:48. Full hull model made in the Navy Board style, thought to be the 'Naseby' (1655), an 80-86 gun ship, three-decker ship of the line.

1753 – Launch of French Algonquin, a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was launched from Québec City in (New France), on 9 June 1753 and placed into service on 8 January 1754.
In 1755, she was placed into service for the transportation of nine companies of the régiment de la Reine who embarked in Brest on 14 April 1755. The 74-gun ship was armed en flûte with 24 guns to allow for more room for the soldiers. The ship was commanded by Captain Jean Baptiste François de La Villéon. The regiment was also reduced to 360 soldiers. Algonquin was part of the naval squadron that left for Canada. She became separated from the other ships after the departure on 29 May, because of heavy fog at sea.

1772 - HMS Gaspee schooner, Lt. William Dudingston, burned at Namquid Point, Narragansett Bay by American colonists from Providence, Rhode Island.
The Gaspee Affair was a significant event in the lead-up to the American Revolution. HMS Gaspee[1] was a British customs schooner that had been enforcing the Navigation Acts in and around Newport, Rhode Islandin 1772. It ran aground in shallow water while chasing the packet ship Hannah on June 9 near Gaspee Point in Warwick, Rhode Island. A group of men led by Abraham Whipple and John Brown attacked, boarded, and torched the ship.
The event increased hostilities between the American colonists and British officials, following the Boston Massacre in 1770. British officials in Rhode Island wanted to increase their control over trade—legitimate trade as well as smuggling—in order to increase their revenue from the small colony. But Rhode Islanders increasingly protested the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and other British impositions that had clashed with the colony's history of rum manufacturing, maritime trade, and slave trading.
This event and others in Narragansett Bay marked the first acts of violent uprising against the British crown's authority in America, preceding the Boston Tea Party by more than a year and moving the Thirteen Coloniesas a whole toward the war for independence.

1796 - HMS Southampton (32), Cptn. James Macnamara, cut out French corvette Utile (24) from Hyeres Bay
Utile was a gabarre of the French Royal Navy, launched in 1784. The British captured her in the Mediterranean in 1796 and she served briefly there before being laid up in 1797 and sold in 1798.
A typical Gabare like the Utilewas the Le Gros Ventre, monographie available by ancre

1799 - Boats of HMS Success (32), Cptn. Shuldham Peard, cut out Belle Aurore.
In May 1799 Captain Shuldham Peard took command of Success, and was sent to serve in the Mediterranean. On 9 June of that year, Success was off Cap de Creus, when Peard spotted a polacca to the north-west. He gave chase, but the vessel took refuge in the harbour of El Port de la Selva, so he sent in his boats to cut her out. After a fierce action, in which Success suffered three killed and nine badly wounded, she proved to be the Bella Aurora, sailing from Genoa to Barcelona with a cargo of cotton, silk and rice, and armed with 10 guns, all 9- or 6-pounders. In his report Peard pointed out that the attack had been carried out in broad daylight by only 43 men against a vessel crewed by 113, protected by boarding netting, and supported from the shore by a small gun battery and a large number of men with muskets. Subsequently, in 1847, a clasp to the Naval General Service Medal marked "9 June 1799" awarded to any surviving members of the action who applied for it. Shortly after, Success was one of the fleet, part of which fought the action of 18 June 1799, in which three French frigates and two brigs were captured.
HMS Success was a 32-gun Amazon-class fifth-rate frigate of the British Royal Navy launched in 1781, which served during the American Revolutionary, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The French captured her in the Mediterranean on 13 February 1801, but she was recaptured by the British on 2 September. She continued to serve in the Mediterranean until 1811, and in North America until hulked in 1814, then serving as a prison ship and powder hulk, before being broken up in 1820.

Success destroys the Santa Catalina, 16 March 1782

1800 - Action of 1800/06/09, 9th June 1800
On June 9th 1800, the HMS Kangaroo, 18, Commander George Christopher Pulling, and HMS Speedy, 14, Commander Lord Cochrane, attacked a Spanish convoy off Oropeso, under the shelter of a Spanish battery, sank a 20-gun xebec and three gunboats, and captured three merchant brigs.

1801 - HMS Meleager (32), Cptn. Thomas Bladen Capel, wrecked on the Triangles, Gulf of Mexico.
HMS Meleager
was a 32-gun frigate that Greaves and Nickolson built in 1785 at the Quarry House yard in Frindsbury, Kent, England. She served during the French Revolutionary Wars until 1801, when she was wrecked in the Gulf of Mexico.

1808 - Action off Saltholm, 9th June 1808
21 Danish gunboats and 12 mortar shallops, under Cmdr Johan C. Krieger, engages a British escorted convoy in the southern part of the Sound. HMS Turbulent (12) and 11 merchant ships are captured.

The Battle of Saltholm was fought on 9 June 1808 during the Gunboat War. Danish and Norwegian ships attacked a British convoy off the island of Saltholm in Øresund Strait near Copenhagen.

HMS Turbulent captured by a Danish gunboat during the Gunboat War on 9 June 1808

1811 – Launch of French Mont Saint-Bernard was an 82-gun Téméraire-class ship of the line of the French Navy.
Mont Saint-Bernard was an 82-gun Téméraire-class ship of the line of the French Navy.
On 20 April 1814, after the abdication of Napoleon at the end of the War of the Sixth Coalition, she was handed over to the Austrians, who burnt her.

Ship of the line Mont Saint Bernard fitted with Ship Camels, external ballast to sail over shallow waters

1930 – Launch of Black Douglas (later teQuest, Aquarius, Aquarius W now El Boughaz I), a three-masted staysail auxiliary schooner built for Robert C. Roebling (great-grandson of John A. Roebling and grand-nephew of Washington Roebling) at the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine.
Designed by renowned New York City naval architects H.J. Gielow & Co., she is one of the largest steel-hulled schooners ever built.

The Black Douglas (later teQuest, Aquarius, Aquarius W now El Boughaz I) is a three-masted staysail auxiliary schooner built for Robert C. Roebling (great-grandson of John A. Roebling and grand-nephew of Washington Roebling) at the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, and launched on 9 June 1930. Designed by renowned New York City naval architects H.J. Gielow & Co., she is one of the largest steel-hulled schooners ever built.

1940 – Launch of Roma, named after two previous ships and the city of Rome, was the third Vittorio Veneto-class battleship of Italy's Regia Marina (Royal Navy).
Roma, named after two previous ships and the city of Rome, was the third Vittorio Veneto-class battleship of Italy's Regia Marina (Royal Navy). The construction of both Roma and her sister ship Impero was due to rising tensions around the world and the navy's fear that only two Vittorio Venetos, even in company with older pre-First World War battleships, would not be enough to counter the British and French Mediterranean Fleets. As Roma was laid down almost four years after the first two ships of the class, some small improvements were made to the design, including additional freeboard added to the bow.

1944 - Battle of Ushant - Allied 10th destroyer flotilla (UK/Canadian/Polish ships) engage and defeat remnants of the German 8th destroyer flotilla off Brittany
The Battle of Ushant, also known as the Battle of Brittany, occurred on the early morning of 9 June 1944 and was an engagement between German and Allied destroyer flotillas off the coast of Brittany. The action came shortly after the initial Allied landings in Normandy. After a confused engagement during the night the Allies sank one of the German destroyers and forced another ashore, where she was wrecked.

1959 – The USS George Washington is launched. It is the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
USS George Washington (SSBN-598)
was the United States's first operational ballistic missile submarine. It was the lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines, was the third United States Navy ship of the name, in honor of George Washington (1732–1799), first President of the United States, and the first of that name to be purpose-built as a warship.

2017 – Launch of Symphony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.[8] As of 2019 it is the largest passenger ship in the world by gross tonnage, at 228,021 GT, surpassing her sister Harmony of the Seas


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Naval/Maritime History - 10th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1647 - Battle of Puerto de Cavite - Spanish defeat Dutch attack near Manila
Twelve Dutch ships besieged Puerto de Cavite, the home of the Manila galleons
The Spaniards and Filipinos defended the port with artillery fire and sank the Dutch flagship. Subsequently the Dutch left with the Spaniards and Filipinos still maintaining control over the port.

1666 – Launch of HMS Loyal London, an 80-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford Dockyard

Loyal London was an 80-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 10 June 1666 at Deptford Dockyard with a burthen of 1,236 tons. She was established with 80 guns comprising 22 cannon-of-seven, 4 demi-cannon, 26 culverins and 28 demi-culverins in July 1666 this was raised to 92 guns, comprising 7 cannon-of-seven, 19 demi-cannon, 28 culverins, 26 12-pounders and 12 demi-culverins.

The building of the Loyal London, by Frank Henry Mason

A portrait of the English 96-gun, first-rate ship ‘London’, which was built in 1670 and rebuilt in 1706

1673 – Birth of Rene Duguay-Trouin in St. Malo, France.
French privateer and naval officer, he captured 300 merchantmen and 20 warships during his career
René Trouin, Sieur du Gué
, usually called René Duguay-Trouin, (10 June 1673 in Saint Malo – 1736) was a famous Breton corsair of Saint-Malo. He had a brilliant privateering and naval career and eventually became "Lieutenant-General of the Naval Armies of the King" (i.e. Vice admiral) (French:Lieutenant-Général des armées navales du roi), and a Commander in the Order of Saint-Louis. Ten ships of the French Navy were named in his honour.

Statue in St Malo

1703 – Launch of HMS Nottingham, a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Deptford Dockyard
HMS Nottingham
was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Deptford Dockyard and launched on 10 June 1703. She was the first ship to bear the name.

Samuel Scott's Action between HMS Nottingham and the Mars. Mars was returning to France after the failed Duc d'Anville Expedition, 11 October 1746

1723 - The Capture of the schooner Fancy was a famous British victory over two pirate ships under Captain Edward Low.
The Capture of the schooner Fancy was a famous British victory over two pirate ships under Captain Edward Low. When off Delaware Bay Low attacked a Royal Navy man-of-war which he mistook for a whaler. The resulting combat lasted several hours and ended with the capture of one pirate vessel.[1] In fact, the captured vessel was not the one named Fancy - factually, the combat should have been called "Capture of the sloop Ranger."

Artist's depiction of life aboard the schooner Fancy

1744 – Launch of French Emeraude at Le Havre – captured by British Navy 21 September 1757, becoming HMS Emerald.

1770 - Capture of Port Egmont

In June 1770, the Spanish governor of Buenos Aires, Francisco de Paula Bucareli y Ursua, sent five frigates under General Juan Ignacio de Madariaga to Port Egmont. On 4 June, a Spanish frigate anchored in the harbour she was presently followed by four others, containing some 1400 marines. The small British force was under the command of Commander George Farmer. Madariaga wrote to Farmer on 10 June that having with him fourteen hundred troops and a train of artillery, he was in a position to compel the English to quit, if they hesitated any longer. Farmer replied that he should defend himself to the best of his power but when the Spaniards landed, after firing his guns, Farmer capitulated on terms, an inventory of the stores being taken, and the British were permitted to return to their country in the HMS Favourite.

1796 - HMS Arab was the French 20-gun corvette Jean Bart, launched in 1793.
The British captured her in 1795 and the Royal Navy took her into service. She was wrecked in 10 June 1796.
HMS Arab
was the French 20-gun corvette Jean Bart, a Révolutionnaire-class corvette launched in 1793. The British captured her in 1795 and the Royal Navy took her into service. She was wrecked in 1796.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with port side stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Arab (captured 1795)

1805 - Action of 1805/06/10, 10th June 1805
HMS Chiffonne (36), HMS Falcon (14), HMS Clinker (14), and the Frances hired armed cutter, engaged French gunboats Foudre (10), Audacieuse (10), and 7 others protecting a convoy off the coast of France.

A French division, consisting of the sloops Foudre, 10, and Audacieuse, 10, fifteen gun-vessels [Four of three long 24-prs. and one 8-in. howitzer three of one 24-pr. and one field gun and eight of two 4- or 6-prs], and fourteen transports, under Captain J. F. E. Hamelin, sailed from Le Havre for Fecamp. They were chased by the Chiffonne, 36, Captain Charles Adam, Falcon, 14, Commander George Sanders, Clinker, gun-brig, Lieutenant Nisbet Glen, and Frances, hired armed cutter, and brought to action but, when the French vessels gradually edged in under the protection of the shore batteries, the British began to get the worst of the firing, though some of the hostile craft were by that time aground. The enemy ultimately got under the forts of Fecamp. In this skirmish the Chiffonne had two killed and three wounded the Falcon four wounded, and the Clinker one killed and one wounded.
Chiffonne was a 38-gun Heureuse-class frigate of the French Navy. She was built at Nantes and launched in 1799. The British Royal Navy captured her in 1801. In 1809 she participated in a campaign against pirates in the Persian Gulf. She was sold for breaking up in 1814.

HMS Sybille capturing Chiffonne

1808 – Launch of HMS Crocus, the nameship of the Crocus-class brig-sloops of the Royal Navy.
HMS Crocus
was the nameship of the Crocus-class brig-sloops of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1808 and had an almost completely uneventful career until she was sold in 1815. she then became a merchantman trading with the West Indies and the Mediterranean. She was last listed in 1823.

1809 - HMS Amelia (38), Cptn. Frederick Paul rby, and HMS Statira captured French national vessels Mouche (16), Rejouie (8) and a schooner together with 2 luggers Legere and Notre Dame at Santander.
Action at Santander (1809-10)

On 15 May 1809 Lord Gambier ordered Captain Irby to investigate the situation at St. Ander where an attack was about to be made by Spanish patriots on the French troops in the town. Statira joined him on 8 June but strong winds and current prevented them getting there before 10 June. As they approached they could see firing on shore and several vessels trying to escape from the harbour. The two British ships captured three French vessels: the corvette Mouche, of sixteen brass 8-pounders and 180 men the brig Réjouie with eight 8-pounders and a schooner, Mouche No.7, with one 4-pounder gun. They also took two luggers: Légère, which was unseaworthy so her cargo was put on board Réjouie and Notre Dame, a Spanish vessel the French had seized. The aide-de-camp to General Ballestero reported that the town was in possession of the Spanish and that the French troops had all surrendered. Because of the large number of prisoners, Captain Irby sent Statira into the harbour with the prizes while Amelia remained off the coast in hopes of being able to render more assistance to the Spaniards. The corvette Mouche, which the sloop Goldfinch and the hired armed lugger Black Joke had recently engaged, had been a threat to British trade for some time. Lloyd's List reported that on 20 June the Mouche, French corvette, of 18 guns and 180 men, with "Soldier's Cloathing, and Specie", the "French brig Resource laden with masts", and a "French schooner in Ballast" had arrived at Plymouth. They had arrived from St Ander and were prizes to Statira and Amelia>

HMS "Amelia" Chasing the French Frigate "Aréthuse" 1813. Painted in 1852 by John Christian Schetky

1833 - Launch of HMS Waterloo, a 120-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Chatham

View of Greenwich in 1877 Showing the Training Ship Warspite

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary sectional model of the 'Caledonia' (1808), a 120-gun three-decker ship of the line, built plank on frame in the Georgian style.

1871 – Sinmiyangyo: Captain McLane Tilton leads 109 US Marines in a naval attack on Han River forts on Kanghwa Island, Korea.
The Battle of Ganghwa was fought during the conflict between Joseon and the United States in 1871. In May, an expedition of five Asiatic Squadron warships set sail from Japan to Korea in order to establish trade relations, ensure the safety of shipwrecked sailors, and to find out what happened to the crew of the SS General Sherman. When American forces arrived in Korea, the originally peaceful mission turned into a battle when guns from a Korean fort suddenly opened fire on the Americans. The battle to capture Ganghwa Island's forts was the largest engagement of the conflict.

1893 – Launch of USS Massachusetts (BB-2), a Indiana-class battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of its time
USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
is a Indiana-class battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of its time. Today she is a diving site off Pensacola, Florida.
Authorized in 1890 and commissioned six years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. The ship class also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. She was designed for coastal defense and as a result, her decks were not safe from high waves on the open ocean.

1896 – Launch of Belem, a french three-masted barque
She made her maiden voyage as a cargo ship in 1896, transporting sugar from the West Indies, cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes, France.

Belem (ship) - Wikipedia

1918 – The Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István sinks off the Croatian coast after being torpedoed by an Italian MAS motorboat the event is recorded by camera from a nearby vessel.
SMS Szent István
(His Majesty's Ship Saint Stephen) was the last of four Tegetthoff-class dreadnought battleships built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Szent István was named for the 11th-century saint Stephen I, the first King of Hungary. Szent István was the only ship of her class to be built within the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a concession made to the Hungarian government in return for its support for the 1910 and 1911 naval budgets which funded the Tegetthoff class. She was built at the Ganz-Danubius shipyard in Fiume, where she was laid down in January 1912. Launched two years later in 1914, construction on Szent István was delayed due to the smaller shipyards in Fiume, and further delayed by the outbreak of World War I in July 1914. She was finally commissioned into the Austro-Hungarian Navy in December 1915.


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Naval/Maritime History - 11th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1794 – Launch of HMS Seahorse, a 38-gun Artois-class fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

HMS Seahorse capturing the Badiri-i-Zaffer, 6 July 1808

Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for Seahorse (1794).

Plan showing a longitudinal half-breadth of the upper deck for Seahorse (1794).

There is a beautiful great kit in scale 1:64 of an Artois-class frigate available. The HMS Diana manufactured by Jotika / Caldercraft

1794 - HMS Ranger was the 14-gun revenue cutter Rose, launched in 1776, that the Royal Navy purchased in 1787, and that the French captured on 11 June 1794.
The British recaptured her (twice) in 1797 and renamed her HMS Venturer (or Venturier).

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with some inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for the Royal Ranger (no date), a Cutter. Not in Progress Book or Dimensions Book under Cutters

1798 - Maltese ship San Giovanni, captured on the stocks in 1798 by the French and launched and commissioned as Athénien.
Athenienne was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was the former Maltese ship San Giovanni, which the French captured on the stocks in 1798 and launched and commissioned as Athénien. The Royal Navy captured her at or prior to the surrender of Valletta, on 4 September 1800, and took her into service as HMS Athenienne. She was wrecked near Sicily, with great loss of life, in 1806.

A model of an 18th century third-rate of the Order of Saint John, similar to the San Giovanni

1865 - The Naval Battle of the Riachuelo
is fought on the rivulet Riachuelo (Argentina), between the Paraguayan Navy on one side and the Brazilian Navy on the other. The Brazilian victory was crucial for the later success of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina) in the Paraguayan War.

The Battle of Riachuelo by Victor Meirelles

1913 - General Concha, a General Concha-class Cañonero (gunboat), wrecked
General Concha was a General Concha-class Cañonero (gunboat) or more technically "Third Class non-armored Cruiser" of the Spanish Navy which fought at San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the Spanish–American War.

1926 – Launch of Padua, nowadays known as Kruzenshtern or Krusenstern, the last active of the Flying P-Liners
Kruzenshtern or Krusenstern (Russian: Крузенштерн) is a four-masted barque (Russian: барк) that was built in 1926 at Geestemünde in Bremerhaven, Germany as Padua (named after the Italian city). She was surrendered to the USSR in 1946 as war reparation and renamed after the early 19th century Baltic German explorer in Russian service, Adam Johann Krusenstern (1770–1846). She is now a Russian sail training ship.



Looks like another Russian steele baruqe STS Sedov on the horizon


The circle of a year is now the Third time complete, so we have to start once more
- in the meantime we have more than 5.000 posts in this thread and more than 2 million views.

-> So it now the 4th year already with

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Naval/Maritime History - 12th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1775 - The Battle of Machias (June 11–12, 1775) was the first naval engagement of the American Revolutionary War, also known as the Battle of the Margaretta, fought around the port of Machias, Maine.
Following the outbreak of the war, British authorities enlisted Loyalist merchant Ichabod Jones to supply the troops who were under the Siege of Boston. Two of his merchant ships arrived in Machias on June 2, 1775, accompanied by a British armed sloop called the HM Margaretta (sometimes also spelled Margueritta or Marguerite) that was commanded by Midshipman James Moore. The townspeople of Machias disapproved of Jones' intentions and arrested him. They also tried to arrest Moore, but he escaped through the harbor. The townspeople seized one of Jones' ships, armed it alongside a second local ship, and sailed out to meet Moore. After a short confrontation, Moore was fatally wounded, and his vessel and crew were captured.
The people of Machias captured additional British ships, and fought off a large force that tried to take control of the town in the Battle of Machias in 1777. Privateers and others operating out of Machias continued to harass the Royal Navy throughout the war.

1942 - USS Swordfish (SS 193) sinks Japanese freighter Burma Maru northwest of Pulo Wai in the Gulf of Siam.

1943 - TBF aircraft from Composite Squadron Nine (VC 9) based on board USS Bogue (ACV 9) sink German submarine (U 118) west by north of the Canary Islands.

1957 - More than 100 ships from 17 nations take part in the International Naval Review at Hampton Roads, Va. in honor of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Va.

1970 - After an earthquake in Peru, USS Guam (LPH 9) begins 11 days of relief flights to transport medical teams and supplies, as well as rescue victims.

1993 - USS Cape St. George (CG 71) is commissioned at its homeport of Norfolk Naval Base. The Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided-missile cruiser is the first named for the Battle of Cape St. George when a destroyer squadron led by Capt. Arleigh Burke faced off against a five-ship Japanese destroyer force on Nov. 25, 1943 near New Ireland. DESRON 23 sank three destroyers and damaged a fourth during that World War II battle.


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Naval/Maritime History - 13th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1801 - HMS Dreadnought was a Royal Navy 98-gun second rate of the Neptune-class.
This ship of the line was launched at Portsmouth at midday on Saturday, 13 June 1801, after she had spent 13 years on the stocks. She was the first man-of-war launched since the Act of Union 1800 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and at her head displayed a lion couchant on a scroll bearing the Royal arms as emblazoned on the Standard.
The launch was a spectacle it was reported that at least 10,000 people witnessed Commissioner Sir Charles Saxton break a bottle of wine over her stem, and that after the launch Sir Charles gave a most sumptuous cold collation to the nobility and officers of distinction.
After the launch, Dreadnought was brought into dock for coppering, and a great number of people went on board to view her. The following day, due to the exertions of Mr Peake, the builder, and the artificers of the dockyard, she was completely coppered in six hours and on Monday morning she went out of dock for rigging and fitting.

1881 - The sinking of the USS Jeannette - ex. HMS Pandora
The bark-rigged wooden steamship USS Jeannette was a naval exploration vessel which, under the command of George W. De Long, undertook an ill-fated 1879–1881 voyage to the Arctic. After being trapped in the ice and drifting for almost two years, the ship and its crew of 33 were released from the ice, then trapped again, crushed and sunk some 300 nautical miles (560 km 350 mi) north of the Siberian coast. The entire crew survived the sinking, but 11 died while sailing towards land in a small cutter. The other 22 reached Siberia, but 9 of them, including De Long, subsequently perished in the wastes of the Lena Delta.

1973 - Collision incident between russian submarine K-56 (Project 675 (also known by the NATO reporting name of Echo II class) nuclear submarine) and the research ship Academician Berg, traveling at 9 knots (17 km/h 10 mph). The ship struck K-56 on the starboard side, tearing a four-meter hole through the hull into the first and second compartments. A civilian expert from Leningrad, 16 officers, five warrant officers, and five sailors were killed.


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Naval/Maritime History - 14th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1667ending of The Raid on the Medway (9-14 June 1667), during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English battleships at a time when most were virtually unmanned and unarmed, laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent. At the time, the fortress of Upnor Castle and a barrier chain called the "Gillingham Line" were supposed to protect the English ships.

16732.nd battle of Schooneveld
The Battles of Schooneveld were two naval battles of the Franco-Dutch War, fought off the coast of the Netherlands on 7 June and 14 June 1673 (New Style 28 May and 4 June in the Julian calendar then in use in England) between an allied Anglo-French fleet commanded by Prince Rupert of the Rhine on his flagship the Royal Charles, and the fleet of the United Provinces, commanded by Michiel de Ruyter. The Dutch victories in the two battles, and at the Battle of Texel that followed in August, saved their country from an Anglo-French invasion.

The first battle of Schooneveld, 7 June 1673 by Willem van de Velde, the elder, painted c.1684.

1777 - The Continental Congress adopts the design of present U.S. flag of 13 stripes and 13 stars.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
The US-Flag Day is now observed on June 14 of each year. A false tradition holds that the new flag was first hoisted in June of 1777 by the Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment.

The origin of the stars and stripes design is uncertain. A popular story credits Betsy Ross for sewing the first flag from a pencil sketch by George Washington who personally commissioned her for the job. However, no evidence for this theory exists beyond Ross’ descendants’ much later recollections of what she told her family. Another woman, Rebecca Young, has also been credited as having made the first flag by later generations of her family. Rebecca Young’s daughter was Mary Pickersgill, who made the Star Spangled Banner Flag.

1777 - John Paul Jones takes command of the Continental Navy sloop USS Ranger
The ship

The first USS Ranger was a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy in active service in 1777–1780 she received the second salute to an American fighting vessel by a foreign power (the first salute was received by the USS Andrew Doria when on 16 November 1776 she arrived at St. Eustatius and the Dutch island returned her 11-gun salute). She was captured in 1780, and brought into the Royal Navy as HMS Halifax. She was decommissioned in 1781.

1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: HMS Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,600 mi) journey in an open boat

1847 - Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry conducts the second expedition against Tabasco, Mexico, also known as the Battle of Villahermosa.


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Naval/Maritime History - 15th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1775 - Abraham Whipple takes command of Rhode Island's coastal defense ship Katy and captures at the same day a tender of HMS Rose. In December, Katy is taken into the Continental service and renamed USS Providence.

USS Providence - ex-Katy

BTW: The replica of the HMS Rose was used for the film Master and Commander and named for this time HMS Surprise

1904 - SS General Slocum disaster - more than 1.000 people - most of them german settlers - killed
On June 15, 1904, General Slocum caught fire and sank in the East River of New York City. At the time of the accident, she was on a chartered run carrying members of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church (German Americans from Little Germany, Manhattan) to a church picnic. An estimated 1,021 of the 1,342 people on board died. The General Slocum disaster was the New York area's worst disaster in terms of loss of life until the September 11, 2001 attacks. It is the worst maritime disaster in the city's history, and the second worst maritime disaster on United States waterways.

The PS General Slocum was a sidewheel passenger steamboat built in Brooklyn, New York, in 1891. During her service history, she was involved in a number of mishaps, including multiple groundings and collisions.

1944 - Following intensive naval gunfire and carrier-based aircraft bombing, Task Force 52 lands the Marines on Saipan, which is the first relatively large and heavily defended land mass in the Central Pacific to be assaulted by US amphibious forces.
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June to 9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.


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Naval/Maritime History - 16th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

Action of 16 May 1797 was a naval battle that took place near Tripoli in Ottoman Tripolitania (present-day Libya). The Danish squadron was victorious over a Tripolitan squadron that outnumbered them in terms of the number of vessels. The result was a peace treaty between the Bey of Tripoli and Denmark.

After the newly appointed Bey of Tripoli, Sidi Yussuf, demanded an increased tribute (essentially a bribe to stop Tripolitans preying on Danish merchant ships), and captured two Danish vessels, whose crews he sold into slavery, Denmark sent Captain Lorenz Fisker in the 40-gun frigate Thetis to Tripoli. He had two missions: first, to escort the annual "gift ship" to Algiers, and second, to arrange for the freeing of the two Danish vessels and their crews. He arrived at Tripoli on 30 August 1796, but failed to free the captured sailors, or even to agree a ransom price.

Najaden at Tripoli in 1797, Royal Danish Naval Museum

The Action
The Danes therefore decided to make a second attempt. They sent Captain Steen Andersen Bille in the frigate Najaden 40, under Captain John Hoppe, to Malta, where she arrived on 2 May 1797. There the Danes met up with the brig Sarpen 18, under Captain Charles Christian De Holck. They also hired a xebec of six guns, and put in a Danish crew under Lieutenant Hans Munck (or Munk), of Sarpen. This squadron then sailed from Malta for Tripoli. On 12 May, off the coast of Lampedusa, they met with Fisker and Thetis. Fisker transferred command of Danish forces in the Mediterranean to Bille and sailed for home. Bille's small squadron sailed past the forts guarding Tripoli on 15 May 1797. Among the guns firing on the Danish vessels from the forts were four Danish cannons that the Libyan envoy Abderahman al Bidiri had obtained from the King of Denmark in 1772.

HMS Culloden (1783) was a 74-gun Ganges-class third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 16 June 1783 at Rotherhithe. She took part in some of the most famous battles of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars before she was broken up in 1813.


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Naval/Maritime History - 17th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1696 - The Battle of Dogger Bank
is the name of a battle which took place on June 17, 1696 as part of the War of the Grand Alliance. It was a victory for a French force of seven ships over a Dutch force of five ships and the convoy it was escorting.
On this date the French privateer Jean Bart found a Dutch convoy of 112 merchant ships, escorted by five Dutch ships near Dogger Bank.
The French had more warships and more cannons than the Dutch. Furthermore, the French crews were very experienced and led by an exceptional commander, so the outcome of the battle was very predictable. But the French had to hurry, because a large English squadron under admiral John Benbow was aware of the French presence and was looking for them.
The battle started on 19:00 h. when Jean Bart on the Maure attacked the Dutch flagship, the Raadhuis-van-Haarlem. the Dutch fought valiantly for three hours until their captain was killed. Then they surrendered and so did the 4 other ships, one after another.
Jean Bart captured and burned 25 merchant ships until Benbow's squadron of 18 ships approached. The French squadron fled towards Denmark. They remained there until July and then slipped through the allied lines into Dunkirk with 1200 prisoners, on September 27.

1778 - The Action of 17 June 1778 also known as the Fight of Belle Poule and Arethusa
was a minor naval action that took place off the coast of France between British and French frigates. The action was widely celebrated by both France and Great Britain and was the first between the two naval forces during the American Revolutionary War before a formal declaration of war was even announced.

On 13 June 1778, Admiral Augustus Keppel, with twenty-one ships of the line and three frigates, was dispatched by the Admiralty to keep watch over the French fleet at Brest Keppel was to prevent a junction of the Brest and Toulon fleets, more by persuasion if he could since both nations were not at war. The French 26-gun frigate, Belle Poule was on a reconnaissance along with the 26-gun frigate Licorne, the corvette Hirondelle, and the cutter Coureur, when on 17 June she encountered a large British squadron that included HMS Arethusa at a point 23 miles (37 km) south of The Lizard.
Admiral Keppel, commanding the British fleet, ordered that the French ships be pursued and returned to his flagship by any means since he did not want the French ships to see the British strength.
Licorne did so, after being overhauled by two British ships HMS Milford, mounting 28 guns, and HMS America, of 64 guns. Licorne subsequently tried to escape during the night after having meditated on affairs, but surrendered after a brief combat with America, a vessel double her size.
Meanwhile, Arethusa and the cutter HMS Alert caught up to Belle Poule, accompanied by the French cutter Le Courier. The captain of Belle Poule refused the order to sail back to the British fleet. The British fired a warning shot across his ship's bow, to which he responded with a full broadside.[4] Thus a furious, two-hour battle between the two ships with Arethusa. Belle Poule was eager to escape and soon began to inflict serious damage upon Arethusa, which ended up with her topmasts hanging over the side and canvas torn. Soon after Arethusa lay shattered and then lost her main mast.
Soon the wind fell and with it the shot-torn loftier sails of Belle Poule. However, they held enough wind to drift her out of the reach of Arethusa's fire. Both ships were close under the French cliffs and Belle Poule struggled into a tiny cove in the rocks. Nothing remained for Arethusa but to cut away her wreckage, hoist what sail she could, and drag herself back under jury-masts to the British fleet.
Meanwhile, Coureur was overtaken by the British cutter Alert, and after some resistance finally cooperated with being taken to Keppel's flagship. Hirondelle escaped the engagement entirely.


Belle Poule coeffure
Arethusa suffered 44 casualties from her 198-man crew, but the masts and rigging had been so severely damaged that the ship had to be towed by newly arrived British ships. As other ships from Keppel's fleet approached, Belle Poule withdrew toward the French coast having lost 30 killed and 72 wounded, among them her captain, Lieutenant Jean Isaac Chadeau de la Clocheterie.
This battle was the first between British and French naval forces during the Anglo-French War and took place around three weeks before the formal declaration of war by France. Admiral Keppel himself was surprised by the reaction of the French captains as he only intended to speak with them, and then release their ships.
The battle was widely celebrated in France as a victory ladies of the high society invented the hairstyle "Belle Poule", with a ship on the top of the head.
With the capture of Licorne and Hirondelle it was also viewed as a victory in Britain and became the subject of a traditional Sea shanty, The Saucy Arethusa. (Roud # 12675).
Arethusa is also the subject of a song on the Decemberists' album Her Majesty the Decemberists.

1815 - The Battle of Cape Gata,
which took place June 17, 1815, off the south-east coast of Spain, was the first battle of the Second Barbary War. A squadron of vessels, under the command of Stephen Decatur, Jr., met and engaged the flagship of the Algerine Navy, the frigate Meshuda under Admiral Hamidou. After a sharp action, Decatur's squadron was able to capture the Algerine frigate and win a decisive victory over the Algerines.

The Danish island of Bornholm is known for its four round churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries — four of only seven such churches in all of Denmark. Bornholm’s strategic location in the Baltic has made it vulnerable during the many conflicts that have occurred in the region over the centuries. The round churches were multipurpose structures that served as places of worship, storage facilities, and fortifications to guard against enemy attacks. Their thick walls and round shape helped them withstand battering rams, while their upper stories could only be accessed through narrow passages, providing a place of refuge for local people and their treasures. Freestanding belltowers were added several centuries after the original construction.

All four churches are still used for religious services but are open to the public at other times.

Østerlars Church

Østerlars Church

The largest and oldest of Bornholm’s round churches is Østerlars, dedicated to St. Laurentius (St. Lawrence) — “Lars” in Danish. It is traditionally believed to date from about 1150, though recent research suggests it may be slightly older, from the first half of the 12th century.

Built in a Romanesque style, the church consists of a circular nave with walls that are two meters (6.5. feet) thick. The baptismal font stands inside the large, round, hollow central column, which is decorated with frescos from the mid-14th century. The outside buttresses were added in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the conical roof was added in 1744. The freestanding belltower dates from the 1600s.

Above the religious space are two additional floors, reached through narrow passagways. The central level was likely the used for storage as well as for protection in times of danger, while the upper floor has small windows and arrow slits from which defenders could fire at attackers.

Also on the grounds are three runestones, believed to date from the 11th century.

Ols Church (sometimes called Olsker)

Dedicated to St. Olaf (the beatified Norwegian King Olaf II, who was killed in battle in 1030), Ols Church was constructed around 1150. Like Østerlars, it consists of three stories, with the ground floor being used for religious purposes and the upper levels for storage and defense. The outside buttresses were added in the 19th century to protect the church from collapse. Frescos dating from various periods stretching back to the 1300s were uncovered during restoration work in the 20th century but are in poor condition.

Nylars Church. Photo by 7alaskan via Wikimedia Commons.

Nylars Church

Built around 1165, Nylars is considered the best preserved of Bornholm’s round churches and has survived without the need for exterior buttresses. Like Østerlars and Ols, it has three stories used for religious functions, storage, and defense. Dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, Nylars is known for its fine 13th century-frescos depicting the Creation and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The roof was added in the 17th century.

Two runestones from the 11th century stand in the adjacent armory.

Ny Kirke

The smallest of Bornholm’s round churches, Ny Kirke (New Church) has just two stories. Located in the village of Nyker, it is generally believed to be the youngest of the four churches, built around the year 1200. Originally known as Ecclesia Omnium Sanctorum (All Saints Church), it received its present name in the 16th century. A series of 13 frescos depicting scenes from the Passion date from the second half of the 13th century. The chandelier in the choir is from 1594 but was restored in 1688.

Culture: Arts & Music – Theater & Film – Literature

Arts & Music
In every major city in Mexico, universities and museums provide institutional support for art and cultural events. Among Mexico’s internationally acclaimed museums are the Museum of Folk Art, the sprawling National Museum of Anthropology and its offshoot, the National Museum of History.

Post-revolutionary artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo and David Alfaro Siqueiros made significant contributions to Mexico’ s artistic and cultural heritage. Though diverse in their styles and subject matter, each drew upon personal and social experiences to create their work, which informed the sensibilities of worldwide audiences and inspired generations of young artists.

Murals, an ancient art form, grace the walls of public and private buildings throughout Mexico. Generations of muralists–influenced by artistic legacies traceable to the Aztecs, Mayans and other pre-Hispanic civilizations–have added their stories to those of their ancestors, captivating passersby with evocative figures and landscapes captured in rich colors and bold strokes.

Diego Rivera, whose mural Man at the Crossroads graces the lobby of New York’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza, is the most renowned of Mexico’s muralists. His works are also displayed at the Mexican National Palace and the Palace of Fine Arts.

Music, like food, is a mainstay of Mexican social life. The styles are diverse and include both traditional and modern genres. Perhaps the best-known Mexican genre is the ranchero. Popularized after the revolution, the ranchera came to symbolize the new national consciousness and focuses largely on love, patriotism and nature. Because of its familiar themes and rhythms, this song style has become popular among mariachi musicians. Highly recognizable in their customary silver–studded charro (cowboy) outfits and wide𠄻rimmed hats, mariachi groups have enjoyed notable commercial success and are often featured at festivals, banquets and wedding.

Another popular genre is norteño (northern), which relies on the accordion and 12–string bass guitar for its characteristic stylizations. More recent musical innovations include banda, which is similar to norteño music, and cumbia, which is heavily influenced by music from the Caribbean islands. Becoming increasingly popular among Mexican youths are modern genres such as pop, hip–hop and rock–musical forms that gained popularity during the last century in the United States.

Theater & Film
Mexico has a strong theatrical tradition kept alive by many professional, academic and indigenous groups. Although the theater’ s popularity diminished with the rise of television and film, groups still perform all over the country in large and small venues. In Mexico City, theater lovers can visit El Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City’s famous opera house, to see the Ballet Folklorico, a famous dance performance that blends various types of native music and dance.

Some regions feature plays that recount events from local history. In other cases, plays drawn from universal themes or celebrate such common concerns of daily life as love, marriage, joy, betrayal and hope.

During Semana Santa (the holy week from Easter until Palm Sunday), many communities enact a full passion play that depicts the events surrounding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many of these performances are impressively staged and draw large crowds.

Several Mexican actors and filmmakers have been internationally recognized, including directors Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 2000 Babel, 2006), Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También, 2001) and Guillermo del Toro (El Laberinto Del Fauno/Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006). Spanish director Luis Buñuel and French Surrealist André Breton both spent many years in Mexico, and their influences are seen in the works of current Mexican directors. Based on her 2002 theatrical portrayal of the internationally recognized Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Salma Hayek became the first Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Mexican writers have gained reputations by dealing with questions of universal significance. One of the best known is Samuel Ramos, whose philosophical speculations on humanity and culture in Mexico influenced post� writers in several genres. Many consider Mexico’s Octavio Paz to be the foremost poet of Latin America. The novels of Carlos Fuentes are honored throughout the world, and Juan José Arreola’s fantasies are widely admired.


Sources give the impression of two evenly-matched armies, each composed of several thousand soldiers, and of a whole day's fighting that inflicted heavy casualties on both sides

Our sources give the impression of two evenly-matched armies, each composed of several thousand soldiers, and of a whole day's fighting that inflicted heavy casualties on both sides.

Historians have made much of the Normans' supposed military advantages – notably their use of sophisticated cavalry tactics – but Harold was an experienced general commanding battle-hardened soldiers.

Had Harold survived and won, he would probably be celebrated today as one of England's greatest warrior kings, on a par with Richard Lionheart and Edward I, and indeed Æthelstan– we would probably pay much more attention to the earlier English kings without the artificial break provided by the Conquest.

He would have defeated mighty enemies in pitched battles at opposite ends of the country within weeks of each other: quite a feat.

Indeed, we might well be talking of King Harold the Great, and perhaps of the great dynasty of the Godwinsons.

And yet we might know much less about the England that Harold would have ruled.

Historians have made much of the Normans' supposed military advantages – notably their use of sophisticated cavalry tactics – but Harold was an experienced general commanding battle-hardened soldiers. Pictured is a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry


January 1066 - Edward the Confessor dies. His brother in law, Harold Godwinson, an Earl in the powerful family of Wessex, makes a bid for the Crown and is selected by the Anglo-Saxon Witenaġemot.

20 September 1066 - Harold's army marches to Fulford near York and defeats the invading army of his brother Tostig and Harald Hardrada of Norway.

14 October 1066 - After hearing of Harold's coronation, William II of Normandy leads a fleet to England. Harold marches south to meet him and their forces meet at Hastings. Harold's army is defeated after the king is shot in the eye with an arrow and killed.

October to December 1066 - A state of war continues until a deal is struck in December between William and the English magnates in which he guarantees their positions in return for their support.

25 December 1066 - William is crowned King of England in London

1067 - Harold's mother Gythia fortifies Exeter against the Normans while William has returned to Normandy. He returns and crushes the revolt.

Summer 1068 - Harold's sons raise an army of Irish-Norse mercenaries and attempt to take Bristol but are driven back.

1069 - Godwine and Edmund return to England with new forces and attempt to take Exeter.

June 1069 - The pair are eventually defeated by the forces of Count Brian of Brittany

After all, the single greatest store of information about 11th-century England, Domesday Book, was a conqueror's book, made to record the victor's winnings, and preserved as a powerful symbol of that conquest.

Without Domesday Book, which has no serious parallel in continental evidence at this date, many English villages and towns could have languished in obscurity for another century or longer.

So Harold's England would be less visible to historians.

If, of course, an England had survived to be ruled over at all. One of the most striking characteristics of pre-Conquest England are its deep political divisions.

It was these divisions that had paved the way for Harald Hardrada's invasion in the north, allied with powerful English rebels including Tostig – and it was these divisions that had created the circumstances for William's invasion, too, ultimately a byproduct of the rivalry between Harold's family and King Edward the Confessor.

King Harold II after Hastings would have been rich, but he would still have faced dangerous enemies and rivals – not least the young Edgar.

Edgar's family claim to the throne – he was the grandson of the earlier king, Edmund II Ironside, and so a direct descendant of Alfred the Great – was far stronger than Harold's. There would have been more crises to come after Hastings.

One of the merits of counterfactual history is to remind us that things could have been different: it challenges our assumptions and prejudices.

Now, the thriving of medieval England seems obvious, but at the time of the conquest, contemporary France had torn itself apart in what has become known as the Feudal Revolution.

A similar fate could have awaited an English king after the short-lived triumphs of 1066: civil war, fragmentation, and the localisation of power.

King William, by contrast, had a blank slate and could start (almost) from scratch, creating a new aristocracy that owed everything to him.

So it's not the least of the ironies of William's Norman Conquest that it perhaps helped to save the country that it also brought to its knees.


Excavators will carry out a scan of the grounds of Waltham Abbey Church in Essex (pictured) where the majority of researchers believe King Harold is buried

Shot through the eye by an arrow, he died at the hands of four Norman knights brutally dismembering his body - or so almost 950 years of history dictates.

But archaeologists are now claiming King Harold may have survived the Battle of Hastings, and lived out his years before quietly dying of old age.

The alternative version of events, put forward in a 12th century document housed in the British Museum, discounts the Normans' portrayal of his death in the Bayeux Tapestry.

The artwork, long considered an accurate depiction of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, shows King Harold clutching at an arrow in his eye as four Norman knights hack at his body.

But now a team of historians, who discovered the remains of Richard III in a municipal car park in Leicester in 2012, are eager to dispel the long-accepted story.

Oval Film and Stratascan, whose efforts were applauded around the world for the discovery, will carry out an underground scan of Abbey Gardens at Waltham Abbey Church in Essex, the supposed site of King Harold's tomb, to look for his remains.

Recto: Study for the Head of a Soldier in the Battle of Anghiari

The magnificent head study was produced for the ill-fated Battle of Anghiari mural in the Sala del Gran Consiglio (Hall of the Grand Council) of the Palazzo della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio) in Florence. Leonardo was commissioned to decorate one of the two longer walls of the hall around the middle of 1503. His composition commemorated the decisive military victory in the history of the Florentine Republic, the triumph over the Milanese at Anghiari in 1440. Leonardo worked on the battle scene from October 1503 with interruptions until May 1506, when he returned to Milan, leaving the unfinished work behind once and for all. He devised an oil-based technique for the wall painting, which rapidly deteriorated, but his mural was nevertheless regarded as one of the principal sights of Florence its last traces were obliterated by Giorgio Vasari during his renovation of the hall in 1563.
Although neither the wall painting nor its cartoon (a full-scale drawing used directly for copying the composition onto the wall) have survived, with the help of contemporary accounts, copies and Leonardo’s extant sketches, the destroyed work can be reconstructed. Out of the complete composition Leonardo only painted the crucial episode of the battle, when the young Florentine captain-general, Pier Giampaolo Orsini, is just about to wrench the standard from the hand of Niccolo Piccinino, the Milanese condottiere. Leonardo created the masterly red chalk drawing depicting Pier Giampaolo Orsini in profile as preliminary studies for the full-scale cartoon. The scene, in which, in the words of Vasari, ‘rage, fury and revenge are perceived as much in the men as in the horses’, offered a perfect opportunity for the representation of intense emotions and extreme states of mind reflected on the human face. The vitality of the Budapest study results from the use of live models. The dramatic force of expression faithfully recalls the shocking horror of the brutal fighting rage of the soldiers, rushing on each other with unrestrained ferocity in the heat of battle, which Leonardo termed pazzia bestialissima – most bestial madness.

Text: © Zoltán Kárpáti, 2015

  • Название: recto: Study for the Head of a Soldier in the Battle of Anghiari
  • Создатель: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Дата создания: ca. 1504–1505
  • Фактические размеры: 226 × 186 mm
  • Тип: drawing
  • Издатель: Museum of Fine Arts Budapest
  • Права:
  • Внешняя ссылка:
  • Техника: red chalk on very pale pink prepared paper
  • Inventory Number: D_1774

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