maritimehistorypodcast:

Sir Horatio Nelson Wounded at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

24 July 1797

Upon hearing reports that Spanish treasure conveys frequently stopped at the port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, in July 1797, Admiral John Jervis dispatched a small squadron under recently promoted Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson with the aim of seizing Santa Cruz by means of an amphibious attack. When the expedition arrived in the vicinity of Santa Cruz on 17 July, it numbered 400 guns and nearly 4,000 men.

After the initial landing plans failed on 23 July, Nelson Nelson called his captains on board Theseus and explained how he himself would lead the next move ahead of a boat group followed by five more boats. On the night of 24 July 1797, Nelson led what they hoped would be a surprise amphibious landing. However, the Spanish lookout sounded the alarm when the British troops drew close to land, and the disembarking soldiers were met by a heavy barrage of cannon fire. British forces led by Captain Bowen rushed the battery covering the harbour, captured it and spiked its guns. They began to pursue the fleeing Spanish into the town, but were swept by a hail of grapeshot. Bowen, his first lieutenant and several of his men were killed, while Nelson, who was just landing from his boat, was hit in the right arm.

Nelson was bleeding copiously and his stepson, Lieutenant Nisbet, cut a piece of his own neck handkerchief and tied it tightly around Nelson’s arm to stop the bleeding. The admiral refused to use the frigate Seahorse that was stationed close by, to be taken back to his flagship, as it would imply that Captain Fremantle would have to hoist a flag of distress and thereby demoralise the crews. Instead, the sailors of his boat rowed hard back to the Theseus. The surgeon had been warned of the contingency and got his instruments ready. Nelson was cited as saying, as he pointed to his right arm “Doctor, I want to get rid of this useless piece of flesh here”. Nelson’s operation was quick and aseptic. The limb was thrown over board, despite the admiral’s wish to keep it.

In the end, having sustained heavy losses, Nelson was forced to withdraw from Tenerife and sail back to England with a demoralised force. 

The Battle of Harlaw

24 July 1411

The Battle of Harlaw was a medieval Scottish battle that took place on this day in history, 24 July 1411. It is traditionally viewed as one of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history and was part of an ongoing feud between clans. A 40 foot tower/monument stands as a memorial at the battlefield near Inverurie.

art-of-swords:

[ NEWS ] 11th century Viking broadsword to make up to $205,000 at Christie’s

A Viking broadsword looted during the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 is to auction at Christie’s London this summer with an estimate of £80,000-120,000 ($136,873-205,309).

The lot is thought to have been taken by a member of the de Bohun family, who would later carry the ancestral sword during the first war of Scottish independence in the 14th century.

Dernagh O’Leary, a spokesperson for Christie’s, told the BBC: "Whilst it cannot be proved, it is not at all inconceivable that the blade of the present sword was captured or taken as a trophy by de Bohun at Hastings and was later remounted to become a family sword.

"The present sword, whilst not being a war sword, would have served as a clear badge of identity with its gold and enamelled coat of arms on the pommel and eminently more practical as a side arm around camp when not mounted and armed for battle.

"It is therefore entirely possible that this sword was present at Bannockburn in June 1314, if not actually on the field of battle."

The lot is incredibly rare, its age and history making it one of the most significant British artefacts to come to auction in recent years.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Paul Fraser Collectibles

maritimehistorypodcast:

HMS Newfoundland is Torpedoed, and Ascianghi Sinks
23 July 1943
On 23 July 1943, HMS Newfoundland, a Royal Navy Crown Colony-class light cruiser, was torpedoed and severely damaged while in a formation off the eastern coast of Sicily. Although many now think that U-407 was responsible, Italian submarine Ascianghi was also in the area. The Allied formation responded by dropping depth charges that caused damage to Ascianghi, forcing the submarine to surface. As soon as the submarine broke the surface, HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey, both Royal Navy destroyers, concentrated heavy shelling on Ascianghi. Having sustained heavy damage, Ascianghi sank within minutes, along with 23 of the 50 crew members. British ships rescued the other 27 crewmen, and HMS Newfoundland was carried to Malta to receive temporary repairs. maritimehistorypodcast:

HMS Newfoundland is Torpedoed, and Ascianghi Sinks
23 July 1943
On 23 July 1943, HMS Newfoundland, a Royal Navy Crown Colony-class light cruiser, was torpedoed and severely damaged while in a formation off the eastern coast of Sicily. Although many now think that U-407 was responsible, Italian submarine Ascianghi was also in the area. The Allied formation responded by dropping depth charges that caused damage to Ascianghi, forcing the submarine to surface. As soon as the submarine broke the surface, HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey, both Royal Navy destroyers, concentrated heavy shelling on Ascianghi. Having sustained heavy damage, Ascianghi sank within minutes, along with 23 of the 50 crew members. British ships rescued the other 27 crewmen, and HMS Newfoundland was carried to Malta to receive temporary repairs.

maritimehistorypodcast:

HMS Newfoundland is Torpedoed, and Ascianghi Sinks

23 July 1943

On 23 July 1943, HMS Newfoundland, a Royal Navy Crown Colony-class light cruiser, was torpedoed and severely damaged while in a formation off the eastern coast of Sicily. Although many now think that U-407 was responsible, Italian submarine Ascianghi was also in the area. The Allied formation responded by dropping depth charges that caused damage to Ascianghi, forcing the submarine to surface. As soon as the submarine broke the surface, HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey, both Royal Navy destroyers, concentrated heavy shelling on Ascianghi. Having sustained heavy damage, Ascianghi sank within minutes, along with 23 of the 50 crew members. British ships rescued the other 27 crewmen, and HMS Newfoundland was carried to Malta to receive temporary repairs.

yeaverily:

Royal finger rings from anglo-saxon England belonging to King Ethelwulf and his daughter Queen Ethelswith 828-858 A.D.

(via arthistorycq)

maritimehistorypodcast:

The Battle of Cape Finisterre

22 July 1805

An engagement during the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Cape Finisterre was fought on this day in maritime history, 22 July 1805. The battle took place off Galicia, Spain, where the British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder fought an indecisive naval battle against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet which was returning from the West Indies. Although both sides claimed victory, Admiral Calder failed to strike the shattering blow that would have freed Great Britain from the danger of an invasion, Calder was later court-martialled and severely reprimanded for his failure and for avoiding the renewal of the engagement on 23 and 24 July. In the end, the French naval commander also blundered, electing not to continue on to Brest, where his fleet could have joined with other French ships to clear the English Channel for an invasion of Great Britain.

The Battle of Salamanca

22 July 1812

The Battle of Salamanca took place on this day in British history, 22 July 1812. An action during the Peninsular War, the battle saw an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont’s French forces among the hills around Arapiles, south of Salamanca, Spain. A Spanish division was also present but took no part in the battle.

The Battle of Falkirk

22 July 1298

The Battle of Falkirk, a major battle in the First War of Scottish Independence, took place on this day in British history, 22 July 1298. King Edward I led the British army against William Wallace and the Scots. Although the Scots had defeated the English on several previous occasions, the English held a large numerical superiority at Falkirk and easily defeated the Scots. Shortly after the battle William Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland.

maritimehistorypodcast:

The British Take La Chevrette

21 July 1801

The cutting-out of the French corvette La Chevrette took place on this day in maritime history, 21 July 1801. This once famous incident occurred during the Napoleonic Wars, at a point when Britain feared a French invasion. Four British frigates were watching the enemy fleet at the entrance to Brest Harbour, Brittany. On the night of 21 July, their boats, manned by volunteers and with oars muffled, set out to board La Chevrette but the French were armed and waiting. After a fierce battle the smaller British force captured the ship, her captain was killed in one-to-one combat, and La Chevrette taken in triumph to Plymouth. The fact that the British were able to take La Chevrette is perhaps evidence of the futility of their feat. After all, how could a French fleet unable to guard its own ships in its own harbor mount a successful invasion?

The painting above is ‘The Cutting-Out of the French Corvette La Chevrette' by Philip James de Loutherbourg. (1802).

France’s Last Attack on the Isle of Wight

21 July 1545

An armed contingent of French forces attempted to invade the Isle of Wight on this day in British history, 21 July 1545. The French invasion was repelled at heavy cost to the British militia raised to defend the island. This occasion was the last time that France attempted to attack the Isle of Wight.

The Battle of Shrewsbury

21 July 1403

It was on this day in British history, 21 July 1403, that King Henry IV prevailed at the Battle of Shrewsbury. The Lancastrian army defeated rebel forces led by Henry “Hotspur” Percy of Northumberland. It was the first time that English archers fought one another on English soil, and is seen as a demonstration of the deadly effectiveness of the English longbow.

Edward I Besieges Stirling Castle

20 July 1304

It was on this day in British history, 20 July 1304, that Stirling Castle fell under the siege of King Edward I. The 1304 siege is famous for Edward’s use of siege engines and catapults to bombard the castle for several months. The most famous weapon was called Warwolf, and it is possible that Warwolf was the largest trebuchet ever constructed.

Sinking of the Mary Rose

19 July 1545

The Mary Rose, the pride of King Henry VIII’s naval fleet, sank in the Solent on this day in British history, 19 July 1545. In a unique story, the sunken ship was discovered in 1971 and a salvage operation began in 1982. It is currently in the final stages of conservation and a magnificent museum exists at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to showcase the warship’s remains.

Happy Birthday Benedict Cumberbatch!

Today is the birthday of the amazingly talented English actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Born in London on 19 July 1976, he is most well known for his role as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC adaption, though other famous roles include Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek: Into Darkness and the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit. He’s one of my personal favorite actors and has assumed many other roles that are worth taking the time to track down.