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Battle of Morbihan Gulf / Quiberon Bay, late summer 56 B.C.

Battle of Morbihan Gulf / Quiberon Bay, late summer 56 B.C.


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Battle of Morbihan Gulf / Quiberon Bay, late summer 56 B.C.

The battle of the Morbihan Gulf (June 56 B.C.) was the first naval battle in recorded history to definitely took place in the North Atlantic, and saw a Roman fleet raised by Julius Caesar destroy the naval power of the Veneti tribe of modern Brittany.

During the campaigning season of 57 B.C. Caesar had sent a small army under P. Crassus into western France, where he had accepted the submission of a number of tribes, amongst them the Veneti. At the end of the year Crassus had been sent into winter quarters on the Atlantic coast. During the winter he ran short of supplies and sent ambassadors out into the neighbouring states to gather supplies. The Veneti seized the two Roman ambassadors sent to them, and encouraged their neighbours to do the same. Caesar was soon faced with a rebellion of most of the maritime tribes of north-west Gaul.

The Veneti were the main naval power of Gaul. They dominated the trade with Britain, and had a fleet of solidly build ships well suited to local conditions. Caesar describes them as having shallower keels than Roman ships, which made them better suited for operations in tidal waters; as being constructed entirely of oak, with high prows and sterns which made them more able to resist the Atlantic storms, and also made them almost invulnerable to standard Mediterranean ramming tactics.

When the rebellion broke out Caesar was in Italy. He ordered Crassus to build a fleet in the Loire, and then when the weather improved moved across Gaul to join the army. A frustrating campaign followed, in which Caesar captured a number of Veneti towns, but was unable to prevent the inhabitants from being evacuated by sea, while the new Roman fleet was frequently trapped in port by summer storms, and when it did venture out apparently suffered a number of minor setbacks.

According to Caesar the Veneti ships were superior in everything but speed and the skill of their oarsmen. Not only were they almost impossible to ram, but their high sides meant that Roman missile weapons had little or no impact, while their superior seaworthiness meant that they could safely operate in waters that were too dangerous for the Romans, and could even survive being beached by the tide.

After capturing a number of towns with no effect Caesar realised that he would have to wait for the weather to improve enough for his entire fleet to join the army. Eventually the storms died down, and the Roman fleet, under Decimus Brutus, was able to sail up the coast towards Brittany. As the Roman fleet approached their remaining strongholds the Veneti decided to concentrate their entire naval force and seek a decisive battle.

Caesar doesn't actually say where the battle took place, only saying that the enemy left their harbour, and that the battle took place within sight of the main army. It is generally assumed that the battle took place in or close to Quiberon Bay, just outside the Morbihan Gulf.

After their setbacks earlier in the year the Romans had come up with a new tactic. Each ship carried its normal contingent of marines, probably taken from one of Caesar's legions, and commanded by either a tribute of the soldiers or a centurion. Just as in the First Punic War the only way the Romans were going to overcome their opponent's superior naval power was by boarding. Each Roman ship was armed with a number of sharp hooks mounted on long poles. As the two fleets closed to fighting distances these hooks were used to cut the rigging on the Veneti ships, making them vulnerable to boarding.

After a number of Veneti ships had been seized and boarded in this way the rest of the fleet attempted to make their escape, but at this crucial moment the wind failed them. This left the Veneti fleet spread out and vulnerable along the coast. The Romans took advantage of their superior speed under oars to chase down and defeat the Veneti ships one-by-one. The battle lasted from about ten in the morning until nightfall, when the surviving Veneti ships made their escape.

With their fleet destroyed the Veneti had no choice but to surrender. Caesar was not in a merciful mood – in his own account because he wanted to make sure the rights of ambassadors were respected by other tribes – but possibly because of his frustrating summer. The members of the Veneti senate were all executed and the rest of the tribe were sold into slavery.


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Naval/Maritime History - 2nd of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1730 – Birth of Joshua Rowley, English admiral (d. 1790)
Vice-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley, 1st Baronet (1734–1790) was the fourth son of Admiral Sir William Rowley. Sir Joshua was from an ancient English family, originating in Staffordshire (England) and was born on 1 May 1734 in Dublin Rowley served with distinction in a number of battles throughout his career and was highly praised by his contemporaries. Unfortunately whilst his career was often active he did not have the opportunity to command any significant engagements and always followed rather than led. His achievements have therefore been eclipsed by his contemporaries such as Keppel, Hawke, Howe and Rodney. Rowley however remains one of the stalwart commanders of the wooden walls that kept Britain safe for so long.

1751 – Launch of HMS Dolphin, a 24-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.
HMS Dolphin
was a 24-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1751, she was used as a survey ship from 1764 and made two circumnavigations of the world under the successive commands of John Byron and Samuel Wallis. She was the first ship to circumnavigate the world twice. She remained in service until she was paid off in September 1776, and she was broken up in early 1777.

1781 - Action of 1 May 1781 - HMS Canada captures the Spanish frigate Santa Leocadia
The Action of 1 May 1781 was a minor naval engagement nearly 210 miles off the Port of Brest in which HMS Canada, a 74-gun third rate of the Royal Navy under Captain George Collier chased, intercepted and captured the 40-gun Spanish frigate Santa Leocadia, captained by Don Francisco de Wenthuisen.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration for Canada (1765), a 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker

1795 - HMS Boyne (98), bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Peyton, Cptn. George Grey, caught fire at Spithead burned and exploded.
HMS Boyne
was a 98-gun Royal Navy second-rate ship of the line launched on 27 June 1790 at Woolwich. She was the flagship of Vice Admiral John Jervis in 1794.

1804 – Launch of HMS Royal Sovereign, the Royal Yacht of British King George III.
HMS Royal Sovereign
was the Royal Yacht of British King George III.

This painting by an unknown artist is an illustration of George IV's visit to Greenwich. The royal yacht can be seen in the centre with another sailing ship to the left, surrounded by smaller rowing boats carrying passengers. The image has also been described as a visit of George III, on 30th October 1797, and William IV, in August 1830. The picture’s stylistic rendering exemplifies the lasting influence Dutch 17th-century painting had on British maritime art until the early 19th century

1813 – Launch of French Piet Hein, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy
Piet Hein, was one of the ships built in the various shipyards captured by the First French Empire in Holland and Italy in a crash programme to replenish the ranks of the French Navy. She was built in Rotterdam under supervision of engineer Alexandre Notaire-Granville, following plans by Sané and using timber taken from the 80-gun Piet Hein, taken apart while still on keel.
Royal Italien was surrendered to Holland at the fall of Rotterdam in December 1813. She was renamed Admiraal Piet Hein, and eventually broken up in 1819.

Scale model of Achille, sister ship of French ship Piet Hein (1813), on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.

1813 – Launch of HMS Anacreon, which had an extremely brief career. she was commissioned in early 1813 and was lost within a year

1851 - Launch of clipper Syren, the longest lived of all the clipper ships
Syren was the longest lived of all the clipper ships, with a sailing life of 68 years 7 months. She sailed in the San Francisco trade, in the Far East, and transported whaling products from Hawaii and the Arctic to New Bedford.

1898 - Battle of Manila Bay - The American squadron, commanded by Commodore George Dewey, defeats the Spanish squadron under the command of Rear Adm. Montojo at Manila Bay, Philippines.
The Battle of Manila Bay (Filipino: Labanan sa Look ng Maynila Spanish: Batalla de Bahía de Manila), also known as the Battle of Cavite, took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish–American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Contraalmirante (Rear admiral) Patricio Montojo. The battle took place in Manila Bay in the Philippines, and was the first major engagement of the Spanish–American War. The battle was one of the most decisive naval battles in history and marked the end of the Spanish colonial period in Philippine history.

Contemporary colored print, showing USS Olympia in the left foreground, leading the U.S. Asiatic Squadron against the Spanish fleet off Cavite. A vignette portrait of Rear Admiral George Dewey is featured in the lower left.

1911 – Launch of HMS Conqueror, the third of four Orion-class dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the early 1910s.
HMS Conqueror
was the third of four Orion-class dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the early 1910s. She spent the bulk of her career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets. Aside from participating in the failed attempt to intercept the German ships that had bombarded Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in late 1914, the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during World War I generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.
After the Grand Fleet was dissolved in early 1919, Conqueror was transferred back to the Home Fleet for a few months before she was assigned to the Reserve Fleet. The ship was sold for scrap in late 1922 and subsequently broken up.

1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.

On 17 April 1915, Lusitania left Liverpool on her 201st transatlantic voyage, arriving in New York on 24 April. A group of German-Americans, hoping to avoid controversy if Lusitania was attacked by a U-boat, discussed their concerns with a representative of the German Embassy. The embassy decided to warn passengers before her next crossing not to sail aboard Lusitania. The Imperial German Embassy placed a warning advertisement in 50 American newspapers, including those in New York:
NOTICE!
TRAVELLERS intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
IMPERIAL GERMAN EMBASSY
Washington, D.C., 22 April 1915.

This warning was printed adjacent to an advertisement for Lusitania's return voyage. The warning led to agitation in the press and worried some of the ship's passengers and crew. Lusitania departed Pier 54 in New York, on 1 May 1915 at 12:20 p.m. A few hours after the vessel's departure, the Saturday evening edition of The Washington Times published two articles on its front page, both referring to those warnings.

Lusitania arriving in port

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Naval/Maritime History - 2nd of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1654 - Action of 2 May 1654 was a sea battle which took place near Colombo, Ceylon, when a force of 11 Dutch ships defeated 3 Portuguese galleons, which ran aground and were burnt near Carmona, north of Cabo de Rama.
Action of 2 May 1654
was a sea battle which took place near Colombo, Ceylon, when a force of 11 Dutch ships defeated 3 Portuguese galleons, which ran aground and were burnt near Carmona, north of Cabo de Rama. On about 4 May Zijdeworm was burnt as a fireship near Karwar, and on 6 May the Portuguese galleon Nazareth was burnt near Hanovar. This removed a significant proportion of Portuguese ships in the Indian Ocean area.

1707 - The Action of 2 May 1707, also known as Beachy Head, was a naval battle of the War of the Spanish Succession in which a French squadron under Claude de Forbin intercepted a large British convoy escorted by three ships of the line, under Commodore Baron Wylde.
The Action of 2 May 1707, also known as Beachy Head, was a naval battle of the War of the Spanish Succession in which a French squadron under Claude de Forbin intercepted a large British convoy escorted by three ships of the line, under Commodore Baron Wylde. The action began when three French ships, the Grifon, Blackoal and Dauphine, grappled HMS Hampton Court, killing her captain, George Clements, and taking her. Claude Forbin's 60-gun Mars next attacked HMS Grafton and, when joined by the French ships Blackoal and Fidèle, killed the Captain Edward Acton, and took her too. The convoy was scattered and the last British escort, HMS Royal Oak, badly hit and with 12 feet of water in her wells, managed to escape by running ashore near Dungeness, from where she was carried the next day into the Downs.
The French took 21 merchant ships, besides the two 70-gun ships of the line, and carried them all into Dunkirk.

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the 'Royal Oak' (1741), a 70-gun two-decker ship of the line, built plank on frame in the Navy Board style.

1774 – Launch of HMS Eagle, a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Rotherhithe.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Eagle' (1774), later for 'Vigilant' (1774), and with alterations for 'America' (1777), 'Ruby' (1776), and 'Standard' (1782), all 64-gun Third Rate, two-deckers. Signed by John Williams [Surveyor of the Navy, 1765-1784]

1787 – Launch of Spanish Salvador del Mundo, a 112-gun three-decker ship of the line built at Ferrol for the Spanish Navy in 1787 to plans by Romero Landa, one of the eight very large ships of the line of the Santa Ana class, also known as los Meregildos.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sternboard outline, sheer lines with some inboard and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Salvador del Mundo (captured 1797), a captured Spanish First Rate. The plan illustrate the ship as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard when a 112-gun First Rate, three-decker. Signed by Joseph Tucker [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1802-1813]

1794 - Beginning of the Atlantic campaign of May 1794 - which will end in the Glorious First of June
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.

HMS Defence at the Battle of the Glorious 1st June 1794, Nicholas Pocock

1795 – Launch of French Cassard, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was renamed Dix-août in 1798, in honour of the events of 10 August 1792, and subsequently Brave in 1803.

1798 – Launch of HMS Renown, a 74-gun America-class third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy.

1798 – Launch of French Ligurienne, a 16-gun sectional brig of the French Navy that was launched in 1798.

1809 – Launch of HMS Ajax, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Blackwall Yard.

HMS Ajax (1809) was guardship at Kingstown, now Dún Laoghaire until 1864 when she was broken up. The Royal St George Yacht Club is in the foreground.

1810 – Launch of French Friedland, an 80-gun Bucentaure-class ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané

Napoleon I and Marie Louise, together with Jérôme Bonaparte and Catharina of Württemberg, assisting at the launching of the Friedland at the arsenal of Antwerp

1832 – Launch of HMS Castor, a 36-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

1855 - Launch of HMS Conqueror, a 101-gun Conqueror-class screw-propelled first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy.

"The loss of H.M.S. Conqueror 100 guns on Rum Cay, Bahamas, West Indies" [sic], attributed to George Pechell Mends

1866 - Battle of Callao
occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and the fortified battery emplacements of the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War.

The Battle of Callao (in Spanish, called Combate del Dos de Mayo mainly in South America) occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and the fortified battery emplacements of the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War. The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao (or El Callao), and eventually withdrew without any notable damage to the city structures, according to the Peruvian and American sources or after having silenced almost all the guns of the coastal defenses, according to the Spanish accounts and French observers. This proved to be the final battle of the war between Spanish and Peruvian forces.

1964 – Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the American aircraft carrier USS Card while it is docked at Saigon.
Two Viet Cong combat swimmers had placed explosives on the ship's hull. She is raised and returned to service less than seven months later.

The Attack on USNS Card was a Viet Cong (VC) operation during the Vietnam War. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group (Đội Biệt động 65).
Card was first commissioned into the United States Navy during World War II. Decommissioned in 1946, Card was reactivated in 1958 and entered service with the Military Sea Transport Service, transporting military equipment to South Vietnam as part of the United States military commitment to that country.
As a regular visitor to the port, Card became a target for local VC commando units. Shortly after midnight on May 2, 1964, two Viet Cong commandos climbed out of the sewer tunnel near the area where Card was anchored, and they attached two loads of explosives to the ship's hull. The attack was a success and Card sank 48 feet (15 m), and five civilian crew members were killed by the explosions. The ship was refloated 17 days later, and was towed to the Philippines for repairs.

1982 – Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano, killing 323 people.
This was the first time a warship had been sunk by a nuclear-powered submarine.
ARA
General Belgrano was an Argentine Navy light cruiser in service from 1951 until 1982.
Originally commissioned by the U.S. as USS Phoenix, she saw action in the Pacific theatre of World War II before being sold by the United States Navy to Argentina. The vessel was the second to have been named after the Argentine founding father Manuel Belgrano (1770–1820). The first vessel was a 7,069-ton armoured cruiser completed in 1896.

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Naval/Maritime History - 2nd of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

The battle of Giglio depicted in the Chronica Majora of Matthew Paris (1259)

1704 – Launch of French 54-gun Auguste, built in Brest in 1704 that the British captured in 1705.

Scale:1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for August (captured 1705), a captured French Fourth Rate, converted to a 60-gun two-decker. Note that the lower deck includes fittings for rowing

1710 - HMS Suffolk (1678 - 70) captured Gaillard (1693 - 54)
HMS Suffolk
was a 70-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by contract of 20 February 1678 by Sir Henry Johnson at his Blackwall Yard and launched in May 1680. Suffolk was commanded by Captain Wolfran Cornwall at the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690, and by Captain Christopher Billopp at the Battle of Barfleur in 1692.

Possibly a portrait of the ‘Suffolk’, viewed from the port beam.

Gaillard 54 guns (designed and built by Félix Arnaud, launched 13 October 1693 at Bayonne) – captured by the British in 1710

No scale. A plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with framing detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for an unnamed French 60-gun Fourth Rate, two-decker. The shape of the hull, as illustrated by the body plan, and the rake of the stem post are all indications of the ship having been French. Note that the dimensions are not a clear match for 'Superb' (captured 1710), or 'August' (captured 1708), but the draught style and composition reflects this period

1740 – Launch of HMS Winchelsea, a 20-gun sixth-rate launched in 1740 and in service during the War of the Austrian Succession in Mediterranean, Atlantic and home waters. She was captured by the French in 1758, but was retaken two weeks later.

1744 – Launch of HMS Winchester, a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Rotherhithe to the dimensions prescribed by the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment,
HMS Winchester
was a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Rotherhithe to the dimensions prescribed by the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment, and launched on 3 May 1744.
Winchester was sold out of the navy in 1769.

1777 - During the American Revolution, the Continental lugger USS Surprise, led by Capt. Gustavus Conyngham, captures the British mail packet Prince of Orange and the brig Joseph in the North Sea.

1780 - Launch of French Northumberland, a 74-gun Annibal class ship of the line of the French Navy
She took part in the Battle of the Chesapeake (5 September 1781), a crucial naval engagement of the American Revolutionary War (Captain Bon-Chrétien, Marquis de Bricqueville), as well as the Battle of the Saintesseven months later, under Captain Saint Cézaire, who was killed in the action. In 1782, she captured the 14-gun sloop HMS Allegiance.
Northumberland was captured during the Glorious First of June in 1794, where she was captained by François-Pierre Étienne. She was recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Northumberland, and was broken up the next year in December 1795.

1790 - Launch of HMS Windsor Castle, a 98-gun second rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford Dockyard.

1812 - HMS Skylark (16), James Boxer, grounded to the west of Boulogne and was burnt to avoid capture
HMS Skylark
was a British Royal Navy 16-gun brig-sloop of the Seagull class launched in February 1806. She served primarily in the Channel, capturing several vessels including a privateer, and taking part in one notable engagement. She grounded in May 1812 and her crew burnt her to prevent the French from capturing her.

1819 – Launch of French Thétis, a 44-gun Pallas-class frigate of the French Navy
Commissioned in Toulon on 8 March 1822, Thétis crossed to Brest in late 1822. From December 1822 to October 1823, she cruised the Caribbean before circumnavigating the planet, under Captain Hyacinthe de Bougainville. From 1824 to 1826, she served in the Indian Ocean along with Espérance, again sailing around the globe.
Thétis took part in the Invasion of Algiers in 1830. From 1832 to 1847, she was in various states of commission, and from 1851 she was used as a schoolship for cabin boys. In 1865, she was renamed to Laninon (to free up the name for the armoured corvette Thétis) and used as a coal depot.

Model of Thétis on display at the Musée de la Marine de Rochefort

1827 – Launch of French frigate Iphigénie, a first rank frigate of the French Navy, in Toulon

1860 - Launch of french Guerrière, a sail and steam frigate of the French Navy.
She is known as the flagship of Admiral Pierre-Gustave Roze during the French campaign against Korea in 1866.

Guerrière was a sail and steam frigate of the French Navy. She is known as the flagship of Admiral Pierre-Gustave Roze during the French campaign against Korea in 1866.

1/48th scale model of dry dock n°1 of Toulon harbour, with the model of Guerrière placed inside by order of Admiral Pâris.

1866 - Hornet, an 1851 extreme clipper in the San Francisco trade, famous for its race with Flying Cloud, burned and sank
Hornet was an 1851 extreme clipper in the San Francisco trade, famous for its race with Flying Cloud.

1915 – Launch of HSwMS Sverige, the first Swedish Sverige-class coastal defence ship (Pansarskepp) commissioned during the last year of World War I and serving into the 1950s.
HSwMS Sverige
was the first Swedish Sverige-class coastal defence ship (Pansarskepp) commissioned during the last year of World War I and serving into the 1950s. Her cost was approximately 12 million kronor in 1912, and the entire sum was raised in public in a nationwide fundraising campaign that gained over 15 million (approximately 650 MKr, in 2005 Kr). The fundraising was done because of the Karl Staaff government's reluctance to spend money on a new battleship.

1933 – Launch of Gorch Fock I (ex Tovarishch, ex Gorch Fock), a German three-mast barque, the first of a series built as school ships for the German Reichsmarine in 1933
Gorch Fock I (ex Tovarishch, ex Gorch Fock) is a German three-mast barque, the first of a series built as school ships for the German Reichsmarine in 1933. She was taken as war reparations by the Soviet Unionafter World War II and renamed Tovarishch. The ship was acquired by sponsors, after a short period under the Ukrainian flag in the 1990s and a prolonged stay in British ports due to lack of funds for necessary repairs, and she sailed to her original home port of Stralsund where her original name of Gorch Fock was restored on 29 November 2003. She is a museum ship, and extensive repairs were carried out in 2008.

1939 – Launch of HMS Prince of Wales, a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead
HMS Prince of Wales
was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England. She was involved in several key actions of the Second World War, including the May 1941 Battle of the Denmark Strait against the German battleship Bismarck, operations escorting convoys in the Mediterranean, and her final action and sinking in the Pacific in December 1941.
Prince of Wales had an extensive battle history, first seeing action in August 1940 while still being outfitted in her drydock, being attacked and damaged by German aircraft. Her brief but storied career ended 10 December 1941, when Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse became the first capital ships to be sunk solely by air power on the open sea, a harbinger of the diminishing role this class of ships was subsequently to play in naval warfare. The wreck lies upside down in 223 feet (68 m) of water, near Kuantan, in the South China Sea.

1945 – World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay, with great loss of life of 8.500 people who died
Cap Arcona, named after Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen, was a large German ocean liner and the flagship of the Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft ("Hamburg-South America Line"). She took her maiden voyage on 29 October 1927, carrying passengers and cargo between Germany and the east coast of South America, and in her time was the largest and quickest ship on the route.

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Naval/Maritime History - 3rd of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1812 Re-capture of Brig-sloop HMS Apelles (14) near Etaples by HMS Bermuda (10), Alexander Cunningham, HMS Rinaldo (10), Sir W. G. Parker, HMS Castilian (18), David Braimer, and HMS Phipps (14), Thomas Wells.

Apelles and Somnambule. This is an engraving by Felix Achille Saint-Aulaire (1801-99), engraver T. Ruhierre, in the book France Maritime, by Amédée Gréhan, published in 1844, though the picture itself dates to 1837

1823 - The Battle of 4 May was fought in open sea near Salvador, Bahia,
between the Brazilian Navy, under the command of a former admiral of the British Royal Navy, Thomas Cochrane, and the Portuguese Navy during the Brazilian War of Independence

Batalha de 4 de maio de 1823

1869 - Naval Battle of Hakodate Bay
The Naval Battle of Hakodate (函館湾海戦 Hakodatewan Kaisen) was fought from 4 to 10 May 1869, between the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate navy, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the newly formed Imperial Japanese Navy. It was one of the last stages of Battle of Hakodate during the Boshin War, and occurred near Hakodate in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō.

The naval battle of Hakodate Bay Bay, May 1869 in the foreground, Kasuga and Kōtetsu of the Imperial Japanese Navy

1917 - Transylvania – The ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Gulf of Genoa on 4 May 1917 by U-63. She was carrying Allied troops to Egypt 412 people were killed.
The SS Transylvania was a passenger liner of the Cunard subsidiary Line, and a sister ship to SS Tuscania. She was torpedoed and sunk on May 4, 1917 by the German U-boat U-63. Completed just before the outbreak of World War I, the Transylvania was taken over for service as a troopship upon completion. She was designed to accommodate 1,379 passengers but the Admiralty fixed her capacity at 200 officers and 2,860 men, besides crew, when she was commissioned in May 1915.

1940 - ORP Grom – On 4 May 1940, naval gunfire support missions in the Narvik area, the Polish destroyer was attacked by German aircraft.
Her loaded midship torpedo launcher was struck by a bomb from a German plane and the torpedo exploded causing the hull to break in two.
The ship sank almost immediately, killing 59 crew.
ORP Grom
was the lead ship of her class of destroyers serving in the Polish Navy during World War II. She was named after the Polish word for Thunderbolt, while her sister ship ORP Błyskawica translates to lightning.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese forces had invaded Tulagi the day before.
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another.
In an attempt to strengthen their defensive position in the South Pacific, the Japanese decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby (in New Guinea) and Tulagi (in the southeastern Solomon Islands). The plan to accomplish this was called Operation MO, and involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet. These included two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion forces. It was under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue.
The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence, and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-U.S. cruiserforce to oppose the offensive. These were under the overall command of U.S. Admiral Frank J. Fletcher.

1945 - USS Morrison – On 4 May 1945, in the Battle of Okinawa, the US destroyer was sunk after being hit by four kamikaze aircraft.
After the fourth hit the destroyer, heavily damaged, began to list sharply to starboard. Two explosions occurred almost simultaneously that lifted her bow in the air. She then sank so quickly that most men below decks were killed. 152 men were killed.

1945 - USS Luce – On 4 May 1945, in the Battle of Okinawa, the US destroyer was sunk by a kamikaze attack. She shot down one attacker but the explosion from the bomb it carried caused a power failure. Unable to bring her guns to bear in time she was struck in the aft section by the second kamikaze. Her port engine was knocked out, engineering spaces flooded and the rudder jammed. She listed heavily to starboard and the order to abandon ship was given. Moments later she sank in a violent explosion killing 126 of her 312 officers and men.

1945 - Orion – On 4 May 1945, while transporting refugees to Copenhagen, the German auxiliary cruiser Orion was hit by bombs from Soviet aircraft off Swinemünde and sank. Of the more than 4,000 people aboard, 150 died.

1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba.
In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.

Refugees from the Vlora (background) in Bari's port(Italy) on 8 August 1991

1982 – Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.

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George III in HMS Southampton reviewing the fleet off Plymouth, 18 August 1789

1794 - The Action of 5 May 1794 was a minor naval engagement fought in the Indian Ocean during the French Revolutionary Wars.
HMS Orpheus (32), Cptn Henry Newcome, captured french Duguay-Trouin (34) off the Isle of France

The Action of 5 May 1794 was a minor naval engagement fought in the Indian Ocean during the French Revolutionary Wars. A British squadron had been blockading the French island of Isle de France (now Mauritius) since early in the year, and early on 5 May discovered two ships approaching their position. As the strange vessels came closer, they were recognised as the French frigate Duguay Trouin, which had been captured from the East India Company the year before, and a small brig. Making use of a favourable wind, the British squadron gave chase to the new arrivals, which fled. The chase was short, as Duguay Trouin was a poor sailor with many of the crew sick and unable to report for duty. The British frigate HMS Orpheuswas the first to arrive, and soon completely disabled the French frigate, successfully raking the wallowing ship. After an hour and twenty minutes the French captain surrendered, Captain Henry Newcome of Orpheus taking over the captured ship and bringing his prize back to port in India.

1806 – Launch of HMS Shannon, a 38-gun Leda-class frigate of the Royal Navy.
HMS Shannon
was a 38-gun Leda-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1806 and served in the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. She won a noteworthy naval victory on 1 June 1813, during the latter conflict, when she captured the American Navy's USS Chesapeake in a singularly bloody battle.

Ship portrait. Oil painting by A. de Simone, entitled 'HMS Shannon'.

1813 – Launch of HMS Wolfe (later HMS Montreal, originally HMS Sir George Prevost), a 20-gun sloop-of-war, launched at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard at Kingston, Upper Canada
HMS Wolfe
(later HMS Montreal, originally HMS Sir George Prevost) was a 20-gun sloop-of-war, launched at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard at Kingston, Upper Canada, on 22 April 1813. She served in the British naval squadron in several engagements on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Upon her launch, Wolfe was made the flagship of the squadron until larger vessels became available. Along with the naval engagements on Lake Ontario, Wolfe supported land operations in the Niagara region and at the Battle of Fort Oswego (as Montreal). Following the war, the vessel was laid up in reserve and eventually sold in 1832.

1829 – Launch of French Créole, a 24-gun Créole-class corvette of the French Navy

1/40th scale model of Créole, on display at the Musée national de la Marine in Paris

A very good monographie of the LA CREOLE - Corvette - 1823 made by famous Jean Boudriot is available from ancre:

1840 – Launch of HMS Maeander, a Seringapatam-class sailing frigate of the British Royal Navy
HMS Maeander
was a Seringapatam-class sailing frigate of the British Royal Navy. Her service included the suppression of piracy, the Russian War, and support for the suppression of slavery with the West Africa Squadron. She was wrecked in a gale in 1870.


1937 – Launch of MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise ship converted into a hospital ship and which while functioning as a military transport ship was sunk on 30 January 1945 by Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilians, German officials, refugees from Prussia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Estonia and Croatia and military personnel from Gotenhafen (now Gdynia) as the Red Army advanced.
By one estimate, 9,400 people died, which makes it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history.

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The Wreck of the 'Gloucester' off Yarmouth, 6 May 1682

1709 - HMS Portland (54) re-captured Coventry (50)

1757 – Launch of HMS Dublin, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford.

1757 – Launch of French Souverain, a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship of her class

1761 – Launch of HMS Mermaid, a Mermaid-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

1780 – Launch of HMS Flora, a Flora-class frigates were 36-gun sailing frigates of the fifth rate produced for the Royal Navy.
They were designed in 1778 by Sir John Williams in response to an Admiralty decision to discontinue 32-gun, 12-pounder (5.4 kg), vessels

A Flora-class frigate, HMS Crescent, capturing the French frigate Réunion off Cherbourg, 20th October 1793

1781 - HMS Roebuck, a 44-gun, captured Protector

1801 - Lord Thomas Cochrane in HMS Speedy (14) captures Spanish xebec frigate El Gamo (32), Cptn. Don Francisco de Torris (Killed in Action), off the coast near Barcelona.
The Action of 6 May 1801 was a minor naval engagement between the 32-gun xebec-frigate El Gamo of the Spanish Navy under the command of Don Francisco de Torres and the much smaller 14-gun brig HMS Speedy under the command of Thomas, Lord Cochrane. El Gamo was subsequently captured. The skirmish is notable for the large disparity between the size and firepower of El Gamo and Speedy – the former was around four times the size, had much greater firepower and a crew six times the size of Speedy, which had a reduced crew of 54 at the time of the engagement.

Painting depicting the capture of the Spanish xebec frigate El Gamo in 1801 off the coast of Barcelona by the Royal Navy brig HMS Speedy commanded by Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald

1814 - The Battle of Fort Oswego was a partially successful British raid on Fort Ontario and the village of Oswego, New York on May 6, 1814 during the War of 1812.
British squadron under Sir James Lucas Yeo of HMS Prince Regent (56), HMS Princess Charlotte (42) and consorts destroyed a fort and captured USS Growler (5) and other vessels at Oswego, Lake Ontario

"The attack on Fort Oswego, May 6, 1814". Drawing by L. Hewitt, engraving by R. Havell From "http://collections.ic.gc.ca/stlauren/hist/hi_war1812.htm"

1829 – Launch of HMS Hyacinth, an 18-gun Royal Navy ship sloop.
She surveyed the north-eastern coast of Australia under Francis Price Blackwood during the mid-1830s

1867 – Launch of SMS Kronprinz, a unique German ironclad warship built for the Prussian Navy in 1866–1867.
Kronprinz was laid down in 1866 at the Samuda Brothers shipyard at Cubitt Town in London.
SMS Kronprinz
was a unique German ironclad warship built for the Prussian Navy in 1866–1867. Kronprinz was laid down in 1866 at the Samuda Brothers shipyard at Cubitt Town in London. She was launched in May 1867 and commissioned into the Prussian Navy that September. The ship was the fourth ironclad ordered by the Prussian Navy, after Arminius, Prinz Adalbert, and Friedrich Carl, though she entered service before Friedrich Carl. Kronprinz was built as an armored frigate, armed with a main battery of sixteen 21 cm (8.3 in) guns several smaller guns were added later in her career.
Kronprinz saw limited duty during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. Engine troubles aboard the ship, along with the two other armored frigates in her squadron, prevented operations against the French blockade. Only two sorties in which Kronprinz participated were conducted, both of which did not result in combat. The ship served in the subsequent Imperial Navy until she was converted into a training ship for boiler room personnel in 1901. The ship was ultimately broken up for scrap in 1921.

Illustration of Kronprinz in 1868

1869 - The Battle of Miyako Bay (宮古湾海戦 Miyakowan Kaisen) was a naval action on 6 May 1869.
It was part of the overall Battle of Hakodate at the end of the Boshin War, a civil war in Japan between Imperial forces of the new Meiji government, and samurai loyalists to the former Tokugawa shogunate.

1902 - passanger steamer SS Camorta was caught in a cyclone and sank in the Irrawaddy Delta with the loss of all 655 passengers and 82 crew.
She was en route from Madras, India, to Rangoon, Burma, across the Bay of Bengal.
SS Camorta
was a passenger steamship built at A. & J. Inglis in 1880 and owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company.

1905 – Launch of The fourth USS St. Louis (C-20/CA-18), the lead ship of her class of protected cruisers in the United States Navy.
The fourth USS St. Louis (C-20/CA-18), was the lead ship of her class of protected cruisers in the United States Navy. St. Louis was launched on 6 May 1905 by the Neafie & Levy Company, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was sponsored by Miss Gladys Bryant Smith and commissioned on 18 August 1906 with Captain Nathaniel R. Usher in command.

1937 – Hindenburg disaster
The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. On board were 97 people (36 passengers and 61 crewmen) there were 36 fatalities


Hindenburg disaster sequence from the Pathé reel, showing the bow nearing the ground.
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An 18th-century depiction of Henry Every, with the Fancy shown engaging its prey in the background

1765 – Launch of HMS Victory, a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765.
She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

Scale: 1:60. A model of H.M.S Victory (1765) made entirely in wood that has been painted in realistic colours with metal fittings. The vessel is shown in a launching cradle on a slipway.

1773 – Launch of HMS Orpheus, a British 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
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 Edward Hawke's outgoing Admiralty Board, just before it was replaced. The contract to build the Orpheus was awarded to John Barnard at Harwich, the keel being laid in May 1771, and the frigate was launched 7 May 1773, at a cost of £12,654.16.11d. She sailed from Harwich on 24 May for Sheerness Dockyard, where she was completed and fitted out to the Navy Board's needs (for £835.7.7d) by 11 June.

1779 - The Continental Navy sloop USS Providence, captures the British brig HMS Diligent off Sandy Hook and is later acquired for service in the Continental Navy.
USS Providence
was a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy, originally chartered by the Rhode Island General Assembly as Katy. The ship took part in a number of campaigns during the first half of the American Revolutionary War before being destroyed by her own crew in 1779 to prevent her falling into the hands of the British after the failed Penobscot Expedition.

Continental Sloop Providence (1775-1779) Painting in oils by W. Nowland Van Powell.

1794 - The Action of 7 May 1794 was a minor naval action fought between a British ship of the line and a French frigate early in the French Revolutionary Wars. HMS Swiftsure (74), Captain Charles Boyles, captured Atalante (36), Cptn. Charles-Alexandre-Leon Durand-Linois

1798 - Battle of the Îles Saint-Marcouf - HMS Badger (4) and HMS Sandfly gunbrig repulsed 52 gun brigs at Marcon.
The Battle of the Îles Saint-Marcouf was an engagement fought off the Îles Saint-Marcouf near the Cotentin peninsula on the Normandy coast of France in May 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1795 a British garrison was placed on the islands, which operated as a resupply base for Royal Navy ships cruising off the coast of Northern France. Seeking to eliminate the British presence on the islands and simultaneously test the equipment and tactics then being developed in France for a projected invasion of Britain, the French launched a massed amphibious assault on the southern island using over 50 landing ships and thousands of troops on 7 May 1798. Although significant Royal Navy forces were in the area, a combination of wind and tide prevented them from intervening and the island's 500-strong garrison was left to resist the attack alone.

Attack of St Marcou, I. Scatcherd

1803 – Launch of Russian Liogkii ("Лёгкий"), or Legkiy or Legkii, was a 38-gun Russian Speshni-class frigate
Liogkii ("Лёгкий"), or Legkiy or Legkii, was a 38-gun Russian Speshni-class frigate launched in 1803. She served in the Mediterranean during the Anglo-Russian war. The Russians sold her to the French Navy in 1809, which refitted her and put her into service in 1811, renaming her Corcyre. The British captured her in November 1811.

Model of the frigate O'Higgins from the Museo Naval y Marítimo of the Chilean Navy

1864 – The world's oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide is launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, for transporting passengers and goods between Britain and Australia.
City of Adelaide is a clipper ship, built in Sunderland, England, and launched on 7 May 1864. The ship was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Carrick between 1923 and 1948 and, after decommissioning, was known as Carrick until 2001. At a conference convened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 2001, the decision was made to revert the ship's name to City of Adelaide, and the duke formally renamed her at a ceremony in 2013.

1875 - SS Schiller – the ship sank after hitting the Retarrier Ledges in the Isles of Scilly. Most of her crew and passengers were lost, totalling 335 fatalities.
SS Schiller
was a 3,421 ton German ocean liner, one of the largest vessels of her time. Launched in 1873, she plied her trade across the Atlantic Ocean, carrying passengers between New York and Hamburg for the German Transatlantic Steam Navigation Line. She became notorious on 7 May 1875, while operating on her normal route, when she hit the Retarrier Ledges in the Isles of Scilly, causing her to sink with the loss of most of her crew and passengers, totalling 335 fatalities.

1885 – Launch of SMS Arcona, a member of the Carola class of steam corvettes built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) in the 1880s.
SMS Arcona
was a member of the Carola class of steam corvettes built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) in the 1880s. Intended for service in the German colonial empire, the ship was designed with a combination of steam and sail power for extended range, and was equipped with a battery of ten 15-centimeter (5.9 in) guns. Arcona was laid down at the Kaiserliche Werft (Imperial Shipyard) in Danzig in 1881, she was launched in May 1885, and she was completed in December 1886.

Arcona in Nagasaki, Japan, c. 1897

1887 – Launch of French Neptune, an ironclad battleship of the French Navy

The Neptune on Penfeld river, c. 1892, by Edmond Chagot

1902 – Launch of Preußen (usually Preussen in English) (PROY-sin), a German steel-hulled five-masted ship-rigged windjammer built in 1902 for the F. Laeisz shipping company and named after the German state and kingdom of Prussia.
It was the world's only ship of this class with five masts carrying six square sails on each mast.

Until the 2000 launch of the Royal Clipper, a sail cruise liner, she was the only five-masted full-rigged ship ever built.

1913 – Launch of spanish Alfonso XIII, a Spanish dreadnought battleship, the second member of the España class.
Alfonso XIII was a Spanish dreadnought battleship, the second member of the España class. She had two sister ships, España and Jaime I. Alfonso XIII was built by the SECN shipyard she was laid down in February 1910, launched in May 1913, and completed in August 1915. Named after King Alfonso XIII of Spain, she was renamed España in 1931 after the king was exiled following the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic. The new name was the namesake of her earlier sister ship, the España that served in the Spanish fleet from 1913 to 1923.

1915 - RMS Lusitania torpedoed and sunk
The passenger liner was torpedoed by U-20 on 7 May 1915. She sank in just 18 minutes 8 nmi (15 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland killing 1,198 out of over 1,900 of the people aboard.
RMS Lusitania
was a British ocean liner and briefly the world's largest passenger ship. The ship was sunk on 7 May 1915 by a German U-boat 11 mi (18 km) off the southern coast of Ireland. The sinking presaged the United States declaration of war on Germany (1917).

1934 - The frigate USS Constitution completes her 3-year tour of 76 port cities along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and then returns to Boston, Mass. Prior to her journey that began July 1931, the 137-year-old frigate undergoes a refit and overhaul. Congress authorized the restoration of Constitution in March 1925.

1942 – World War II: During the Battle of the Coral Sea, United States Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attack and sink the Imperial Japanese Navy light aircraft carrier Shōhō
the battle marks the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.

Shōhō (Japanese: 祥鳳, "Auspicious Phoenix" or "Happy Phoenix") was a light aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Originally built as the submarine support ship Tsurugizaki in the late 1930s, she was converted before the Pacific War into an aircraft carrier and renamed. Completed in early 1942, the ship supported the invasion forces in Operation MO, the invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea, and was sunk by American carrier aircraft on her first combat operation during the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May. Shōhō was the first Japanese aircraft carrier to be sunk during World War II.

1945 – World War II: General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany's participation in the war. The document takes effect the next day.
Jodl and Keitel surrender all German armed forces unconditionally:

Thirty minutes after the fall of "Festung Breslau" (Fortress Breslau), General Alfred Jodl arrived in Reims and, following Dönitz's instructions, offered to surrender all forces fighting the Western Allies. This was exactly the same negotiating position that von Friedeburg had initially made to Montgomery, and like Montgomery the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, threatened to break off all negotiations unless the Germans agreed to a complete unconditional surrender to all the Allies on all fronts. Eisenhower explicitly told Jodl that he would order western lines closed to German soldiers, thus forcing them to surrender to the Soviets. Jodl sent a signal to Dönitz, who was in Flensburg, informing him of Eisenhower's declaration. Shortly after midnight, Dönitz, accepting the inevitable, sent a signal to Jodl authorizing the complete and total surrender of all German forces.

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1744 - HMS Northumberland (70), Cptn. Thomas Watson (mortally wounded), captured by a French squadron of Content (62) and Mars (64).
The Action of 8 May 1744 was a minor naval engagement of the War of the Austrian Succession in which two French ships of the line, the 60-gun Content, and the 64-gun Mars, captured the British ship of the line HMS Northumberland, after a desperate action lasting four hours. Northumberland's captain, Thomas Watson, and her second-lieutenant were among those killed.

The Description of ye Loss of His Majestys Ship Northumberland Taken by ye French May ye 8th 1744 (PAF4581)

1781 - HMS Port Royal (18) captured by the Spaniards at Pensacola and HMS Mentor (16), Robert Deans, burnt to avoid capture

A 1783 engraving depicting the exploding magazine which marked the end of the Siege of Penascola

1793 – Launch of French Tigre, a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Tigre' (1795), a captured French Third Rate, as taken off at Portsmouth Dockyard prior to being fitted as 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. Later alterations sent to Portsmouth on 24 August 1797. Signed by Edward Tippet [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1793-1799]

1794 - HMS Placienta (6), a single-masted forty-six foot Newfoundland hoy, wrecked off Newfoundland

Scale: 1:48. A plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Placentia' [Pleanica] (1790) and 'Trepassey' [Trepassee] (1790), both single-masted forty-six foot Newfoundland hoys

1794 - French Patriote (74), part of a French squadron under Rear-Admiral Joseph-Marie Nielly, captures HMS Castor (32), Cptn. Thomas Troubridge, off Cape Clear. 20 days later she was recaptured by Francis Laforey's HMS Carysfort

Hand-coloured. The Castor, a British vessel captured by the French (and flying French colours) is shown on the left of the picture, just before her re-capture by the British vessel Carysfort

1804 - HMS Vincejo (16), John Westly Wright, captured by French flotilla of 6 brigs and 5 luggers off the mouth of the Morbihan

Second View of HM Sloop El Vincego I W Wright Esqr, Commander, taken in the Bay of Quiberon by Six Brigs & Eleven Gun Boats of the French, on the 8th of May 1804 (PAG9022)

1812 - american Baltimore pilot schooner Arrow was seized by HMS Andromache under Orders in Council, for trading with the French.

Technique includes scratching out. Medium includes sepia ink. Heightened with white. This anonymous watercolour, presumably of an incident in the Anglo-American ware of 1812-14 is inscribed at the bottom: 'The American Schooner bore down on the Pylades Sloop of war, mistaking her, but on receiving a shot made sail & escaped hoisting a white flag at her fore 'Catch me who can' G.H'

1876 – Launch of Caio Duilio, the lead ship of the Caio Duilio class of ironclad turret ships built for the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy).
Caio Duilio was the lead ship of the Caio Duilio class of ironclad turret ships built for the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy). Named for the Roman admiral Gaius Duilius, the ship was laid down in January 1873, was launched in May 1876, and was completed in January 1880. She was armed with a main battery of four 17.7-inch (450 mm) guns, then the largest gun afloat, and she was capable of a top speed of around 15 kn (28 km/h 17 mph).

Caio Duilio while fitting out in 1880

1895 – Launch of HMS Renown, a second-class predreadnought battleship built for the Royal Navy in the early 1890s.
HMS Renown
was a second-class predreadnought battleship built for the Royal Navy in the early 1890s. Intended to command cruiser squadrons operating on foreign stations, the ship served as the flagship of the North America and West Indies Station and the Mediterranean Fleet early in her career. Becoming obsolete as cruiser speeds increased, Renown became a royal yacht and had all of her secondary armament removed to make her more suitable for such duties. She became a stoker's training ship in 1909 and was listed for disposal in 1913. The ship was sold for scrap in early 1914.

1899 – Launch of Russian Gromoboi (Russian: Громобой, meaning: "Thunderer") was an armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the late 1890s.
Gromoboi (Russian: Громобой, meaning: "Thunderer") was an armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the late 1890s. She was designed as a long-range commerce raider and served as such during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. When the war broke out, she was based in Vladivostok and made several sorties in search of Japanese shipping in the conflict's early months without much success.

A beautiful and amazing model of the Gromoboi in scale 1:700 built by an old friend of mine Jim Baumann

1918 - The Action of 8 May 1918 was a small naval engagement which occurred off Algiers, North Africa during World War I.
The Action of 8 May 1918 was a small naval engagement which occurred off Algiers, North Africa during World War I. In the action, an American armed yacht and a British destroyer encountered the German U-boat UB-70. Initially, the engagement was thought to be inconclusive, but later on the allied warships were credited with sinking the German submarine.

1940 - HNLMS Buffel and HNLMS Schorpioen, both monitors ironclad ram ships, captured by germans

1941 – action of 8 May 1941
German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin,which served as a commerce raider in World War II that captured or sunk 32 ships. On 8 May 1941 she was sunk in a battle with HMS Cornwall in the Indian Ocean.
Of 401 crew, 341 were lost along with 214 of the 238 prisoners aboard.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington.

USS Lexington explodes on 8 May 1942, several hours after being damaged by a Japanese carrier air attack.

1945 - The unconditional surrender of Germany was ratified by Allies in Berlin. This event is remembered as V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) !
Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day (Great Britain) or V-E Day (North America), is celebrated on Tuesday, 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

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1666 – Launch of HMS Saint Patrick, a 50-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy.

1781 – Launch of HMS Narcissus, a Sphinx-class 20-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy
HMS Narcissus
was a Sphinx-class 20-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy launched in 1781. Most notably in 1782, while she was under the command of Captain Edward Edwards, a mutiny occurred aboard the vessel that resulted in the hanging of six men, and the flogging of an additional 14. Captain Edwards went on to command HMS Pandora, which was assigned to carry the Bounty mutineers back to England.

1795 - HMS Melampus (36), Sir Richard Strachan, HMS Diamond (38) Cptn. Sir W. Sidney Smith and another frigate left anchorage in Gourville Bay, Jersey and took convoy of 11 French merchantmen and 2 gun-vessels, Eclair and Crache-Feu.

Detail from the painting by Bristol artist Chris Woodhouse of the 36-gun Bristol-built frigate HMS Melampus, commissioned and purchased in 1990 by Bristol City Museum

1795 - Launch of HMS Coromandel, a 56-gun fourth rate of the Royal Navy, previously the East Indiaman Winterton.
HMS Coromandel
was a 56-gun fourth rate of the Royal Navy, previously the East Indiaman Winterton. She was purchased on the stocks in 1795, used as a troopship from 1796, was converted to a convalescent ship in 1807 for Jamaica, and was sold there in 1813. She returned to Britain around 1847 and was wrecked at Yarmouth in 1856.

An original art: drawing by Edward William Cooke of 'Coromandel' her at Yarmouth, where she was wrecked in 1856. The drawing, which depicts a close-up her stern, is part of series of five drawings of the ship dated 22 October, 1856. See also PAE6154, PAE6156, PAE6158, and PAE6159

1835 – Launch of steamship Beaver, the first steamship to operate in the Pacific Northwest of North America.
Beaver was the first steamship to operate in the Pacific Northwest of North America. She made remote parts of the west coast of Canada accessible for maritime fur trading and was chartered by the Royal Navy for surveying the coastline of British Columbia. She served off the coast from 1836 until 1888, when she was wrecked.

864 - The Battle of Heligoland (or Helgoland) was fought on 9 May 1864, during the Second Schleswig War, between a Danish squadron led by Commodore Edouard Suenson and a joint Austro-Prussian squadron commanded by the Austrian Commodore Wilhelm von Tegetthoff.
The action came about as a result of the Danish blockade of German ports in the North Sea the Austrians had sent two steam frigates, SMS Schwarzenberg and Radetzky, to reinforce the small Prussian Navy to help break the blockade. After arriving in the North Sea, Tegetthoff joined a Prussian aviso and a pair of gunboats. To oppose him, Suenson had available the steam frigates Niels Juel and Jylland and the corvette Hejmdal.

Jylland, preserved as a museum ship

1887 -Launch of HMS Sans Pareil, a Victoria-class battleship of the British Royal Navy of the Victorian era, her only sister ship being HMS Victoria.

1895 – Launch of SMS Monarch, the lead ship of the Monarch-class coastal defense ship built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the 1890s
SMS Monarch
("His Majesty's Ship Monarch") was the lead ship of the Monarch-class coastal defense ship built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the 1890s. After their commissioning, Monarch and the two other Monarch-class ships made several training cruises in the Mediterranean Sea in the early 1900s. Monarch and her sisters formed the 1st Capital Ship Division of the Austro-Hungarian Navy until they were replaced by the newly commissioned Habsburg-class pre-dreadnought battleships at the turn of the century. In 1906 the three Monarchs were placed in reserve and only recommissioned during the annual summer training exercises. After the start of World War I, Budapest was recommissioned and assigned to 5th Division together with her sisters.

Austro-Hungarian Monarch-class battleship battleship SMS Budapest (1896). 1:50 scale model at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Wien.

1902 – Launch of French cruiser Amiral Aube, a Gloire-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the early 1900s
The French cruiser Amiral Aube was a Gloire-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the early 1900s. She served in the English Channel and the Mediterranean during World War I. In early 1918, the ship was sent to Murmansk to support Allied forces during the when they intervened in the Russian Civil War. Amiral Aube was placed in reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1922

1918 - The Second Ostend Raid (officially known as Operation VS)
was the later of two failed attempts made during the spring of 1918 by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy to block the channels leading to the Belgian port of Ostend as a part of its conflict with the German Empire during World War I.

Due to the significant strategic advantages conferred by the Belgian ports, the Imperial German Navy had used Ostend as a base for their U-boat activities during the Battle of the Atlantic since 1915.
A successful blockade of these bases would force German submarines to operate out of more distant ports, such as Wilhelmshaven, on the German coast. This would expose them for longer to Allied countermeasures and reduce the time they could spend raiding. The ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge (partially blocked in the Zeebrugge Raid three weeks previously) provided sea access via canals for the major inland port of Bruges. Bruges was used as a base for small warships and submarines. As it was 6 mi (5.2 nmi 9.7 km) inland, it was immune to most naval artillery fire and coastal raids, providing a safe harbour for training and repair.
The First Ostend Raid on 23 April 1918 was largely a failure, the blockships grounded too far from the channels to obstruct them. The second attempt also failed, due to heavy German resistance and British navigational difficulties in poor weather. In anticipation of a raid, the Germans had removed the navigation buoys and without them the British had difficulty finding the narrow channel into the harbour in poor weather. When they did discover the entrance, German resistance proved too strong for the operation to be completed as originally planned: the obsolete cruiser HMS Vindictive was sunk, but only partially blocked the channel.
Despite its failure, the raid was presented in Britain as a courageous and daring gamble that came very close to success. Three Victoria Crosses and numerous other gallantry medals were awarded to sailors who participated in the operation. British forces had moderate casualties in the raid, compared to minimal German losses.

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Naval/Maritime History - 9th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

1758 – Launch of French Fantasque, a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.
The Fantasque was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She is famous for being captained by the French commander Pierre-André de Suffrenduring the American Revolutionary War.

1762 – Launch of HMS Lark, a 32-gun Richmond-class frigate fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.
HMS Lark was a 32-gun Richmond-class frigate fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1762 and destroyed in Narragansett Bay in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War.

1777 – Launch of USS Ranger, a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy in active service in 1777–1780, the first to bear her name
USS Ranger
was a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy in active service in 1777–1780, the first to bear her name. Built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, she is famed for the one-ship guerilla campaign waged by her caption, Captain John Paul Jones, against the British during the American Revolution. In six months spent primarily in British waters she captured five prizes, staged a single failed attack on the English mainland at Whitehaven, and sent the Royal Navy seeking to run her down in the Irish Sea. .

1780 - Launch of HMS Ontario, a British warship that sank in a storm in Lake Ontario on 31 October 1780, during the American Revolutionary War.
HMS Ontario
was a British warship that sank in a storm in Lake Ontario on 31 October 1780, during the American Revolutionary War. She was a 22-gun snow, and, at 80 feet (24 m) in length, the largest British warship on the Great Lakes at the time. The shipwreck was discovered in 2008 by Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville. Ontario was found largely intact and very well preserved in the cold water. Scoville and Kennard assert that "the 80-foot sloop of war is the oldest shipwreck and the only fully intact British warship ever found in the Great Lakes."

MarisStella - New Kit - Hms Ontario 1780 1:48

1800 – Launch of HMS Spencer, a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Bucklers Hard.
HMS Spencer
was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 10 May 1800 at Bucklers Hard. Her designer was the French émigré shipwright Jean-Louis Barrallier. She served in two major battles, Algeciras Bay and San Domingo, and in a number of other campaigns. She was broken up in 1822.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the launching arrangements at Bucker's Hard, Beaulie, for Spencer (1800), a 74-gun, two-decker. The reverse has the measurements of the Spenser comparing the contract to the 'as built' dimensions

1801 – Launch of French Héros, a 74-gun French ship of the line built at Rochefort from 1795 to 1801 by engineer Roland

1807 - Battle of the Dardanelles
The naval Battle of the Dardanelles took place on 10–11 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.

1808 – Launch of French Ville de Varsovie, a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Chaumont from original plans by Sané.

1808 - Start of 5 day engagement between HMS Wizard (16), Abel Ferris, and Requin (16) from off Toulon to Goulette near Tunis.
On May 10th, the Wizard, 16, Commander Abel Ferris, sighted and chased, to the south of Toulon, the Requin, 16, Commander C. E. Berar, and, after a long pursuit, engaged her in close action on the morning of the llth. The Requin fired high and inflicted sufficiently severe injuries to be able to draw away from her adversary. The British crew refitted their ship, and, on the morning of the 12th, were near enough to the Requin to open a long range fire. The firing killed the breeze, and the Requin drew ahead once more but the Wizard stuck to her enemy all the 12th and 13th, now gaining and now losing ground, and exchanging shots whenever near enough for the guns to carry. On the 14th, however, the Requin entered the neutral harbour of Goletta in Tunis, and the pursuit ceased, having continued through 88 hours over 369 miles of sea. The Requin was ultimately taken on July 28th, to the north of Corsica, on her way back from Tunis to Toulon, by the Volage, 22, Captain Philip Lewis J - Rosenhagen, after a long chase. The Wizard's total loss was 1 killed and 5 wounded the Requin's is unknown.
HMS Wizard (1805) was a brig-sloop launched 1805 and sold October 1816.

1862 – Launch of USS New Ironsides, a wooden-hulled broadside ironclad built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War.
USS New Ironsides
was a wooden-hulled broadside ironclad built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship spent most of her career blockading the Confederate ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1863–65. New Ironsides bombarded the fortifications defending Charleston in 1863 during the First and Second Battles of Charleston Harbor. At the end of 1864 and the beginning of 1865 she bombarded the defenses of Wilmington in the First and Second Battles of Fort Fisher.
Although she was struck many times by Confederate shells, gunfire never significantly damaged the ship or injured the crew.[2] Her only casualty in combat occurred when she was struck by a spar torpedo carried by the CSS David. Eight crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in 1865. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1865 after she was placed in reserve.

New Ironsides as she appeared on blockade duty.

1887 – Launch of HMS Buzzard, a Nymphe-class composite screw sloop

1900 – Launch of Russian Pobeda (Russian: Победа, lit. 'Victory'), the last of the three Peresvet-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy at the end of the nineteenth century.
Pobeda (Russian: Победа, lit. 'Victory') was the last of the three Peresvet-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy at the end of the nineteenth century. The ship was assigned to the Pacific Squadron upon completion and based at Port Arthur from 1903. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, she participated in the battles of Port Arthur and the Yellow Sea. Having escaped serious damage in these engagements, Pobeda was sunk by gunfire during the Siege of Port Arthur, and then salvaged by the Japanese and placed into service under the name Suwo (周防).
Rearmed and re-boilered by the Japanese, Suwo was reclassified by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a coastal defense ship in 1908 and served as a training ship for several years. She was the flagship of the Japanese squadron that participated in the Battle of Tsingtao at the beginning of World War Iand continued in that role until she became a gunnery training ship in 1917. The ship was disarmed in 1922 to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty and probably scrapped around that time.

1915 - The Action of 10 May 1915 was a naval encounter between the Russian pre-dreadnought squadron and the Ottoman battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim in the Black Sea
The Action of 10 May 1915 was a naval encounter between the Russian pre-dreadnought squadron and the Ottoman battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan Selimin the Black Sea. After a brief exchange of fire the Ottomans withdrew.

Goeben steaming at full speed

1916 – Sailing in the lifeboat James Caird, Ernest Shackleton arrives at South Georgia after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island.
The voyage of the James Caird was a small-boat journey from Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands to South Georgia in the Southern Ocean, a distance of 1,300 kilometres (800 mi). Undertaken by Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions, it aimed to obtain rescue for the main body of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917, which was stranded on Elephant Island after the loss of its ship Endurance. Polar historians regard the voyage as one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever completed.
In October 1915, pack ice in the Weddell Sea had sunk Endurance, leaving Shackleton and his companions adrift on a precarious ice surface. Throughout the duration of their survival, the group drifted northward until April 1916, when the floe on which they had encamped broke up. They then made their way in the ship's lifeboats to Elephant Island, where Shackleton decided that the most effective means of obtaining rescue would be to sail one of the lifeboats to South Georgia.

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

1560 - The Battle of Djerba (Turkish: Cerbe) took place in May 1560 near the island of Djerba, Tunisia.
The Battle of Djerba (Turkish: Cerbe) took place in May 1560 near the island of Djerba, Tunisia. The Ottomans under Piyale Pasha's command overwhelmed a large joint Christian Alliance fleet, composed chiefly of Spanish, Papal, Genoese, Maltese and Neapolitan forces. The allies lost 27 galleys and some smaller vessels as well as the fortified island of Djerba. This victory marked perhaps the high point of Ottoman power in the Mediterranean Sea.

1678 - several french ship lost in West indies
London Gazette 1 Aug. 1678 - Paris Aug 6 - From Rochelle as well from Brest, we have an account of the misfortune happened to the squadron of the Count d'Estree in the West Indies, of ?? men of war, and 5 other vessels were lost near certain Isles, called the Isles of Birds about 10 leagues from Curassow, having by the violence of the current being driven upon the rocks that are there, which is attributed to the ignorance of the Pilots.

1689 - The Battle of Bantry Bay was a naval engagement fought on 11 May 1689, a week before the declaration of the Nine Years' War.
The Battle of Bantry Bay was a naval engagement fought on 11 May 1689, a week before the declaration of the Nine Years' War. The English fleet was commanded by Admiral Arthur Herbert, created Earl of Torrington after the Battle the French fleet by François Louis de Rousselet, Marquis de Châteaurenault. Apart from the inshore operations at La Rochelle in 1627–28, the Battle of Bantry Bay was the first time English and French navies had met in fleet action since 1545.

Battle of Bantry Bay by Adriaen van Diest.

1762 – Launch of HMS Boston, a 32-gun Richmond-class fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy
HMS Boston
was a 32-gun Richmond-class fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1762. She served during the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolutionary War, and was broken up in 1811.
On 16 April 1797, Boston was 18 leagues NNE of Cape Finisterre when after a six-hour chase she captured the French privateer Enfant de la Patrie, of 16 guns and 130 men. Enfant de la Patrie was eight days out of Bordeaux but had not taken anything. The captain of the privateer was drunk, and so decided to resist, firing his guns, small arms, and running his vessel into Boston. His rashness resulted in five of his crew being killed, ten wounded, and he himself drowning.

1765 – Launch of French Flamand, a 56-gun Bordelois-class ship of the line of the French Navy.
The Flamand was a 56-gun Bordelois-class ship of the line of the French Navy. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Flanders, and built by engineer Léon Guignace on a design by Antoine Groignard.
She took part in Suffren's campaign during the American Revolutionary War.

1820 – Launch of HMS Beagle, a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class.
HMS Beagle
was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of £7,803 (£613,000 in today's currency), was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, and for that occasion is said to have been the first ship to sail completely under the old London Bridge. There was no immediate need for Beagle so she "lay in ordinary", moored afloat but without masts or rigging. She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions.

1854 - HMS Tiger was a steam frigate of the British Royal Navy launched in 1849, which was lost in 1854 after grounding near Odessa during the Crimean War.

1898 - The Second Battle of Cárdenas was a secondary naval engagement of the Spanish–American War fought on 11 May 1898 in the port of Cárdenas, Cuba, between an American squadron of 5 ships under Captain Chapman C. Todd and 3 small Spanish vessels under Mariano Mateu.
The battle resulted in an unusually costly American reverse that dissuaded the U.S. Navy from undertaking further attacks on the port.

USRC Hudson, led by Frank Hamilton Newcomb, moves to assist a disabled USS Winslow during the Second Battle of Cárdenas.

1900 – Launch of Aurora (Russian: Авро́ра, tr. Avrora, IPA: [ɐˈvrorə]) is a 1900 Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in Saint Petersburg.
Aurora (Russian: Авро́ра, tr. Avrora, IPA: [ɐˈvrorə]) is a 1900 Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in Saint Petersburg. Aurora was one of three Pallada-class cruisers, built in Saint Petersburg for service in the Pacific. All three ships of this class served during the Russo-Japanese War. Aurora survived the Battle of Tsushima and was interned under US protection in the Philippines, and eventually returned to the Baltic Fleet.

1918 - SS Sant Anna – This troopship, traveling from Marseille over Bizerte to Salonica, with 2,025 soldiers on board was torpedoed on 11 May 1918 by German submarine SM UC-54. There were 605 casualties.
SS Sant′ Anna
was a Transatlantic ocean liner converted into a troopship in 1915, torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea on 11 May 1918 with 605 casualties.

1918 - SS Verona – On 11 May 1918 the troop ship was off Capo Peloro in Sicily and heading for Libya, when UC-52 torpedoed and sank her. She sank quickly, killing 880 of about 3,000 troops aboard.
SS Verona
was an Italian passenger steamer, built in 1908 by Workman, Clark and Company in Belfast, and operated by the Navigazione Generale Italiana, of Genoa. SS Ancona was her sister ship.

1960 - Launch of SS France, a Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT, or French Line) ocean liner, constructed by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard at Saint-Nazaire, France, and put into service in February 1962.
SS France
was a Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT, or French Line) ocean liner, constructed by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard at Saint-Nazaire, France, and put into service in February 1962. At the time of her construction in 1960, the 316 m (1,037 ft) vessel was the longest passenger ship ever built, a record that remained unchallenged until the construction of the 345 m (1,132 ft) RMS Queen Mary 2 in 2004.

1972 - STV Royston Grange – The British cargo liner was destroyed by fire after a collision with the petroleum tanker Tien Chee in the Rio de la Plata on 11 May 1972. There were no survivors from the 72 aboard.
The STV Royston Grange was a British cargo liner which was destroyed by fire after a collision in the Rio de la Plata on 11 May 1972. She had been built in 1959 and was owned by the Houlder Line.

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

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1649 - The naval Battle of Focchies took place on 12 May 1649, during the Cretan War, off Focchies near Smyrna in western Turkey.
A Venetian fleet of 19 ships, under Giacomo Riva, defeated an Ottoman fleet of 11 ships, 10 galleasses (mahons) and 72 galleys.

1704 – Launch of HMS Mary, a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Chatham Dockyard

1796 - The Action of 12 May 1796 was a minor naval engagement during the French Revolutionary Wars between a squadron of British Royal Navy frigates and a frigate and four smaller ships of the Batavian Navy
HMS Phoenix (36), Cptn. Lawrence Halstead, captured Argo (36) in the North Sea

The Action of 12 May 1796 was a minor naval engagement during the French Revolutionary Wars between a squadron of British Royal Navy frigates and a frigate and four smaller ships of the Batavian Navy. The British squadron had been detached on the previous day from the British North Sea fleet under Admiral Adam Duncan, which was cruising off the Batavian fleet anchorage at the Texel, while the Batavian squadron was returning to the Netherlands from the Norwegian coast where it had been sheltering since suffering defeat at the Action of 22 August 1795 the previous year. As the Batavian squadron neared the Batavian coast, the British squadron under Captain Lawrence Halstead attacked.
In his frigate HMS Phoenix, Halstead was able to cut the Batavian frigate Argo off from the shore and bring it to battle, forcing it to surrender in just 20 minutes as other British ships closed with the combat. The remainder of the Batavian squadron had dispersed eastwards away from the frigates and Duncan's fleet, pursued by the frigate HMS Pegasus and brig-sloop HMS Sylph. After a lengthy chase, Phoenix caught the cutter Duke of York, Sylph seized the brig Mercury, while Pegasus succeeded in driving the other brigs, Echo and Gier ashore, where both were believed wrecked. Duncan's blockade of the Texel was instrumental in British control of the North Sea, and a year later it would achieve a decisive victory at the Battle of Camperdown.

HMS Phoenix in chase of Didon

1797 - Mutiny at Nore begins
The Spithead and Nore mutinies were two major mutinies by sailors of the Royal Navy in 1797. They were the first outbreaks of a significant increase in maritime radicalism in the Atlantic World. Despite their temporal proximity, the mutinies differed in character: while the Spithead mutiny was essentially a strike action, articulating economic grievances, the Nore mutiny was more radical, articulating political ideals as well.

1808 - HMS Tartar (32), Cptn. G. E. B. Bettesworth (Killed in Action), and boats engaged at Bergen.
HMS Tartar
left Leith roads on 10 May 1807 and arrived off Bergen on the 12th, but heavy fog prevented her from getting closer until three days later. Unfortunately, by the time Tartar arrived, Guelderland had sailed more than a week earlier. Bettesworth nevertheless decided to send his boats into the harbour to cut out some merchant vessels and three privateers that were there. When the boats encountered heavy fire and discovered that a heavy chain protected the ships in the harbour, they and Bettesworth returned to Tartar. However, as Tartar tried to withdraw, she came attack from the schooner Odin and between three and six gunboats (accounts differ). Cannon fire from the Norwegians killed Bettesworth and a midshipman, Henry FitzHugh, early in the action. A further twelve men were wounded before Tartar was able to complete her withdrawal. The Danes lost four men, and a gunboat.

Tartar fighting gunboats at the battle of Alvøen

1810 – Launch of French Renard, an Abeille-class 16-gun brig of the French Navy, launched in 1810 in Genoa
Renard was an Abeille-class 16-gun brig of the French Navy, launched in 1810 in Genoa. She is known for her battle against the brig HMS Swallow, one of the early deeds of then-Lieutenant Charles Baudin.

1813 – Launch of HMS Cornwallis, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 12 May 1813 at Bombay
She was built of teak. The capture of Java by USS Constitution delayed the completion of Cornwallis as Java had been bringing her copper sheathing from England.

HMS Cornwallis and the British squadron under the walls of Nanking, saluting the peace treaty.

1831 – Launch of HMS Viper, a six-gun Cockatrice-class schooner built for the Royal Navy during the 1830s.

1842 – Launch of The second USS Somers, a brig in the United States Navy during the John Tyler administration which became infamous for being the only U.S. Navy ship to undergo a mutiny which led to executions.

This Lithograph, published circa 1843, shows the mutineers hanging under the US flag.

1865 - Comet, an 1851 California clipper built by William H. Webb which sailed in the Australia trade and the tea trade, was lost at sea
Comet was an 1851 California clipper built by William H. Webb which sailed in the Australia trade and the tea trade. This extreme clipper was very fast. She had record passages on two different routes: New York Cityto San Francisco, and Liverpool to Hong Kong, and beat the famous clipper Flying Dutchman in an 1853 race around the Horn to San Francisco.
In 1863 the Comet was sold to the Black Ball Line and renamed the Fiery Star. She was lost at sea on 12 May 1865 after a fire had broken out in her cargo of wool.

Clipper Ship Comet of New York in a hurricane off Bermuda on her voyage from New York to San Francisco, Octr 1852 (PAH8536)

1911 – SS Merida, a steam cargo ship, sank
Merida was a steam cargo ship built in 1906 by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia for New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Co., owned and operated by Ward Line, with intention of serving their New York to Havana route

1915 - HMS Goliath, a pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy and a member of the Canopus class, was torpedoed and sunk,
HMS Goliath
was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy and a member of the Canopus class. Intended for service in Asia, Goliath and her sister ships were smaller and faster than the preceding Majestic-class battleships, but retained the same battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns. She also carried thinner armour, but incorporated new Krupp steel, which was more effective than the Harvey armour used in the Majestics. Goliath was laid down in January 1897, launched in March 1898, and commissioned into the fleet in March 1900.

1930 – Launch of Japanese Takao (高雄), the lead vessel in the Takao-class heavy cruisers, active in World War II with the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Takao (高雄) was the lead vessel in the Takao-class heavy cruisers, active in World War II with the Imperial Japanese Navy. These were the largest and most modern cruisers in the Japanese fleet, and were intended to form the backbone of a multipurpose long-range strike force. Her sister ships were Atago, Maya and Chōkai.

1975 - The Mayaguez incident took place between Kampuchea and the United States from May 12–15, 1975, less than a month after the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital Phnom Penh ousting the U.S.-backed Khmer Republic.
It was the last official battle of the Vietnam War.

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

1778 – Launch of HMS Jupiter, a 50-gun Portland-class fourth-rate ship of the Royal Navy.
HMS Jupiter was a 50-gun Portland-class fourth-rate ship of the Royal Navy. She served during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars in a career that spanned thirty years. She was also one of the fastest ships in the Royal Navy as shown by her attempt to capture the cutter Eclipse under Nathaniel Fanning.

1790 - Battle of Reval - Disastrous Swedish attack on Russian battlefleet at Reval (now Tallinn).
The naval Battle of Reval or took place on 13 May 1790 (2 May OS) during the Russo-Swedish War (1788-1790), off the port of Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia).

The Battle of Reval by Bogolyubov, Oil on Canvas

1793 – HMS Iris and Citoyenne Française conduct an inconclusive but sanguinary engagement
HMS Iris (32), Cptn. George Lumsdaine, engaged Citoyenne Francaise (32) about 6 leagues from Gibraltar in the first action of the war with a French naval ship.

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

1797 – French Jalouse, an 18-gun Belliqueuse-class brig-corvette of the French Navy, was captured by HMS Vestale

1854 – Launch of French Ulm, a 100-gun Hercule-class ship of the line of the French Navy.

1/40th-scale model of the 100-gun Hercule, lead ship of Ulm ' class, on display at the Musée national de la Marine.

1854 – Launch of HMS Royal Albert, a 121 gun three-decker ship of the Royal Navy, at Woolwich Dockyard.

Scale: 1:48? A contemporary full hull model

1862 – The USS Planter, a steamer and gunship, steals through Confederate lines and is passed to the Union, by a southern slave, Robert Smalls, who later was officially appointed as captain, becoming the first black man to command a United States ship.
USS Planter (1862)
was a steamer taken over by Robert Smalls, a Southern slave and ship's pilot who steered the ship past Confederate defenses and surrendered it to Union Navy forces on 13 May 1862 during the American Civil War.
For a short period, Planter served as a gunboat for the Union Navy. As the ship burned wood, which was scarce where the Navy was operating, the Navy turned the ship over to the Union Army for use at Fort Pulaski on the Georgia coast. In 1863 Smalls was appointed captain of Planter, the first black man to command a United States ship, and served in that position until 1866.

1878 – Launch of SMS Bayern, one of four Sachsen-class armored frigates of the German Imperial Navy.
SMS Bayern
was one of four Sachsen-class armored frigates of the German Imperial Navy. Her sister ships were Sachsen, Baden, and Württemberg. Named for Bavaria, Bayern was built by the Imperial Dockyard in Kiel from 1874 to 1881. The ship was commissioned into the Imperial Navy in August 1881. She was armed with a main battery of six 26 cm (10 in) guns in two open barbettes.

1879 – Launch of The SMS Möwe (Seagull), a gunboat of the Imperial German Navy. Its only sister ship was the SMS Habicht, although the SMS Adler was later built on the basis of the same blueprint.
The SMS Möwe (Seagull) was a gunboat of the Imperial German Navy. Its only sister ship was the SMS Habicht [de], although the SMS Adler was later built on the basis of the same blueprint.

1903 – Launch of HMS Commonwealth, a King Edward VII-class battleship of the British Royal Navy.
HMS Commonwealth
, was a King Edward VII-class battleship of the British Royal Navy. Like all ships of the class (apart from HMS King Edward VII) she was named after an important part of the British Empire, namely the Commonwealth of Australia. Armed with a battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) and four 9.2 in (234 mm) guns, she and her sister ships marked a significant advance in offensive power compared to earlier British battleship designs that did not carry the 9.2 in guns. Commonwealth was built at the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, and was laid down in June 1902, launched in May 1903, and completed in March 1905.

1915 - HMS Goliath – On the night of 12–13 May 1915, Goliath was anchored in Morto Bay off Cape Helles when she was torpedoed.
Goliath began to capsize almost immediately, she rolled over and began to sink by the bow, taking 570 of the 700-strong crew to the bottom.
HMS Goliath
was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy and a member of the Canopus class. Intended for service in Asia, Goliath and her sister ships were smaller and faster than the preceding Majestic-class battleships, but retained the same battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns. She also carried thinner armour, but incorporated new Krupp steel, which was more effective than the Harvey armour used in the Majestics. Goliath was laid down in January 1897, launched in March 1898, and commissioned into the fleet in March 1900.

1972 – Launch of USS Nimitz (CVN-68), a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class.
USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched, and commissioned as CVAN-68 "aircraft carrier, attack, nuclear powered", but she was later redesignated as CVN-68 "aircraft carrier, multi-mission", nuclear-powered", on 30 June 1975, as part of a fleet-wide realignment that year.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the 'Royal Oak' (1741), a 70-gun two-decker ship of the line, built plank on frame in the Navy Board style.

1741 - HMS Wager (24), Cptn. Dandy Kidd, wrecked on the South coast of Chile
HMS Wager
was a square-rigged sixth-rate Royal Navy ship of 28 guns. She was built as an East Indiaman in about 1734 and made two voyages to India for the East India Company before the Royal Navy purchased her in 1739. She formed part of a squadron under Commodore George Anson and was wrecked on the south coast of Chile on 14 May 1741. The wreck of the Wager became famous for the subsequent adventures of the survivors who found themselves marooned on a desolate island in the middle of a Patagonian winter, and in particular because of the Wager Mutiny that followed.

The Wreck of the Wager, the frontispiece from John Byron's account

1747 - First Battle of Cape Finisterre
14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson attack a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquière and capture 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Bay of Biscay.

The First Battle of Cape Finisterre (14 May 1747) saw 14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson attack a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquière during the War of the Austrian Succession. The British captured 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. One French frigate, one French East India Company warship and the other merchantmen escaped.

Lord Anson's victory off Cape Finisterre, 3 May 1747, National Maritime Museum.

1766 – Launch of french Languedoc, a 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy and flagship of Admiral d'Estaing.
The Languedoc was a ship of the line of the French Navy and flagship of Admiral d'Estaing. She was offered to King Louis XV by the Languedoc, as part of the Don des vaisseaux, a national effort to rebuild the navy after the Seven Years' War. She was designed by the naval architect Joseph Coulomb, and funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Languedoc.

The Languedoc, dismasted by the storm the night of the 12th, attacked by HMS Renown the afternoon of 13 August 1778

1794 – Launch of Spanish Montañés, a 74 gun third-rate Spanish ship of the line.
The name ship of her class, she was built in the Ferrol shipyards and paid for by the people of Cantabria.

The Montañés was a 74 gun third-rate Spanish ship of the line. The name ship of her class, she was built in the Ferrol shipyards and paid for by the people of Cantabria. She was built following José Romero y Fernández de Landa's system as part of the San Ildefonso class, though her were amended by Retamosa to refine her buoyancy. She was launched in May 1794 and entered service the following year. With 2400 copper plates on her hull, she was much faster than other ships of the same era, reaching 14 (rather than the average 10) knots downwind and 10 (rather than 8) knots upwind.

1794 - HMS Alert, launched in 1793 for the Royal Navy, was captured by the French Navy and took her into service as Alerte.
A few months later the Royal Navy destroyed her.
HMS Alert
was launched in 1793 for the Royal Navy. In May 1794 the French Navy captured her and took her into service as Alerte. A few months later the Royal Navy destroyed her.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with some inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for the Alert (1793)

1806 – Action of 1806-05-14 - HMS Pallas vs French Minerve and other french ships

1814 - May 14, 16 and 17 - Argentines under William Brown defeat Spanish
The Battle of Buceo was
a decisive naval battle which took place on 14–17 May 1814, during the Argentine War of Independence between an Argentine fleet under William Brown and a Spanish fleet under Admiral Sienna off the coast of Montevideo, in today's Uruguay.

1824 – Launch of HMS Aetna, a Hecla class bomb vessel of the Royal Navy of the early 19th century.
The Hecla class was a class of bomb vessels of the Royal Navy of the early 19th century. They were designed for use as bomb or mortar ships and were very heavily built. Eight ships were launched all were converted for use as exploration or survey ships. Four ships of the class are known for the role they played in Arctic and Antarctic exploration.

1832 – Launch of HMS Salamander, one of the first paddle warships built for the Royal Navy.
HMS Salamander
was one of the first paddle warships built for the Royal Navy. Initially classed simply as a steam vessel, she was re-classed as a second-class steam sloop when that categorisation was introduced on 31 May 1844. She was launched in 1832 from Sheerness Dockyard, took part in the Second Anglo-Burmese War and was broken up in 1883.

1847 - HMS Driver was a Driver-class wooden paddle sloop of the Royal Navy.
She is credited with the first global circumnavigation by a steamship when she arrived back in England on 14 May 1847.

1904 – Launch of SMS Yorck ("His Majesty's Ship Yorck"), the second and final member of the Roon class of armored cruisers built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) as part of a major naval expansion program aimed at strengthening the fleet.
SMS Yorck
("His Majesty's Ship Yorck") was the second and final member of the Roon class of armored cruisers built for the German Kaiserliche Marine(Imperial Navy) as part of a major naval expansion program aimed at strengthening the fleet. Yorck was named for Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg, a Prussian field marshal. She was laid down in 1903 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, launched in May 1904, and commissioned in November 1905. The ship was armed with a main battery of four 21 cm (8.3 in) guns and had a top speed was 20.4 knots (37.8 km/h 23.5 mph). Like many of the late armored cruisers, Yorck was quickly rendered obsolescent by the advent of the battlecruiser as a result, her career was limited.

1904 - Although Port Arthur was as good as blocked, due to the lack of initiative by Makarov's successors, Japanese naval losses began to mount, largely due to Russian mines.
two Japanese battleships, the 12,320-ton Yashima and the 15,300-ton Hatsuse, sank in a Russian minefield off Port Arthur after they both struck at least two mines each, eliminating one-third of Japan's battleship force.
At the same day cruiser Yoshino sank killing 319 people after a collision with cruiser Kasuga. Only 19 survived.
-> The worst day for the Japanese Navy during the war.

A model of Yashima in the British National Maritime Museum

1917 - The 1917 Battle of the Strait of Otranto was the result of an Austro-Hungarian raid on the Otranto Barrage, an Allied naval blockade of the Strait of Otranto.
The battle took place on 14–15 May 1917, and was the largest surface action in the Adriatic Sea during World War I

The 1917 Battle of the Strait of Otranto was the result of an Austro-Hungarian raid on the Otranto Barrage, an Allied naval blockade of the Strait of Otranto. The battle took place on 14–15 May 1917, and was the largest surface action in the Adriatic Sea during World War I. The Otranto Barrage was a fixed barrier, composed of lightly armed drifters with anti-submarine nets coupled with minefields and supported by Allied naval patrols.
The Austro-Hungarian navy planned to raid the Otranto Barrage with a force of three light cruisers and two destroyers under the command of Commander (later Admiral) Miklós Horthy, in an attempt to break the barrier to allow U-boats freer access to the Mediterranean, and Allied shipping. An Allied force composed of ships from three navies responded to the raid and in the ensuing battle, heavily damaged the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Novara. However, the rapid approach of the Austro-Hungarian relief force persuaded Rear Admiral Acton, the Allied commander, to retreat.

SMS Novara in action

1918 - HMS Phoenix, an Acheron-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy, was the only British warship ever to be sunk by the Austro-Hungarian Navy.
HMS Phoenix
was an Acheron-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. She is named for the mythical bird, and was the fifteenth ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name. She was the only British warship ever to be sunk by the Austro-Hungarian Navy

1943 – World War II: A Japanese submarine sinks AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.
Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur
was a hospital ship which was attacked and sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Queensland, Australia, on 14 May 1943. Of the 332 medical personnel and civilian crew aboard, 268 died, including 63 of the 65 army personnel.

The Scottish-built vessel was launched in 1924 as a combination passenger liner and refrigerated cargo ship and operated a trade route between Western Australia and Singapore via the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), carrying passengers, cargo, and livestock. At the start of World War II, Centaur (like all British Merchant Navy vessels) was placed under British Admiralty control, but after being fitted with defensive equipment, was allowed to continue normal operations. In November 1941, the ship rescued German survivors of the engagement between Kormoran and HMAS Sydney. Centaur was relocated to Australia's east coast in October 1942, and used to transport materiel to New Guinea.

In January 1943, Centaur was handed over to the Australian military for conversion into a hospital ship, as the ship's small size made her suitable for operating in Maritime Southeast Asia. The refit (including installation of medical facilities and repainting with Red Cross markings) was completed in March, and the ship undertook a trial voyage: transporting wounded from Townsville to Brisbane, then from Port Moresby to Brisbane. After replenishing in Sydney, Centaur embarked the 2/12th Field Ambulance for transport to New Guinea, and sailed on 12 May. Before dawn on 14 May 1943, during her second voyage, Centaur was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine off North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. The majority of the 332 aboard died in the attack the 64 survivors were discovered 36 hours later. The incident resulted in public outrage as attacking a hospital ship is considered a war crime under the 1907 Hague Convention. Protests were made by the Australian and British governments to Japan and efforts were made to discover the people responsible so they could be tried at a war crimes tribunal. In the 1970s the probable identity of the attacking submarine, I-177, became public.

The reason for the attack is unknown, with theories that Centaur was in breach of the international conventions that should have protected her, that I-177's commander was unaware that Centaur was a hospital ship, or that the submarine commander knowingly attacked a protected vessel. The wreck of Centaur was found on 20 December 2009 a claimed discovery in 1995 had been proven to be a different shipwreck.


Watch the video: Week-end Carnac (June 2022).


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