Naval Battles from the Ages of Sail and Steam
Douglas M. McLean, editor
This handsome illustrated book, a collaboration by six Canadian, British and American naval historians, consists of studies of naval battles or operations – three from the age of sail and three from the age of steam. With its detailed analysis of naval warfare, this is a book that will appeal to all students of naval history as well as general readers.
- “A perfect good understanding between the Army and the Navy”: British Seapower and the Siege of Quebec, 1759. Canadian historian Donald E. Graves describes the under-appreciated role of naval operations in the capture of Quebec, which saw a quarter of the British fleet and much of the merchant fleet of the American colonies ascend 800 miles of uncharted river to land Wolfe’s army before the capital of New France.
- “Old Ironsides’” Last Battle”: USS Constitution versus HM Ships Cyane and Levant, 1815. American naval historian William S. Dudley describes the sequence of events in which Constitution captured the British ships Cyane and Levant. The American captain brought his prizes into port in the Cape Verde Islands only to be discovered by a superior British squadron. In a daring manoeuvre, not only did “Old Ironsides” escape and return to the U.S. but so did one of the prizes.
- “Taking the President”: USS President versus HMS Endymion, 1815. British historian Andrew Lambert describes the War of 1812 action in which USS President, commanded by Captain Stephen Decatur, attempting to avoid the British blockade of New York, was pursued by the British frigate Endymion and, after a vicious gunnery battle, forced to strike his colours.
- Hollow Victory: Gruppe Leuthen and the Battle for Convoys ON 202 and ONS 18, 1943. Canadian naval historian Douglas M. McLean describes a four-day battle in which U-boats sank six merchantmen and three Allied warships for the loss of three of their own before Admiral Dönitz suspended the operation. The battle was the final success for the U-boats against Allied convoys in the Battle of the Atlantic.
- “Shoot, shoot, shoot!” Night Destroyer Action in the English Channel, 1944. Canadian naval historian Michael Whitby describes the German navy’s attempt to attack the Normandy beaches after D-Day. They were countered by the Royal Navy’s 10th Flotilla in a confusing, intense nighttime battle that was the largest destroyer action in European waters during the war.
- On Britain’s Doorstep: The Destruction of U-247, 1944. Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones tells how, in summer 1944, as Allied armies battled in France, Admiral Dönitz mounted a submarine campaign in British waters. An exemplary action was the destruction of U-247 by Canadian Escort Group 9 in early September 1944 after a 24-hour chase off Cornwall.