Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the Rising Sun

Tsushima: a legendary battle with no less than 8 Russian battleships lost! Combine that with the number of Russian capital ships lost earlier in the war and the grand total comes out to be 15! How did this happen so fast? and who made it happen? Japan was not colonized by Europeans like China and India, so it was very isolationistic. But then, perhaps wanting to grab a valuable piece of Asia for itself, the USA sent over commodore Perry to open up Japan to trade and Colonization. His only mistake was to bring steam frigates! The Japanese, being a culture with Samurai couldn't get enough of these new weapons! After Perry left, the Shogun tried to keep things the way they had been but failed, civil turmoil eventually leading to the Meiji Uprising and the end of the old way of life. The new emperor had a great desire to modernize Japan, introducing new cutting edge weapons systems unheard of 20 years before, and by the late 1880s they were ready to take on china and win, and win they did. Now they were firmly established as a country not to pick on, Japan started ordering Battleships from the Kings Of Battleships: Vickers and Armstrong and the British steel industry in general. Soon, she would take on Russia in the first pre-dreadnought war: the Russo-Japanese War, a war that would make Battleship history.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Influence Of Seapower upon History

The battleships of about 1888 to 1905 are known as Pre-Dreadnoughts because they were the classes that immediately preceded HMS Dreadnought. They were the most powerful ships yet seen, dominating waters worldwide, and being the centerpiece of the arms races that had been going on for centuries, the most obvious of these being between Britain and France. But a bit before the era even started, a manuscript was published by a little-known US naval officer, Captain A.T. Mahan, that would change the world balance dramatically, eventually resulting in the passing of the torch from the old world to the new. In many countries, but especially Germany, this booklet was taken very seriously. In that country, battleships started to be built that would eventually start to pose a threat to Britain, switching its opponents from France and Russia to Germany, although there were some perceived threats from those two countries. But then there was a conflict that would change world history and decimate the proud fleet of the Russian Empire: the sun was rising in the far east and shining on Japan.

Monday, June 28, 2010

From Broadside Ironclads to Pre-Dreadnoughts

The Warrior was only the beginning. There would be many more of her type, like Affondatore. Eventually, Broadside Ironclads would change into Battery Ironclads, like Majestic. But this was not the chain of development for modern battleships. That started with Monitor. She fought a duel with Merrimac that I will not go into here. The main reason to mention her was her revolving turrets, meaning her guns could turn without the ship itself also doing so, giving her an advantage over other ships even though she had only two guns. She was the ancestor of such ships as Dreadnought and Yamato. Soon, most navies had picked up the idea and incorporated it into their ships, eventually turning it into the Pre-Dreadnought.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Steam and armor

The ship of the line was still the battleship used by the fleets as as factories destroyed the livelihoods of people all over the world. Their designs had gotten some upgrades but their basic principals were the same: Two to three decked wooden sailing ships of usually 74-120 guns, although this era saw the most prolific use of four-deckers, namely the Valmy and Pennsylvania. But things were about to change. The Valmy, while she was powerful, was the last sailing ship of the line built for France. The next ship on their agenda, the 92 gun Napoleon, was powered by steam. The British soon followed suit, and sail was outmoded. The French, having built some floating casemate batteries during the Russian War, soon after that built a ship that would finally force the royal navy and consequentially every other major navy to drop the use of the oldest shipbuilding material forever: the Gloire. The British then built the Warrior, a sixty gun frigate made of iron. No more would the graceful ships of the line be the unchallenged masters of the sea. No more would sails be of any real importance. And no more would that material that made up all the great ships in the British fleet past and present be used: wood.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Royal Navy vs. the world

The Royal Navy, while it seemed powerful, was wasting away in its seeming time of glory. While its ships were new, designed by Sir Tomas Slade, its tactics were an even more regulated and twisted version of Fighting Instructions. Its Leaders didn't dare defy its garbled rules, even if it was just because they were there. Until John Clerk. It was his tactics that Rodney used, if only partially, at the battle of the saints. His tactics that were the basics of those used by nelson. And speaking of Nelson, you can see his flagship at Portsmouth, England. If you want more on Victory, I'll do an entire post on her one of these days, so tune in for that! That's all,Christopher.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fighting Instructions

Oliver Cromwell, the man who caused, at least partially, the execution of Charles the first, is known for that deed and the protectorate. But what is not usually connected with him is the rebirth of the English Battleship, which he caused. It had started in the first dutch war. The English captains bungled many battles because they all used their own tactics, and with ships darting in between their fellows, friendly fire became a real hazard. What Cromwell eventually came up with was the new ranking system to go along with the tactics of a book called "Fighting Instructions". Now that I'm on the subject, let me introduce you to a little monster called fighting instructions. The book was meat to be taken literally, because it told you how to fight(and constrained your ability to fight). It had very strict rules, catching many officers in traps from which it was nearly impossible to escape, and indeed, many did not even try. But fortunately, some people, whether in the navy or outside it, were willing to try and, for a few of them, succeed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Great Armada

While the English did not really have any sort of rank, the Spaniards seem to have paid attention to regimentation. Their fleet had Galleons, Carracks, Pataches, Urcas, Galleys, and Galleasses. Today I will examine the first, and most famous, type on the list (which, by the way, comes from the Seafarers about my topic),the Galleon. Sometimes, people do not consider the main Spanish ships to be Galleons. Actually, their Galleons were great warships, and indeed, the explanation of the English caution to attack them (and they were very cautious) could be stemmed from the size of these warships. However,these ships had one fatal flaw. The English ships were much faster than the Spaniards meaning the English ships could pop in and out with ease, their tactic being to let loose their ragged broadsides into the Spanish ships' sterns. Nevertheless, the only Galleons lost were sunk by collision or grounding.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Vikings

The very name of the famed Northmen would come to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies. Like the Greeks,they too had a complex system of rank involving ships like drakkars and longships. But they were important because their ships would successively evolve into the ships of today. This was the true genesis of the modern battleship. The Middle Ages had only one great sea fight that I can think of, the battle of Crecy. All the powers in the High Middle Ages except the Byzantines did not have rank. In fact, The all-important system of regimentation was lost in the English fleet until the days of Oliver Cromwell.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

3. Imperial Roman Battleships

With the Romans it was the same. The first warship they had was a wrecked Carthaginian Quinquereme( a large four-banked Polyreme, the classification for anything with more banks of oars than a Monoreme,the class including Moneres.) But then everything changed. It started with the Bireme losing its outriggers. Eventually, the little Bireme would evolve into first the Liburnian, then with the addition of the lateen sail they would come to equal the Trireme and then replace it as the ruler of the Mediterranean sea. In fact, the Dromons and Sealanders of the Byzantines could all trace their ancestry right back to the Biremes. But apart from these ships, the world of the early Byzantines was devoid of information until some raiders from the north established their name: Vikings.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Battleships pt. 2: the Greeks

But the Greeks were different. Unlike the Egyptians,who had just big galleys and small galleys, they had ranks of galleys depending on their oars. For example: Monoremes,Biremes, and Triremes. Today, I'll take a look at the main ships: Triremes, which were the first ships that I think could be called battleships. These were the main ships in fleets all around Greece and beyond. Ships in the fleets 1: Triremes. The Trireme was so named for its three banks of oars, identifying it as a large galley. Its huge ram was made not out of iron but bronze, being harder than copper or wood. They were tall,but not to tall as to impair their fighting ability.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Christopher History of the battleship: battleships in ancient days Part 1

The Battleship. A powerful name which came to mean(for many people that is) any large ship with guns. But that, as you shall see, is not the true meaning of the word. For me, the word "battleship" is the main fighting ship in any given navy from the the Greeks to the 1960s.1: The Pre-Greek warship. In my intro, I could have said from the Egyptians onwards. Why the Egyptians I will explain in this chapter,and why onwards shall be dealt with in the last chapter. The Egyptians had a strong fleet, BUT theirs was not,I believe a system of ship ranks. This is what made the Greeks special. tune in next time for that, Christopher.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I'm going to a manga festival ( aka con)! There are (obviously) going to be many manga fans there(including my sister and my friend Ella,who,no offense, are quite enough fans for me). My brother really really does not want to go. I do not actually care either way. BOOK TIME!!! if you are like me then you must read the Seafarers series!YOU MUST!!!!!!!! they are a super awesome time-life series from the latest 1970s and early 1980s. I repeat: YOU MUST READ THESE BOOKS!!! they are SOOO GOOD!!! GET ONE OF THEM NOW!!! That is all,Christopher.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I just learned a new trick to drawing ships of the line! All you must do for a beak-head is make the front of the stem look like a flat beak-head and then widen it out into the 3d shape. Willem van de Velde the elder and the younger were a Dutch father and son team of fantastic ship artists. In the late 17th century, they painted many fine works for Dutch patrons. Eventually moving to England,they did the opposite of what they had done for the Dutch: painting English victories during the Dutch wars. That is all, Christopher. PS. I got my Van de Velde info from the book from the time-life series The Seafarers called The Men-At-War.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lego ship

I forgot to post the completion of my Lego ship on May 29! For shame! She has 20 guns,a stern gallery and is totally huge! Unfortunately, her hull extends down to the keel, meaning she must be supported by two other Lego ships. She does not have any rigging. I went to violin today! I can now play with the bow! That is all, Christopher.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Airship Game

Me and my friends play a complicated game called the Airship Game. We are sky pirates who raid enemy merchants for past grievances. Pat(my brother) is Captain Jack Harckness, a character from Doctor Who and Torchwood.I am a character called Richard,of my own invention. Afton is a time lord,and Marina is the Captain of the ship. Afton and Marina are two of my friends. My character can travel through time and goes many different places. That's all for now, Christopher.

Airship Game

This post is a goof so sorreeeee! (nois lois Desmund Des.) If you want more on the airship game, go to the next post.

Monday, June 7, 2010

HMS Conway

HMS Conway was a Royal Navy ship of the line. She was designed in the 1820s by Sir Robert Seppings, the great naval architect(and one I do not know much about). Her original name was HMS Nile. Sadly, she was wrecked in whales as the school Conway in 1953. If this had not happened, she would accompany Victory as a ship of the line( although if you still count it her wreck,although burnt to the waterline,can still be seen at the place she sank when the tide is low.

Friday, June 4, 2010

more on dumb guys

Huggles says tis him coo. He is a Dumb Guy(and he made a cameo appearance in my last post). By this time you may be asking: what is a Dumb Guy? Well, they are very stupid stuffed animals that(I just realized this) can be classified into many groups: first off,the the basic groupings,store bought and homemade. Homemade Dumb guys are sown at home, while the second group is bought at a store or over the internet(duh). BUT, those two groups can be broken up into many smaller groups(My brother's mamegoma Porkins says hi). Speaking of Porkins, let's explain the store bought groups first. the first main group is the Nikkis(mamegoma). it includes True Nikkis and Higgenses. They are Japanese toys(CUTE!!!). The second are the Fofedesmuffs. They include the Desmonds, Fofins and Miffys. The Desmonds include true fwushes and pseudo-fwushes. The Miffys include miffys,cicis and shamoos.This post is long enough to be a two-parter(and my brother wants to use the computer)so I guess that's all for now,Christopher.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I got a new Mamegoma(Japanese plush seal)! His name is Archie(or to give his full title,Archibald the Dolphin)! Unfortunately, he is very stupid. His image should appear next to this post. Over to you Archie! Hi. I is duh. Tis him coo sometimes. Tis him Super Archie sometimes.KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Christopher: See what I mean? Well, I guess that's all for now, Christopher(Huggles the mamegoma says tis him coo).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yesterday was Jutland Day! On that day in 1916, three British battle cruisers and one German battle cruiser were destroyed in one of the greatest(and most indecisive) sea battles of all time.They were:HMS Queen Mary,HMS Invincible(not so invincible as its namers would like to think!),HMS Indefatigable, and SMS Lutzow(the Lutzow was German).Christopher fact time! The Santissima Trinidad,a Spanish Ship of the line,had four gun decks and 144 cannon! Not surprisingly, She was the largest ship of her day.That is all,Christopher.