On 18 October 1812, U.S. sloop of war Wasp captured HM brig Frolic during the War of 1812. This reproduction of an aquatint in colors was drawn and engraved by F. Kearny, from a sketch by Lieut. Claxton, of the Wasp. Published by C.P. Fessenden, No. 7 N. Seventh St., Philadelphia. NHHC image NH 43040. Print from the Beverley R. Robinson Collection. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.
On 5 October 1863 the Confederate steam torpedo boat David seriously damaged the Federal ironclad USS New Ironsides with a spar torpedo off Charleston, South Carolina.
French Airboat, Farnam “Hydro Glisseur” circa 1924.
Goto Predestinatsia (lit. The Providence of God), the first ship of the line commissioned to the Imperial Russian Navy in 1700. She remained in service until 1711, when—following the Russian loss of the Pruth River Campaign—she was sold to the Ottoman Empire.
"The Curlew at Dunkirk," from London Calling c. June 1940. A yachtsman’s recollection of the evacuation.
The little ships of Dunkirk, 1940.
Operation Dynamo was the largest scale seaborne rescue operation of its time: in the course of nine days, over 300,000 troops were safely evacuated from their position on the beach where they had been forced to retreat by German forces. Their fleet was neither large in scope nor in capacity, consisting of over 700 small, privately owned boats volunteered for the evacuation, now called the little ships—or sometimes boats—of Dunkirk.
Their hasty flotilla was made up of anything that could stay afloat, including passenger and pleasure boats, small ferries, fishing vessels, sailing boats and a plethora of others, even a Thames paddle steamer. Most of the boats had never been to sea, and weren’t meant to—these were flat-bottomed river boats.
Initial estimations of how many could be rescued were projected in the mid-40,000 range; when they pulled away from shore on 4 June, the perimeter of Dunkirk beach still held by French troops, a total of 338,226 had been evacuated. It wasn’t without losses—aside from those who stayed to cover the retreat of the evacuated troops, casualties included six Royal Navy destroyers, 24 smaller warships and over 70 of the little ships. It would be called ‘the miracle of Dunkirk.’
Today, Dunkirk’s surviving little ships are most often privately owned and meticulously maintained; approximately 150 of them are registered with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and an estimated 400-500 may still be in existence. Every five years, some forty to fifty remaining ships make the return to Dunkirk from Dover, escorted by the Royal Navy.
The Swedish warship Vasa (1626-1628). She was built during a period of tactical transition, between a time where victory was gained through boarding the enemy ship and that where a battle was won through superior firepower. As such, her armaments included 64 bronze cannons and the capacity for 300 soldiers trained in boarding; had she survived, she may well have been one of the more powerful ships of the 17th century.
Though she displayed a lack of balance even in port, on 10 August 1628, the Vasa took her maiden voyage, manned by some hundred crewmen. The small hull and ballast insufficient for the rig and cannon made her disproportional—later, King Gustav II Adolf would declare the sinking a result of “foolishness and incompetence”, though he had approved the dimensions himself. The captain, Söfring Hansson, had 30 or so crewmen run back and forth across deck to demonstrate her crank, or danger of overturning in the water. The ship was towed out, and as sail was raised near what is now Slussen, the wind caught and she heeled to port, then heeled again. Water rushed in through the open gun ports, and the Vasa sank.
The Vasa lay at the bottom of Strömmen for over 300 years before being rediscovered by the wreck researcher Anders Franzén in 1956, and salvaged in 1959. Due to the massive pollution in the Stockholms ström, many of the microorganisms that would have eaten away at the wood of the ship were unable to survive, and much of the ship was intact upon being raised from the bed of river. After some debate, polyethylene glycol was used in preservation efforts (the same tactic used later on the Mary Rose). She was sprayed with the glycol for 17 years, and let dry for nine more. Today the Vasa is a museum ship in Stockholm, Sweden. Conservation efforts are ongoing.
"Distress of the Centaur on the Night of the 16th of Septr, 1782.” (via)