The Trafalgar Chronicle New Series 8

Great. By the time of her death in 1796, she had transformed a deteriorating fleet into a formidable naval power that contested the Black Sea and Mediterranean during her wars against the Ottoman Empire, and eventually dominated the Baltic in her wars against Sweden. As a result of these victories on land and sea, Russia expanded its territory into Ukraine, Crimea and Moldova. Catherine’s mercurial successor, Tsar Paul I, would send the Baltic and Black Sea fleets to join the Royal Navy and the Ottomans to oppose France’s designs on Italy, the dalmatian coast and the Greek Ionian Isles in 1798. Through naval historian Andrew Venn, we learn of Saumarez’s diplomacy in the Baltic; maintaining diplomatic ties with a neutral yet volatile Sweden, keeping the threat of the Russian fleet at bay, and defending against the fiery danish gunboat threat to merchant shipping. Andrew’s article makes a perfect segue to the next section in this issue – three chapters reprinted from The Baltic Cauldron: Two Navies and the Fight for Freedom, a richly illustrated compilation published in 2022 to document Sweden’s naval history and to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Swedish Navy. Peter Hore opens this section with an introduction to the book itself, followed by three articles: two by himself and one by Captain Christer Hägg, RSwN, ret, a maritime artist whose work graces the cover of this issue. Both Christer and Peter are members of The 1805 Club and Peter is the former editor of theTrafalgar Chronicle. In Biographical Portraits we have Andrew Field’s stunning recounting of Captain Charles Cunningham’s daring actions and decisions when he extricated his ship, the Fifth Rate frigate HMS Clyde (38), from the Nore Mutiny. Next, dr Hilary Rubinstein documents the lives of George Brydges Rodney and Richard Kempenfelt, ‘two of the most capable and cerebral British admirals of George III’s reign’. She supplied genealogical research to reveal that they were cousins, although they could not have been more different in character. The next article is about Bermuda. A few years ago, Judy and John were visiting St Peter’s Church in St George, Bermuda, when they learned that the remains of Captain Sir Jacob Wheate RN had been found under the church floor in 2008. He and his ship, the Fifth Rate frigate HMS Cerberus (32), both met their ends in 1783 in Bermuda. Judy could not get this sad, dramatic tale off her mind and had to write about it. Our General Interest section offers a delightful collection of three informative, highly readable articles. First dr Mark Barton identifies, compares and contrasts thirty-five swords that the duke of Clarence gave as awards to Royal Navy officers between 1786 and 1834. dr George Bandurek provides a whopping good tale about HM Schooner Whiting – a ship that underwent several reincarnations after she was captured by a French privateer in 1812. THE TRAFALGAR CHRONICLE 8