Anson's voyage of 1740-44 holds a unique and terrible place in British naval history. The misadventures of this first attempt by Royal Navy ships to sail round the world make a dramatic story of hardship, disaster, mutiny and heroism. Only one of Anson's squadron, the flagship Centurion, completed its mission. The other vessels were wrecked, scuttled or forced back in shattered condition. Out of 1850 officers and men who sailed from Spithead in September 1740, almost 1400 died, most from disease or starvation. With crews ravaged by scurvy, Anson's ships were battered by relentless storms as they attempted to round Cape Horn. Two of the six men-of-war in the squadron turned back, their captains to face later accusations of desertion. A third, the Wager, was wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Chile in circumstances in which all discipline vanished. This work recounts this classic story from sea history, detailing the dramatic hardships, diasters, mutiny and heroism that occurred.
Author: Glyn Williams
Title: The Prize of All the Oceans
First Published by: Harper Collins
Date: 18 October 1999