There is no more illustrious warship name in British naval history than HMS Victory, which is inextricably linked with Admiral Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar. This fascinating book celebrates all three at a most appropriate moment - the 200th anniversary of Nelson's greatest triumph and his death in HMS Victory. What is less well known is that six warships before Nelson's carried the name Victory, the first being Sir John Hawkins' during the Battle of the Armada in 1588, which sailed from Plymouth to battle the Spanish. All manner of maritime life is included in this book, from piracy in the Azores to gentlemanly encounters between fleets as well as the battle of annihilation that was Trafalgar. The full horror, majesty and thunder of naval warfare in the age of fighting sail is revealed through the first-hand accounts of those who were there. The post-Trafalgar career of Victory is studied, continuing to the present, for she is still in commission, as Flagship of the Second Sea Lord.
'H.M.S. Victory' includes the forgotten story of HMS Victory AFTER Trafalgar, including the amazing triumph she obtained for Britain in the Baltic while flying the flag of Admiral Sir James Saumarez. The same chapter includes the never before published letters of a humble Royal Marine who believed his wife had drowned off Guernsey, only to find she had run off with a sailor!
It also tells the story of the parallel lives of Nelson and HMS Victory for the book places the human element to the fore throughout. The Foreword is provided by Vice Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command in the Trafalgar 200 year.
There are also contributions from Admiral Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord and other serving members of the Royal Navy, including Commodore Allan Adair, Commander British Forces Gibraltar, whose forebear was killed in Victory at Trafalgar and Lieutenant Commander Frank Nowosielski, current Commanding Officer HMS Victory.
Superbly illustrated, well researched and written by two leading naval experts, 'H.M.S. Victory' will be enjoyed by all those for whom naval heritage and the 'Immortal Memory' of Nelson, his ship and achievements hold a fascination.
Author: Iain Ballantyne & Jonathan Eastland
Title: HMS Victory
Series: Warships of the Royal Navy
First Published by: Leo Cooper Ltd
Date: 30 August 2005