donderdag 25 mei 2017

CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge Cherbourg 1864 - Mark Lardas

Part of the Osprey "Duel" line of books, this details not only the titular duel, but ALL duels between Confederate raiders and Union hunters.

Well, all 3 engagements that is, in which a total of 5 ships over the whole WAR have been involved.

From the back cover:

During the American Civil War the Confederacy's commerce raiders sought to weaken the United States by driving US merchant shipping from the seas.  The pinnacle of commerce raider designs, CSS Alabama, enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour, capturing some 60 merchant vessels.  One of the US Navy's most advanced warships, the cruiser USS Kearsarge, spent most of the war hunting these Confederate raiders, culminating in an epic clash with Alabama off the coast of France in June 1864.
This book presents the complete story and development of the Confederacy's commerce raiding force and the ships the Union sent against them, covering three dramatic warship duels: CSS Alabama vs USS Hatteras, CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge, and CSS Florida vs USS Wachusett.

The book itself is nicely illustrated and has a real trove of ancient maritime pictures, both from the pre-war up to the post war era (even Antwerp's cathedral is pictured!) as it goes through the whole history of the types of ships.
From how they both had fleets of unsuitable paddlesteamers to the faster raiders and ironclad cruisers, and how that affected not only the size of the vessels, but also how it shifted the balance of power in duels between the older and newer designs.

A nice and informative read of a not often spoken part of the ACW.

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