The British Royal navy entered the War of 1812 expecting victory. Naval victories of the previous two decades and the mythos of Lord Nelson had built a naval culture accustomed to aggressive action and victory against all odds. And yet, by the year’s end three British frigates and two sloops had been defeated in single ship actions against opponents from the tiny United States Navy. These losses, even against better armed opponents like USS Constitution, sent shockwaves throughout the Royal Navy and the British world.
These loses had a strong impact on contemporaries, naval and civilian alike, and led to unprecedented steps on behalf of the British naval administration and a drive for vengeance within the navy. This volume explores the socio-cultural effects of the single ship naval actions during the War of 1812, which captivated the British and American world during the last Anglo-American war.
"....a fascinating and well-balanced account that covers all the important actions and their effects. His style flows smoothly, and he has contributed a most readable book to the increasing volume of works on the War of 1812, and one with a different slant to most. This is an offering firmly recommended to all interested in the maritime history of the period and of this war in particular."
- Nautical Research Journal
"I recommend this book to those interested in the naval side of the War of 1812, those studying command and naval culture, and people examining the influence of war on local press and the role of the press in shaping the understanding of future historians of the events of the war. Nicholas Kaizer has written a volume that is enjoyable to read and will give one much on which to think."
- The Northern Mariner